Boiler keeps breaking down

Boiler keeps breaking down

22:34 PM, 12th March 2013, About 10 years ago 12

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Boiler keeps breaking downMy seven year old boiler keeps breaking down.

I must have had about 15 visits from British Gas for the past 18 months.

I have a service/maintenance contract with them but they are unable to say why there have been so many breakdowns. For example, they had to change the fan three times during this period, among other things.

I cannot think of something they have not changed yet it keeps breaking down.

When my contract comes up for renewal they I am worried they will increase the premium, as they did last time, due to so many call-outs.

Is it normal for a boiler to breakdown so much?

Any advice on what to do ?

Cris Stoian

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Mick Roberts

7:55 AM, 13th March 2013, About 10 years ago

Yeah, if it is combi. I have found on the Bosch Worcestor's, fans only last about 4 years. Circuit boards between 2 & 7 years. And the list goes on, I'm not not changing my old back boilers as quick as I once was.


8:34 AM, 13th March 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi Mick. You are saying a fan lasts 4 years - I had 3 changed in 18months (among other repairs). in total about 15-20 visits from BG in 18months !

The questions I am facing are 1. How competent is BG to service just a plain combi boiler 2. Why should they increase the premium due to high call-out rates when their ability to fix the boiler is in question 3. Shall I change the boiler and/or the service company ?

Richard Kent

8:43 AM, 13th March 2013, About 10 years ago

You might find contacting a local boiler engineer and cancelling your contract with British Gas is a good option. Here's why.......

A friend of mine had a contract with them and when they went to service his boiler they condemned it.

He asked why and they said it was leaking carbon monoxide. He asked "why didn't you fix it as you are contracted to do" and the reply was "I'm not qualified to work on hot air systems but I would change the whole system to boiler to a 'wet' water system if I were you"

You appreciate the many £1000's to do this.

In despair friend then contacted a local engineer and he tested it. The final test results were.

1. The boiler is working perfectly with no smoke or carbon monoxide leaks (no charge!). The boiler was then re-commissioned.

2. The only upgrade needed were access panels to the ducts

3. Final cost £200

He then cancelled the contract with British Gas in addition to giving them a piece of his mind.


11:58 AM, 13th March 2013, About 10 years ago

When you say breaking down there are very few moving parts in a gas boiler.
Most likely in my humble opinion is that sensors or the set up that triggers a shut down. This might be a blocked flue which would back up gases triggering the sensor.
All gas boilers are designed to remain safe so check the exits are clear and makesure that they check/replace the sensors.
The default setting for a boiler with a shut off alarm is according to the manual 'replace the circuit board'. However if you carefully examine the circuit board there is no sign of blowout components - there is however a manual reset switch which is not on the manual and when I saw it shown was two thin wires going up to a partially caged pencil lead. Pressing that reset the system restarting it.

Of course it is far more profitable to replace a circuit board (that can then be reused perhaps) than pressing a button.

I printed off the manual and as an engineer with electrical and mechanical I didn't buy the explanation stated and finally succumbed to paying £150 to the honest plumber to come and fix it in about 3 mins. He did though pump the water out of the expansion vessel and change a meter and it worked dandy ever since.

Gas men have gardens littered with boilers waiting to be reused with a simple fix he had 9! Far more profitable for them ! If its noisy acid or vinegar to clean off the calcium works a treat.


12:54 PM, 13th March 2013, About 10 years ago

It also depends on the incentive of the repairman, is he paid per visit or to fix something once and for all? Perhaps on the next call out on the phone call state to the secretary that if the boiler fails again that you will be asking Corgi (Gas Safe) to come round and inspect their work or lack of it. You also want the name and registration number of the engineer to check against their records.

Life is ruled by incentives, the trick is finding and using the right one

Neil Patterson

13:22 PM, 13th March 2013, About 10 years ago

Who Mentioned British Gas and added a picture of Micky Mouse?

Richard Kent

13:40 PM, 13th March 2013, About 10 years ago

@Neil Patterson,

There is probably a clue to your answer in the part in the thread saying

"I must have had about 15 visits from British Gas for the past 18 months"


16:21 PM, 13th March 2013, About 10 years ago

i had the same problem with ideal istor boilers, i had insurance with homeserve and they eventually cancelled my 10 contracts because they said didnt insure them anymore! i kicked up a stink and got all the preniums back id ever paid them over the 4 year period they were insured totaling about 3k. i think some engineers homeserve send out do more harm than good,ive complained many times that the boiler had not been repaired properly and the engineer had actually broke something else whilst fixing what he had been called out to fix! i now do not have any insurance just a local guy i use,and guess what my boiler breakdowns are about a quarter of what they used to be.

Joe Bloggs

8:39 AM, 14th March 2013, About 10 years ago

in my experience (admittedly a few years ago) homeserve just guess what is wrong, replace random parts which take forever to arrive meanwhile the tenant is going mad! at least bg get the parts next day. bg do however like to cite sludge which is an exclusion.


20:20 PM, 16th March 2013, About 10 years ago

Join or access the Fedration of Small Business they have a directory of tradesmen who usually take pride in their work. Just avoid ******* gas at all costs.
One of my many experiences of BG was when I asked who I was speaking too, I was told "Ewan Silence". I was, because they hung up on me!

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