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Landlords given five top tips to reduce winter boiler problems

Landlords have been issued with five top tips on how to use heating systems more efficiently and safely in a bid to avoid boiler breakdown.

The most common problems to look out for are low boiler pressure (anyone below 1 on the pressure gauge suggests the boiler won’t fire up); kettling, when the boiler sounds like a boiling kettle, suggesting a build up of grime; a gas leak caused by wear and tear; worse still, a carbon monoxide leak; a water leak, which if it occurs is probably highly visible; and finally any electrical problem.

Chris Jessop, the customer service director at Ideal Heating, says:  “With many missing out on boiler services last year due to national restrictions, there is no doubt we are going to see an increase in boiler faults. 


“Missing out on an annual boiler service can mean issues go undetected and your boiler may not run to its full potential. It is more important than ever to be looking out for common warning signs to avoid boiler breakdown this winter.”

Jessop’s five tips are: 

1. Service the boiler: Having a regular boiler service will make sure your boiler is running efficiently and safely, which should take a heating professional no more than an hour and helps to validate boiler warranties;

2. Gradually switch the heating on: If you haven’t already turned it on, do so gently - this gives the maximum opportunity to locate problems.

3. Don’t turn up the heat too rapidly: Javing a boiler on too high will only waste money and energy - most households should be between 18 and 21 degrees, and slightly higher for elderly tenants.

4. Get a smart thermostat: This allows you to control a thermostat and may take unnecessary strain off boilers whilst saving money and energy.

5. Bleed radiators: If you notice heat isn't circulating the whole radiator evenly, it probably means it needs bleeding. This gets rid of trapped air that could have built up over the period it has been off for - most well-maintained heating systems bleed radiators annually.

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  • George Dawes

    1 to 5 go electric

    The whole gas is cheaper is a fallacy , maintenance, carbon monoxide alarms , moving parts , broken pipes

    My boiler packed up a few weeks ago , I bought a couple of portable electric radiators from Amazon, sorted plus so much more flexibile than gas . Hot water ? Use the immersion.

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    Modern gas Boilers are good when they work properly but give a lot more trouble, in years gone by used to be far more reliable before adding all the electronics and condensing
    type boilers. The condensing flue condensation is very acidic sometimes eats through flue lining to intake can be very dangerous also condensing trap gums up sometimes causing breakdown can be in a inaccessible position, printed circuit boards can develop faults, see the queue’s outside boiler spares shops in winter, didn’t used to have those problems, not a gas engineer just a LL’s observation.


    I have just had to replace 2 boilers that were fitted when I renovated the properties in the mid 90s, more recent renovations with condensing boilers I am having to replace every 7 - 10 yrs, little point in trying to repair them just throw away and fit a new one, not very ''green'' is it


    Nothing is made to last these days - even houses.

    Many Council multi storey blocks built in the 50's onwards have since been demolished yet Victorian properties are still standing - but vilified because their spacious airy rooms are regarded as "inefficient" - just like diesel cars getting 50+ mpg and still going after 100,000 pus miles.

  • George Dawes

    Yes Michael , they certainly seem to have gone downhill in quality in the last few years that’s for sure

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    As has been stated, gas boilers are fine when they are working but can prove to be an absolute nightmare when they go wrong especially at this time. I have several Biasi boilers in properties and one of them had a "flue sensor" fault reported to me - on 29th Nov, an Engineer called the same day as reported and placed one on order. After 10 days with no show I spoke with a different company that has historically had close links with Biasi and they also visited the property and again, they ordered a replacement direct with Biasi - the first company being made aware and in agreement that whoever could source the item first fits it. Fast forward to 10th Dec, still no show. The 2nd contractor spoke yet again with Biasi and they stated that the item would be re-sent on Monday via Fed Ex, the item was finally received yesterday the 15th Dec and should be fitted today. I realise that the carriers have a lot on but the delay/s associated with the original items ordered is totally unacceptable, why did Biasi continue to use the original carriers when they are totally aware that the carrier has major delays etc. A lesson to be learnt I would say. This same scenario may be applicable to other boiler producing companies. I wonder if the "Chinese effect" where components are manufactured there are being used.

  • George Dawes

    Engineer says he can come out tomorrow.. hopefully …

    Xmas with no hot water , if that happens I will quite literally rip the blooming gas boiler off the wall with my bare hands and go electric

    ..after making sure all important pipes and wires are disconnected obviously 😆

  • George Dawes

    I have always gone for vailant in my properties , they used to be super reliable and easy to maintain, unfortunately in the last few years they seem to have become more and more technical with lots of electrics that seem to be affected by extremes of temperature..

    An enclosed space + lots of heat + lots of temperamental electrics = goodnight Vienna or is that vailant ?


    I had 2 Vailant boilers, one is still going at 10 yrs, the other one gave up after 7 yrs, Worcesters used to be good I had one last 25 yrs.

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    I have 11 Vaillants older one far more realiable before Condenser, water sensor problematic, they changed diverter to a worse type, changed expansion vessel from round flat type at back to oblong shape at side better position but troublesome now that we are not allowed to do simple basic things because suddenly we are all morons. Ideal Standard and Potterton used to be my favourites, Didn’t like Ariston or Volkera and a couple of less popular makes, the vain of my life.


    I've recently had 2 Volkeras fitted, 5 yr guarantee, if they go wrong after that it'll be throw away and fit a new one, I've got one Ideal, 7 yr guarantee now 2 yrs old , a Baxi , 5 yr guarantee, now 6 yrs old, and a Worcester which is around 12 yrs old, but I did have to spend £350 on that one this yr, I don't think there is any such thing as a ''good'' boiler these days. The rest of my properties are electrically heated, less hassle but more expensive for the tenants

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    Many of the Manufacturers are now joined like Potterton / Baxi same really, Vaillant German, Worcester Bosch (English) 2 of the better ones but costs hundreds more than some others even double. I don’t mind paying the extra if it means less break downs, with the old systems we had gravity hot water and hot water storage tank incorporating immersions, seldom broke down if ever & only then even a few pounds for a
    thermocouple something small. Like said before if you got break down turn on immersion and give them a few electric heaters to tie them over no panic. Different with Combination Boilers usually no separate hot water cylinder so when it goes down no hot water, for this reason I usually have one electric shower in place, we can only try.


    Bit like cars really Mercs with Reno engines, Nissan double cab pick ups with a Merc badge on the bonnet, think you are buying quality when really you are buying cr@p

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    The 5 top tips is amusing.
    No.2 turn on the heating gently how on earth do you do that.
    No.4 smart thermostats I have cursed on those, lead Tenant decides to install Hive thermostat and blows PC board and denied he done it even though the wires mixed were up, cost me £180, Tenant didn’t ask for permission. So annoying for other members of the household he was controlling heating from 100 miles away.


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