Most Common Boiler Issues and How to Address Them

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Let’s face it, it’s never fun to come home to a freezing cold house to find out your boiler has broken down – not to mention shivering your way through your morning shower. Here are some common problems that you may find with your boiler and how to go about fixing them.

Radiators Aren’t Giving Out Any Heat

If there are parts of your radiators that are feeling cold and not heating up, then it’s likely that something is building up inside and blocking the gas from coming through. If the bottom of your radiator feels warm, then it is probably due to air being trapped inside and just needs bleeding, which can be done yourself safely with a radiator key.

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However, if the bottom or middle of your radiator is cold, then it could be a build-up of something more substantial, such as rust or grime. This will mean the radiator needs flushing through or could need replacing altogether. Flushing can be done yourself, but it is safer (and easier!) to get a gas safe engineer to do this for you, especially if your system is pressurized.

gray Nest thermostat displaying at 63
Photo by Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash

Boiler Pressure Has Dropped

You can check the pressure of your boiler on the pressure gauge. If it has dropped below 1, then it’s likely to affect your heating. Firstly you need to see if there are any visible signs of a leak from the boiler. If you find one, you need to call a plumbing and heating engineer to fix the problem. 

If you can’t see any leaks, then your boiler will need re-pressurizing. Again, this can be done by yourself by using the key that should be located in a tray underneath your boiler. However, it is safer to ask a boiler repair expert to sort this problem out for you.

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Unreliable Hot Water and Heating

If you’re only getting heat and hot water periodically, then you need to find the problem. Check the gauge to see if the pressure has dropped and if that’s working, then check the thermostat to see if that’s the problem. The manufacturer can fix this if it is still under warranty, otherwise, you will need a boiler repair expert to fix it.

If the thermostat and pressure gauge are both fine, then it could be down to a broken airlock, valve, or diaphragm – all of which will need replacing by a gas safe engineer.

The Pilot Light Keeps Turning Off

If the pilot light (the blue flame under your boiler) keeps going out, then it could be down to a faulty thermocouple stopping the gas supply reaching the boiler, which blows the flame out. This could be due to a problem with the gas supply, so it’s worth contacting your supplier to find this out first. If that’s not the problem, then you will need a professional to attempt a boiler repair for you.

This is a more common problem with older boilers and hardly happens with new ones, so if this keeps happening, it would be a good idea to consider a new boiler installation for your home.


All boilers make some noises, but they usually just fade into the background and we don’t hear them. If you think your boiler is making a worse or louder noise than usual, it could be down to kettling. This is caused by deposits that build up in your system and block the water flow.

white and black cat on white radiator heater
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If you live in a hard water area, then this is more likely to happen. This issue needs solving pretty quickly, or you may find you need a new boiler installation rather than just a boiler repair, so you will need to contact an engineer to help you with this. If the problem hasn’t gotten too bad, then the engineer will just need to drain the system for you and remove the deposits, which will save you a lot of money.

Remember that it is always advisable to keep on top of any boiler problems you may experience, not only so that your home remains warm and cozy, but when it becomes the time for you to sell family home, your boiler is one of the key issues prospective buyers will look into before the property sale is finalized. A fully working boiler or a new boiler installation will help you to experience a fast house sale and ultimately it will save you money and keep your home happy and healthy.


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