There are many problems that can occur with a gas boiler during its lifetime.  Irrespective of the boiler brand – Potterton, Vokera, Ariston, Bosch, Baxi or any of the other makes on the market.  Some boiler problems are relatively minor affairs but some can be quite expensive to rectify, particularly where several components of the boiler fail simultaneously.

Expensive boiler repairs often create a dilemma for customers as to whether it’s worthwhile investing a significant amount of money into what is in effect an old boiler, or whether they should “bite the bullet” and replace the boiler entirely.   It all depends on the age of the boiler, the nature of the problem you are experiencing and whether or not your central heating engineer can successfully troubleshoot the boiler fault.  This blog post focuses on one the most common problems – noisy boilers.    Subsequent blogs will deal with other common problems so make sure to check back for further information on these faults.

Noisy Boilers

If your boiler is noisy either at intervals or all the time, this is generally a sign that the fan or heat exchanger is on its way out.  As the name suggests, the fan provides cooling for the boiler and helps to get rid of the products of combustion that are produced within the boiler.  The heat exchanger is the component responsible for actually heating the water within the boiler.

There are several reasons as to why the fan can develop a fault.  The age of the fan is the primary one.  Another aggravating factor is the fact in some boilers, the fan is located at a high point in the boiler and the heat inside the boiler dries up the bearings of the fan or even shorts out the cable connecting the fan to the PCB board of the boiler.   Usually when the fan makes noise, it also intermittently starts and stops.  Generally speaking fans must always be replaced.  They cannot be repaired.

In relation to a faulty heat exchanger, this can also create a “racket” inside the boiler.  Hard water and lack of chemicals in the central heating system are some of the factors which can damage a heat exchanger.  Heat exchanger faults often manifest themselves in that the boiler only heats the water and the noise becomes louder after about 10 – 15 minutes of continuous operation.

You can easily check if the heat exchanger is the problem by turning off all the rads and heating the water.  If this speeds up the process so the noise materialises quicker and for a longer period, chances are the heat exchanger is the problem.

The noise materialises faster as there is less water in the system.

Never attempt to troubleshoot a boiler or remove/replace any parts of your gas boiler.  Under new legislation, any person to work on a gas appliance, including a gas boiler must be registered and certified with the RGII – the Register of Gas Installers in Ireland.  Any gas appliance in your home can represent a hazard if it is not maintained in an appropriate manner.  Ensure that you choose a registered and certified gas engineer when having your boiler or any gas appliance repaired.  And please choose PC Heating & Plumbing when it comes to your gas heating requirements.