Common Boiler Problems
Three common things which may mean your heating doesn’t work correctly are a frozen condensate pipe, low boiler pressure, and radiators in need of bleeding. All three can be fixed fairly easily by yourself or a qualified heating engineer. B&K Electricals offer our boiler services across the North East including Newcastle. Call us on 0800 078 7461 for advice and more information.
How to Defrost a Frozen Condensate Pipe
During the winter months, standing water in pipework can freeze. If your boiler’s external condensate pipe freezes it can cause your boiler to stop working. Pipe insulation and keeping the heating constantly at a low temperature as a minimum is the best way to avoid this but if it does freeze, you can defrost it by pouring tepid water over it.
The condensate pipe is the one that runs down from the centre of your boiler. It will be grey or white and usually made of plastic. This pipe will run internally or externally through the wall. If this pipe runs outside your house, it may become frozen in cold weather which will block the pipe and prevent your boiler from operating.
The pipe should be lagged with insulation which will need to be removed prior to defrosting the pipe and refitted once the pipe has been thawed. To defrost the pipe, we recommend placing a hot water bottle or microwavable heat pad around the frozen section of the pipe. Alternatively, you could pour lukewarm water over the frozen section. It is important that you do not use boiling water because this could cause the pipe to crack, resulting in more damage and expenses to fix your boiler. Also, try to be careful not to pour the water on the path because then the water might freeze and cause a slip hazard. Once the pipe had defrosted, reset your boiler using the instructions in the user manual. If you are unsure or experience any difficulties, do not hesitate to contact B&K Electricals for advice and help from a local gas safe registered engineer. Call us on 0800 078 7461.
How to Top Up Your Boiler Pressure
If your central heating has stopped working it may be related to a loss of water pressure. If your boiler loses pressure, it can impact its efficiency. Topping up your boiler is quick and simple. You can refer to the manufacturer’s installation guide. If the pressure is too high, you may need to speak to a Gas Safe registered engineer. The pressure should typically be between 1 and 1.5 bar on the pressure gauge. Topping up your boiler pressure is in your own interests because it will keep your boiler operation safe and efficient. It will need topping up if the pressure gauge ever falls below 1 bar. If you have a logic+ Combi model, scrolling messages will appear on the screen stating ‘overheat lockout’ and ‘fill system to 1.0 bar’ if there is a problem.
Before you top up your boiler pressure, make sure your heating system is cold. Turn it off at least an hour before you begin. Then, to top up your boiler pressure, there are two blow handles in the left-hand side at the bottom of the boiler. You will need to turn them approximately a quarter turn, keeping an eye on the gauge. When the desired pressure has been reached, turn the handles back a quarter turn to the original closed position. Your boiler should now function correctly. If you have any difficulties in this process or do not feel confident doing it yourself, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 078 7461.
How to Bleed Your Radiators
If your heating is on but your house isn’t warming up, check to ensure the thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) are turned up. If your home still isn’t heating up, it may be because your radiators have air bubbles trapped in them and need bleeding. An indicator of this is if the radiator is cooler at the top than the bottom. Air trapped in the system can mean your radiators do not heat fully so your heating system is inefficient and probably costing you more than it should.
To make your system more efficient you need to let this air out by bleeding your radiators. Before you begin, you must ensure that your system has been turned off and cooled down. You will then need two pieces of equipment; a bleed key and a rag. There will be a bleed key point on one of the sides of your radiator. Use the bleed key to turn this approximately a quarter turn holding the rag underneath. Once turned, you should be able to hear the air coming out. At some point, this will change from air to water very quickly so be ready to turn the key back to closed as soon as this happens to minimise mess. Your radiator will now work more efficiently. You should repeat this process on all the radiators in your property. If you find you need to do this multiple times a year, please get in touch with your local gas safe registered installer because there may be an issue with your system. If you are bleeding an ideal combi or ideal system boiler, you will need to check the system pressure before and after you bleed the radiators. B&K Electricals are happy to help if you have any difficulties or would rather let an expert do this for you. Contact us on 0800 078 7461 for more information on our Northumbria services.
Although there are common issues with your boiler that are easy to identify, there is a range of issues that you may struggle to identify. Efficiency is also an important factor when your boiler is being serviced. A boiler service ensures that your boiler is working efficiently, saving you money on fuel bills. A faulty boiler can also be extremely dangerous, with a faulty boiler being difficult to detect without a boiler service. Carrying out a boiler service will therefore also give you the peace of mind that your boiler is in working order. Boiler services should be carried out annually in order to keep your boiler working throughout the seasons and to secure your boiler warranty.
B&K Electricals offer an excellent boiler service and any maintenance required. You can trust us to have your boiler working safely and efficiently. Contact us today on 0800 078 7461 for more information.