Is Your Boiler Not Working? 10 Most Common Causes of a Broken Boiler

A boiler breakdown is no laughing matter and can be chaotic for any household. They’re inconvenient and can cause all sorts of stressful problems especially during the cold winter months.

This guide will tell you the ten most common broken boiler problems. This should help you decide whether or not it’s a problem you can fix yourself or if you need a professional to sort it for you. 

1). Leaky boiler. 

A boiler leak may not be as serious as it first sounds, depending on where it’s coming from. Sometimes it may mean a pipe needs tightening and doesn’t always mean you have to write a big paycheck. Although, when you notice it’s crucial you call a professional as soon as possible. This is because they’ll be able to sort the problem out before it snowballs into something far more severe. 

You’ll know when you have a boiler leak as your pressure continues to drop. Every time you try to top it up, the pressure falls. This is a clear sign that you’ll probably have a leak somewhere in your system. Go to the boiler itself and examine the pipes, can you see any water coming from anywhere? It may be a good idea to have a look around your home for any patches of water. 

2). Frozen condensate pipe.

The dreaded frozen condensate pipe is something we may all have to deal with at some point, especially during winter. If you’re unsure what the condensate pipe is, it’s the thin white pipe outside that goes into your drain. Your condensate can sometimes freeze and tends to happen around winter when the weather is at its coldest. No need to stress, this is pretty simple to fix. 

All you need to do is get a jug of warm water and slowly pour it over the condensate pipe which should thaw. Then, restart your boiler and wait to see if the problem has been fixed. 

3). Faulty pump or air caught in the system. 

Boilers are made up of complex components, the inside of a boiler almost looks like the engine of a car. Sometimes these parts can become faulty, especially for older boilers, which then cause you to have no hot water or heating. You’ll usually know when you have a faulty pump as it will show up as a fault code, same goes with there’s air trapped in the system. 

4). Low pressure.

As annoying as having low boiler pressure is, it’s surprisingly simple to fix. Topping up boiler pressure is easy and each boiler brand can sometimes have their own way of repressurising. For most modern boilers, such as Worcester Bosch, they use a filling loop and all you have to do is pull it. Simply wait until the needle in the pressure gauge begins to move into the green section. The perfect pressure is anywhere between 1 and 1.5 bar. 

If your water pressure carries on dropping even after you’ve topped it up, then you may have a water leak somewhere. At this point, it would be wise to contact an engineer to have a look at the issue. 

Man fixing the boiler

5). Heating working but no hot water.

Usually if you have a system boiler and your heating is working but strangely, you have no hot water. This could mean there’s an issue with your heating tanks. When your hot water and heating stops working double check your boiler’s pressure is between 1.0 and 1.5 bar. If your pressure is at a good level, then it’s probably best to contact a heating engineer to go and take a look at it for you. 

6). Faulty thermostat.

Always make sure to give your thermostat a quick inspection. When your hot water is working but your heating isn’t, it may be your thermostat playing up. The best thing to do is to try and reset the thermostat and take it from there afterwards. If your thermostat is battery powered, try replacing them and see if that does the job.

7). No heating or hot water.

Arguably the most stressful cause of a broken boiler. This tends to throw us into all sorts of stressful situations. Low boiler pressure tends to be the main culprit so the first thing to do would be to check your system’s pressure. It should be between 1.0 and 1.5 bar, if it’s not then you’ll need to top it up. 

8). Fault codes.

These are the strange mix of letters and numbers that appear on your boiler’s display screen. They can signify a whole range of problems, from low pressure to boiler lockout. When you spot a fault code sometimes a quick reset will do the trick – otherwise if the fault code still appears then it’s best to contact an engineer. 

Someone's hand touching the radiator

9). Cold radiators.

It’s always such an obvious moment when your radiators aren’t working properly. You walk into and the first thing your notice is how cold it is, even with your thermostat at a fairly high temperature. Have a feel around the radiator and check for any cold patches. If you do, try bleeding your radiator. It may mean there is some trapped air so bleeding it should work. 

10). Gurgling, whistling, or banging noise.

Boilers can make quite the racket when something isn’t quite right. Your radiators can be a clear indicator for when your heating system is in need of some TLC. Radiators tend to make a gurgling noise when air is trapped. So again try to bleed them as this should sort the problem. 

We’re happy to help.

When your boiler is driving you up the wall, call us on 033017 58881. Speak directly to one of our senior engineers who’ll pull you out of any boiler jam. Alternatively, you can message us on our Live Chat where you get the best advice from our heating specialists.

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