As winter approaches, it’s more important than ever to keep your boiler well maintained.
5 signs your boiler is on the blink…
As most landlords will know, maintaining and servicing all of a property’s gas and heating appliances is a legal responsibility for all property owners. With a cold snap on the way, now is the time to schedule an appointment with a Gas Safe registered engineer to deal with any issues that might need fixing before winter takes hold. Prior to the appointment, it helps to know if there are any issues that need flagging up. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, the following signs could be the first telltale indicators that your boiler may need more than just a routine service:
The first telltale sign is less of a clue and more of a huge red flag. If a boiler is unable to heat up water, landlords should ask tenants to inform them as soon as possible. While it is serviceable by a registered engineer, no heat could be indicative of a serious pressure issue.
Lazy pilot light
If the pilot light isn’t clear or keeps flickering it could be a sign that there isn’t enough oxygen in the system to power it. If the pilot light goes out completely, there could be a broken thermocouple stopping the supply of gas or a built up deposit behind the pilot light. Sometimes this issue can be resolved by a thorough clean, but it should still be undertaken by a professional.
Things that keep going bump in the night could just be excess air in the system but it might be a little more serious. Often the boiler starts emitting strange sounds because limescale has built up in the heat exchange, something known as ‘kettling’. Bleeding the boiler should rectify the issue, but again it’s worth having an engineer take a look just to be safe.
Often signs that there are issues with a boiler are found elsewhere in the house. If your radiators are hot at the bottom but not the top, it could be a sign that your boiler’s struggling. Bleeding the radiator usually resolves the issue but if radiators are still cold at the top after being bled, it’s worth consulting a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Frozen condensate pipe
Extremely cold weather can cause boiler condensate pipes to freeze, which can prevent the boiler from functioning. Signs that this might have occurred include strange gurgling sounds or the boiler switching itself off. If either of these happen and pipe is frozen, the quickest solution is to thaw the pipe by dousing it in hot water or using a hot water bottle. If these actions fail to resolve the issue, consult your engineer. Boilers are the lifeblood of any home’s heating system and it pays to err on the side of caution when it comes to maintaining them.
For more information on servicing your boiler in the winter months, why not download Fixflo’s FREE Boiler Maintenance Checklist here.