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What Are Common Heating Problems

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  • Admin
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  • central heating, troubleshooting, problems
  • Posted date:
  • 22-03-2021
What Are Common Heating Problems

Is your central heating working at its best? We look at the most common heating problems to help you identify any issues.

  Hot Water But No Heating 

Having hot water but no heating can be annoying, but these are common central heating problems. Under normal circumstances, you would be provided with both hot water and central heating through your boiler. 

First, ensure that the thermostat has the correct settings to ensure that the heating is supposed to be on at the time. 

Also, the boiler pressure is the pressure of hot water running through the central heating system and should be at a certain level. If the pressure drops too low, the central heating might fail to come on at the right time. 

What Are Common Heating Problems

At the same time, increasing the water pressure for the central heating systems is something that you can do to try and solve there being no heating without needing to call a professional heating engineer. 

However, this will not always work, and if the pressure level goes too high, you can damage the boiler and other parts and have them be replaced, which can be expensive. 

If the boiler's pressure and settings are correct, you might need to have a professional come out and sort out the boiler problems. Some common causes will include: broken airlocks, diaphragms, or even the motorised valves have a failure.

In some combi boilers, there could be an issue with the diverter valve. The diverter valve is used to divert the hot water to either the heating or the hot water outlets. If the diverter valve gets stuck for some reason, you will most likely get stuck with either not hot water but heating or hot water but no heating. In this case, a Gas Safe registered engineer should have the ability to diagnose any fault airlocks, diaphragms, diverter valves or even motorised valves. They should carry out any repairs that are required and replace any broken parts. 

  No Heat And No Hot Water

Your boiler should supply your home with heating and hot water, and if this is not happening, you should have it looked at and fixed as soon as possible. There can be a few issues that can cause the boiler to stop supplying hot water throughout your house. 

Many boilers will supply an error code which will help you pinpoint where the issue is as long as the boiler is getting energy. Some reasons for the hot water not being provided will include:

  Fuel

The fuel for the boiler is essential, but you must ensure that the fuel is making its way to your home. With a gas boiler, ensure that your gas supplier is providing the fuel that it should be. For oil boilers, check to make sure the storage tank has enough fuel to work correctly. 

  Thermostat Settings 

The thermostat settings is what decides whether the heating should be on or not. If you are not getting any heating, you should double-check the settings on the thermostat to ensure that the temperature is set higher than the current room temperature. 

  Boiler Pressure

The boilers pressure is usually set depending on the manufacturer's designs, but they are generally set between 1 to 2 on the pressure gauge. 

  Pilot Light

Many old boilers still have a pilot light that should be on constantly. This allows the boiler to burn the fuel, and if it goes out, you will not get any more hot water.

  Leaking Boiler  

A leak on the boiler can be an issue, and you won't know its severity until you find where it is coming originating. With a leaking boiler, you should not try and fix this yourself, increasing the damage. Instead, you should call an engineer with a Gas Safe Registered ID. One common cause of a leaking boiler is an internal component being broken, such as the pressure valve or pump seal. If the pressure valve is damaged or broken, this might be a sign that the boiler pressure is too high. If the pump seal is broken, you may have worn it out too much. 

If there is water around the pipes or tank, this could indicate corrosion occurring somewhere, or the installation of the boiler wasn't done correctly. With either of these, calling out an engineer is the best recommendation to diagnose and fix the leaks. 

  Boiler is kettling

A boiler kettling usually happens when sludge buildup or limescale builds up within the heat exchanger. When a boiler is kettling, your boiler will be working harder, making it cost more to run. Also, with the boiler working harder than usual, it can shorten the heating system's life. 

Having a power flush service done on your heating system is usually the best way to remove any sludge in your boiler and reduce the chance of it kettling. 

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  Noises from boiler 

A few different types of noises that a boiler can make will depend on the cause. If you hear a noise coming from within your boiler, it might be best to have this checked out by an engineer and where it is coming from can help find the cause. Some of the causes are listed below: 

Whistling: Whistling or kettle like sounds can be caused by sludge or limescale buildup within the boiler/heat exchanger. 

Banging: Banging coming from your boiler could be the result of pipework or internal components coming loose. A buildup of debris in the heat exchanger can also have the same result, or the pump used to circulate hot water around the central heating system can also be failing and creating banging noises. 

  Clanking

Clanking can be caused by the pipework being too loose, or the boiler fan might be obstructed somehow. 

  Gurgling

A gurgling sound can be caused by too much air in the system or the pipes creating blockages. Hearing this near a radiator could indicate the radiators need to be bled.

  Buzzing

A buzzing noise can indicate that some electrical components within the boiler begin to malfunction and need replacement. If the room thermostat creates a buzzing noise, this can indicate that the conductor needs to be cleaned.

  Humming

Many boilers have silent models, and a type of humming will come from them; however, you should have the boiler checked out if the humming is louder than usual or if you want to have it checked out as this can be a sign of a part being loose.

  Low Boiler Pressure

The boiler pressure is how much pressure there is on the hot water passing through the pipes. If the pressure is too low, the central heating will fail to work correctly. There is usually a pressure gauge somewhere on the boiler that will let you know what pressure it is currently at, and if it is lower than 1, it is too low, and the central heating will fail to work. Most boiler pressures should be around 1 or 2, but this can depend on the boiler, so double-checking with the manufacturer's notebook can be beneficial to finding this out. 

Over time, boilers will lose pressure in their pipes, but if a sharp drop occurs, you should have an engineer look to make sure. 

  Frozen Condensate Pipe

Condensing boilers usually have a condensate pipe that leads any acidic water produced during the boiler's operation away from it and down a drain on the outside. Some engineers may suggest lagging the pipe or rapping the drain pipe in insulation to ensure it does not freeze over again. 

  Cold Radiators   

Having the heating on but a cold radiator (generally at the bottom) can signify that the radiator needs to be bled. Bleeding a radiator doesn't need an engineer, but you should call one if you cannot do it. The radiators might also need to be balanced (adjusting the valves on each radiator within your property) to ensure each radiator is getting the right amount of hot water to work efficiently. If balancing the radiators doesn't help, then you would need to call an engineer to assist as this can be because of sludge and debris stuck in the radiator. If the radiators are hot on the top but not the bottom or there are cold patches on the radiator, this could indicate that they need to be bled as well. 

  Boiler switching itself off

There are a few reasons that a boiler will be switching itself off. Some of these reasons could be Low boiler pressure, thermostat settings issues, Lack of water flow (can be because the pump or valve is broken), A buildup of debris and sludge within the system. 

It would be best to call an engineer to assist in solving and fixing these issue.

  The boiler not responding to the thermostat

With a smart thermostat, you can try checking to ensure it is getting power or ensuring it is connected to the boiler through a network if you are using a more modern boiler and thermostat. If this does not work or do not have a smart thermostatic, you could have an engineer come round and see if they can fix it or have any advice. 


Are you experiencing problems with your central heating in Southampton and Hampshire? Follow the link below to find an emergency plumber in Southampton to help you gt your heating back on track.