Tried to get hot water out of your tap or keep your house warm in cold seasons but you were not successful. It all boils down to your boiler! A boiler breakdown can sometimes happen and put you in hot water. There are several reasons for this boiler breakdown. Knowing the reason can let you decide on what would be the next step. Usually, it is a better idea to let a certifies gas-safe engineer take care of it, unless you are fairly competent with technical matters. . Here are some common causes of boiler breakdown. Here are some common causes of boiler breakdown.
What is a boiler and how does it work?
For sure, you have tried to open a tap to take a warm bath or tried to keep your house warm and cozy in winter. The boiler is the device that provides you with all this. To put the function in easy words, there is an energy source, usually gas, which is ignited and warms the water in the boiler tank. Later this water is pushed through your pipes to your taps or radiators.
What can cause boiler breakdown or malfunction?
Dripping or leaking
Leaking is a common problem with boilers. It can occur anywhere in your boiler or through the pipes. Sometimes the leaking can be detected easily, but sometimes you see your boiler is not working properly, and the pressure drops frequently. The leaks can be the result of high pressure, a broken component like a seal or valve, or corrosion.
Leaking of boiler and pipes
Age of boiler
Many boiler malfunctions are due to the aging of boiler. After a couple of years of working, boilers tend to show some failures. During time multiple leaks can occur. Also, dirt, corrosion, or lime build-up can restrict the water flow over time and make your boiler worn out. In this case, you need a boiler repair service or even a boiler replacement. To prolong your boilers’ life and prevent regular boiler breakdown, it is necessary to have it checked on a regular basis. Read our article about boiler inspection for more details on this topic.
A thermocouple is the part of the boiler that controls the flow of gas to the pilot light. When your boiler is aged, sometimes there is a build-up of grime on the thermocouple that does not let it transfer gas to the pilot, which will fail to ignite and start your boiler. Don’t handle this on your own as it can be too dangerous. Call your boiler repair service and ask for check-ups.
Faulty diverter valve
Another cause of boiler breakdown can be due to having faulty diverter valves. The diverter valve is a component of the boiler that opens and closes when you need hot water or central heating. It is like the brain of the boiler deciding on the path water should go, through the radiators to heat your rooms or through the taps to provide you with hot water. In case you have hot water but the radiator not heating up, or vice versa, the diverter valve may be broken, or sludge might have accumulated in it. Call the boiler repair service for fixing the problem. They may decide to replace the diverter valve or just flush out the deposits.
Another undeniably important part of the boiler is the thermostat. A thermostat is responsible for maintaining the right amount of heat to provide. We can increase the heating system efficiency by using the thermostat. However, sometimes thermostats can shut our boiler down if they are faulty. Basically, if the thermostat does not work, the boiler will not work. When it is faulty, the boiler will turn off to prevent overheating. To fix the issue, the boiler repair service needs to check your thermostat for the kind of problem it has (it can be a result of faulty wiring, short cycle, aging, etc.) and repair it. and repair it.
Another reason for gas boiler breakdown is a frozen external pipe. It is something common in the cold seasons of the year. Every boiler has a condensation pipe that takes out the wastewater produced in condensing. As this pipe is outside your house, the water in it may freeze and block the pipe when the temperature drops below zero. This forces your boiler to shut down automatically. You can handle this by pouring hot water on the pipe till the water flows naturally and the pipe is not stuck anymore. For more details read “common boiler problems and solutions” on our blog.
Pilot light going out
This can be the result of a broken or worn thermocouple as mentioned earlier. As said, there would be no gas in the boiler and as a result, no heating. In addition to faulty thermocouples, sometimes there is soot deposit around the pilot; It obstructs the flow of gas, and therefore the pilot does not ignite. It is best to call your boiler service to fix this issue. to fix this issue.
Sometimes when you do not have proper heating around the house the issue goes back to your seal or pump. Usually, the pump can work for over 10 years without a problem but sometimes they tend to breakdown earlier than usual due to some reasons like high boiler pressure, presence of debris in the system, having airlock in the pump, a broken seal, or even the wiring of your system. In this case, you may recognize some symptoms like noises from your boiler, improper heating around the house, leaking, and even failure to start your boiler. The pump is a component you are not able to fix on your own as the causes for the malfunction vary and therefore the treatment varies as well. You should ask the boiler repair service engineers to come and take a look.
Pump in a boiler
Low water pressure
Sometimes the cause of the boiler breakdown is low water pressure. This can be a result of a recent radiator bleeding or a leak somewhere in your system. Check the pressure gauge. If it shows below 1, you may need to repressurize the boiler. If it recurs, refer the problem to your boiler repair service.
In some areas, water is high in deposits like lime. This is called water hardness. This can cause various problems. These deposits can block or restrict the flow of water in the pipes or the boiler itself, and even the limescale can cause overheating of the boiler. To reduce the harm of this kind of water, it is best to invest money in water softeners and scale reducers. These are chemicals added in your boiler system that prevent the deposition of lime when water is heated.
Limescale in a pipe
Boilers are not devices to face many problems regularly. If you want to maintain your boiler and prevent regular gas boiler breakdown, it is best to hire an annual boiler maintenance service to prevent the above issues and boiler maintenance.