Everything you need to know about leaking boilers
Finding a leaking boiler or blocked drain can really ruin your day, and somehow it always happens at the least convenient time. Although, let’s admit it, who is ever ready to face a leaking boiler without worrying about their budget and safety?
The good news is a leaking boiler will rarely pose a danger to your household, but you still need to address the problem as soon as possible. In most cases, a Gas Safe-registered engineer will have to take a look if a fault is suspected.
The first thing you can do to minimise damage is turn off the hot and cold water supply to the house. Do this the moment you notice the leak and swiftly call to arrange an emergency boiler repair.
What could have caused your leaking boiler?
Problems with pressure
In this aspect, boilers are very much like humans – they will cry (leak) and break down if the pressure is too much. If you notice a puddle forming under your boiler daily, it could be a sign the outlet pipe is working too hard, so water is dripping out. As tempting as it can be, don’t just patch the dripping pipe, as this can cause pressure to build up and lead to an explosion.
What you can do in this case is check if the filling loop tap under your boiler is firmly closed. This will be a silver flexi pipe with one or two black taps – check that they’re firmly closed and tighten them up if not. Next, you can bleed your radiator system – trust us, it is not hard. You can find our helpful guide here.
Boiler seals damage
The boiler seals are essentially the parts that keep your boiler together. They expand as the heat rises to withstand pressure. If a seal is damaged, it is not an expensive part to replace, but it is also possible that the problem includes the boiler pump, which could add up a more significant charge.
Ultimately, if your boiler is not nearing the end of its life, a replacement will be beneficial. It’s always best to speak to a qualified engineer.
Corrosion could be the culprit
If you notice the boiler leak is coming from the pipes underneath, corrosion is the likely culprit. When water is combined with metallic parts from the system, it will naturally corrode copper piping and cause water to escape. If the corrosion is extensive and occurred over a number of years, this is a big sign it might be time to say goodbye to your boiler and start thinking of a new one.
If the boiler is less than seven years old, it is worth discussing with an engineer whether it can be saved or not – you’ll need to think of the cost of the current repair, plus any future repairs, and compare it to the price of a new boiler. Our expert engineers can help. This can also affect your plumbing, so speak to our plumbing repair experts if you have corroded pipes too.
Your boiler expands with the hot water and occasionally it’s possible for the joints to become loose. This problem can be solved with a simple tightening of the joints. However, if the issue persists the next day, there might be a more serious underlying issue causing your leaking boiler.
Wear and tear
Sometimes, we just have to admit a boiler is prone to wear and tear like any other appliance, and its life will eventually come to an end. As time passes, the metal shell will become damaged from the daily usage and start cracking and leaking water. This is a sign a new boiler should be on the way. If you know your boiler is ageing, why not check our free boiler quote tool?
How you can keep your boiler safe and working for longer
• Get a gas safe boiler service annually, as this keeps your warranty valid and issues can be detected at early stages.
• Bleed your heating system annually and book a power flush if you notice any sludge coming out.
• If your boiler is over-pressurised or under-pressurised, correct pressure if possible.
• Never attempt to do gas boiler repairs on your own – you need a Gas Safe-registered engineer.
• Invest in a Boiler Cover policy – this way breakdowns won’t hurt your pocket. If you choose one of our Care Club boiler covers, you even get your boiler service for free along with a boiler service certificate.
Finally, as hard as it can be, there comes a time when you have to accept that your boiler has an expiry date and start preparing for a replacement as soon as you notice the first signs of ageing. This will give you time to research the market, save up money, and make the right choice for your household.