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Common boiler problems during the winter

You'll notice a significant dip in temperature as autumn draws to a close and the winter month begins in November and December, where we frequently see temperatures drop below zero! Make no mistake: there are several frequent boiler issues that arise over the winter, and it's critical that you recognise and address them immediately before it's too late! The team at Vital Plumbers have listed some of the most frequent winter boiler problems below, along with suggestions for how to fix them!

Your boiler is making kettling sounds

You might not know what kettling is if your boiler is fairly new, but this is a low, rumbling noise that boilers might make from time to time, especially after a period of inactivity in the winter. This sound is most common when you fire up your boiler after the summer months when you have not been using it as much, or if your boiler's being used a lot more than usual.

The sound is similar to that of a boiling kettle, and it happens when limescale and sludge build-up on your boiler's heat exchanger over time. The water flow in the heat exchange is restricted, causing it to overheat, steam, and finally boil. As a result, you should get the situation assessed by a Gas Safe-registered expert like one of ours here at Vital Plumbers Ltd as soon as possible, as a power flush may be necessary to properly cure the problem.

Do you think your boiler has low pressure?

This is a simpler problem to detect when you turn on your boiler for the first time after the warmer months. All you have to do is look at the pressure gauge on the front of the unit. The pressure gauge should read 1.5 bar ideally, but if it's less than that, there's a problem with low boiler pressure, which might affect the effectiveness of your heating system. The first thing you should do is bleed the radiators to get rid of any trapped air in the system. If this doesn't work to repressurize the system, you should hire a professional heating expert to do a thorough check.

The cold brings ice, and ice brings frozen pipes!

There's a chance that your condensate pipe, which transfers waste and normally flows outdoors and into the nearest drain, can potentially freeze if the temperatures outside drop below zero. If the problem isn't addressed quickly enough and the pipe's standing water freezes, the piping may break, resulting in an unexpectedly expensive repair that you won't want to have to accommodate for! 

While a hot water bottle, hot towel, or calling us, your local expert heating engineer can defrost a frozen condensate pipe, we suggest that you take a more preemptive route by insulating all of your outdoor piping with professional lagging. Pipe lagging is cheaply available at your local DIY shops and can mean that you are not forking out thousands on expensive repair costs!

Contact us for emergency boiler repairs!

If you live in Welwyn Garden City or the nearby areas, such as St. Albans, Hertfordshire, or Harpenden, and you have a boiler emergency, we strongly advise you to contact us by phone so that we can react as quickly as possible. Please contact us at 01707 551 668, and for any out-of-hours inquiries, dial 07968 941 307, which is available 24 hours a day. If you are unable to phone us or would like to communicate with our team through email, please email us at info@vitalplumbers.com and we will do our best to respond to any queries you may have. If you prefer, you may send us a note using our contact form, and we will do our best to answer as soon as possible.