Why Does a Boiler Lose Pressure?

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As Britain is battered by a seemingly unending barrage of storms, from Ciara to Jorge and beyond, boilers up and down the country are working overtime.

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According to Which? it is at precisely this time of year that boilers tend to break down. This is due to the twin effects of heavier use and colder temperatures, which cause elements such as the condensate pipe to freeze.

In this short guide, we will take a look at some of the main causes for a boiler to lose pressure and how these can be rectified.

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How Do I Tell If My Boiler Has Lost Pressure?

If your heating and hot water are not up to scratch, it is often the case that the pressure has dropped in your boiler and possibly the wider central heating system. On the front of your boiler there should be a pressure gauge, which should have its needle safely within the green zone. If the boiler is off, the pressure gauge should be reading at about 1 bar, towards the bottom of the green zone. When in use, the pressure should rise briefly before falling, remaining in the green safe zone.

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Under Pressure

If your boiler needs to be repressurised, this is a job which can be done yourself. You should have a filling loop directly under the boiler, which can be operated by opening the tap to let water into your boiler until the pressure has reached around 1 bar.

Other boilers may have a key or other such safety device to stop accidental refilling. If in doubt check with your boiler manufacturer.

Why Does the Pressure Drop?

If pressure keeps dropping, a professional will be needed to diagnose the cause of this. There could be a leak in your central heating system, which could be difficult to detect as your pipework often goes under floorboards and behind walls.

An older or faulty boiler could also be the culprit here. As limescale builds up over time a boiler becomes less efficient. Leaking within the boiler is usually indicated by any water around the appliance itself when you remove the cover. These issues can only be mended by an approved Gas Safe engineer.


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