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Useful Resources: Boilers & Heating FAQs

I can’t get my boiler to ignite

There are many reasons your gas boiler might not be igniting. Try the following steps to see if you can ignite it yourself:

  • Check whether your gas supply is working. Test whether your other gas appliances, like your cooker hob, are working correctly, or whether the switches in your fuse box have tripped.
  • Check your boilers pressure gauge, if it’s showing a reading of one bar or less, this could be the reason why your boiler’s not working. Topping up the pressure yourself is usually straightforward.
  • Turn your thermostat up to 21 degrees or higher. This can often kick-start the boiler is it’s failing to turn on.
  • Reset your boiler according to instructions. If your boiler was built pre-2004 it is likely to have a pilot light so check that the pilot light is on. If it’s not, you may be able to relight it yourself according to its manual.

If your boiler still isn’t igniting, contact a boiler engineer to diagnose the issue and fix your boiler. [Back to top]

Can I use artificially softened water in the heating circuit with my boiler?

Although you can use a water softener in combination with a boiler to prevent the hot water from scaling up and losing efficiency, the heating circuit should be filled with hard water and a chemical inhibitor. This can be done by using the water softener bypass when filling or topping up. Alternatively, the filling loop feed can be connected upstream of the water softener. [Back to top]

Should I turn my oil boiler off when my oil tank is being filled?

Yes, it is recommended that you turn your boiler off whilst filling the tank. It is also recommended that you leave it off for a short period afterwards (usually up to 30 minutes) to ensure that any sediment that may have settled on the bottom of the tank is not stirred up and drawn into your fuel line. [Back to top]

What can cause an oil boiler burner to lockout?

There are various reasons a burner could lockout, the most common of which are from no oil or a leak in the pipeline. Another cause of a burner lockout is from contaminated oil.

Contamination could be caused by:

  • Water ingress into the tank from a missing cover
  • Damaged tank from condensation
  • Sludge, which can occur due to growth of micro-organisms at the water fuel interface inside the tank or rust from a metal oil tank corroding

Your OFTEC registered installer or oil supplier will be able to assist you with cleaning your tank and flushing through the oil lines. [Back to top]

Should I have my heating system treated or cleansed?

We recommend, as do Worcester, that the good practice of cleansing a heating system as an important part of the boiler installation process… see more [via Worcester Bosch Boilers] [Back to top]

How often should I need to top up the pressure in the heating system?

When the heating system is cool, the pressure should be between 1 and 1.5 on the pressure gauge (the indicator needle would usually be in the green section). If the pressure is below 0.5 (down in the red section), water has been lost from the system and must be replaced.

The pressure in the system will usually require topping up once or twice a year. If you are having to repressurise your heating system much more frequently, it is best to contact an engineer to look at your heating system. [Back to top]

The heating system is constantly losing pressure what should I do?

If you are constantly losing pressure in your heating system, to establish the cause you could try checking all visible joints and valves for obvious signs of leakage.

You could also check that no water is being discharged from the pressure relief valve (often referred to as an overflow). This pipe usually goes from the boiler to an outside wall where it terminates. Check this for signs of dripping. If it is wet, this may mean that the pressure relief valve is faulty.

There also needs to be the consideration that there could be a leak in any underfloor pipework. In any case, if your heating system keeps losing pressure, it is best to seek advice by contacting an engineer. [Back to top]

Will I receive anything in writing when I have my new boiler installed?

Your installer, whether that’s us or not, should contact your local authority when you have a new or replacement boiler fitted. You should then receive a certificate stating the following:

If your boiler is installed by a Gas Safe Register/CORGI-registered or OFTEC-registered installer, you will get a ‘building regulations compliance’ certificate from Gas Safe Register/CORGI or OFTEC after the work has been completed. Gas Safe Register/CORGI or OFTEC will also tell the local authority that you have had a new or replacement boiler fitted.

You should keep this certificate in a safe place as you may need it when/if you sell your home. [Back to top]

What boiler is best for my home?

The three main boiler types are combi, regular and system boilers, and which you have fitted depends on your home and your requirements. It is best to seek advice from your boiler installer regarding the best boiler type for your home.

Find out the differences between combi, regular and system boilers. [Back to top]

What is the best combi boiler?

There are a number of combi boilers available and several brands to choose from. Recommending the right boiler for you depends on your home and requirements. If you have a lower demand for hot water or a smaller home, then a combi boiler with a lower output might be more suitable. The greater your demand for hot water, the higher the output of boiler you will need.

The size of your home will also have a huge impact when determining the best combi boiler for your home. Combi boilers are a great choice for a wide range of homes as they are powerful enough to deliver large amounts of instant hot water. However, if you have a very large home with several bathrooms, then a combi boiler may not be a suitable option.

Find out the difference between combi, regular and system boilers. [Back to top]

Why is my hot water not working?

On a combi boiler, check the hot water temperature is turned up. Also check that the isolation valve underneath the boiler on the cold mains pipe is vertical/open. If you still can’t get hot water, there could be a problem within the appliance.

If you have a heat only boiler or a system boiler and the central heating is working but the hot water isn’t, there could be a fault with the system. Most often it is a zone valve not operating.

If you are unable to get hot water running again, contact a boiler engineer to look at your boiler and diagnose the issue. [Back to top]

What sort of shower can I run off my combi boiler?

Combi boilers produce hot water at mains pressure, meaning that they are compatible to a mains pressure balanced or thermostatically controlled shower. If you are looking to replace a regular boiler and cylinder with a combi boiler, you should have your existing shower examined for suitability.

Please seek advice from your boiler installer on the correct shower selection. [Back to top]

Why is the hot water sometimes produced by my combi boiler cloudy?

Hot water from a combi boiler is heated directly from the mains, and the only time water is released into the atmosphere is from the tap. Water contains calcium bi-carbonate and when heated calcium bi-carbonate changes into calcium carbonate, creating carbon dioxide. It is the carbon dioxide that is seen as thousands of tiny bubbles when released from the tap making it appear cloudy. It is not sediment. Try running the hot water into a glass and watch it clear as it cools. [Back to top]

What is the difference between boiler timers and programmers?

A boiler timer is a basic device that allows you to operate your heating system and set it to activate at the same times every day, whereas a boiler programmer allows you to set different times (for heating and/or hot water) for different days of the week to suit your lifestyle.

Find out more about room thermostats and programmable room thermostats [via Worcester Bosch Boilers]. [Back to top]

How efficient are air source heat pumps?

When properly installed, an air source heat pump can produce up to 5 times more heat energy to a home than the electrical energy it uses. The basis of heat pump efficiency is known as ‘Coefficient of Performance’ (COP). A COP value of 4 means that the addition of 1kW of electric energy is needed to release of 4kW of heat, the higher the COP the more efficient the heating. [Back to top]

Why does my boiler lose pressure?

There are many reasons why your boiler might lose pressure. With newly filled systems there is often air in the water used and over time this air is released into the system causing a pressure drop. Other causes could be due to not having enough expansion in the system, a leak within the system or component failure.

If your boiler pressure requires topping up frequently, it is best to seek help from a professional so that they can determine the cause. [Back to top]

How could mains water pressure affect my combi boiler?

It is important to check that the water main is large enough to deliver adequate water to the boiler whilst other cold outlets are in use. The performance of any mains fed hot water system depends on the mains water supply having adequate dynamic pressure and flow rate, so that hot and cold water can be supplied simultaneously.

See more about water pressure and it’s effects on Worcester boilers [via Worcester Bosch Boilers]. [Back to top]

Do you recommend treatment of the central heating water?

For Worcester boilers, and also more generally, we recommend using a suitable water treatment in the form of an inhibitor to treat your heating water system, in accordance with the water treatment manufacturer’s instructions. The concentration level of the water inhibitor should be checked every 12 months or sooner if system content is lost. [Back to top]

My boiler is making a gurgling sound, what could be the cause?

This gurgling sound could be caused by a blocked condensate pipe, please contact a boiler engineer to resolve the issue. [Back to top]

How do I know if my condensate pipe is blocked?

There are two main indicators that your condensate might be blocked, these are:

  • Your boiler could be making a gurgling noise when attempting to start
  • Your boiler could keep locking out or stop working and the display may show an EA code

In either case, it is best to contact an engineer to look at your boiler. [Back to top]

If I think my condensate pipe is blocked, how do I check?

In Winter, your condensate pipe may freeze and become blocked. This can easily be fixed by using a hot water bottle or pouring warm water over the pipe itself.

If the weather is milder it may be worth checking where the condense pipe terminates for blockages such as leaves. Usually, a gurgling noise can be heard from the boiler during attempted ignition when the condensate is blocked. [Back to top]

How does part L of the Building Regulation affect my boiler installation?

Part L of the building regulations is designed to help the conservation of fuel and power. It directs the type of appliance installed, heating system controls, zone controls and boiler as well as the construction of properties. [Back to top]

What is ErP?

ErP stands for ‘Energy-related Products’. The ErP Directive is a regulation set by the European Union and is designed to drive improvements in the efficiency and performance of heating and hot water products. Its purpose is to ensure that end users are aware of the level of energy efficiency present within their appliances. As such, ErP will help European governments reduce carbon emissions and improve the overall efficiency of housing, while helping homeowners to reduce their energy bills. The ErP regulations cover boilers, combination boilers, water heaters and other heating appliances up to 400kW. [Back to top]

What is Energy Labelling?

Energy Labelling involves labelling electrical devices, such as washing machines and televisions, at the point of sale. The Energy Labelling regulations introduce Europe-wide energy labelling requirements for boilers, combination boilers, water heaters and other heating products up to 70kW and hot water cylinders under 500 litres. [Back to top]

How efficient is my boiler?

The efficiency of your boiler can be determined by its age. The newer the system, the more efficient it is likely to be. If your boiler was installed in 2010 or later and has received annual services during this time, then you can be fairly sure that it is. By law, all new boilers installed in or after October 2010 must achieve an A-grade for energy efficiency or be rated as at least 88% efficient. [Back to top]

What is a thermostatic radiator valve?

A thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) allows you to control the temperature of each room individually, helping to improve the comfort in your home as well as saving money and energy. Most radiators will be fitted with these. Ideally, TRVs should be well exposed and not obstructed by curtains or blocked by furniture. [Back to top]

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SGS Boiler Installations, Heating and Electrical Services Salisbury
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