Boilers can be mystifying, especially if you’re a new homeowner with little experience of dealing with them yourself. They can also be worrying when seemingly major problems occur, but in most cases the solution is simply staying calm and calling out a qualified plumber to look at the issue.
Here, we’ve gone through five common boiler-related issues that will likely require you to ring up a plumber so you know what to look out for. Don’t forget that you should always seek out a professional who is qualified to work with gas appliances and don’t be afraid to ask to see their credentials if you’re at all unsure.
1) No heating or hot water
It’s the problem every homeowner dreads – that moment when you realise the central heating hasn’t come on when it’s supposed to, or when you turn the shower on and the water is icy cold.
One of several things can cause this to happen – such as a failed valve or thermostat – and chances are that your plumber can easily fix the issue, so don’t panic and get on the phone straight away.
2) Water leaks
Leaks can be caused by one of several things, such as a fault in the circulation pump or a crack in one of the aluminium/cast iron sections (depending on the age of your boiler).
If you discover that water is leaking from the boiler, it pays to get this looked at by a plumber as quickly as possible. Leave the leak to get to worse and you risk causing flooding within the boiler, as well as having the moisture corrode the internal components, which can be a particularly serious issue.
3) Odd noises
You’ll find that you get to know the ‘usual’ noises your boiler makes once you’ve been living with it for a while, such as the sound of it turning on and off, and the noise it generates when someone turns on a hot tap.
However, you should also listen out for any odd knocking, hissing or gurgling noises. These can be caused by various things, such as a build-up of air bubbles limescale. Whatever might be causing it, get your plumber on the phone as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary.
4) Water temperature fluctuations
If your hot water supply runs cold every so often instead of staying at a consistent temperature, this could be a sign that something’s not quite right with your boiler.
It’s also worth watching out for problems like the water only getting properly hot when the central heating is on, as this is another indicator of a faulty boiler, or the water suddenly getting hotter than normal. If the issue persists, it’s time to speak to your plumber.
5) No pilot light
The pilot light in your boiler can go out for one of any number of reasons, such as a draught, a build-up of deposit or a broken component affecting the supply of gas. This means that the boiler won’t be able to turn on and heat up water for your home.
If you notice your pilot light isn’t coming on any more, you should call out a plumber to see if they can sort out the cause and get the light going again. They may also be able to give you advice on how to prevent this from happening again.
Boiler tips for new homeowners: when to call out a plumber