Common Gas Boiler Problems
It is very important to remember that qualified gas boiler engineers should always carry out complex gas boiler repairs. It’s not safe to carry out repairs on your own gas boiler, even if the repair may seem simple to you. The best thing you can do to help prevent gas boiler problems is arrange regular servicing with a reputable company.
However, there are some common gas boiler problems that can be easily fixed without the immediate assistance of a gas boiler engineer.
Loss of pressure
Loss of pressure in a gas boiler can often be caused by a water leak somewhere in the central heating system. Small leaks often go undetected, as the tiny amount of water can evaporate before it is noticed. A boiler or radiator leak will obviously need to be repaired by a professional, but you can temporarily fix the pressure issues in the meantime.
The pressure level in most gas boilers should be somewhere between 1 and 2 (1.5 is ideal), and should never exceed 2.5 or drop below 0.5. Near the boiler in your home should be a tap that can be used to top up the boiler with water (check your boiler manual if you’re not sure where to find it). Turn the tap slowly to top the boiler up until it reaches the correct level. This should ensure that your heating and hot water isn’t affected, but call a gas boiler engineer as soon as possible to find and fix the problem causing the drop in pressure.
If your radiators are not heating evenly – they are warm at the bottom but not at the top – you will need to bleed your radiators. The uneven heat is caused by air trapped in the central heating system, which can be removed by bleeding them.
All you need to do to bleed your radiators is to turn the radiator key at the top of the radiators. The air will escape, and when you see a tiny amount of water come out, turn the key back to close them.
If the problem persists after bleeding, it may be that the system needs flushing to remove sludge from the radiators, or that there is a more serious problem with the central heating system. Be sure to call a qualified gas boiler engineer to investigate the problem fully.
Bear in mind that bleeding the radiators can cause a drop in boiler pressure, in which case you will need to top up the boiler as outlined above.
If you find your radiators aren’t heating your house effectively, it is worth spending some time checking that they are set to the correct level and that the boiler itself is set correctly. Different systems have different optimum operation settings – check the manual if you’re unsure. Additionally, gas boilers have timers that can be used to make the boiler turn on at certain times, which can make a big difference to your heating bills (after all, there’s no point in heating a house that’s empty for most of the day).