What Are the Signs of a Faulty Boiler?

engineer fixing a boiler

When a boiler is working as it should, it often goes unnoticed. But a faulty boiler tends to make itself known quite quickly, whether it’s just not working as efficiently as it could be or it isn’t functioning at all.

In this article, we’ll explain some of the key signs of a fault in your boiler, so you know what to look out for before your boiler stops working completely.

Read on for all the tips from our JF Heating experts.

How Does a Boiler Work?

There are a number of different types of boilers available, each of which comes with its own distinct pros and cons. But the way in which boilers work is broadly similar, whether you opt for a condensing gas boiler such as a combi boiler, a system boiler or a heat-only boiler. 

Gas boilers connect directly to the main gas supply. When the boiler turns on, a valve in the boiler will open to allow gas to move through to what’s known as the combustion chamber. Here, electricity is used to light this fuel and burn it. 

The resulting heat is transferred to water which flows over a heat exchanger. Then, hot water can start to move through the heating system to heat up all the connected pipes and radiators in the property. 

Condensing boilers are slightly different, as the heat exchanger used in these boilers is designed to remove heat from the flue gases. Latent heat is also recycled from the hot water vapour that is created as the boiler runs, and this, too, is used to heat water to be circulated in the system. 

As a result, these boilers are more efficient and use less energy to do the same job.

Signs of a Faulty Boiler Pump

A faulty boiler pump will make itself known in a number of different ways. Often, our customers will call us with reports of strange sounds and smells coming from the boiler. 

But a faulty boiler might also fail to turn on, and there can sometimes be water leaks around the boiler itself. If there seems to be a long delay between turning the boiler on and feeling the warmth from pipes and radiators, this too can be indicative of a faulty boiler.

Leaking Water

If a boiler leaks water, it’ll definitely need the attention of a qualified engineer. Usually, this happens when corrosion erodes pipework, causing small holes in the copper piping of the boiler. 

As these holes appear, water will start to leak through, making homeowners aware of an emerging problem.

Strange Smell

A strange smell coming from a boiler is often the sign of a simple fault, but it can mean something far more serious. If there’s a sulphuric smell, it could indicate a gas leak. A smell of burning plastic or metal is more likely to be caused by a boiler that’s overheating.

Unusual Sounds

Odd sounds coming from a boiler usually mean a fault. There are many different faults that make themselves known through unusual sounds. If you hear something strange coming from the boiler, it could be anything from a pressure problem to a build-up of sludge and debris in the pipes.

Power is Faulty

If a boiler doesn’t have any power, you’ll need to call in an engineer. Sometimes this is caused by a blown or broken fuse, but it can also indicate more serious faults within the boiler itself. 

The first thing to do is check the fuse before examining the boiler to see if another fault might be causing the problem.

Heating Delays

Boilers won’t always stop working when a fault occurs. Sometimes, you’ll just notice that the house isn’t heating up as quickly as it normally would. 

If pipes and radiators aren’t warming up as quickly as they should be, it’s possible that there is a problem with the boiler pump.

How to Repair a Faulty Pump On a Boiler

A faulty pump on a boiler can mean that your home takes far longer to warm up once you’ve switched the heating on. Of course, this is frustrating, especially if it’s a particularly cold day, but it’s also very inefficient regarding energy. 

If you suspect that your boiler pump is faulty, it’s best to call in the experts. We’d never advise attempting this repair yourself, as you may cause damage to your boiler or, in a worst-case scenario, leave it unsafe to use. 

Boiler repairs should always be carried out by fully qualified, gas-safe engineers who know all there is to know about boiler pumps and how to fix them.

Get Advice On Repairing a Faulty Boiler

At JF Heating, we have a team of highly skilled, experienced engineers who are available to solve any boiler-related problems you may have. 

We can help with everything from boiler repairs and new installation to planned maintenance to servicing. And we’re always on hand for emergencies too. 

To find out more about how to get your faulty boiler repaired, get in touch with our team.

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