If there were a time for a boiler to break down, you wouldn’t want it to be at Christmas. You have a turkey in the oven, kids flying all over the place and the grandparents trying to keep themselves awake as they relax on your sofa as well as the inevitable ‘other half’ to keep under control.
This week, I have chosen 3 common boiler breakdowns at Christmas that I have had the pleasure of working on already this year – and it’s only November!
Boilers are most frequently used in the winter months – let’s say from October to February. For the rest of the year, they remain inactive so you can save some cash on your heating bills, and rightly so.
However, an inactive boiler being sprung back into life can cause problems and nine times out of ten; they will break down. The three most common breakdowns I get called out to have included; loss of pressure, frozen condensate pipework and radiators not heating themselves up.
Loss of Pressure
In most scenarios, there isn’t too much to worry about as the pressure can be easily reinstated. Most calls simply require the heating system to be pressurised. You can check your boilers pressure by looking at the pressure gauge that is built into the system. The gauge is usually located on the front of the boiler and should be holding between 2 and 3. Anything lower could be a sign of pressure loss, which in turn will result in issues such as loss of heating, hot water and inefficiency.
More serious causes of pressure loss could be an internal leak or a faulty pressure relief valve. If you notice either of these call a registered gas safe engineer in Milton Keynes to assess the system on your behalf.
Not every boiler will have a condensate pipe. Condensing heating systems have a condense pipe that is designed to transfer the acidic, waste water from the heating system and into an external drainage source. As the condensate pipe runs outside, it can become frozen in cold weather. Most condensing systems will have an error code visible on the boiler should this occur.
You can thaw the condensate pipework yourself, however, if you feel unsafe or unqualified, you should seek the help and advice of a qualified heating technician. RA Heating offer efficient gas boiler installations in Milton Keynes and can provide a number of long-lasting warranties.
Radiators Not Heating
Now in most situations, radiators not heating up correctly can mean one of two things. There could be a build up of sludge in the system, or there could be an excessive amount of air in the radiators that needs to be drawn out.
You can remove the air from your radiators yourself using a radiator bleed key. If you do not have one of these, you will be able to purchase one from a merchant very cheaply. However, once the radiators have been bled, you will need to check the boiler’s pressure gauge once more. You may find that you need to top up the pressure as a result. This is perfectly normal.
If you have tried bleeding the radiators and they are still not heating up, you may need a system cleanse or radiator powerflush. This involves pumping a heating system cleaner through the radiators at a high velocity. The aim is to remove as much dirt and grit from the system as physically possible. However, this does not guarantee to resolve the heating problem.
If you continue to have problems – contact a local plumber in Milton Keynes for extra support.