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Boiler Problem Continues..

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thelewisgang | 22:02 Tue 11th Jan 2022 | Home & Garden
9 Answers
Oh heck, I honestly wish I had gone for a different boiler. I posted back in March about the problems I had with the new combi boiler installed in January 2021. It didn't even work on the day it was installed due I was told to dampness on some terminals. Since then I have had them back 7 times, the last time on 13th December 2021. They are telling me it cannot be a fault with the boiler as so many parts have been replaced. But, I am still getting pressure problems. When the last engineer was here he set the pressure to 1.70. Now it is showing 1. The installer has ignored two emails informing him of the things that have gone wrong. I received the engineer's report a few days ago and one part concerns me & wonder if I am right to feel this way.
He put "drained boiler and checked vessel charge. All ok. No signs of leaks on boiler. Screwed air vent shut (this is my concern) to see if pressure rises. Informed customer the boiler has been rebuilt and still the same issue. Maybe gassing in the system and may need to get installer involved to sort this"
I stupidly didn't pay for the boiler installation by card so have no redress there. I would add my old combi boiler didn't give me any problems and I only had it replaced as it was 16+ years old and on its last annual service the engineer said things needed replacing (due to age) which would have cost a fair amount.
Trading Standards told me to contact the installer but as I have said above, he has ignored two emails and hasn't returned my phone call. Where do I go now??

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One piece of advice, given that you are losing pressure – a possible cause is a leak in the pressure relief valve. The drain for this should be an external open pipe somewhere close to where the boiler is mounted. Check for dripping water; using a rubber-band, secure a small clear plastic bag on the end of the pipe (to collect any water) – there should be no leakage of water from this pipe.

If the boiler proves un-repairable, I would say that the only realistic route to obtain redress is to obtain an expert report on the boiler, then using that report, sue the installer through the small claims court if he won’t refund you.

But there are significant risks to this strategy, the expert’s report (which you will have to pay for) might not conclusively lay the blame with the installer/boiler. And even if you were to win a court judgement, it could prove difficult to enforce it.
Agree with Hymie. Pressure Relief Valve outlet is a good "tell-tale."

Rubber diaphragms inside pressure vessels can puncture. It's ok to re-charge the pressure, but as soon as you turn your back, it can leak out of the tiniest hole.

If the PRV has been replaced, then one other possibility is simply a leak on the house radiator system.
It could be anywhere. Under floorboards maybe. Although, a common one is a radiator valve/connection.
Considering where they are, it's very easy to kick one and start even the smallest of leaks. Leaks in a pressurised system are often so slight that any drips can evaporate before being noticed.
Question Author
thank you for your replies. Hymie the boiler is upstairs in my airing cupboard and the external pipes go through the roof space so no open pipe visible. I'm not able to go into the loft . I do believe the PRV has been changed. There's not a lot they haven't!! The last visit just a few weeks ago, the engineer checked all the radiators/valve/connections and was happy. What I can't understand is my old boiler gave me no problems at all but since I have had this one installed, it's been a nightmare
You must fix the loss of pressure issue to get the boiler operating reliably long term – whether the leak is in the boiler itself or within the heating system. But as The Builders says it can be very difficult to locate a slow leak. If there are valves within the system which allows you to isolate various parts – you could use a process of elimination to track down the likely culprit.

It’s no good a repair person saying that the radiators are OK as is the boiler, when pressure is being lost – something is wrong.

I moved house around six years ago, and had the kitchen re-done by a local tradesman. Having lived on the estate for many years, he commented that my gas boiler was the model installed by the house-builder in around 1980. So my gas boiler is now over 40 years old and still going strong.
You could determine the location of the pressure relief valve outlet pipe from the boiler installation manual – this should be available from the manufacturer’s website if you weren’t given a copy by the installer.
Question Author
thanks again for your replies. I am having the annual service done on Tuesday by a local GasSafe engineer so I will tell him the problems I have had and see what he says. I do have the manual for the boiler so will look at that over the weekend the location of the pressure relief valve outlet.
One more question though....back in December when the last engineer came (as I said previously) he screwed the air vent shut. Is it "safe" to leave it this way? He wanted to do that to see if the pressure went up but sadly it went downwards again
Search through the manual to see the location of the auto air-vent (normally within the boiler), its prime purpose is to allow the system to be filled with water (allowing the air to vent and be replaced by water).

Perhaps the engineer thought that this component was the cause of the pressure drop – having it shut -off should not cause a safety issue. But having it shut off may impact re-pressurising the system; not allowing any air in the system to be removed.
Most manufacturers insist that the original system is power flushed and cleaned prior to the install of the new boiler..this could unblock any debris that were blocking a small potential leak..resulting in your problem. That said, if all the major components of the boiler have been replaced..did this include the heat exchanger. I think in your case I would put a pressure gauge on the system.. fit 2 quality isolation valves on the flow/return pipes.. pressure up to 2 bar.. isolate the system from the boiler and see what happens. If the pressure stays at 2 bar then the boiler is at fault. Did the engineer check at each rad for gassing..or just make a guess?
Question Author
Just had my boiler serviced and the man couldn't have been more helpful. I explained I had posted on a forum about my problems. He found the pressure relief valve outlet on the outside wall of my house & immediately as you suggested hymie, asked if I had a bag to attach to it. A watertight doggy bag came in handy! Now it will be interesting to see if it collects any water!
I really appreciated all your replies but being a senior with no idea of most things especially to do with the boiler, your comments have helped me so thank you so much

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