Boiler problems: how to identify the main breakdowns

Has your boiler broken down? It shows one or more signs of malfunction and you don’t know what it is or how to act? Many problems, from small to large, can affect your device; whatever they are, it is advisable not to wait so as not to risk further damage to the system. Our specialists will give you their advice to identify the most recurring problems and the basic actions to take to remedy these breakdowns. Follow the leader !

What are the most common boiler problems and what to do?

To help you identify the failure of your boiler, we present a list of the most frequent problems and we recommend some tips and advice.

Your boiler is leaking

If your boiler is leaking, there are several possible causes. It may be a pressure fault; in fact, when the pressure exceeds 3 Bars, the pressure valve automatically reduces it, which causes leaks. It could also be a faulty, scaled or damaged part.

What to do ?

  • Turn off the water supply and stop the boiler.
  • Bleed your radiators to reduce the pressure.
  • If the problem is not solved, contact a professional immediately.

Your boiler is making noise

If your boiler is noisy, it may be too fast water circulation, a pressure defect, incorrectly adjusted combustion, a malfunction of the safety unit or even a heat exchanger. scaled heat.

What to do ?

It is recommended to call a professional quickly, because of the wide variety of possible causes. However, here are the possible solutions.

  • Changing the speed of the water circulator.
  • Adding a pressure regulator.
  • Verification of machine settings.
  • Demisting the boiler.
  • Cleaning the heat exchanger.

Your boiler is whistling

If your boiler is whistling, it may be a lack of pressure causing air to enter the appliance, or an incorrectly adjusted flow rate causing air to enter the piping.

What to do ?

  • In the event of a pressure fault, the expansion tank must be changed.
  • In the event of a pressure and hot water fault: the heating element must be changed.
  • If the flow rate is incorrectly adjusted, the circulator must be changed.

Your boiler does not start

If your boiler does not start, several causes are possible: a connection or electrical fault, a pressure problem, a faulty burner, overheating of the boiler, a leak, clogging of the ducts or obstruction of the pipes, or poor combustion.

What to do ?

  • Check that it is not an electrical fault by checking the correct operation of the power outlet, as well as the good condition of the cables.
  • If the problem is not solved, contact a heating specialist. This will control the thermal and pressure sensors of the device, as well as the various joining points. He will proceed with the cleaning of the supply and evacuation circuits and he will unclog all the pipes.

Your boiler shuts down

If your boiler turns itself off, it is likely that it has detected a problem or fault and is putting itself into a safe position. The appliance tends to do this in the event of overheating, fouling, malfunction of the burner, the nozzle or the electrical box.

What to do ?

Contact a heating engineer immediately to check the entire system. He will sweep the exhaust duct, clean the thermocouple and the electrodes, he will check the burner or the nozzle and he will test the electrical box according to what he discovers during his analysis.

Your boiler smokes

If black smoke escapes from your boiler, it may be a fault in the nozzle or the burner, or even poor maintenance of your boiler.

What to do ?

Contact a professional immediately to find the source of the fumes. To do this, he will check that the burner or the nozzle is correctly adjusted and he will clean the entire boiler.

Your boiler clogs up too quickly

If your boiler tends to clog up too quickly, it may be due to a ventilation fault, a burner or nozzle malfunction or incorrect pressure.

What to do ?

Call a professional. He will check the ventilation system, the correct operation of the burner or the nozzle and he will check the pressure of the pump.

Your boiler is on, but you have neither hot water nor heating

If your boiler is on, but it is not producing hot water or heating, it is likely that your temperature sensor is out of order. If it is not working, it does not transmit any information on the water temperature to your boiler; the latter therefore lights up, but does not really start to heat the water.

What to do ?

  • Replace the temperature probe.
  • If the problem persists, contact a professional to find the source of the problem.

How to limit or avoid the risk of a boiler problem?

A few precautions for the use of your boiler will allow you to prolong its life and limit the risk of breakdown.

  • Regularly check the pressure of the device and keep it between 1 and 1.5 bar.
  • Do not raise the boiler temperature to its maximum.
  • At the slightest suspicious sign, contact a professional without delay.
  • Avoid dismantling or repairing the boiler yourself; you risk disrupting the entire system and aggravating the problem, or even creating irreversible damage.
  • Maintain the boiler by calling in a professional once a year for inspection, cleaning and replacement of damaged parts.
  • Make sure your pipes are properly insulated to avoid a sudden stoppage of the appliance during freezing weather.
  • Limit the risk of clogging by avoiding emptying an oil-fired boiler in its entirety, because the bottom of the tank is full of impurities. Similarly, wait at least 2 hours for these to settle at the bottom of the tank before restarting the boiler.
  • Replace the boiler according to its age. If this type of device can last 25 years, it is advisable to consider a change after 15 years of operation. You will thus limit the risk of breakdown and you will save on your consumption, because the new models are always more efficient and economical.

A summary of the key actions to take in the event of a boiler problem

Here is a summary of the key actions you can take before contacting a professional if you observe a malfunction or an anomaly with your boiler.

  • Check the thermostat and make sure the message or signal is correct. Also check the thermostat batteries and the radiator valves.
  • Make sure the summer/winter switch is set to the correct period.
  • Check the ignition of the device, its connection, its good electrical condition.
  • Check the water pressure in the heating circuit in order to reduce it, especially before restarting it in the fall.
  • Check pilot light. If it is off, the boiler cannot operate.
  • Check the fuel reserve for your oil boiler or gas boiler and do not wait until it is empty or almost empty to fill it.
  • Restart the boiler and reset its settings.
  • Drain your radiators.
  • Adjust the temperatures of the thermostatic valves and thermostats.

However, if in doubt, we remind you that it is best to contact a professional. Acting alone when you do not master the device is sometimes more damaging to the boiler.

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