As a landlord, you are responsible for the gas safety of the gas appliances and pipework in your property. As the nights get longer and winter draws in, making sure that the heating systems in your rental property are safe, working and efficient is essential.
Boilers are integral to every home, but unfortunately, they’re not always easy to understand. With this in mind, we’ve asked the experts at Just Boilers.com to help explain the top five boiler problems you may face this winter and what you should do to ensure that any issues do not cause problems for your tenants or your property.
One obvious sign that there is an issue with your boiler or gas appliance is higher than normal bills. Having an inefficient boiler, appliance or controller can increase your running costs, indicating that something isn’t quite right with your boiler or appliance which could account for the increase.
Firstly, in a rental property it is worth checking with your tenants as to whether they have their heating on a timer – often people do not realise that they are using their heating when they are not at home, which could be accounting for high bills.
A simple way to avoid high bills is to have an up to date economical control system, such as a smart meter, to avoid any unnecessary use of gas. However, if this is not the cause of high bills it is worth calling a gas safe registered engineer to check the boiler over.
Another sign of a problem with your boiler is any abnormal banging, clicking or grinding noises. This is an obvious indication the boiler needs some attention.
If your boiler is making abnormal noises, we suggest calling a gas safe registered engineer who will be able to advise you on whether this is normal for your boiler or if it requires an inspection.
It could be that your boiler may need a part replaced, or depending on the age of the boiler a new boiler may need to be installed.
If your boiler requires regular repressurising then this could be a sign that there is an issue with the pressure vessel or pressure release valve.
If the pressure rises up and around 3 bar when the central heating is hot then there are obvious safety issues which need to be addressed.
In this instance simply topping up the pressure will not rectify the situation and you should seek professional advice.
If your boiler is giving off an odour or has an obvious sign of a gas leakage you must turn it off immediately and call the emergency gas line on 0800 111 999.
Similarly, if your boiler is leaking fluid, it may mean there is a broken seal or valve. Sometimes these can be easily fixed and other times it can actually be cheaper to replace the entire boiler.
An uncontrollable fluctuation in water temperature is normally caused by a build up of limescale or magnetite (iron filings) in the boiler compartments and can often be simply rectified depending on the fault. An annual service of a boiler by a gas safety engineer is a good way to make sure this does not occur.
If the variation in temperature is found in the shower alone it can be a build-up of limescale on the shower-head itself – this one can be easily fixed – or a faulty shower mixer could be the culprit.
Carrying out regular property maintenance can help to identify and rectify any issues before they escalate and cause further problems for you and your tenants. Make sure that you have clear and open lines of communication with your tenants and if you, or your tenants are ever in doubt about the safety of your boiler, it is essential that you seek advice from a gas safe registered engineer.
Read more advice on how to prepare your boiler for winter in our guide.
Just Boilers offer a comprehensive range of services in London, from boiler installation and repairs, to services, landlord gas safety certificates, and swimming pool boiler installations.