Oct 16

Top tips to see off winter boiler break downs

Tip no. 1: Check your heating regularly

Keeping your heating on zero during a cold snap could end up damaging your heating system by making it work harder to warm up. So you might want to check your heating regularly. Checking that your heating system works properly will mean your boiler will be less likely to freeze up and break down – saving you on the cost of repairs if you don’t already have boiler care.


Tip no. 2: Check your boiler is on

It might sound obvious, but if your boiler doesn’t seem to be working check to see if it’s been switched off or if your gas and electricity supply has stopped working. First check to see if your supply is up and running and – if it is – check to see if your boiler’s pilot light is on (that is, if you have a boiler with a pilot light – not all models do so don’t worry if you can’t find one). If the pilot light is out, you can always relight or reset your boiler system manually instead of calling out an engineer.



Tip no. 3: Check your pressure

Combi boilers can sometimes stop working because of a drop in pressure. If your boiler stops working check the pressure dial and inspect all of your radiators and pipes for leaks. If you can’t find a leak you should be able to increase the pressure in your system manually by using your system’s valve handle. But you should always switch your boiler off and consult your instructions before tinkering with your boiler’s pressure, as adding too much pressure into a system can be dangerous.


Tip no. 4: Bleed your radiators

If you can feel cold patches on your radiators it may be because there’s air trapped inside that’s blocking the system. Bleeding your radiators is easy but if you bleed your radiators and still have a problem with cold patches, your system might be blocked with sludge and might need a chemical flush by a professional gas safe registered engineer.


Tip no. 5: Insulate your condensate pipe if you have a condensing boiler

One of the most common reasons for a condensing boiler breaking down in winter is that “condensate pipes” – the pipes that carry away condensation – run outside the house and can freeze and become blocked when temperatures drop. Preventing this is really simple though – all you need to do is insulate your pipes using a type of material called lagging which you can pick up from most DIY stores.

If you’ve had problems with your condensate pipe freezing before you might want to relocate the pipe internally or have it replaced with a wider pipe. This is admittedly a bigger job that just insulating your pipe but should help prevent it from freezing or blocking again.


Tip no. 6: Thaw your condensate pipe

If it’s below freezing and your condensing boiler isn’t working or is displaying an error message or flashing light, your condensate pipe will have probably frozen over, meaning you’ll need to thaw it out. The best way to do this is to put a hot water bottle on the pipe – or pour hot water over it, give it a blow with a hair dryer or wrap a towel soaked in warm water around it – and then reset your boiler.


Tip no 7: Think about boiler care, especially if you have an older boiler

The average lifespan of a boiler is thought to be just 12 years. It’s estimated that around six million boilers in the UK could be near the end of their life span and that around half of Britain’s boilers are already five years old or more. That’s a lot of older boilers out there that have seen better days. If your boiler is one of them, it’s especially worth thinking about taking out boiler and heating care that will cover the cost of repairing your boiler if something goes wrong.


Tip no. 8: Get your boiler serviced

It’s always a good idea to service your boiler – especially if it’s a bit older. Gas boiler manufacturers generally recommend getting your boiler serviced once every year to make sure everything is in tip-top condition and safe working order. So if you’ve not already had yours serviced, put it at the top of your to do list. Go on – don’t wait until your boiler breaks down before you give it a thought, or it could end up costing you more in the long run.

Talk to our dedicated service team at Glevum Heating if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment Contact us here