Combi boilers provide heat and hot water for your home without the necessity of a hot water tank, they are a convenient method of heating your home and are ideal for smaller properties and flats where a large water tank is not a viable or practical option. Despite their increasing popularity (now over 50% of homes in the UK operate a combi boiler rather than a hot water tank) many people think that combi boilers are unreliable or unsuitable for larger properties, however this is often not the case.
Combi boilers are more efficient and convenient than the water tank, however they are generally more complex and therefore prone to problems, often though, these problems are not serious and easily resolved. If you are currently experiencing trouble with your boiler, there are normally a few select reasons and all with easy solutions. Firstly, it is important to note that combi boilers are connected to the gas supply, so any attempts of DIY are often not recommended and can be extremely dangerous.
However, there may be minor problems with your combi boiler that can be fixed quite easily and quite safely yourself without having to contact an engineer, the key is to know what are these specific problems.
If your heating or hot water is not working, before calling out a registered boiler technician (check if someone is registered here), it is worth checking a few things first. Initially, always check the pressure on the boiler as this can often be a cause of misbehaving central heating. The standard operating temperate for a boiler is between the 1 and 1.5 bar, is the level falls under this, you may need to refill or tighten it. If the level is much higher than this you may have to release some of the pressure. Be sure to always read your boiler manual carefully before restarting or refilling your boiler and ensure that you understand and can monitor the warning lights to detect any problems.
Alternatively, there may be a problem with your pilot light. These lights can go out for numerous reasons and many of them are not serious enough to justify contacting a boiler technician. These lights can often be easily and safely be relight yourself, again carefully check over the manual and ensure you understand the process beforehand. Instructions to do this are often on the back of the boiler door.
Finally, if there is a problem with your heating or hot water it may not be a problem with your boiler at all. Boilers are connected to the gas supply, so it may be that the problem lies here. Check throughout the house to see if other gas supplies are working, such as fires or cookers, to see if your supply is working correctly. If not, then you should contact your gas supplier.
If none of the above get your combi boiler back into action, then contact a registered engineer. Note that you should never attempt to fix a boiler yourself.