• Winter Boiler Issues

  • Winter boiler issues start to arise when you start to make bigger demands from your boiler as the weather gets colder outside.

    You may start to notice little issues like the radiators not warming up like before,

    strange noise when the boiler fires up, fault codes showing on the boiler display.

    All these issues could be avoided,

    but like most human beings, we leave everything to the last moment, hoping everything will work ok.

    Let look at a few winter boiler issues that happen nearly every year.

    If your boiler is under 14 years old, it will be a high-efficiency condensing boiler,

    it produces condense that needs to discharge into a drain.

    The ideal place for the condense to discharge is internal,

    but this is not always possible, so it may discharge into an outside drain.

    If this is the case, make sure the pipe is protected from the weather.

    Ensuring it is lagged with a good quality pipe lagging, the more the better.

    Should the condense pipe freeze up, your boiler will stop working, so make sure the pipe is protected well.

    Sometimes it can be a quick fix by warming the condense pipe with warm water or a hairdryer, don’t use boiler water though.

    Should this fail to work, then a temporary fix is to cut the pipe just where it comes out of the wall

     As you cut the pipe water will rush out and the boiler will come back to life. Make sure you call someone after to repair the pipe.

    Ensure that any other external pipes are protected from the frost just like the condense pipe.

    Another common boiler issue is running out of gas if you use LPG to power your boiler.

    I have seen this many times over the years. 

    Only just recently called out to a boiler installed in the summer, the customer complaining that his new boiler had already broken down.

    He was not very happy. 

    On inspection of the gas tank, it was found to be completely empty. 

    On Speaking to the customer, he said he had forgotten to get the tank topped up.

    Radiators

    This is another common problem, some heating up, some not so warm, others not heating up at all.

    This can normally be a quick fix.

    Radiators that are fitted with thermostatic valves, if closed down during the summer months can get stuck on there seating, just like a tap if not used they will get stuck.

    All radiator thermostats should be left wide open in the summer months stop then getting stuck.

    To cure this problem, remove the valve head to expose the valve body, get a small pair of pliers and wiggle the centre pin.

    It should pop up, whatever you do, do not pull it with force.

    Once the pin pops up to replace the valve head, the radiator should now work.

    For radiators that are not working, close all the other radiators down,

    this will push the water around only to the radiator that is cold, it should then start to heat up.

    Once hot, introduce all the other radiators, start with the downstairs first, then the upstairs.

    The most important part that tends to get overlooked, is boiler maintenance.

    Make sure the boiler is maintained annually by a Gas Safe Registered Boiler Engineer.

    This prepares the boiler for winter and should get you warm all through the winter.

    Most winter boiler issues can be avoided if you follow these simple rules.

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