Five minor boiler problems that you could solve yourself

With businesses and home owners restricted by the rules of social distancing, isolation and lockdown, it might not be as easy to get a heating engineer to tend to your boiler emergency at the minute. The good news is that whilst it is always advisable to have a professional take care of most boiler repairs, not all problems need an engineer’s expertise. You might be able to solve the problem yourself.

The pros at British Gas highlight five common boiler problems that could be resolved by you at home or work. Have a look:

  1. Low pressure


  • Your boiler switches itself off
  • Your central heating makes banging sounds
  • Your upstairs radiators, or those furthest from the boiler, stop heating.

What to do?

Fixing this usually takes little more than a tweak of the filling loop on your boiler. So if the pressure gauge on your boiler control panel reads less than 1 bar, carefully use your valve to increase it to between 1 and 1.5.

Just bear in mind that you might have to reset your boiler once you’ve re-pressurised the system, so check your manufacturer’s guide for details on how to do this.

  1. Problem with settings


  • Your boiler doesn’t come on when it should, or comes on erratically
  • The boiler doesn’t fire up
  • You have an error displaying (or a blank panel) on your thermostat.

What to do?

Your timer settings may have changed if you’ve had a power cut, or someone’s accidentally knocked the panel. So double check and adjust them if you need to, using your boiler manual if you’re unsure. Check that the central heating dial on the boiler control panel is turned up too.

Next, check the thermostat settings. If the temperature is set below 21℃ your boiler might not fire up, so increase the temperature to see if this helps. If there’s nothing displayed on the thermostat panel you might need to replace the batteries.

  1. Pilot light gone out


  • There’s no visible pilot light on your boiler
  • Your boiler won’t fire up.

What to do?

A pilot light can blow out for a number of reasons, but you should be able to reignite it by following the instructions on your boiler.

  1. Boiler locks out and needs resetting


  • The lock-out (red) light on your boiler keeps coming on
  • Your boiler control panel displays an error code
  • The boiler won’t fire up

What to do?

Sometimes a simple reset is all that’s needed. You should find your boiler reset button somewhere on the front control panel. If you can’t locate it, take a look at your boiler manual then follow the instructions on how to reset the system. If this doesn’t work you could try switching the boiler off and then on again.

  1. Frozen condensate pipe


  • The boiler makes gurgling sounds when you try to use it
  • Your boiler won’t fire up
  • The temperature outside has been particularly cold

What to do?

Try thawing it yourself by applying hot (but not boiling) water and a warm compress – like a hot water bottle – directly to the pipe.

If these simple solutions don’t work it could mean that you have a more serious problem with your boiler. Also note that it’s only safe to perform the most minor boiler repairs yourself. If you’re in doubt about any of the above do not hesitate to call your trusted technician, who will be able to advise you on the best course of action, perhaps even as your make the repair yourself.

For further details on any of the aforementioned repairs, visit which has videos and more detailed explanations on how to conduct these minor repairs.

For all your energy related questions, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Monitor your energy use with new Baxi technology

For company owners eager to improve the efficiency of the heating technology that drives their business, Baxi’s newly launched smart control solution will certainly pique some interest.
It’s a uSense smart control that can connect to a boiler with a downloadable app that allows users to control heating from a smartphone or table (from anywhere) as well as monitor energy use and costs so optimum money-saving settings can be calculated.

The smart control is compatible with all Baxi combi boilers that make use of the 230V switch live in a drive to provide more efficient technology in line with a growing focus on sustainable heating for homes and businesses.

Baxi has also launched a new combi boiler designed to weigh under 30kg! The Baxi 600 is small enough to fit into a cupboard and comes with new accessory; the Easy-Fill, which allows consumers to easily repressurise their boiler themselves. Perfect for small businesses! Customers will also benefit from a seven-year warranty with Baxi’s newbie.

H&V News writes that Baxi’s announcement of the launch of the new model and smart control solution reflects a broader push from boiler manufacturers to integrate or offer smart controls with their products.

If you’d like further information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Plumbing advice for business owners moving property

Is your business moving to a new property? If so, it’s important to check that the plumbing, pipes, taps and fittings on the new premises are in proper working order – to avoid time consuming inconvenience and the costs incurred there from.

WaterSafe, the UK national accreditation body for approved plumbers, has created an easy five-step guide to help property owners ensure that their plumbing is in top notch condition. The advice is based on the invaluable experience of the approved Watersafe plumbers who are often the first port of call when there is a problem, and aims to facilitate a smooth transition into a new property. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Find the internal stop tap (usually found where the water supply enters the premises) and make sure it’s working properly and you can turn it on and off easily, in case you need to in an emergency.
  • Check your boiler’s service history – how old it is and how regularly it’s been serviced. If there’s a cold water tank in the attic, make sure it’s clean and that it has a lid fitted.
  • Look out for leaky taps, toilets and radiators. Tell-tale signs to look out for are: loss of pressure, rust, water stains on the walls, floors or carpets, or mould on ceilings and walls.
  • Find out whether the property has lead water pipes – usually a dark matte grey pipe that turns shiny when scraped with a screwdriver. Drinking water that has passed through lead pipes can be harmful so you might want to replace them with copper or plastic ones.
  • Check if there’s a water metre, which could be in the ground outside the front of your house, or inside near the stop tap. If you have a water meter you’ll be charged for the amount of water you use rather than an estimated amount.

If you’d like further information or plumbing advice, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Sources: – “Moving home? Our plumbers’ top tips” and “New home? Check your plumbing”.

Why your boiler might need a service this summer

Common perception is that boilers are put under strain in winter months but recent research by ADEY Professional Heating Solutions suggests that demand for hot water (if not heating) increases in summer.

Of the 2,000 participants who took part in the study, almost one in five of those surveyed are likely to shower more than once a day at some point in the week, up from around one in 10 people during winter months. Seventy per cent of participants also articulated a preference for showers rather than baths, compared to 55 per cent in winter.

It is summer after all – more people are engaging in physical activity, with a third of people saying they either work out or play a sport that requires a shower or bath afterwards – between twice and as many as six times in a week. This means that gyms are likely to have their boilers running at maximum capacity! There’ll probably also be loads more employees cycling to work, which means that companies with shower facilities might also be confronted with boiler exertion.

Businesses should be aware that although system protection seems to be punted by the heating industry in winter, if boiler(s) have not been serviced in the last 12 months (as per industry standard), neglecting it in the summer under the assumption that it’s not being put under strain is probably unwise.

Boiler breakdown is not only costly but entirely inconvenient, especially if you’re a business aiming to keep employees happy (no one wants to sit next to a sweaty cyclist!) as well as save on overheads.

Service your boiler!

If you’d like further information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Source: – “Silent summer strain on boilers”

Why Hoval’s biomass boiler might be the thing to keep your business sustainable

The latest stats by the Office for National statistics suggest that the UK is on track to meet its renewable energy goals. According to expert analyses, wind power substituting for gas and coal use has driven down greenhouse gas emissions, putting the UK halfway to fulfilling its commitment to produce 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, under targets commissioned by the European Union.

But it’s also down to home and businesses owners opting for more sustainable heating options, Hoval’s biomass boiler being but one example. A case in point is a recent installation by Stroud School in Hampshire, which, as part of its drive to improve sustainability and reduce carbon emissions, has installed Hoval biomass boilers to provide space heating and domestic hot water for the main school building and two new buildings. Now, the resolution of a single establishment might seem paltry in the grand scheme of things but is nonetheless a significant contribution in the county’s efforts to ‘go green’. (Many such contributions make a difference.)

The two 160 kW BioLyt biomass boilers supplied by Hoval use wood pellets as an alternative to fossil fuels and are thus particularly suited to the school’s rural location. The BioLyt is however suited to any plant room; even in cramped conditions, the boiler can be easily introduced into building systems, and is suitable for both new build and existing system upgrades with easy access.

Hoval describes its BioLyt biomass boiler as:

  • Very low environmental impact
  • Rapid return on investment
  • An ideal choice when updating your system
  • Easy to use and reliable.

Two 4000 litre buffer vessels were also supplied to Stroud School by Hoval, which boast a maximum working pressure of 3 bar g (with larger vessels available on request).

If you and your business are considering a commercial boiler commission that might involve a sustainable boiler upgrade, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Sources: – “Hoval biomass boilers support Stroud School’s sustainability and – “UK on track to meet its renewable energy targets”

Arlington House Apartments

CH Systems has recently been awarded the mechanical maintenance contract for Arlington House Apartments (SW1A 1RL), which offer a range of Luxury Serviced Apartments in Central London. Our maintenance work encompasses the servicing of 3no Potterton NXR14 boiler, 3no 500litre calorifiers as well as numerous other items of plant.

The apartments are designed in a contemporary modern style to provide travellers with a “home away from home” experience, including fully equipped kitchens with Miele appliances, a comfortable spacious lounge to relax and unwind, surround sound music system, wide range of television channels and individually controlled air conditioning.

Arlington Street is located near Green Park, just off Piccadilly, and is next door to the legendary Ritz Hotel. The apartments range in variety, from studios to three bedrooms, and make the ideal choice when travelling with family or friends.


For more information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Flood safety – advice on how to keep your boiler intact

The wettest January since records began in 1766 has seen unprecedented flooding all over England. According to the Environmental Agency, since the beginning of December 5,800 homes and businesses have flooded – as reported by Thankfully, the waters seem to have abated (although the bad weather is by no means over) and homes and businesses are cleaning up the damage.

Devastating flood scenes have left boilers and central heating an afterthought but the truth of the matter is that water and electricity are not compatible. If your business is located near floodwater and the risk of flooding is high, it’s probably best to turn off all electrical devices (before the flood waters enter the property) – remembering that your boiler will also turn off (most requiring an electrical connection to function) and thus central eating will be inoperable.

The safe operation of boiler systems is impacted when the electrical systems, controls and safety devices become inundated with water. In extreme cases such events can partially or totally submerge these systems causing malfunction or catastrophic consequences. So, although inconvenient, it’s best to just turn the electricity off to subvert any potential damage that may be done by floodwaters.

Some other safety tips are:

  • Don’t touch any electrical appliance whilst standing in water (to avoid electric shock).
  • Once the floodwater has subsided, before your electricity is turned back on the electrical system must be checked by an electrician, and the heating system should ideally be isolated until a full safety check can be conducted by a Gas Safe engineer.
  • And what about your boiler? Paul Hardy, Managing Director at Baxi, says that as a general rule, all the electrical components of the boiler should be given a once over and engineers should check the PCB for any damage or debris before conducting a full system check.

It’s important for businesses to practice ‘boiler safety’ so that minimal water damage is caused (saving money and insurance hassle) and employees and business patrons can work in a safe environment.

For any information, especially in light of recent flooding, please feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Source: – “What to do during the floods”

How powerflushing can make your heating service more efficient as well as save your business money

Have you noticed cold areas on office radiators, excessive noise from the boiler or the heating system pump, cloudy tap water, discoloured water when bleeding the radiators and (or) the slow warming of the heating system in general – all of which disrupt not only productivity but the general cadence of a typical working day?

If so, your heating system might be due a powerflush.

A powerflush is a cleansing process used to remove corrosive elements from a central heating system to prevent damage to the system and its components. It’s the rapid movement of water through the heating system, aided by the use of super strength cleaning chemicals (including sludge crust breaker, descaler and corrosion inhibitor), to remove deposits.

Unblocking pipes and clearing sludge minimises corrosion by constraining the build-up of debris (limescale, rust etc.) and inhibiting the growth of microbiological organisms, which will improve the efficiency of your central heating system – radiators swill be hotter and will warm up quicker, employees won’t cringe when filling the kettle with water to make a warm drink and you’ll be able to have a meeting or conduct a phone call without the intrusion of a rowdy boiler. Pumps will also last longer and radiators will have an extended life if there is no corrosion present and suitable corrosion inhibitors are used.

A system that is longer lasting and less likely to break down will result in reduced running costs, saving your business money.

Powerflushing a heating system can take up to six hours, sometimes longer if deposits are extreme, and the cost will depend on the size and location of the system.

For more information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

New combi boiler by Worcester

There is nothing worse than trying to fit a giant boiler into a miniscule space – especially if you’re relying on aesthetic appeal to sell a product or service, like a restaurant or hotel.

Commercial or industrial heating systems also have the penchant for hogging space, and thus encroach on employees’ ability to work efficiently. There’s nothing like moving around a restaurant kitchen whilst playing ‘dodge the boiler’ as you fry a cordon bleu steak.

With this in mind, Worcester has expanded its Greenstar range with the launch of a brand spanking new combi boiler.

Described as one of the smallest boilers on the market, Worcester’s Greenstar CDi Compact measures 690mm x 390mm x 280mm, and is available in outputs of 28kW, 32kW and 36kW. The boiler’s compact size means that there is greater scope for where it can be fitted – in the cupboard, behind the door (out of site out of mind!).

Of course it’s all good and well having a lovely boiler that fits the practical/aesthetic dimensions of a business but the real question is whether it will save money – is it energy-efficient? Worcester says it is!

The combi boiler aims to be high performance with low emissions, and also features a revolutionary ultra-compact heat exchanger, manufactured using cutting-edge technology adopted from the aerospace industry and the military. Said exchanger uses less than 1W of electricity when in standby mode; although that may seem like not such a big deal, the savings will accumulate over time.
It is recommended that the boiler be serviced on a yearly basis (to keep it in good working order) and there is even an optional setting ‘service reminder’ that will help you to remember to call the experts when maintenance is due.

Worcester is currently offering a great deal on the Greenstar CDi Compact; if you buy it before June 2013, it comes with a 5 year guarantee. Bonus!

If you own a small business and are interested in Worcester’s combi boiler, do not hesitate to contact the C H Systems team for more information on 0208 302 8149 or

Vaillant 1 millionth boiler

To celebrate the installation of its one millionth ecoTEC high efficiency condensing boiler in the UK, Vaillant has awarded £2,000 worth of holiday vouchers to homeowner Barry Stevens, who had the Vaillant fitted in his property, and installer Adrian Rigden. The lucky winners were presented with their prize vouchers by Vaillant’s Brand Marketing Manager, Ian Johnson at Mr Steven’s home in Ramsgate.

The one millionth Vaillant boiler – an ecoTEC plus 831 high efficiency combination boiler – was also awarded ‘Best Buy’ by the leading Which? consumer publication in 2010. As every boiler has its own unique serial number, the location of the one millionth boiler was automatically identified when the customer registered his Vaillant guarantee.

Adrian Rigden, who installed the boiler, said: “I always fit Vaillant boilers. They are top quality, highly efficient products that are also extremely reliable. Once I had installed Barry’s boiler, it was simply a matter of explaining the controls to him and that was it – a straightforward installation, as I’ve come to expect from such a renowned manufacturer.” 

Upon receiving his prize, a delighted Barry Stevens said: “I wasn’t expecting this at all, what a wonderful surprise. When Adrian recommended the Vaillant boiler, he explained that it would be simple to use and could reduce my heating bill – these holiday vouchers are an added bonus.” 

Ian Johnson, Brand Marketing Manager at Vaillant, added: “As part of Vaillant’s continued commitment to its installer partners and customers, it is a pleasure to be able to congratulate and reward both Barry and Adrian with £1,000 of holiday vouchers each. Furthermore, the one millionth ecoTEC boiler will help Barry enjoy savings of over a third on his heating bills, while significantly reducing his carbon footprint.”

Source: – “Vaillant celebrates installation of its one millionth ecoTEC boiler”

Feel free to contact the C H Systems team for more information on 0208 302 8149 or