Top 5 Boiler Problems and How to Fix Them


A boiler is essential for heating your home and your hot water. When it breaks down, you could literally be left in the cold. There are many reasons why your boiler might suddenly cut out or break down. In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 boiler problems and how to fix them.

Potentially, it could be days before a gas engineer can come to your home. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to understand how your boiler works in case you can deal with the issue yourself.

Sometimes there can be a simple solution. However, don’t try to carry out any repairs by yourself. If the problem is serious, you need to call a registered gas safety engineer to help you.

The Top 5 Boiler Problems

The boiler cuts out completely

The first thing you should do is to make sure that the problem is actually with the boiler. It could be something as simple as a tripped electrical switch. Check your other appliances, are they working? If the problem is definitely the boiler, take a look at the pressure gauge. This should never drop to 1 or below and if that’s the case, it needs to be topped up. Follow the instruction manual on how to do this.

If this still doesn’t help, try resetting the boiler. And finally, if that doesn’t work, contact a heating engineer for more help.

The radiators are cold

If your radiators are cold, this could mean there’s trapped air in them somewhere. You can easily resolve this by bleeding the radiators in your home. Check the radiators for any cold areas to diagnose this issue. You can also check the thermostat, as a broken device may be sending an error message to the boiler.

My boiler will not heat water

Sometimes a boiler will switch on and supply central heating but refuse to heat water. Check the thermostat and see if the temperature is set too low. Your boiler may only be capable of releasing cold water. Upping the temperature will allow your boiler to heat water again, especially if you turn your heating and hot water settings to full.

Additionally, perhaps there are some frozen water pipes. You can check these by touch. Furthermore, if your boiler is attached to a timer, check that the time hasn’t changed. This may be the case if the clocks have changed recently. If you have an older boiler that is powered by gas and contains a pilot light, check this. It should be burning a bright blue.

My boiler is heating water but not the central heating

Some boilers will not heat a room that is set to lower than 21 degrees. So if this is the case, try increasing the temperature. If this doesn’t work, check the settings on your boiler to ensure the heating functions have not been deactivated.

My boiler is noisy

Boilers will naturally emit a low background noise when they are used, so it is not uncommon to hear something. However, noises like a knocking, gurgling or a whistling are not right. Boiler whistling is the result of trapped air, try bleeding your radiators to see if it helps. Boiler gurgling usually suggests there is a frozen pipe somewhere in your home. Find the pipe as soon as you can and deal with it before it causes further problems.

Tips to Maintain Your Boiler

Understanding how your boiler works and what may cause it to breakdown will help you to maintain it. You can try the simple remedies at home by yourself. But if you need to, you can always call an engineer to help.

  • A top tip, and one of the most effective ways to prevent boiler breakdowns, is to get a routine annual service. This has many benefits, not least that you will help to prolong the lifespan of your boiler. Also an annual check will help to eliminate any emergency problems which can cost much more to rectify.
  • Additionally, another tip is to carry on using your heating in the summer, even small amounts. Most boilers are not used in the summer months and this could lead to potential problems in the winter. Obviously the colder months are when you need to use your boiler the most.
  • Furthermore, you can help to reduce the risk of freezing pipes by covering the pipework with insulation. This is relatively easy and can be done at home.
  • Finally, by bleeding your radiators you can help to release the build up of pressure which may be causing your boiler to work harder than it needs to.

Who to Call if You Have a Problem

It’s worth emphasising that you should contact a heating engineer straightaway for any major problems or if you smell gas.

At Greener Homes, we are a team of friendly and professional heating engineers. Safety is one of our utmost concerns. Our staff are all Gas Safe registered and fully trained to work professionally and safely.

We can also help you to keep your boiler healthy and identify problems before they become costly.

If you Rent Your Home

It’s worth emphasising that if you don’t own the property and your boiler breaks down, call your landlord or estate agent and inform them of the issue as soon as possible. Do not try to resolve any issues yourself.

To Conclude: Top 5 Boiler Problems and How to Fix Them

In summary, there are varying reasons why boilers break down and some of these can be fixed from home. This article details the top 5 boiler problems and how to fix them. Perhaps the issue is a small one and there are systems you can check before calling for professional help.

Remember to turn off any gas appliances in your home until an engineer can take a look. Furthermore, you should contact your policy holder if you have insurance. They may be able to cover some of the cost of repairs.

With newer boilers, you may be able to make a claim with the manufacturer if the warranty is still in place.

At Greener Homes, we offer boiler installation as well as servicing and maintenance. We have lots more tips on how to help look after your boiler on our website. Or call us to book an appointment.