The Most Common Causes Of Boiler Breakdowns and How to Prevent Them from Happening

Last updated: December 21, 2021

Boilers are necessary to create heat and hot water for a building. However, they can also be very dangerous if not properly maintained. Boiler breakdowns are pretty common to happen in many homes.

It is important to know how to fix common boiler faults before they happen, and prevent them from happening at all. And since boilers can be expensive to repair or replace, it’s best to avoid these problems altogether. That is why this article will provide you with information about common causes of boiler breakdowns and how you can prevent them from happening!

What Is A Boiler Breakdown?

Before we discuss the common causes of boiler breakdowns, it is important to first understand what boiler breakdowns are. Boiler breakdowns happen when one or more boiler components systems fail. This can cause the boiler to stop working properly, and in some cases, it can even result in a complete failure. It might also have been caused by an external factor such as cold weather.

Boiler breakdown will not happen overnight and there are usually warning signs that occur before a breakdown occurs, which is why you should keep an eye out for these signs of boiler breakdowns:

If you notice these signs, it is important to get in touch with a local plumber as soon as possible. This way the problem can be fixed before things escalate into something more serious. Remember, Prevention Is Better Than Cure!

You may also like our post about Plumbers Hourly Rates

Common Causes of Boiler Breakdowns

Although some gas boiler breakdowns might be unavoidable, there are a few things that you can do to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some common causes of boiler breakdowns and how you can prevent them:

Age of Boiler

One common cause of boiler breakdowns is the age of the boiler. If your boiler is more than ten years old, it may be time to consider replacing it. Boilers that are older than this often have problems with their boiler components and can break down easily. You may also find that your energy bills are higher because an older boiler doesn’t operate as efficiently or effectively compared to a new boiler. You should replace your older, inefficient boiler with a newer and efficient model that will save you money on energy costs every month!

How to Prevent:

  • If your boiler is more than ten years old, consider replacing it with a newer model such as a combi. A new boiler will be more efficient and effective and will save you money on your energy bills each month.
  • Regularly service your boiler to ensure that all components are in good working order. This will help to prevent common boiler faults, and it could even prolong the lifespan of your boiler!
  • Install a boiler alarm to notify you of any problems with your boiler

Related Post: How Old Is My Boiler?

Inaccurate Boiler Thermostats

One common cause of boiler breakdowns is an inaccurate thermostat. If your thermostat is not set correctly, it can cause the boiler to overheat or underheat. This can lead to common boiler faults and even a complete breakdown of the boiler.

How to Prevent: 

  • Make sure that your thermostat is set correctly so that your boiler is heating your home at the correct temperature.
  • You should also make sure that your thermostat is not covered up or blocked by curtains, carpets, furniture etc. Adjust the temperature on your thermostat throughout the year so you can get a more accurate reading of what it should be at different times of the day and night.
  • Use a programmable thermostat so you can control the temperature of your home remotely via your phone or computer
  • Install a smart thermostat for your boiler so you can control the temperature of your home automatically

Frozen Condensation Pipe

Another common cause of boiler breakdowns is a frozen condensation pipe. If you live somewhere that gets very cold or if there is snow on the ground for an extended time, this might cause problems with your condensation pipe freezing over. If the condensation pipe freezes up, it may damage your boiler components system beyond repair which means you’ll have to replace your whole heating system!

How to Prevent: 

  • Wrap any exposed pipes in insulation so they don’t freeze during the winter months.
  • Make sure that your boiler isn’t too close to a window as this could cause the pipes to freeze.
  • If you have a loft, make sure that the hatch is well insulated so the heat from your boiler doesn’t escape.
  • Install a heated towel rail in your bathroom so any moisture can be quickly evaporated.
  • Make sure that air vents are clear so the boiler system can operate efficiently and effectively, especially if they’re located in unheated areas of your home.

man checking boiler pipes

Faulty Diverter Valve

A faulty diverter valve is another common cause of boiler breakdowns. This part of the boiler component is responsible for switching the flow of water between the heating and hot water systems. If this valve isn’t working properly, it can lead to many problems such as low water pressure and no hot water.

How to Prevent:

  • Regularly service your boiler’s diverter valve
  • Have any faulty valves replaced immediately by a professional plumber
  • Install an ultrasonic leak detector to ensure that no water is leaking out of the system before it reaches the boiler.

Pilot Light Is Out

A common cause of boiler breakdowns is a faulty pilot light. If the pilot light goes out, there will be no gas coming through to produce heat in your home and it can take hours for the heating system to kick back into gear once you’ve lit the flame again!

How to Prevent: 

  • Regularly change your gas valve’s batteries so the pilot light stays on
  • Make sure that air vents are clear, especially if they’re located in unheated areas of your home.

Loss of Pressure

A loss of pressure is another common cause of boiler breakdowns. If there’s a sudden drop in water pressure, it can damage your system beyond repair which means you’ll have to replace the whole heating system!

How to Prevent: 

  • Check regularly for any leaks throughout the home – especially around pipes and valves
  • Have any faulty valves replaced immediately by a professional plumber
  • Install an ultrasonic leak detector to ensure that no water is leaking out of the system before it reaches the boiler.

Limescale Buildup

One common cause of boiler breakdowns is limescale buildup. If limescale builds up on the inside of your boiler, it can affect efficiency and eventually become so thick that it causes a huge loss in heat. Over time, this build-up can damage the boiler components and lower the efficiency and effectiveness of your system.

How to Prevent: 

  • Use a de-scaling product once or twice per year – these products are designed specifically for use on boilers so you don’t have to worry about any damage  – never use acid as it could corrode your system beyond repair!
  • Install a water softener in your home to help prevent limescale from building up in the first place.

Strange Noises

One common cause of boiler breakdowns is strange noises. If you hear an unusual noise coming from your boiler, it could be a sign that something isn’t quite right and this can lead to significant damage which means you’ll have to replace the whole heating system!

How to Prevent: 

  • Keep air filters clean so the system can operate efficiently and effectively
  • Have any faulty valves replaced immediately by a professional plumber.

What To Do When Your Boiler Breakdown?

If you are experiencing common causes of boiler breakdowns or if your boiler has already broken down, it’s best to call a professional and have them take a look at your boiler. They will be able to identify the problem and provide you with a solution so you can get your boiler up and running again as soon as possible.

In the meantime, here are a few things that you can do to keep yourself warm:

  • Use a portable electric heater to provide temporary heat
  • Arrange for friends or family members that live nearby to come and stay with you until the boiler is repaired
  • Wrap yourself in blankets when you’re at home so your body temperature doesn’t drop too low.

If your boiler breaks down during the winter months, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your family warm. Follow these tips to help you stay safe and comfortable until your boiler is up and running again.

So, there you have it! The common causes of boiler breakdowns and how to prevent them from happening. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your boiler in good working order and avoid costly repairs. For more information, please visit our website or give us a call today. We would be happy to answer any of your questions!

For more information about common boiler faults for popular brands check out our guides for Veismann, BaxiWorcester, Vaillant and Vokera boilers.

Source:

  1. Most Common Boiler Problems – Vaillant