Common heating problems

Published , updated

How to solve common issues affecting boilers and central heating.  

Not all boiler faults that occur around the home require an engineer visit. You may be able to resolve minor problems yourself with a little know-how, especially if you have a reasonably modern combination boiler.

Here are a few common issues easily resolved with a few basic checks:

Low pressure in the central heating system (combination boilers only)

Losing water pressure is a common occurrence with boilers; and will affect your central heating and hot water. It often occurs when you have recently bled your radiators, or after the summer when the heating hasn’t been used for a long period. This is something you can rectify yourself using a device called a filling loop. This is commonly beneath your boiler (perhaps behind un-fixed boxing) or sometimes it can be found left loose on top of the boiler.

Typically, you would connect the filling loop to the pipes underneath the boiler and then open one of the pressure taps fully. You then open the second tap slowly and you will hear water going into the boiler. As soon as the pressure reaches the desired level close both of the taps. Your boiler should then work, although you may have to reset it first.

The ideal pressure for a boiler is usually between 1 and 1.5 'bar', so if your boiler's pressure is below this level this could be causing the fault. Your boiler user manual will advise you exactly how to top up the pressure.

Please only attempt to undertake this yourself if you feel competent to do so. This process, if done incorrectly may result in a leak. If you require any support, please contact Derwent Living, or report your repair via the report a repair page.

You can download manuals for our most common boilers below, or watch the video:

Check your gas supply

A significant number of attendances to gas heating issues turn out to be issues with the gas supply. Before reporting any problem please ensure your gas meter isn’t showing any errors, and that if you have a pre-pay meter, your account is in credit. Our contractors will not be able to get your boiler functioning if you do not have an active gas supply. Please contact your utilities company should you find an issue with your meter or gas/electric account.

As an example, Vaillant boilers often display the code *F28 – this means there is either no, or there is insufficient gas being supplied to the boiler.

*Always refer to the user manual for your boiler in the first instance, as the error codes may differ.