A broken boiler in winter is one of the last things anyone wants to deal with.
There may be several reasons why you’re reading this. You may have had to go through many repairs on your old boiler in the past, or it’s finally decided to pack it in. Either way, if you have a broken boiler, it’s time to look at New Boiler Options and move onto getting it sorted.
What’s wrong with my boiler?
To begin with, you need to work out why you have a broken boiler. If you do this first, you may be able to save spending money on an entire boiler replacement.
Reset your boiler
The classic ‘turn it off and on again’ technique is a classic for a reason. Regardless of the brand, if your boiler is more than 15 years old, there won’t be a reset function. Instead, you’ll have to rely on the pilot light. If this is the case, then your best option would be to consult the instruction manual. However, many manufacturers for these boilers no longer operate, so you may wind up having to get a boiler quotation for a replacement instead.
If you have a condensing boiler however, then the reset function will be a lot easier. Just look through the manufacturer’s instruction manual and it should tell you how to reset your boiler.
Problems with your thermostat
What may seem like a broken boiler, sometimes turns out to be nothing more than a simple correctable error on the thermostat.
Although it depends on how you’ve programmed the settings for your boiler, there’s always a chance that the temperature has been set too low. If this is the case and your thermostat has been set lower than 21 degrees, you can relax – it’s a straightforward process to fix. All you need to do is turn the temperature from the thermostat back up to above 21 degrees and your boiler should start working again. If it doesn’t, then it might be time to speak to an industry expert for advice or to consider a boiler replacement.
Have you had a powercut recently?
When your property suffers from a powercut, there’s a high likelihood that your boiler was one of the many items in your property that automatically got reset. If this happens, you simply need to reprogram your boiler to the preferences you had set before. If you don’t have access to your boiler’s instructional manual, you should also be able to find an answer from your manufacturer’s customer support line.
Check your boiler’s pressure
With an issue such as this, all you need to do is check the pressure that is usually positioned at the front of the boiler. When looking at the pressure gauge, check where the needle is pointing. If it’s sitting below 1 bar, then it’s highly likely it’s the reason for your boiler not working.
However, if you find that you’re doing this repeatedly, the low pressure issue may be caused by something else. For example, it could be a leak that you haven’t come across yet. If this is the case, then check all your radiators and your boiler for leaks.
Frozen Condensate Pipe
Although there’s an easy way to combat this issue, a frozen condensate pipe can still catch people off guard – especially as we move closer into winter.
The primary function of a condensate pipe is to transfer the water that gets produced from the boiler’s condensing process (which is acidic) out of the property and through a safe exit via the external drain.
The pipe itself might be frozen because the fall isn’t steep enough. If the condensate that travels out the pipe isn’t able to exit because of this poor angle, it’s going stay in the pipe until it freezes, causing you more issues.
You don’t have a gas supply available
If your gas supply is provided on a pre-pay meter, it’s always worth checking to see if you still have credit. One of the best ways to check that you have gas available in your property, is by checking the other appliances such as the cooker hob. If you don’t have any luck with your appliances, then it’s likely an indication that you don’t have any credit. All it takes for a quick fix is to top it up or call your local gas supplier.
Poisoning by Carbon Monoxide
When it comes to common boiler problems or having a broken boiler, most issues need to be addressed immediately in the interest of safety. This is no different for checking for gas leaks.
If a broken boiler is left unchecked, it can cause damage not only to your boiler or entire central heating system, but also you and other residents in the property as well. If you ever suspect you have a gas leak, call the Gas Emergency Services immediately. They’ll be able to send an engineer round to your house and take the appropriate action from there.
According to the NHS, there are around 25 deaths per year as a direct result of carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales. One of the more dangerous sides to this issue, is that carbon monoxide poisoning from an old or broken boiler is very hard to detect.
There are however, some symptoms that you can always watch out for:
Vomiting and feeling nauseous (sick)
- Lack of stability, heavy-headed
- Pains in your abdominal region (stomach)
- Breathing is shortened and difficult
- Feelings of confusion and exhaustion
There may be a chance of experiencing any one of these symptoms as a result of a gas leak. Even if it turns out to be the case instead of a broken boiler, you need to contact the safety and emergency line as soon as possible.
Boiler Brand Error Codes
No matter the brand you’ve chosen as a replacement for your broken boiler, it’s always worth knowing how to respond if anything comes up in the future. Whatever the case for your boiler not working – understanding the meaning behind each error code is going to give you a big head start in getting the problem solved.
To learn about the meaning of each boiler brand’s error code, simply click on any of the links below:
- Viessmann error codes
- Ideal error codes
- Baxi error codes
- Worcester Bosch error codes
- Vaillant error codes
- ATAG error codes
How do I know if my boiler is broken?
If you’re ever unsure, or if you simply want to know signs your boiler may be broken, there are just a couple of things to look out for:
The term ‘boiler kettling’ specifically refers to loud hissing or whistling sounds that you might sometimes hear from your broken boiler. The main reason for this will be because your boiler is suffering from a build up of limescale.
When limescale starts building in your system, it can accumulate in a few areas, most notably your boiler’s heat exchanger. When this occurs the flow of water gets restricted, which is what results in the sounds that you hear.
It may seem like a whistling or clunking sound from your boiler is an easy thing to ignore, but if you hear anything like this, you need to respond as soon as possible. This is because the boiling and expansion process that occurs can cause irreparable damage to the internal components of your boiler.
Constantly rising energy bills
You might find over time that your bills for energy usage slowly start to creep up. A common cause for this is the age and condition of your boiler, because as time passes, its efficiency will deteriorate.
If your boiler is more than 15 years old, then it will be a non-condensing boiler. This means that its normal efficiency level will by definition, already be lower than a condensing boiler. As a result, your energy bills will be higher.
Should I get a new boiler or boiler repair?
Boiler manufacturers have advanced the development of these products to impressive levels, so a new boiler won’t be cheap – to begin with. If your boiler is barely 5 years old, it’s probably not worth replacing – unless it came from a low-quality, amateur manufacturer.
However, if you find that repairs are noticeably frequent and costing you a lot of money, then replacing old boiler with combi boiler will be worth considering as well as a few other options.
“According to the Energy Saving Trust, if you convert to an A-rated combi boiler, you can save up to 40% on your annual energy bills.”
An old boiler’s efficiency can drop at alarming rates, meaning for every £100 you put towards your energy bills, you could be wasting as much as £50 because of the condition of your current boiler – scary!
Want to get a new boiler? Get a quote!
Whether you’ve made the decision to get a new boiler replacement, or you’re simply curious with your research and have a few questions, the best thing you can do is get a quote for a new boiler to know exactly what would be included in the installation.
If you have any specific requirements, you can always speak to an expert during this process who will be happy to discuss with you.