Tips to Keep Your Combi Boiler Running Smoothly and Avoid Repairs

  • Inhibitor – First of all, always make sure you have inhibitor in your system. Inhibitor is a chemical that is added to the water in your system to protect it from scale and corrosion. This will stop parts of your boiler from getting blocked and/or damaged when the water (and debris) is circulating around your central heating system. I would strongly recommend getting a decent inhibitor (Sentinel/Fernox) as opposed to a cheaper alternative. You can pick these up for around £15 – £20 at your local plumbers merchant or DIY store.
  • Frozen condensate pipe – A common problem for condensing combi boiler repair call outs in the winter is when the condensate pipe freezes it causes the boiler to shut down completely. A simple solution to this problem is to make sure the condensate pipe that is outside is at least 32mm in diameter. As standard, condensate pipe is around 22mm and it would be best to keep it indoors as much as possible but increasing the size outside will stop the pipe from freezing and your boiler from needing repairs.
  • Pressure gauge – Keep an eye on your pressure gauge. Most combi boilers need to have the pressure set between 1 and 1.5 bar of pressure. You will usually have different coloured safe zones on the pressure gauge. If the pressure drops below the safe zone then you will need to top up the pressure by adding some water to the system via the filling loop. If you keep having to fill up the system because of pressure loss, then you must have a leak somewhere in your boiler or a radiator or on some pipework.
  • Bleeding radiators – If your radiator is getting hot at the bottom but not at the top, then you will need to bleed the air out of your radiator. To do this you will need a radiator bleed key which you can buy for less than £2. Simply find the little square bolt at the top of the radiator and unscrew it anti-clockwise with the key until you hear the air coming out. Keep going until you get some water coming out but always remember to top the pressure back with water via the filling loop.

Keeping on top of these simple problems could save you a lot of unnecessary expense for boiler repairs in the future. If you do not feel confident at doing any of these, then it is best find someone that does.