Your boiler is a durable piece of equipment that you shouldn’t have to think about if it’s working well. However, you’ll quickly notice if something isn’t right with your boiler as it can cause a lot of problems. Your boiler provides hot water and heating throughout your property, so if something is wrong with it then you might be without either of these things. There are a few signs that your boiler isn’t working correctly, with leaking water being one of the most common. So, in this article, we aim to help you understand why your boiler might be leaking and what you can do to fix this problem.
Understanding the Causes of Boiler Leaks
A leaking boiler can be the result of a few different things, so identifying why your boiler is leaking is usually the first place to start when it comes to fault finding. Some of the most common causes of boiler leaks include:
Corrosion is a frequent culprit behind boiler leaks. Over time, water interacts with the metal components of the boiler, leading to rust and deterioration. This process can weaken the boiler’s structure, causing leaks. Regular maintenance is key to preventing corrosion-related issues.
Boilers are designed to operate within a specific pressure range. When the pressure is too high, it can lead to leaks. This might be due to a faulty pressure relief valve or an overfilled system. Keeping an eye on the pressure gauge and ensuring it stays within recommended limits is crucial.
Faulty Seals and Joints
Over time, the seals and joints in your boiler can wear out, leading to leaks. This is especially true for boilers that are older or have not been regularly maintained. Replacing these components can often solve the issue.
Damaged Heat Exchangers
The heat exchanger is a core component of your boiler. If it gets damaged, it can lead to water leaks. Heat exchanger damage is often due to general wear or limescale build up. Replacing a damaged heat exchanger is a job for a professional.
Recognising the Signs of a Boiler Leak
There are a few tell tale signs that your boiler is in need of repair. Identifying these signs quickly could ensure that your boiler doesn’t cause any water damage to the property and potentially lessen the cost of repairs, too. So keep an eye out for any of the following signs:
Visible Water Pooling
The most obvious sign of a boiler leak is visible water pooling around the unit. If you notice water on the floor near your boiler, it’s a clear indication that there’s a problem.
Damp or Mould Around the Boiler
Damp patches or mould growth around the boiler can also be a sign of a leak. This moisture can lead to structural damage and health problems if not addressed promptly.
Dropping Pressure Gauge Readings
If the pressure gauge on your boiler is consistently dropping, it could indicate a water leak. A boiler that’s losing pressure will struggle to heat your home efficiently.
Unusual noises such as gurgling or whistling coming from the boiler can be a sign of a leak or an issue with the pressure inside the boiler.
Steps to Fix a Leaking Boiler
If you’ve assessed your boiler and found a leak, it’s important that you address the issue quickly and carefully. So, take a look at the steps below to learn what you should do to repair your leaking boiler:
1. Turn Off the Water Supply and Boiler
The first step in addressing a boiler leak is to turn off the water supply and the boiler. This prevents further water damage and makes it safer to inspect the boiler.
2. Inspect for Visible Damage
Once the boiler is off, inspect it for any visible signs of damage. Look for corrosion, damaged seals, or any other obvious issues.
3. Check the Pressure Gauge
Check the pressure gauge to ensure it’s within the recommended range. If it’s too high, you may need to release some water from the system.
4. Call a Professional
If you’re unable to identify the source of the leak, or if the leak is due to a complex issue like a damaged heat exchanger, it’s best to call a professional. Boiler repairs can be intricate and often require specialised knowledge.
Prevention is always better than cure, so make sure that your taking proper care of your boiler to help avoid leaks. Some of the preventative measures you should be taking for your boiler includes:
Regular maintenance is key to preventing boiler leaks. Have a professional inspect and service your boiler annually.
Monitor Boiler Pressure
Keep an eye on the boiler pressure gauge and ensure it stays within recommended limits. Adjust as necessary to prevent pressure-related leaks.
Address Hard Water
If you live in an area with hard water, consider installing a water softener. Limescale build-up from hard water can damage your boiler and lead to leaks.
Upgrade Aging Systems
If your boiler is old and frequently needs repairs, it might be more cost-effective to replace it. Newer models are more efficient and less prone to leaks.
When to Call a Professional
Certain situations will require the help of a professionally trained boiler engineer. So if you’re dealing with any of the following issues, we strongly advise calling a professional out to take a look:
- Persistent or Severe Leaks: A continuous or severe leak indicates a deeper issue that requires expert attention.
- Safety Concerns: If dealing with gas or electrical components, professional expertise is really important for safety.
- Benefits of Professional Servicing: Regular servicing by a qualified technician not only fixes current issues but also helps prevent future problems.
Don’t Let a Leaking Boiler Ruin Your Day
A leaking boiler is a common issue that homeowners face, but understanding the causes, recognising the signs, and knowing how to address it can make this problem much easier to handle. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any signs of trouble can prevent more serious problems and extend the life of your boiler. When in doubt, consulting a professional is always the best course of action to ensure the safety and efficiency of your home heating system.
If you’re having issues with your boiler such as a leak or boiler breakdown, our team at West London Gas is here to help. Please get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment.