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Boiler help!

(8 Posts)
MsFish Mon 14-Jan-13 17:44:36

Just in from work and my boiler has stopped working. it is quite old,,about 18 years - a Gulfstream if that is relevant!

On checking the fuses, the fuse has gone and when I try to flick it back up, it wont go and flashes green.

What does this mean? Do I need a new boiler or can this easily be fixed?

lalalonglegs Mon 14-Jan-13 17:49:46

Can you google the make and see if there is an online manual with troubleshooting section (my boiler has a flashing light and a code when something goes wrong which I would need to look up). At 18 years old, it might be the beginning of the end though sad.

MsFish Mon 14-Jan-13 17:57:43

Thanks,,,I will google immediately!

It is probably the end, but not good timing!

PigletJohn Mon 14-Jan-13 18:08:21

if it has blown the fuse, it most likely has a water leak that has caused a short-circuit. This is very often at the pump, it might be at the motorised valve, or it might be inside the boiler casing. You will quite likely be able to find signs of drips.

It might also be a fault on the circuit board inside the boiler, but on a old boiler like yours, there will not be much in the way of expensive electronics.

It is unlikely, but possible, that there is a short or leak in the cylinder thermostat, and very very unlikely to be at the wall stat.

Don't keep changing the fuse, if it is a problem in the circuit board, it will get more damaged each time.

A short on anything that is not a watery appliance is more often caused by cable damage, especially by a drill or nail, but on a boiler it is iusually a leak. You will need a boiler engineer. They will be getting more busy this week as the weather gets colder and pipes start to freeze. If you have had it serviced, ask whoever did that.

Hopefully you have an immersion heater in the cylinder, and an electric convection heater, to tide you over.

MsFish Mon 14-Jan-13 18:59:20

Thanks Pigletjohn, most useful. It has a regular service, last done in November. I will contact them - I am thinking it will need replaced as it is old, so can you recommend a good new boiler - I live in a small, newish flat same age as the boiler, so it does keep quite warm. No immersion heater, so wash at sink and boiled kettles I think! Hope the pipes wont freeze as rest of flats all heated (hopeful face)

No sign of leaks by the boiler, so may be a leak on inside? No wall thermostat (not that posh).

PigletJohn Mon 14-Jan-13 19:23:17

Vaillant and Worcester Bosch are probably the two most popular good quality makes, and you will be able to find plenty of people skilled on them. I have a Viessman which has a stainless steel heat exchanger and a long guarantee, but they are not very common so you would need to make sure there was a local person familiar with them.

Look at manufacturers' websites to see if they have a list of local approved installers. You can rely on British Gas to be the most expensive.

The installer must of course be Gas Safe registered and show you his badge with name and photo.

You certainly need to get a room stat and a cylinder stat. I would say, go for a programmable stat, it allows you to set different temps for different days and times of day, and will give you improved comfort and economy.

You don't have to have a combi if you don't want. They are OK if you have a small flat and only one bathroom. Fill a bucket at the kitchen cold tap and make sure it delivers at least 12 litres a minute, or a combi will be very slow to run a bath.

Old boilers are very simple, reliable and easy to repair. Modern ones, especially combis, are more complicated. A new condensing boiler will be more efficient and likely to save you 20% on winter gas.

PigletJohn Mon 14-Jan-13 19:28:21


I think your Gulfstream has a thermal store inside the case, instead of a cylinder. You can get a new boiler like that, but they are less common. The ones I have seen tend to be quite big and upmarket, but would be good for running a bath.

MsFish Mon 14-Jan-13 20:21:28

Thank you, I will seek out approved plumber and get organised!

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