When a boiler breaks down, your whole life breaks down. No showers, no bathtime, no washing up. But the consequences of a broken boiler could be even more serious. With children in the house, it’s especially important to check that your boiler is not just functional, but safe.
Here are some essential boiler safety tips to help you do just that.
Mark the calendar for an annual boiler servicing
The best way to avoid boiler breakdowns is to regularly have your boiler serviced. Local experts LS1 Boiler Installation advise that you should get your boiler serviced at least once a year, though every six months would be ideal. Without these regular checkups, problems might build up, and you could end up paying more for costly boiler breakdowns.
A good boiler technician will likely start with a visual inspection. After that, the technician will give the boiler a full system test, looking at:
● gas pressure,
● gas flow,
● and fans.
If the technician doesn’t do these things, you may have a dodgy tradesperson on your hands. Platforms like Checkatrade can help you avoid this. You can also check the official Gas Safe register for even more peace of mind when choosing a company to carry out your annual boiler check.
Understand the signs of a well functioning boiler
Not all boiler maintenance checks have to be carried out by professionals. There are several checks you can perform yourself in between your regular, professional, boiler maintenance services to see if there are any problems.
Take a quick look at your boiler for visible problems like error codes or leaks, which should be obvious even to the untrained eye. If you see a leak, it’s best to call a technician. If there’s an error code, check your boiler’s instruction manual to see if there is an easy fix. More often than not, it will still be best to call a technician, but for some a reset or manual change in pressure can fix a fault.
You can also check the water pressure level is in line with what your boiler’s manual says it should be. Every boiler is different, but if your pressure gauge is reading too high or too low, that needs to be addressed as it could lead to bigger problems if left.
24/7 Home Rescue has a helpful guide on reducing your boiler pressure which could help you if you want to take a DIY route. Simply bleeding your radiators could make all the difference. If that doesn’t work, you know what to do: call a boiler engineer to take a look for you.
Similarly, if your radiators are not heating up, you might just need to bleed them. Your boiler is probably fine. But if bleeding them doesn’t help, a qualified technician is just a phone call away.
Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector
Recent findings indicate that 250,000 homes are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning due to faulty boilers. Broken boilers can leak carbon monoxide, which is colourless and odourless, making it very difficult to detect. In a worst case scenario, carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to hospital visits.
Aside from scheduling regular boiler maintenance checks, the only line of defense against a carbon monoxide leak is a carbon monoxide detector. These are small, wireless and convenient to place in the home, so getting one isn’t a hassle.
Make sure you use your alarm’s “test” function regularly to check that it’s still working. If you’ve had yours for a while it might need replacing. According to The Family Handyman, these alarms normally have a 5-7 year lifespan. Test it once a month to make sure it’s in working order.
The device will sound an alarm if it detects carbon monoxide in the air. If it does, you and your family should leave the premises and call a boiler technician. If any of you are feeling dizzy or sick, the charity Carbon Monoxide Kills recommends calling the fire department and getting some fresh air.