The boiler that goes into shutdown is a common setback. Especially if you do not regularly carry out annual routine maintenance. The malfunctions that may be the causes of any anomalies in the operation of the boiler and how to solve them are listed below.
Boiler blocked due to limescale
Calcium can block the boiler. How? If the water is very hard like in Bolton and contains high percentages of limestone, it can cause problems with the boiler and, in general, with the pipes. One way to control the amount of limescale present in the water is to check the deposits present on filters and shower heads. The micro-debris hinder the passage of hot water, reducing its flow. Consequently, when this is scarce, they block the boiler for safety reasons. If you notice that the jet of hot water is weaker than that of cold water, or even the water does not heat up, it is best to avoid DIY. And contact a qualified technician to clean the system with appropriate products.
Boiler blocked due to the electrical system
Fossil fuel powers the boiler, but it also needs electricity to work. The blocked boiler can also go there due to a fault in the electrical system, for this reason it is good to check it. In fact, without electricity it is not possible to ignite the spark that starts the boiler pilot flame.
Boiler shutdown: pressure anomaly
Each boiler is equipped with a pressure gauge which indicates the pressure level. Expressed in bar, which must be between 1 and 1.5 bar. If the boiler pressure is too low (i.e., below 1 bar) the boiler locks out. In this case, the filling valve must be manually operated to raise the level, without ever exceeding 1.5 bar. If, on the other hand, the boiler pressure is too high (over 2 bar) it is necessary to bleed the radiators to bring the value down. Thus avoiding system failures.
Boiler blocked due to flue gas discharge problems
From 31 August 2013, all heating systems have the obligation to unload at the roof. It is important to ensure that the flue gas draft occurs without obstructions. In fact, when these are not expelled correctly, the boiler consequently goes into block. Also in this case, inspection and maintenance are essential for the correct operation of the system and, in the event of malfunctions, it is advisable to contact a technician to clean the chimney.
Boiler blocked: problems with the exchanger
What is the exchanger used for?
The exchanger is the element of the boiler that has the function of exchanging thermal energy with the water that passes through it, heating it by transferring the heat. Produced by the boiler onto the heating water from the latter to the sanitary water. And basically consists of corrugated metal plates equipped with holes through which the water passes. Once it has passed through the exchanger, the water is then distributed to the heating systems or to the sanitary ware.
The exchanger and limestone: why be careful
Given the frequency of contact with water, and since they make it of metallic material, the exchanger can often subject to further perforations or limestone. Thus affecting the flow of water: this can produce blocks or drops in pressure.
For these reasons, the exchanger requires constant maintenance and thorough cleaning at least once a year. To avoid incurring inconvenient problems and having to replace it. It is one of the most expensive parts of the boiler system.
How to clean the exchanger?
The method for cleaning the exchanger differs between the primary one and the plate or secondary one.
The main tool for cleaning a primary exchanger is a wire brush. But you have to be careful not to breathe in the residual dust. It is also necessary to be careful not to damage the component. Even if it seems solid, its resistance depends on the quality of the material. And not all exchangers on the market are the same. They typically make of stainless steel, the newer and stronger ones.
The plate heat exchanger, on the other hand, is cleaned using chemical substances with the aim of descaling, put into circulation by a pump. In the most serious cases, however, replacement by a technician remains the only solution.
Boiler block: why it happens and what to do
Occasionally it may happen that you find yourself without hot water or with the heating off. The boiler block is an event that can be very unpleasant, especially in winter. So it is good to know why it happens and what we can do to restore the correct functioning of our appliance. This is a very common problem that sooner or later affects almost all domestic boilers. And in a few minutes, they can often solve it. Foremost, it is important to carry out proper maintenance of the boiler (link). In order to avoid any type of problem. If you carry out all the periodic checks, and you face with a boiler block, there are a series of interventions. That you can put into practice to solve the problem quickly.
Boiler block: most common causes
As we have said, the boiler block is a relatively common event and which can also happen to a recently installed appliance. Let’s see, in the event of a boiler block, the most common causes:
Damaged or defective gas valve: in this case, it is essential to call a plumber to replace the part.
Accumulation of limescale: this eventuality concerns older appliances. In which an accumulation of limescale behind the boiler filters causes a reduction in the flow of water such as not to allow the appliance to activate properly. Also, in this case you will have to contact your trusted plumber.
Water pressure too low: if the pressure drops below 1.5 Bar, it is likely that you will be faced with a boiler block.
Closed radiators: if you have one or more closed radiators in the house, the boiler could detect a lack of balance in the general pressure of the system and go into lockout.
Problems with the detection electrode: if it malfunctions, it could block the pump and water circulation, generating an unpleasant boiler block.
Boiler block: what to do?
The latest generation appliances usually have a display on which, in the event of a boiler block, a code appears that corresponds to a problem. If this is your case, just check the instruction booklet. To understand what the problem is and follow the instructions to solve it.
If, on the other hand, you have a slightly older boiler in your home, here are some tips to try to solve the situation in the most common cases of boiler blocking:
Pressure control: the boiler in lockout due to low pressure is a common occurrence, especially in winter; first, take a look at the water level. If it is too low, follow the instructions of your appliance to bring it back to the correct parameters.
Gas and electricity control: if you have the boiler blocked, try to turn on the stove; if these do not work, there may be some problem with the fuel supply. If the stoves are working properly, check the power supply.
Vent the radiators: another thing you can do is open the vent of each radiator and leave it open until the air has escaped; be careful because water will also come out, so place a container under the breather.
Reset the boiler: if your appliance allows it, you can, as a last attempt, use the reset option. And wait for the boiler to start working again to check if it has unlocked.
These are just a few tips. And if all of them prove useless, all that remains is to call a specialized technician. Even if the boiler lockout situation occurs again, it is advisable to contact an experienced plumber. Because it is likely that the intervention of a professional must solve the malfunction.