We are experiencing a cold period with the promise of more winter-weather to follow, as the UK is forecast to face one of the chilliest seasons in the past 60 years. A broken down boiler is the last thing you want to worry about during a cold snap and therefore we would like to share the following advice in order to avoid this situation occurring this winter.
1. Regular checks: The average lifespan of a boiler is between ten and fifteen years. Regular maintenance and servicing will keep your boiler in good condition, minimising the inconvenience and costs incurred in dealing with faults. But according to a recent survey by Vaillant, three out of five of us have not had our boilers serviced in the past 12 months. Having your boiler serviced regularly by a professional could make all the difference, prolonging the lifespan and it will also help to maintain your warranty as most of them will only apply if you have a service carried out annually!
2. Frozen pipes: Boilers retain condensate water which discharges one litre at a time to prevent freezing, but the pipe can still freeze in particularly cold weather. There is a much higher risk of this occurring if the condensate pipe is located externally. If you find that your condensate pipe has frozen, your boiler is likely to switch itself off . If this should happen try these steps to get it going again; first use lukewarm water to unfreeze the pipe’s contents, then lag the pipe with some form of insulating material to keep it from freezing again.
3. Debris in the system: Another common cause of boiler breakdowns is the build-up of debris in the system. This can even happen to new boilers, as the system may have built up limescale and other debris over the years, before the new boiler was installed. This can be avoided by carrying out a system-flush, the benefits being well worth the cost.
4. Call for help: If you find yourself without heating due to a boiler breakdown, get in touch with your service-agreement provider as soon as possible. If you don’t have one, BSW would be happy to help, just call our service department on 01444 831138.