Common Boiler Problems: How To Know If You Need A New Boiler


    A boiler breakdown is inconvenient at the best of times, but luckily many common problems can be repaired by a professional engineer. However, if you’re finding that your boiler is in need of repair more often than it is working, it might be time for a new boiler. In our guide, we cover the common problems you may face as your boiler begins to age.

    Hot Water and No Heating

    Your boiler should provide your home with central heating and hot water whenever you need it; however, you may find your boiler is running hot water to the taps, but your central heating isn’t working.

    Most heating systems come with a thermostat that allows you to control the temperature of your home as well as set a schedule for when it should come on. If your heating should have turned on at a specific time but doesn’t seem to be working, first double-check the setting to ensure it has been set up correctly. If everything is working fine, but the boiler is still isn’t heating your home, then it’s time to call a professional as there may be a fault within your boiler. However, if this is a problem you are often facing, it may be that your boiler is too old and needs to be replaced. For expert advice on boilers, have a look at Boiler Central.

    No Heat Or Hot Water

    You need to be able to rely on your boiler to provide heat and hot water to your home. If your boiler isn’t able to do either of those, there could be a fault that is in need of repair. Your boiler should display an error code to help you locate the source of the problem, which will tell you if this is an easy fix by a professional or if your boiler has reached the end of its life and needs to be replaced.

    Leaking Boiler

    A leaking boiler is never a good sign, and the cause will depend on where the water is coming from; it’s vital that you never attempt to repair the leak yourself and that you call out a professional as soon as you discover the leak. The most common cause of a boiler leaking is usually a broken internal component such as a pressure valve or pump seal. If the leak originates from the pressure valve, this is typically due to the water pressure being too high. In contrast, if the leak is due to the pump seal, this is usually a sign that it may have worn and required a replacement part. However, if the boiler is leaking from around the pipes or tank, it is a strong indicator that there is corrosion; this can also be a sign of poor installation, but a professional is needed to determine the cause and best course of action in order to fix the issue.


    Kettling is a strange noise your boiler may make that is akin to the sound of a kettle. This noise occurs when limescale or sludge builds up on the heat exchanger in your boiler, which is a coil that transfers heat to the water for circulation around the heating system. Typically, kettling is more commonly found in areas with hard water, but it can affect boilers in areas with soft water. This problem shortens the lifespan of your boiler as it causes the boiler to work harder in order to provide heating and hot water. If your boiler is kettling, it is imperative that you call out a professional to flush the system in order to remove the build-up and get the boiler working properly. If your boiler has been kettling for some time, it’s likely that you will need to purchase a replacement.

    Noisy Boiler

    Old boilers were expected to be noisy, but in today’s modern world, a noisy boiler is a sign of problems that will require repairs. The fault you are dealing with will depend on the noise and where it is coming from; you don’t need to make the identification yourself, as a professional engineer will be able to do this for you.

    • Whistling: similar to the kettling sound you may hear, this sound is usually caused by the same issue of a build-up on the heat exchanger.
    • Banging: This is commonly caused by an internal component coming loose, but it could also be the result of debris build-up on the heat exchanger.
    • Clanking: A similar sound to the banging noise you may hear, this sound is likely caused by loose pipework or an obstructed boiler fan.
    • Buzzing: Typically, this is an indication that the electrical components inside the boiler unit are malfunctioning and need to be replaced.
    • Humming: Most boilers have a slight hum which is nothing to be concerned about, and you usually can’t hear the boiler over your day to day tasks. However, if your boiler is making loud humming noises, it could have a loose part, such as the central heating pump.