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9 Common Boiler Problems

boiler issues

It’s no surprise that most boiler break downs occur during the winter months often due to them being inactive for months then suddenly forced back into action, with this said a boiler can break down at any time of year so it is always important to keep a close eye on your boiler.

Common Boiler Problems

  1. No Hot Water or Heat
  2. Dripping and Leaking
  3. Kettling
  4. Pilot Light Goes Out
  5. Low Pressure
  6. Thermostat Problems
  7. Strange Whistling, Banging or Gurgling Noises
  8. Radiators Not Getting Hot
  9. Boiler Keeps Turning Itself Off

No Hot Water/Heat

There are a few reasons why your hot water may not be working, a few of which are, airlocks, failure of moisturised valves, broken diaphragms, low water levels and thermostat issues. The first thing to check is your boiler pressure and the thermostat. If it is neither of these then it would be worth calling out a gas safe engineer to have a look as any of the other causes often require replacement parts and will need someone qualified and gas safe registered to diagnose and repair.

Drips and Leaks

Again, there are many reasons that can cause your boiler to start leaking water. Determining the cause of the leak will much depend on where the water is leaking from. It is important that you don’t try to fix a leaking boiler yourself, this is a job that should always be left to a gas safe engineer.

The most common cause for a leaking boiler tends to be an internal component fault such as a broken pump seal or pressure valve. If the leak is coming from the pressure valve, then it could be a case of your water pressure is set too high.

If your boiler is leaking around the tank or pipes, then the likely cause is corrosion and in more rare cases the system has not been fitted correctly. Either way you will need to call out a gas safe registered engineer to come and take a look to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs. In severe cases it may be necessary to completely replace the boiler.


This is a noise coming from your boiler that sounds similar to that of a kettle boiling. This occurs when sludge or limescale builds up on the heat exchanger within your boiler. When this happens, it can also lead to reduced flow of water in the heat exchanger, causing the water to overheat, steam and boil, hence the kettle like noises. You will need to call out a gas safe registered engineer, they will flush out your boiler system to clear any sludge or limescale build ups and ensure that the boiler is once again in full working order.

Piolet Light Going Out

The pilot light is the small blue flame that stays lit in order to light a larger burner. If it keeps going out then it could be a drought blowing it out, a broken thermocouple stopping the gas supply or a build up of deposits in the pilot light.

Before attempting to relight the pilot light it is important to ensure that there are no issues with the gas supply. If the gas stopcock is on but there is no supply of gas to your boiler or any other gas appliances, then you should contact your gas supplier. You can then try to relight your pilot light ensuring you follow the instructions found in the boiler’s manual.

If either of these have failed, then you should contact a gas safe engineer to diagnose and repair the boiler. You should never attempt to repair your boiler yourself.

Low Pressure

Checking your boiler pressure is simple, your boiler will have a built-in pressure gauge that should read between 1-1.5, if it is below 1 then you defiantly have a problem with low pressure. Things that cause low boiler pressure include:

  • Recently bled radiators
  • Water leak in the system
  • Pressure relief valve needs replacing

You should check for visible signs of a leak in the system, if you find one then you need to call a gas safe engineer, if you don’t find a leak then you can try re pressurising your boiler, make sure to check your boilers manual for instructions on how to correctly do this.

Thermostat Problems

If the thermostat is not accurate or has a mind of its own and turns the heating on and off when it wants, then it’s worth investing in a new one. Before you do this though it is worth checking the setting in your thermostat are as they should be as a small knock could have caused them to change slightly.

It could also be the case that your home is actually warmer than you think and the thermostat won’t allow the temperature to go above that that it has been set at, you can try increasing the temperature slightly until you find a temperature you are comfortable with.

If neither of these are the case, then you will definitely need to replace your existing thermostat with a new one as it is likely either faulty or just lost accuracy over time.

Whistling, Banging or Gurgling Noises

The most common cause for this is air in the system, it could also be that the water pressure is low, kettling, or in older systems pump failure. The type of noise your boiler is making can be a good indicator to what the problem is, however, it is always worth calling out a gas safe engineer to come and diagnose and repair the problem.

Radiators Not Getting Hot

If it is only some of your radiators aren’t getting hot, then the culprit could be air or sludge build up in the system. If just the bottom of the radiator is getting warm, then it’s likely that the radiators need bleeding. Your radiators may also need balancing which involves adjusting all of the valves to ensure that all radiators are getting enough hot water to work efficiently.

If bleeding or balancing your radiators doesn’t work then the likely problem is a sludge build up, you will need a professional to come and chemically clean and flush the system. This is something that you should never attempt to do yourself.

Boiler Keeps Turning Itself Off

This can be a multitude of problems, most of which we have mentioned above. If you can figure out the cause of the problem, then it is always worth calling out a gas safe registered engineer to come and take a look so they can diagnose and repair the problem.

If you are experiencing any of the problems mentioned above or are having other problems with your boiler then contact JWC Plumbing & Heating today – 0151 345 4039


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