A water leak can spell trouble for any heating system, causing it to grind to a halt incredibly quickly. 

Leaks can affect any boiler at any time, as they’re caused by a number of different faults and problems. However, keeping on top of regular maintenance, such as annual servicing, will reduce the risk of a leak switching your heating and hot water off when you least expect it.

In this article, we’ll discuss some key culprits of leaking boilers. We’ll explain how leaks happen before taking you through our recommendations on what you should do if your boiler has started to leak.

Top Causes of a Boiler Leak

What causes a boiler to leak water? Unfortunately – quite a few things! 

Problems like leaks can be caused by numerous different issues, many of which are more prevalent in older systems where parts may be reaching the end of their lifespan. 

Take a look at some of the most common faults that, when not addressed quickly, inevitably lead to a boiler leak.

The Boiler Has Been Poorly Installed

A poor boiler installation might lead to water leaks immediately after a new boiler is installed. Still, inadequate installation work can also cause leaking that doesn’t make itself known for a number of weeks or even months. 

The first thing our engineers do when they spot a leak is to check the installation of the boiler itself. If any issues are spotted, these can usually be repaired to stop the leak straight away.

Corroded Pipework

Corrosion is a common cause of leaks in boilers and heating systems. 

If you have an old heating system and boiler, you’re more likely to suffer the effects of corrosion within the boiler itself or in any attached pipework. 

Corrosion tends to build up over time, as iron within the system is exposed to oxygen and water, forming rust. Once metal within the pipes begins to disintegrate, pipework can soon start to fail – meaning the possibility of leaks from the boiler.

Too Much Pressure

Excess pressure is another frequent cause of boiler leaks. If there’s too much pressure in a boiler, then the boiler’s pressure release valve will react by releasing any excess water.

Of course, if pressure levels remain too high for too long, there’s a real risk that other parts of the system will start to fail. This, too, can cause leaks anywhere in the heating system. 

If you have any trouble adjusting the pressure on your boiler or you continue to experience drops in boiler pressure, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Faulty Heat Exchanger

A faulty heat exchanger can be dangerous, so if an issue with the heat exchanger causes your water leak, you’ll need to get it fixed as a matter of urgency. 

Any cracks in the heat exchanger are particularly serious, as there is a possibility of poisonous gases escaping from the boiler through these gaps. 

Cracks will often cause the heat exchanger to leak water, but usually, homeowners are already aware of a heat exchanger problem as there will be other signs, such as strange sounds and smells. 

In a worst case scenario, if carbon monoxide comes out of your boiler due to the heat exchanger fault, you’ll know about it as your carbon monoxide alarm will be blaring.

What Should You Do If You Have a Leak from Boiler?

If you have a leak on or around your boiler, we recommend that you call in the experts as soon as possible. 

Our team of qualified engineers are often called out to reports of leaks and other similar issues. We typically diagnose the problem quite quickly before explaining how it can be resolved. 

Never attempt to repair a boiler yourself. Leave it to a gas-safe engineer who knows what they’re doing, it’s never worth risking damaging your boiler or making it unusable!

Can a Leak In a Boiler be Serious?

Most water leaks are caused by common problems such as corrosion in the pipework, but in some cases leaks can result from more dangerous faults, like those affecting the heat exchanger itself. 

The seriousness of the leak will depend on whereabouts and, therefore, where the water is likely to be coming from. 

Rest assured that the majority of leaks we see aren’t indicative of serious problems. However, if you do have any concerns, we always advise that you seek the help of a gas-safe engineer as soon as you can.

How to Fix a Boiler Leak

Some boiler leaks can be fixed relatively easily, while others might require replacement parts or even the installation of a brand new boiler. 

Your engineer will be able to advise you on the scale of the repair job required as soon as the problem is identified. At that point, we’ll provide you with a full quote for any work needed and an approximate timeframe to let you know when you can expect your boiler to be back up and running again. 

Boilers are complex, expensive, and potentially dangerous pieces of equipment, which is why we’ve never advise you to attempt any repair work yourself. 

Even a competent DIY enthusiast can do serious damage to a boiler, potentially making it unsafe to use just by doing something simple like attempting to fix a leak. Leave this to the experts – only gas-safe engineers are qualified to work on boilers.

Get Advice on What Causes a Boiler to Leak

If you’d like any further information on the top causes of boiler leaks or you have a boiler leak that needs investigating, we’re here to help. 

Contact our team to book an appointment with one of our engineers in your area, and we’ll soon be on hand to check out the leak and let you know how we can fix it.

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