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AIBU?

AIBU to ask for boiler help, HA being useless.

10 replies

BluebellsAndLillies · 09/01/2024 16:38

Since March 2023 the boiler has continuously lost pressure dropping to zero, I am topping it up 4+ times a day and still every morning when I wake up the heating hasn’t clicked on as the boiler has zero pressure. My housing association are being useless and dragging their feet, the boiler is 12 years old do not ancient but certainly not new, they usually replace between 20/25 years at the same time as the kitchen.

It is struggling to maintain any heat or produce hot water as it just switches off when it gets to zero, which can happen mid shower! I am so sick of being cold and having lukewarm showers and baths. Sometimes we have no heating at all upstairs as there just isn’t enough pressure to get the hot water to circulate, apparently 🤷🏻‍♀️.

Things that have been ruled out

  1. no leak
  2. not the expansion valve
  3. not a faulty pressure gauge
  4. not leaking into the heat exchanger

So anyone that knows anything about boilers what else could it be? Its never the same engineer that comes twice they just go off the notes and refuse to recheck things already been tested.
OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

3 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
0%
You are NOT being unreasonable
100%
BobbyBiscuits · 09/01/2024 17:24

If the boiler has a screen, can you still use it? If the screen has gone black or non responsive it would need a new motherboard, but that basically means a new boiler. It seems like it needs to be replaced, unless there is some issue with water pressure but surely the engineer would have dealt with it before. They have legal responsibility to maintain it. Does it have stickers on it to show when it was inspected?
I can't see how they can expect you to live with it. Harass them daily on the subject until they agree to fully replace it or fix it permanently.
Can you afford to call your own plumber out, they tend to charge about £50-80 an hour to attend but might be able to diagnose it on the phone for free if you follow their instructions. Mine have done this for me and helped me fix it. (I don't think my issue was bad as as yours though).
Good luck, I had a broken toilet and a flooded roof last month so I feel your pain. Hope it gets sorted ASAP x

Spinner12345 · 09/01/2024 17:28

We had this issue and after two years of topping it up getting slowly worse and replacing parts that didn’t fix the issue we bought a new boiler. I know that’s not an easy option for you but I think you need to be saying to the HA where is this going because countless engineers have been out and nothing is fixing it so what’s the plan going forward. Good luck

GasPanic · 09/01/2024 17:30

Your CH circuit should be a closed loop.

You can't keep putting water into it and have none come out forever !

The most common problems to cause pressure loss in the CH loop are probably a leak, followed by the expansion vessel which you have already identified as not being the problems (how?)

It depends on how your system is configured but on mine on the outside wall behind the boiler there is the overflow pipe for the expansion vessel. If you have the same (maybe somewhere else) then you could maybe put a container underneath it and see whether it fills with water over time when you repressurise.

Another possibility is maybe your CH loop is completely full of air and has a small air leak. That is why you don't see the leak - you keep filling up with water, the air in the system pressurises and then leaks out slowly over time, dropping the pressure. Eventually though you would expect the CH system to fill up completely with water, and even the most challenged of plumbers would have probably checked for this issue by bleeding all the radiators.

Another possibility be that there is a leak somewhere, but you can't see it. which is bad news because something somewhere is probably getting soaked with water*

*dirty nasty water from the CH loop.

Janetsmug · 09/01/2024 17:34

Do you have a housing officer OP? Mine is brilliant with stuff like this, seems to be able to cut through the crap and actually get stuff done! If you get no joy with that route I would make a formal complaint, hopefully then someone will look at your case and join the dots that just sending an engineer isn't fixing the problem. Good luck and be persistent, the squeaky wheel and all that.

SomeCatFromJapan · 09/01/2024 17:35

What checks did they do to try and trace any leaks? Some can be hard to find.

BluebellsAndLillies · 09/01/2024 19:43

@GasPanic the HA have ruled out the vessel leaking as they cable tided a plastic bag to the outside pipe which was empty the next day when the returned to check it. Topped up several times in that 24 hour period.

They ruled a leak out as there is no evidence on the cellings of a leak and said it would be very apparent if there was one. All radiators have also been checked for leaks by them and said none are leaking.

we have had 4 new pumps, 2 hot water plates, a gas valve, electrolytes?? replaced, three new metal boxes in the airing cupboard that are something to do with the zoned thermostats and all 3 thermostats have been replaced. None of that has made a single bit of difference. The radiators have been power flushed and bleed multiple times which hasn’t helped.

Its a Worcester Boosch 38CDI so no screen display as such, 2 temperature dials, a pressure gauge and a small LED display with a number on that has something to do with the boiler temperature I think.

OP posts:
BluebellsAndLillies · 09/01/2024 19:43

@SomeCatFromJapan Meant to tag you for my above post.

OP posts:
BluebellsAndLillies · 09/01/2024 19:45

@Janetsmug I do have a housing officer I believe meet her 12 years ago when we moved in, not heard from her since.

We lived here from new so the house is coming up 12 years old and the pipes in the floors etc are suspected to be plastic, not sure what difference that makes.

OP posts:
Janetsmug · 09/01/2024 20:05

BluebellsAndLillies · 09/01/2024 19:45

@Janetsmug I do have a housing officer I believe meet her 12 years ago when we moved in, not heard from her since.

We lived here from new so the house is coming up 12 years old and the pipes in the floors etc are suspected to be plastic, not sure what difference that makes.

The main switchboard should be able to email your HO and arrange for her to call you back, honestly give it a go, it's literally her job to sort issues like this!

GasPanic · 09/01/2024 20:10

BluebellsAndLillies · 09/01/2024 19:43

@GasPanic the HA have ruled out the vessel leaking as they cable tided a plastic bag to the outside pipe which was empty the next day when the returned to check it. Topped up several times in that 24 hour period.

They ruled a leak out as there is no evidence on the cellings of a leak and said it would be very apparent if there was one. All radiators have also been checked for leaks by them and said none are leaking.

we have had 4 new pumps, 2 hot water plates, a gas valve, electrolytes?? replaced, three new metal boxes in the airing cupboard that are something to do with the zoned thermostats and all 3 thermostats have been replaced. None of that has made a single bit of difference. The radiators have been power flushed and bleed multiple times which hasn’t helped.

Its a Worcester Boosch 38CDI so no screen display as such, 2 temperature dials, a pressure gauge and a small LED display with a number on that has something to do with the boiler temperature I think.

A real mystery !

I suppose two more things I can think of. One is that the water is leaking inside the boiler and then evapourating as it meets a hot surface. But my guess is that this would leave reside all over the internals of the boiler and would be easily spotted by someone checking out the heat exchanger/internals.

The other is that the leaking water is leaking down say a cavity wall and you just can't see it. I have a new build and all the pipes are buried in the walls. I can imagine if one of the downstairs radiators leaked it could be really difficult to spot. The problem is that fluids are essentially incompressible. what this means is that it only takes a small amount of water to increase the pressure by quite a bit in the loop, so it may be that the leak is not leaking very much fluid at all. Maybe it would be possible to look inside the walls with a camera. Have you taken up the carpets on the ground floor and checked the skirting boards ? Often these will show signs or warping or damp.

I have an FLIR camera and that can spot heat spots. But it is possible again that so little water is leaking out it will just not register on FLIR and the pics tend to be pretty blurry and hard to tell what is going on anyway.

Maybe they can isolate various bits of the CH loop to try to identify where the leak is. It really depends on the layout.

Anyway - ideas exhausted. Good luck !

One more thing - which radiator has to be re-bled in order to get the air out of the system ? Normally air accumulates at the top of the system so it is the upstairs radiators that need to be bled. But if it is one of the bottom ones it might provide a clue as to where the leak is happening.

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