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Common Boiler Problems During Winter

Whilst the whole point of having a boiler is to provide warmth and hot water during the winter months, some units can struggle to maintain their optimal levels of performance as the temperature plummets.

It’s certainly true to say that the winter brings a number of common boiler problems, which can cause significant long-term issues in instances where they’re not addressed promptly. 

Winter is a time when we all have to be extra careful with our boilers. Cold weather can cause a number of problems, and if we’re not careful, we could end up with a very expensive repair bill. In this article, we will categorize some of the most common boiler issues during winter.

gas issues during the winter

6 Common Gas Issues During The Winter

No Heat or Water

If you switch your boiler back on for the first time after the summer, you may find that there’s a noticeable lack of heat or hot water.

This can be caused by a myriad of issues, including everything from broken diaphragms and airlocks to the failure of motorised valves. A faulty thermostat could also be responsible, so checking this represents an excellent starting point for your investigation.

Have you noticed your boiler pressure dropping? And after re-pressurising the system it may have dropped the following day again. Well, this could be the cause of faulty expansion vessels which is another common boiler problem. The expansion vessels could be losing pressure overnight or over a longer period of time.

Kettling or Banging Noises

Have you ever heard a strange rumbling or whistling noise emanating from your boiler? If this sound is reminiscent of a boiling kettle, you may find that limescale and sludge have accumulated on the unit’s heat exchanger over an extended period of time.

These deposits can grow to restrict the flow of water within the heat exchanger, causing the water to overheat, steam and eventually boil.

This issue requires the attention of an experienced and accredited engineer, who can identify the precise issue and carry out the required work with the minimum fuss.

In some instances, your engineer may choose to carry out a powerflush, which uses robust cleansing agents to clear away the accumulated grime and restore the system to its former glory.

A Frozen Condensate Pipe

Whether you have a combi, system or a regular boiler, you’ll have a condensate pipe that transports waste outside and into an external drain. As part of the pipe runs outside, there’s a considerable chance that this can freeze during the winter and when the temperature plunges below zero.

In some cases, your condensate pipe can even burst if the issue isn’t resolved, particularly in instances where there’s a considerable amount of standing water that freezes.

To avoid this, you should consider insulating the pipe with specially-designed lagging before the freezing weather sets in. This can cost as little as £1 per metre, whilst the lagging process can be carried out by either yourself or an accredited heating engineer.

Pilot Malfunctioning

If your pilot flame is not burning properly, it could be caused due to several reasons. The most common reason is that the thermocouple, which is responsible for keeping the pilot lit, has become damaged or dislodged. Another possibility is that the pilot assembly is clogged and needs to be repaired or changed. You can try relighting the pilot light yourself, but if it keeps going out, you should call a qualified gas engineer to take a look at your boiler.

If you live near Clydebank, Paisley, Glasgow, or Cumbernauld, then you are in luck. The best-qualified gas engineers can be at your door in no time. Just give us a call at 0141 374 0274.

Circulation Issues

The radiator may be turned off or not work properly. If the radiator is turned off, there's nowhere for the hot water to go, so it will just sit in the boiler and eventually cool down again. This can cause circulation problems and reduce your boiler’s efficiency.

There may be an issue with the valves that control the flow of water into and out of the boiler. If these valves aren't working correctly, they can cause problems with circulation. The water circulation pump may be clogged with debris or it may be broken.

Dirty Filters

One of the most common boiler problems during the winter is dirty filters. When your boiler’s filters are clogged, it has to work harder to heat your home, which can lead to increased energy bills and a shorter lifespan of your boiler. If you don't have your boiler repaired regularly, or if you haven't had it serviced at all in recent months or years, then it's important to do so before winter sets in. If not, then it might end up in a new boiler installation.

How We Can Help to Prepare Your Boiler for the Winter

Based in Glasgow and working within a 20-mile radius, the team at Chalmers Plumbing & Heating is ideally placed to help maintain your boiler and make sure that it’s ready for the rigours of winter!

After all, our Gas Safe registered engineers and have more than 15 years’ experience in the industry, whilst we’re also proud to be an ATAG Select Partner.

If you want to have your boiler repaired or are in need of a new boiler installation, our gas-safe registered heating engineer is just one call away. Contact us now at 0141 374 0274 to have our services in Glasgow, Cumbernauld, Paisley, and Clydebank.