How to maintain your gas boiler to make it last longer

IZI would EDF answer BFM Immo’s questions about boilers to see through the cold season without problems.

What are the most common boiler failures and their causes?

A number of problems can arise. But some are more common than others. IZI by EDF listed them for us:

  • Clogging associated with the accumulation of scale in various parts of the boiler leading to an intermittent flow of domestic hot water (DHW)
  • Clogging caused by dust
  • Various leaks at fittings, hoses, expansion tank, leaky fill valve.
  • Defective parts leading to interruption of the flow of domestic hot water and/or heating, leakage
  • Plate heat exchanger out of order (part very sensitive to water hardness)
  • Heating expansion tank. Hydraulic heating fuse
  • Sanitary probe
  • DHW tank
  • Control probe
  • Power supply problem: check the electrical connections and the state of the fuses

What are the symptoms to look out for?

  • No more hot water from the taps
  • Abnormal drop in temperature in the home
  • The boiler makes unusual noises
  • An error code is displayed on the boiler, which makes it possible to locate the fault (see the device’s operating instructions)
  • The boiler suddenly stops/goes out
  • The pressure in the heating network drops or rises abnormally
  • A gas boiler whistles, which is a sign of a problem with pressure or flow in the heating network: the air must then be removed from the radiators by flushing.
  • Steam escapes from the boiler, often associated with a poorly adjusted, blocked or faulty burner.

Do you have any advice on how to make the boiler last as long as possible?

A well-maintained gas boiler will have a longer service life. It is mandatory to have your installation repaired by a heating engineer every year. First and foremost, it guarantees your safety. This also makes it possible to reduce the number of breakdowns (e.g. related to clogging), detect possible breakdowns, avoid excessive consumption and thus save money.

The burner, heating element and boiler extractor are cleaned. The pump, circulation pump and safety device are checked, as well as the connecting pipes.

Scale, sludge, iron deposits/corrosion and lack of maintenance are the worst enemies of gas boilers. For limestone areas, we recommend protecting the upstream installation with a softener.

When replacing a new boiler, we recommend removing sludge from the heating network. The goal is to start with heating water that circulates in a closed circuit, clean and healthy. In addition, the addition of a sludge tank, even to an existing installation, aims to protect the essential components of the boiler (heating element and plate heat exchanger). Prevention is better than urgently resorting to the services of a heating engineer in the event of a malfunction.

Is DIY repair recommended?

You are not legally obliged to entrust the repair of your boiler to a professional, but you will probably be confronted with the complexity of this type of equipment and the difficulty of finding spare parts will force you to contact a heating engineer. Only an authorized craftsman has the necessary expertise and the appropriate equipment to repair your gas boiler.

For safety reasons, boiler maintenance must be carried out once a year. Annual maintenance of gas boilers must be carried out by a “Recognized Environmental Guarantor” (RGE) gas specialist. The insurance company (in the event of an accident) or the landlord may require a maintenance certificate issued by an authorized heating engineer.

What to look out for before signing a maintenance contract for your boiler?

All individuals must pay attention to the general conditions of service, paid or included repairs, paid or included spare parts, commitment clauses of the parties, renewal / termination of the contract, mentions of unauthorized / abusive requests for intervention, limits of liability of the service provider.

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