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The Top 10 Most Common Boiler Issues And Causes

Boiler malfunctions are extremely common, especially in older homes that rely on outdated or broken boiler systems to heat the building and its water supply. While modern boilers are often more efficient and have fewer issues than older models, there are still plenty of potential problems that you should be on the lookout for if you have one installed in your home or business. Here’s the good news: fixing boiler issues isn’t that hard, as long as you catch them early enough and call in a boiler repair, at Tyne and Wear, as we can help you out. Here are the top 10 most common boiler issues that often arise and what causes them, so you can be prepared when they happen to you!
The Top 10 Most Common Boiler Issues And Causes

Common Boiler Problems:

  1. There Is A Water Leakage
  2. Strange Noises
  3. The boiler continually turns off
  4. Boiler Pump Not Working
  5. Boiler Not Igniting
  6. Radiators are cold
  7. Water is far too hot
  8. Lower boiler pressure
  9. Pilot Light Keeps Going Out
  10. Frozen Condensate Pipe

1. There Is A Water Leakage

There Is A Water Leakage
If your boiler is leaking water, then it’s time to call a professional plumber. The thermostat might be broken or malfunctioning, and you’ll need someone to come out and take a look at it. Water is constantly going into your boiler, so if there’s any kind of leak, there’s water damage as well. This can get pretty expensive if left unattended for too long. Tyne and Wear can determine where and how much water is being lost and whether a part replacement or full repair will be necessary. Even minor leaks over time can cause substantial damage to your home so don’t wait until you are left with no hot water to fix your boiler! Contact us for an inspection today!

Common causes:

  • Leaking pump
  • Pressure relief valve
  • Temperature pressure relief valve
  • Corrosion
  • Badly installed pipework

2. Strange Noises Are Coming From Your Boiler

Strange Noises Are Coming From Your Boiler
Changes in the sounds produced by your boiler may be indicative of a problem. Limescale buildup may lead to the typical boiler noises many people hear when the water is heated. The buildup of limescale deposits can overheat the heat exchanger, generating steam and making a characteristic whistling noise.

Check for noises coming from other parts of your house. This could indicate that there’s a pipe leak, or that another part of your boiler is malfunctioning. Fortunately, these sorts of problems can be fixed with regular boiler maintenance or, if needed, immediately.

Common causes:

  • Low water pressure
  • Faulty pump
  • Limescale or sludge
  • Air in your central heating system

3. The Boiler Continually Turns Off

The Boiler Continually Turns Off
If your boiler is left unserviced, your boiler might begin to shut off for no reason.
There are two ways to fix a boiler switching off: check that it’s not malfunctioning and then switch it off using your thermostat or isolate where it’s leaking by placing a bowl underneath to catch any water. If you discover water pouring out of an external pipe, then there may be damage to your heating system which needs repairing by qualified professionals at once. Contact us for a quote today!

Common causes:

  • Low water pressure
  • Faulty thermostat
  • Frozen condensate pipes
  • Air in the system
  • Faulty pump
  • Boiler not receiving enough fuel

4. Boiler Pump Not Working

Boiler Pump Not Working
When your heating takes longer than normal to heat up or is producing strange noises, there may be a problem with the central heating pump. Because the pump is housed inside your boiler, it’s best to have a Gas Safe registered engineer take a look.

Circulating pumps are normally located inside or near your boiler. However, it may be located in an airing cupboard next to the hot water cylinder, which is typical of non-combi systems.

Common causes:

  • Debris or sludge
  • The pump is worn
  • The pump has no power
  • The Pump is leaking
  • Unusual noises
  • There is no hot water

5. Boiler Not Igniting

Boiler Not Igniting
If the boiler does not fire up, you’ll be without hot water and heating. Get the boiler back up and running as soon as possible. There are some simple things you can do on your own to re-ignite the boiler. That being the case, you need to know the extent of the damage.

Contact us and we will send out a boiler expert to see if your burner is fully functional. If not, we can repair or replace it for you. We can repair your boiler if only one part is damaged and need not be replaced as a whole unit. However, if your boiler has been in use for several years now and parts of it have worn out, you may need to buy a new boiler altogether as they are more expensive than repairs.

Common causes:

  • There’s no gas
  • The boiler timer has reset
  • Electoral issue or power cut
  • The thermostat is set too low or is faulty
  • Boiler pressure is too high or too low

6. Your Radiators Are Cold

Your Radiators Are Cold
Heating your home is a crucial part of staying warm during the winter months. If the radiators are not heating up at all, despite the boiler being on, there are several possible culprits. First, figure out if the pump is broken. An old pump will stop working. This can result in water not flowing to any taps, showers, or radiators.

Radiators will only begin to heat up once they reach a certain temperature, so check and see if your radiators are warm by touching them. If not, there may be a problem with your boiler or heating system. Contacting a professional plumber is strongly recommended in these situations. Lightly tapping the pump may sometimes work if the pump is jammed, but you’re likely reaching the end of the pump’s service life, and will need to replace it soon. That said, try bleeding all radiators; if your radiator feels hot at the bottom and cold at the bottom, it’s likely clogged with sludge from your system.

7. Water Is Far Too Hot

Water Is Far Too Hot
If the water coming out of your tap is way too hot, your thermostat is likely having issues — the thermostat thinks the water is cooler than it is. If your central heating system is using a hot water tank or cylinder, it’s the cylinder thermostat that’s likely at fault.

You can fix this heating problem by installing a new thermostat. However, if your shower water is coming out far too hot, you may want to examine the thermostat first. If a cartridge fails while in a hot setting, the most likely thing is that it is jammed there. In this situation, just replace the cartridge.

8. Lower Boiler Pressure

Lower Boiler Pressure
If the boiler starts to lose pressure for any reason, for example, due to a water leak, a broken valve, or leaking radiators, it’s easy to measure the boiler pressure. All you have to do is have a look at the pressure gauge on the boiler. If the needle is below 1, the boiler pressure is low. There are two likely reasons why the central heating system is not functioning properly.

Make sure the boiler doesn’t have any visible leaks. If you do, get a professional engineer to fix it. Reset the boiler pressure if you don’t have a leak. Following the instructions of your boiler manual.

9. Pilot Light Keeps Going Out

Pilot Light Keeps Going Out
You should call a Gas Safe engineer as soon as you notice that the pilot light on your gas boiler has gone out. Typically, a lack of gas will turn off the pilot light, and this may be dangerous.

Faulty, misaligned, dirty, or damaged thermocouples are often to blame for pilot lights going out. This happens because the thermocouple is an automatic safety device that, in such cases, prevents the gas valve from opening if the pilot light is out. If there is a problem with your thermocouple or if it is simply clogged with dirt, it can lead to issues with the pilot light.

Common causes:

  • Dirty Pilot Opening
  • Weak Gas Regulator
  • A Strong Draft

10. Frozen Condensate Pipe

Frozen Condensate Pipe
A condensing boiler has a pipe that carries condensate to an external drain, and when it’s cold outside the pipe can freeze, creating noisy pipes. Your boiler should have a code that notifies you when the condensate pipe is frozen.

To unfreeze the pipe itself you can choose one out of the three options:

  • Pour hot but not boiler water over the pipe
  • Use a hot water bottle
  • Use a damp warm cloth

It is important to realise that you’ll be able to tell in just a few minutes if this plan will work or not. If the boiler isn’t still running when you put the ice cubes into it or pour them out, it is likely time to contact one of our engineers.

Boiler issues are extremely common and can cost you time and money if you don’t identify them quickly enough. When your boiler breaks, you need an experienced and local engineer to fix it as soon as possible. Tyne and Wear are happy to answer any questions you may have about boiler issues. We offer services including boiler installation, repair and servicing. Get in touch with us today to find out more.