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Common Causes of Boiler Breakdown in Winter

Have you ever noticed that boilers have a habit of breaking down in winter, just when we need them most? The reason for this is quite simple, as most boilers lie practically dormant throughout the summer months, meaning that they are placed under a lot of pressure in winter when they are suddenly called into action again. This is also the time when any underlying problems can come to light, and the harsh conditions don’t help. With this in mind, we’ve listed some of the major issues to look out for this winter below;

1. Frozen Pipes

Pipes freezing up in cold weather is one of the most common boiler-related problems in winter. Nowadays, many people have condensing boilers as they are cheaper to run and more energy efficient than the older, non-condensing models, however this type of boiler features an external pipe which removes waste water, and can often freeze in harsh winter temperatures if it hasn’t been insulated properly. This can prevent the boiler from functioning and cause significant damage.

2. Accumulation of Sludge

Over time, sludge can build up inside central heating systems, preventing the water from being distributed evenly. This can cause the boiler to become inefficient and overheat, and you may end up paying higher fuel bills. If your radiators are noisy and/or have cold spots, there’s a good chance you have an accumulation of sludge in your system.

3. Pilot Light Extinguished

If a seal on your boiler is broken, it means that a draught can get in and extinguish the pilot light – a common problem during the winter months. A damaged thermocouple or a build-up of deposits within the boiler can also put out the pilot light.

4. Leaks

Water dripping from or pooling at the bottom of your boiler unit means there is a leak in your system. Over time, this can cause your boiler to become inefficient and increase your utility bills. Tell-tale signs that you may need to check for a leak include a drop in water pressure or strange noises coming from the boiler unit.

Here at North London Heating and Plumbing, we recommend having your boiler regularly serviced so that a one of our professionals can pick up on any problems before they lead to boiler breakdown. In the event that the worst does happen, we offer a 24-hour emergency service with no call-out charge, so you can rest assured that you won’t have to suffer for long! Our professional plumbers are always happy to help, so give us a call today to find out more about the services we offer.

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