Having a leak in your boiler can be a major inconvenience, affecting water pressure, heating, and the effective functioning of your hot water system. If you suspect that you have a leak in your boiler, it is best to get it fixed straight away, rather than waiting until a part fails, and you end up with water seeping through your ceiling. If you choose to, you can call out a boiler engineer, and have them examine it for leaks, or you can try to find the problem yourself. By following a few simple steps, you should be able to find the leak yourself and save money.
Step 1 - Examine the Pipes
If you suspect that your boiler is leaking due to the sound of dripping coming from the site of your water heating system, particularly at night, it may be that one of the connecting pipes is leaking. Try tapping the pipes lightly with a wrench to see if there are any signs of water build-up around a loose pipe. You should try and tighten all pipe connections at this point.
Step 2 - Examine the Boiler
Look at the area around the boiler. Is there water damage around the bottom of the case, and perhaps a build-up of sediment? You may find that your drip is being caused by the boiler blow-down valve not being turned off properly. Close this as tightly as you can using your wrench, and then run the boiler to test if that was the problem. During your examination of the side of the tank, you may notice a small outlet pipe. If this is the cause of your drip, you have a problem with pressure in the tank. The outlet pipe is there to release pressure, so make sure that it is not blocked, and then reduce the pressure in your boiler, following the instructions in your manual.
Step 3 - Check for Gas Leaks
If you have been having problems with the firing of your gas boiler, you may have a leak in your fuel system. Examine the edges of the fuel connection system, and caulk the edges tightly. You may notice the smell of gas, or a staining around the edges of the pilot light. If this is the case, then you should call in a gas engineer straight away, and turn off your mains gas supply while you wait.
Step 4 - Check for Flue Leaks
While you are checking for other leaks, it is a good opportunity to check that your flue is working well. Close all internal doors except the one to the bathroom, and the one to the boiler room. Light a flame or incense stick, and hold it to the edge of the flue. If the smoke or flame disappears into the flue, then there is no problem. If the smoke stays in the room, then the burnt gases from your boiler are not being sucked into the flue, but are escaping into the room. Open a nearby window, and turn the boiler off before calling your boiler insurers.