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9 most common boiler faults - tips to check & fix

As a landlord, there may be times when you face boiler issues and tenants asking you to resolve problems. It is your responsibility as a landlord - or the letting agent handling the tenancy on your behalf - to resolve or fix any issues.

With this in mind, Boiler Plan has provided some top tips on how to check and fix the most common boiler faults.

1. Kettling 

  • If your boiler is making a strange bubbling noise (like a boiling kettle) you could have a build-up of sludge. Common in areas with hard water, causing your boiler to work harder, it can cost £300+ to fix from an engineer.


2. Leaking and dripping

  • The most common cause of a leaky boiler is a broken internal component, which may be due to the pressure being too high. This can cost around £250-plus to fix.

3. No heat or hot water

  • First thing to check is the thermostat. If your boiler pressure is normal and your thermostat is set correctly, there could be an internal component not working and you may need an engineer to check this.  

4. Low boiler pressure

  • To do a quick pressure check, check the gauge meter. If the needle is below 1, it’s likely you have low boiler pressure, which could be caused by a water leak.

  • If you can’t find any leaks, then your boiler may just need to be repressurised. Check your boiler manufacturers website on how to repressure your model.

5. Pilot light has gone out

  • If the small flame is out, it’s likely to be shutting down the gas supply. 

  • If your gas stopcock is turned on but your boiler and gas appliances aren’t, then you need to immediately contact your gas supplier. If not your pilot lighter maybe be broken, a new thermocouple can cost around £100-plus. 

6. Thermostat issues

  • If it’s set up correctly and you’ve not recently changed any settings, your thermostat could think your home is warmer than it is. To rule out this possibility, try increasing the temperature slightly, if the heating comes on but says it’s a lot hotter than it actually is, you’ll know the thermostat is experiencing a heating error. An electrician can fix this. If that didn’t work, your thermostat has likely malfunctioned and you'll have to consider a replacement. 

7. Radiators not heating

  • If only the bottom of the radiator is getting hot, you may need to bleed it.

  • If certain radiators aren’t getting hot, then your radiators may need a re-balance. You can do this by simply adjusting the valves.

  • If your radiators aren’t heating up at all they may need a chemical flush, due to a build-up of sludge, this can cost £300-plus for an engineer to fix. 

8. Boiler keeps turning itself off

  • It could have low water pressure, an issue with the thermostat or a frozen pipe problem. Check all of these before calling an engineer. 

9. Frozen condensate pipe

  • The pipe, due to being external, is prone to freezing in colder weather. The simplest way to fix this is to pour warm water on the pipe, make sure it’s not boiling as this can crack the pipe.  

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