Boiler installation - Plumbers 911 Boston
19 Aug

Broken boiler checklist; from simple to complex

You think a boiler’s called a boiler because it heats up water that in turn heats up your building, your home, your numb cold toes.

Until it breaks. Then you find out it’s truly named for the rage inside you.

Sometimes a problem with a boiler’s simple — so simple, you’re embarrassed it was even an issue in the first place. Other times, it’s a highly complex headache to a sophisticated piece of equipment only a professional plumber or engineer can diagnose and repair.

Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know about boiler repair — including when it’s time to call a Gas Safe registered boiler engineer or plumber to repair it.

Check out the basics

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way — and no need to be embarrassed.

First, check to see if the boiler is switched on. You’d be surprised how many emergency calls are made over a boiler that was simply switched off. Sometimes a power outage switches off a boiler, or maybe someone bumped the switch. If this is the problem, it’s great news. There is nothing wrong with your boiler.

Next, check the fuel source. Many boilers use natural gas, but some run on electricity. No power or gas shut off is a rather obvious problem.

How’s your boiler pressure?

Boilers sometimes lose pressure overtime for any number of reasons you don’t really need to worry about. The good news is this is a fairly easy fix. To check your boiler’s pressure gauge, find the clock-like fixture. When the boiler is switched off, it should be in the green zone with around one bar.

You can adjust the boiler’s pressure. Locate your filling loop directly underneath your gas boiler. It’s a hose with a valve on top. To increase the pressure, turn it like you’re opening a soda bottle, one or two taps. Check the pressure gauge again. If you are in the one-bar green zone, you are all set. Close the taps again.

If this happens occasionally, no big deal. If it becomes a recurring problem, you may need a new boiler.

Check your pilot light

The pilot light ignites the gas to deliver heat and hot water. Sometimes it’s not a light at all — it may be an electrical ignition that heats the water when necessary. If it is a flame, it can go out. You can try restarting or resetting your boiler. If this doesn’t work, you may need to call a professional technician to repair it.

If your boiler leaks, seek assistance

If you have a leak in your boiler, you’ll need to call a plumber or boiler engineer. Leaks are obviously bad for floor boards and carpeting, but they can also cause high pressure that can badly damage your boiler.

A sure sign of a leak is any sign of puddles or water dripping under your boiler. You may have a faulty boiler pump that will need to be replaced. Perhaps you have a leaking circulator — you’ll need to replace the pump seal. Your pressure relief valve may also have leaks. It may have built up sediment preventing it from closing.

Your boiler doesn’t turn on

We mentioned checking your boiler switch early on, but if it won’t turn on, you may have a busted circuit board. You’ll need a plumber or boiler engineer to replace it. This can cost several hundred dollars. Or it could be a blown fuse or a less expensive boiler repair. The important step is seeking professional help.

Who to call for a broken boiler

Keep in mind you need more than just a run of the mill plumber to fix a boiler. Boiler repair often involves working with gas, and this requires a plumber or heating engineer who is Gas Safe registered.

Want someone who will do more than just swap out a radiator or repair a leak? You need someone who can do complete boiler repair from the top down. They need to be a Gas Safe registered and certified expert plumber to be able to legally repair your boiler.

At Plumbers 911, we can connect you with a trusted contractor who can dispatch a Gas Safe registered plumber fast! All our affiliates undergo rigorous training and certification, so you have peace of mind that they will repair your boiler and get those pipes producing heat again fast.

Call us!

To all our friends and customers regarding COVID-19

We will get through this together To say we are living in “unprecedented” challenging times would be an understatement. We hope this finds you and your family safe and healthy. We would like to list a few pieces of information and websites that we think will be helpful for you during this time.

  • To get the most current information on the COVID-19 virus, please check the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) website at:
  • icon showing hand under faucet with large water droplets falling on hand Please wash your hands frequently. Washing with soap and water for twenty seconds is the preferred method, however when water is not available, please use an alcohol based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • icon of person covering mouth while coughing and a border separating from displeased person close by Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from another person.
  • For those of you with children that are looking for something fun to do, there are virtual field trips you can take with your kids that are fun and educational. Here is a link:

Plumbers are considered essential workers during this time and we will continue to work as our number one priority is to “protect the health of the nation.” Stay well, stay safe and we will get through this together.

Your Friends at Plumbers 911

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