Common Boiler Problems (and How to Fix Them)

Your boiler not working as it should usually has a knock-on effect in many aspects of your day-to-day life. Whether it is interrupting your morning routine before you head off to work or ruining your evening plans due to a lack of hot water. Luckily, most common boiler problems can easily be fixed either by yourself or licensed professionals, so you’ve always got options for when your boiler is playing up. 

No hot water or heat

Perhaps one of the most noticeable signs of some boiler issues is the lack of hot water or heat. Most people rely solely on their boiler to supply hot water for baths or showers and heating, so it can cause major problems once it stops working. 

We’re starting with a tricky one to answer as there isn’t a single issue that could cause boiler heater problems, but instead, a few different things could affect the central heating of your home. Here are a few reasons why your boiler is not heating your water: 

  • Lack of gas supply – If your boiler is gas, you need to check whether your gas supplier is providing gas to your home. Large-scale problems can affect the gas supplies to several properties and will usually be detailed on the company’s social media platforms as soon as they are notified of the issue.  
  • Incorrect thermostat settings – Incorrect settings on your thermostat will affect the heating. Double-check it is set to a reasonable temperature and wait some time to see whether this makes a difference. 
  • Problems with the pipes – The condensate pipe can freeze over, which greatly affects the boiler’s ability to heat water. 
  • Pressure gauge settings – Refer to the instructions you received from the boiler manufacturer and make sure your pressure gauge is set to the levels outlined. This will usually be between one and two. 

The vast majority of the issues above can be checked by yourself; however, most boilers will display a code that will help you or your plumber pinpoint the reason behind the malfunctioning. 

As going without hot water or indoor heating is incredibly inconvenient, as well as potentially dangerous, this issue would count as an emergency plumbing situation, so you should get in touch with a local plumber as soon as possible. 

Strange noises coming from the boiler

Hearing bangs, gurgling, or rattling coming from your boiler is not just annoying but also a sure sign of something wrong. Don’t just sit and hope the noise goes away when your boiler starts making strange sounds, as they often show a major problem with the piece of kit. 

The kind of sound you’re hearing can alert your plumber to the exact area to look at or the type of issue they’re facing. Here are a few noises many people report hearing and what they can be a sign of:

◾ Gurgling

Excess air in your pipes can lead to a gurgling noise as it blocks the water from going around the entire system. The sound of the water and air pushing against each other results in gurgling noise that can be incredibly loud. 

As well as this, gurgling may mean there is a blockage at the bottom of your boiler, and your condensation pipe is frozen, which is especially common during the winter months. This will need to be thawed, which is a job that can be done yourself or by a professional. 

If your radiators are gurgling, bleed them to see if this helps to resolve the issue. 

◾ Whistling

Your boiler may be whistling for several reasons, such as a loss of water, trapped air within the system, or kettling. A build-up of limescale in your boiler will make it sound similar to a kettle and needs to be looked at urgently – a professional plumber will be able to clean the pipes and leave you with a silent boiler. 

A leak can also cause a whistling sound, even if it is only tiny, as the water and air rush out of the small hole. If you suspect there’s a leak in your boiler, then contact a plumber as soon as you can. 

◾ Banging

Banging is often a sign that there is a loose part clanging against something inside your boiler. If you can locate the part, you may be able to reattach it yourself, but you will need to get in touch with a professional if it is one of the inner pieces.

The boiler keeps turning itself off

Your boiler constantly turning off on its own can be incredibly annoying, especially if it’s during the time of the year when you need it most. There may be a few reasons why it keeps doing this, such as:

  • The boiler pressure is too low
  • There are issues with your thermostat
  • Water is not circulating as it should
  • Excess air in the system
  • Built-up debris throughout the system

If your boiler pressure gauge is as it should be and there are no problems with your thermostat, but your boiler keeps turning itself off, then it’s time to call a plumber. Make sure they are Gas Safe registered and are experienced in handling common boiler problems.

Professional help for common boiler problems

If you’re ever unsure of the exact issue, it’s time to call in a professional plumber. Rather than messing with your boiler and potentially causing more damage which will result in costly repairs, you can have the problem fixed in a short amount of time. 

Regular maintenance will also help to avoid these common boiler problems and increase the lifespan of your water system as a whole.