Five signs your oil boiler may need replacing
With spring in the air and the promise of warmer weather just around the corner, many homeowners are looking forward to switching off the heating after what feels like it has been an extremely long winter. With working from home and home schooling also affecting many, those relying on oil-fired central heating have most likely noticed a significant increase in oil consumption and will welcome a chance to cut back on costs. Before you turn off your heating, however, it is worth checking to make sure it isn’t due for replacement. If your boiler has reached the end of its safe working life, spring or summer is a far better time of year to have it replaced than in the chilly autumn and winter months. You’ll also want to avoid a boiler failure when it is time to get it up and running again. Here are some giveaway signs to look for while your central heating is still running.
1. Listen for kettling
Kettling is a term used to describe high-pitched whistling noises that coming from your radiators or boiler that sound similar to a kettle boiling on a hob. You may have noticed whistling, gurgling, hissing or banging sounds coming from your boiler over winter, and probably disregarded them as ‘normal’. Your boiler should not, however, be making such noises and it is worth getting it checked out if this is the case.
Over time, sludge can build up in your oil boiler. This can restrict the flow of water inside the boiler, causing it to move more slowly than it should. As a result, water can overheat and boil, hence the kettle-like noises. If not treated, sludge can have a real impact not just on fuel consumption, but also on your boiler’s lifespan. If you are experience this problem, get in touch with your engineer who can assess whether you require a system flush or a new boiler.
2. Look for leaks
While your oil boiler is still running most of the time, it is worth conducting a visual inspection for leaks in the system. This includes checking both the boiler and the oil storage tank. Check any visible seals at the same time, as dried or cracked seals should be replaced sooner rather than later even if there is no evidence of a leak.
If you become aware of leakage around the boiler itself, this is a sign that something is wrong and should be examined by a qualified OFTEC engineer as soon as possible. A leak on the boiler can damage the boiler itself, as well as the surrounding area.
3. Check the flame colour
The flame for your oil boiler should usually be blue, although it may appear to be white or light yellow depending on the make and model. Your boiler handbook should confirm the correct colour for your boiler. If your boiler has an orange or very yellow flame, this is an indication that something is not right and should be checked by a professional as soon as possible.
An orange or yellow flame may be a sign of incomplete combustion, meaning that there’s a risk of carbon monoxide, which can be fatal. The good news is, it is often a relatively simple problem such as too much air is getting into the system or a blocked pilot tube, but it does require an authorised engineer to reslove.
4. Frequent fixes
How many times has an engineer had to come and look at your oil boiler over the winter? If you’ve had to make several call-outs, this is a sure sign that a new boiler may be something to think about sooner rather than later. Ultimately, the cost of repeated repairs may make a new boiler worth the investment, plus you will likely save as a result of lower operating costs thanks to greater efficiency. With a generous seven-year warranty included as standard on new Worcester Bosch oil boilers, you can be sure to enjoy peace of mind for years to come. Don’t forget to ask about oil boiler care plans too.
5. Boiler Age
Most modern oil boilers are designed to last 10 - 15 years, however modern advances in technology mean that efficiency is constantly improving. In some cases, even if your existing boiler seems to be working okay, the savings you can enjoy from a newer boiler may make it worth replacing your boiler before the end of its working life. Its also worth considering the warranty period on a new boiler, as repairs on an older boiler can be costly.
Speak to a trusted local heating engineer today
D.R. Plumbing & Heating are a trusted local company with a reputation for the highest quality workmanship and services throughout Shropshire, Cheshire and North Wales. Our team of reliable, courteous and experienced engineers have all worked with us in the area for several years. As well as being Gas Safe and OFTEC registered engineers, we are an award-winning Worcester Bosch accredited installer, meaning you can benefit from our up to date and extensive training in their products and services, as well as up to 7 years guarantee on parts and labour for total peace of mind.
Video Quotations Available
We are delighted to be able to offer all of our customers the added benefit of video quotations should they be interested. Thanks to video calling technology, we can assess your current oil boiler installation and provide an accurate quote for your new boiler without needing to step into your home. We are able to do this via apps including Facetime, Messenger and WhatsApp - just let us know which you are most comfortable with and we’ll be happy to arrange a call.
We accept all major credit cards