If you’ve suddenly found yourself without any hot water or your central heating system is out of operation, the culprit is almost certainly low boiler pressure. Even if you know how to increase boiler pressure temporarily, there’s no guarantee you won’t be facing more low-pressure issues in the immediate future. A low boiler pressure control reading isn’t a cause for panic, but it can be infuriating if it happens in the middle of winter.
If you already know how to increase pressure in a boiler and that hasn’t solved the issue, something else is going on. The root cause could be something as simple as a defective part. If you’re having to repressurise your system every few weeks, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with a leak somewhere. Eventually, you may need to call in the services of an RGI-certified plumber in Cork to resolve your boiler pressure situation. In the meantime, there are a few things you can try to get your boiler back up and running.
Signs of Low Boiler Pressure
There are several clear signs that a boiler isn’t working as it should. Once you know what to look for, boiler troubleshooting is much easier. Telltale signs of a boiler suffering from low pressure levels include:
- There’s no hot water coming from your taps
- Your central heating system isn’t responding and the radiators are cold
- Your boiler unit is displaying an error code
- The boiler pressure is too low, even after regular boiler pressure adjustment
However, you don’t need to keep your eyes peeled for these telltale signs to spot an issue with low boiler pressure. The pressure gauge on boiler units will provide you with an exact reading of pressure levels.
How Can You Increase Boiler Pressure?
Several things can cause a boiler to lose pressure. Thankfully, some are more common than others and easy to diagnose. Once you’ve determined what the problem is, you can select safe pressure-increase methods to get your system operational again.
Your heating system is leaking
Something as simple as a leaking pipe can lead to a drop in water and boiler pressure. However, uncovering the peak can be difficult. Think about where your pipework is and look for obvious signs of water damage. Leaks tend to spring from weak spots in plumbing, so pay close attention to any bends in your pipework.
If you do spot a leak, you’ll need to call in the professionals to take care of things. If you want to minimise water damage, look for the heating circuit isolation valve near the base of your boiler unit. This will temporarily leave you without any heating, but you can remedy the situation quickly by calling in a plumber in Mallow or your local area.
The boiler itself is leaking
Boilers also have the potential to leak, leading to a loss in pressure. Diverter valves, air vents, and heat exchangers can all become damaged over time, with these weak points allowing water to escape. Internal leaks can go unnoticed for a long time, but you’ll have no trouble spotting the pooling water beneath your boiler in the event of a major one. Thankfully, signs of an internal leak are usually flagged during an annual gas boiler service.
Never attempt to fix a leaking boiler yourself. RGI-certified professionals are the only ones capable of assessing the damage. In many cases, it’s just a case of replacing a degraded part with a new one. However, if leaks and low pressure are a common occurrence, it might be worth absorbing the cost of replacing a gas boiler.
Your radiators have been bled recently
Bleeding your radiators regularly will make your central heating system more efficient. However, the process can also lead to a drop in pressure. While this is a common cause of low pressure levels, it’s also a very straightforward fix. However, before raising boiler pressure, check the user manual that came with your model to see which repressuring method you should be using.
You may need to use a filling key or filling loop, depending on the type of boiler you have installed. In either case, you’ll need to turn your boiler off and ensure your central heating system has cooled before continuing. Both methods top up the water in your system, repressuring your boiler. Once you know how to increase water pressure in a boiler, make sure you’re doing it every time you bleed your radiators.
Something’s wrong with your water pressure regulator
A pressure regulator for boilers is a key part of any plumbing system. When it’s working correctly, it ensures water pressure levels never get too high. However, pressure regulators can become damaged over time, leading to a host of problems. Inconsistent water pressure is a clear sign that something’s wrong.
In many cases, a thorough power flush is all that’s needed to restore a regulator to full working order. However, sometimes a complete replacement will be called for. Just because you know how to flush radiators doesn’t qualify you as a plumber, so leave this job to the professionals.
A faulty expansion vessel is to blame
If the expansion vessel of a boiler becomes damaged, boiler pressure can rise considerably. Water will continue to expand, but there’s nowhere for it to go. That’s until the pressure relief valve releases the excess. When this happens, you’ll see a massive drop in boiler pressure.
This is another boiler issue that should get flagged during an annual service. How often should you service your boiler? To ensure your system is running as efficiently as possible, you should be calling in the experts once every 12 months.
Damaged boiler components need replacing
A typical boiler includes an exhaustive list of components. Any one of these can become damaged, leading to issues with boiler pressure and your heating system. Thankfully, you don’t need to be an expert to get to the root of the problem. If you have a newer boiler model installed, error codes can give you a clear idea of what’s gone wrong and what needs replacing.
Before you can think about boosting boiler pressure, you’ll need to reach out to the professionals. If the damage is severe, a gas boiler replacement might be worth considering, with combi boilers a cost-effective alternative. What is a combi boiler going to do that a conventional boiler can’t? They’re generally far more efficient for smaller households, take up less space and are cheaper to run.
What Pressure Should a Boiler Be on When Heating Is Off?
Before you start worrying about how to repressurise a boiler, you need to familiarise yourself with normal pressure levels. Most boilers will have a pressure gauge located just beneath the main unit. This is where you need to look to get an accurate reading. When your heating system is turned off, the dial should fall between 1.0 and 1.5 bar. When your heating is turned on, pressure levels rise to between 1.5 and 2.0 bar.
Keeping on Top of Boiler Pressure Levels
Once you’ve learned how to increase pressure in gas boiler systems, optimising boiler performance is easy. Along with the obvious signs of low boiler pressure like cold radiators and no hot water, newer boiler models make life simple for you with handy error codes.
However, the root cause of your pressure problems can be harder to determine. Damaged pipework, leaky boilers and faulty components can all play their part in plummeting pressure levels. Some basic boiler maintenance techniques can be used in a pinch, but it’s always a good idea to call in the insights of a professional.
Need Professional Help?
Are you tired of having to constantly repressurise your boiler? Rather than jumping through the same hoops every time to restore your central heating and hot water supply, speak to the experts to find out what’s going on.
At Complete Plumbing Solutions, we can help determine what’s causing all those pressure swings and advise you on the best course of action. Your boiler might just need a new part, although some systems might be better replaced entirely.
Want to speak to someone about boiler pressure problems, power flushing or a system upgrade? Perhaps you’re a commercial client searching for pump services. Whatever you’re looking for, the team at Complete Plumbing Solutions is ready and waiting. Schedule a call back using the online contact form or give us a call at (085) 169 4244 today.