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What to do when your boiler has a leak

The options available to you when your heating system has a leak

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HELP! My Boiler Has A Leak, What Should I Do?

When someone hears they might have a leak at their property they’ll often enter a state of panic, thinking their property is about to suffer a flood of biblical proportions. You’ll be glad to know this isn’t the case as most leaks are just a few drops to a small pool of water, although they are still a serious problem that needs to be addressed with urgency. If you suspect you may have a leak check out this page on our leak detection and remedy service page or just give us a call!

Leaks are one of the most common and most devastating problems you can have with your boiler system. Not only can a leak cause damage to your property and the property of others, but it may also damage the electrical components of your boiler, not to mention your wallet. This can cause further malfunctions to occur and even create an electrical hazard. The reason leaks are so common is because most boilers function on a wet system (which may seem obvious when discussing leaks), leaving lots of opportunities for leaks to occur. To find out why a leak has occurred, first you have to find out where the system is leaking from…

a leaking pipe on a heating system

Pipes

If your leak is around any pipework, again this could be due to corrosion, faulty products or improper installation. It could also be explained by other external damage inflicted upon pipes caused by objects falling or leaning on them. We advise to ensure that any areas with exposed pipes are kept clear as anything putting weight on pipes could damage them and cause a leak.

multiple water storage tanks or cylinders

Water storage tank

The water storage tank is normally found in a different location to your actual boiler and if there is a leak around this area the main reason is normally corrosion to your tank. This is especially the case with older storage tanks, alternatively it could be due to a faulty product or improper installation. You can have two storage tanks on your property, one for hot water and one for cold so make sure to check both when investigating a leak.

Leaking Pipes

Valves

There are many different types of valves prone to leaking on a boiler system such as: an automatic air vent, a safety valve, a gate valve, a lever valve, safety valves, a pressure relief valve and a pressure reducing valve. Any of these valves can release drips or a flow of water if the boiler pressure is too high, which is why it’s often mistaken for a leak. It can also do this if any of the valves are faulty and need replacing. You can check your boiler pressure by finding the pressure gauge which is normally located on the front of the boiler casing especially on combi-boilers, on system boilers it could be located amongst the pipework surrounding the boiler. 

The pressure should be between 1 bar to 2 bar in most circumstances with 1.5 bar as an average. This measurement can vary so we recommend checking in your user manual in regards to your specific model. This can be fixed by re-pressurising your boiler, the process also being detailed in your specific model’s user manual. At Flair Facilities we always recommend having a plant room and system inspection every 6 months to ensure there are no signs of leaks and everything is in working order. When conducting the inspection we can make certain your system is operating and quote for any further maintenance work or replacements needed.

boiler system water pumps

Pumps

On domestic systems you normally only have one pump, your circulation pump. Whereas on commercial boiler systems you have many different pumps to assist the transportation of water throughout your property. A few examples of these are: the return pump, the booster pump, the HWS pump and your DHW pump to name just a few. If you have visible access to your pump and notice it is leaking this will likely be due to the pump seal. Pump seals are known to become worn over time and can easily be replaced by one of our professionals.

Leaking Pipes

Valves

There are many different types of valves prone to leaking on a boiler system such as: an automatic air vent, a safety valve, a gate valve, a lever valve, safety valves, a pressure relief valve and a pressure reducing valve. Any of these valves can release drips or a flow of water if the boiler pressure is too high, which is why it’s often mistaken for a leak. It can also do this if any of the valves are faulty and need replacing. You can check your boiler pressure by finding the pressure gauge which is normally located on the front of the boiler casing especially on combi boilers, on system boilers it could be located amongst the pipework surrounding the boiler. 

The pressure should be between 1 bar to 2 bar in most circumstances with 1.5 bar as an average. This measurement can vary so we recommend checking in your user manual in regards to your specific model. This can be fixed by repressurising your boiler, the process also being detailed in your specific model’s user manual. At Flair Facilities we always recommend having a plant room and system inspection every 6 months to ensure there are no signs of leaks and everything is in working order. When conducting the inspection we can make certain your system is operating and quote for any further maintenance work or replacements needed.

boiler system water pumps

Pumps

On domestic systems you normally only have one pump, your circulation pump. Whereas on commercial boiler systems you have many different pumps to assist the transportation of water throughout your property. A few examples of these are: the return pump, the booster pump, the HWS pump and your DHW pump to name just a few. If you have visible access to your pump and notice it is leaking this will likely be due to the pump seal. Pump seals are known to become worn over time and can easily be replaced by one of our professionals.

Other signs of a leak and what to do

A prominent sign you may have a leak is low boiler pressure, if you have water escaping your system it would cause the pressure to drop. You can check this by looking at your pressure gauge as previously mentioned, for more info on low boiler pressure check out this article. There is also a variety of error / fault codes to help diagnose common problems such as low pressure resulting from a leak. Each model has its own unique set of codes even if they are from the same manufacturer, so make sure to check your user manual. If you have re-pressurised your boiler and it keeps dropping then you definitely have a leak which could be in a location with restricted visibility. This is why we recommend calling a professional to carry out an inspection as our engineers will leave no stone unturned when an issue occurs. If you concerns of a leak are gas specific, you may want to book in a gas safety check. Gas safety checks entail a tightness test which will reveal any gas leaks throughout a system.

We always recommend contacting a qualified engineer for any repairs or maintenance for your own safety, financial security and legal protection. It is illegal to carry out work on any gas components of your boiler system without the correct qualifications and expertise. In the event a problem arises with your system and you’re uncertain of the cause we always recommend getting a professional to attend the property. We have an expert team of customer service agents and engineers on hand 24/7 for any emergency enquiries so don’t hesitate to get in touch.