Boilers need water pressure to work properly. There can be too little but also too much pressure so make sure that you get the right amount. This depends on your system but often there is a gauge that indicates how much pressure is present and a marking that indicates how much you need.
Too little pressure can make your boiler stop working. If the boiler has too much pressure, it might leak water and stop working as well. For this reason, it is essential that your boiler has the right pressure. If it is losing pressure all the time, there might be something wrong. Let’s study this in more detail.
How to increase boiler pressure
When there is enough pressure, your radiators or underfloor heating warms up and increases the temperature in your home. If we don’t monitor boiler pressure levels, they may get too low and the heating will become intermittent. This can be a big problem during those cold winter months.
Heating systems generally use a closed water loop. Over time water can drip out of it or air can get into it. To make sure that the water flows well in the heating system, we have to add water from time to time. This is generally done by opening two faucets between your water supply and your heating circuit. Often there is a flexible drain that is installed to do this. Sometimes you have to attach the drain before you can do this.
This should only happen every few months. If the pressure drops often, there might be an issue. You can keep a logbook that tracks how often you have to refill it. This can give an indication of how severe the issue is. Let’s see what is going on when the boiler keeps losing water pressure.
Why does my boiler keep losing pressure and is it dangerous?
We’ve all been there. You come home and the heat is gone. The boiler’s pressure levels are low and you’re wondering what to do. Before you call a plumber, let’s see if we can fix this ourselves!
Low boiler pressure shouldn’t be dangerous. While they can explode, it almost never happens.
Check if your water heater gives you an error code on the display. You can use the manual to see what the code means or use Google to find out. In some instances, you can lower the temperature of the system. In other cases, you will need to call a plumber to replace a part.
Explosions are often a combination of things that go wrong. If you pay attention to your system as a homeowner and check it every month to see if something weird is going on (such as water leaking from it or loud noises), the chances that your water heater will explode are very low.
Check your boiler. The pressure of the boilers is often displayed on a gauge. If the boiler is losing pressure, the needle on the gauge will be pointing towards the red area of the gauge. However, it’s important to note that if you turn off your heating for an extended period of time (more than 5 hours), then this can also cause a loss in pressure.
Steps to fix your low-pressure problems
Check the pressure gauge
Make sure your pressure gauge is working correctly. You can give it a soft tap to see if it is moving. The gauge can get stuck after a while. Don’t push it too hard, a soft push will do.
Check the boiler
Check if your boiler gives a warning. Modern boilers have advanced sensors and electronics. If there is a problem with your boiler (such as a cracked tank), the system can indicate that something is wrong. If you have the error code, it is easy to troubleshoot.
You can look online or in the manual to see what the meaning of the code is. Plumbers can often replace parts in the boiler to get it fixed again. They tend to work for 10 years but things can break down earlier.
Check for water leaks
Check if there is a water leak. This is the most likely cause of a dropping water pressure as water is leaking away from the closed-loop. You can start by looking around your radiators and see if you detect wet spots. Often the connectors (or fittings) can leak.
Also, check the manifold where the drains come together if you have a PEX system. This is also a point where a lot of leaks occur as there are a lot of connections in this area.
It is also possible that one of the valves is partially closed. This can reduce the water pressure as well.
Go with your hand over wet spots. You can also use a heat camera. If the drain is under the floor or in the wall, we have discussed some options here. These include using special equipment to listen to the water flow. Finding a small water leak can be quite challenging and some plumbers specialize in this. In some instances, you might have to open up the floor or wall to get it fixed. Water leaks can lead to a lot of damage so it is essential that you get them fixed as soon as possible. They won’t fix themselves and only get worse over time.
If you have underfloor heating, you can check this system as well. There might be an issue with the connectors or the installation.
Copper pipes can break after a cold winter or hot summer. For this reason, it is a great idea to insulate the pipes and make sure that they don’t get exposed to extreme hot or cold. Keeping your system active during the winter is essential. A lot of people want to save by turning their heater off but this can freeze the water pipes.
Dirt in the pipes
A clog in your pipes can slow down the water. It is possible that your radiator is breaking down and pieces of metal are getting in your drains. You can use a magnet filter to get these out. This can damage your boiler so it is essential that you examine this further. You might have to open up the pipes but this is quite easy. Given that the heating system is using a closed-loop, you can choose where you open up the pipes. This makes it easier to get them fixed.
To conclude, we can state that dropping water pressure in your heating system can indicate some serious problems. It is essential that you find out what is going on to avoid further damage. Sometimes it is just a small issue with a connector that you can tighten.
In other instances, you will have to replace the boiler or open up the floor or a wall to get things fixed. Small water leaks can be quite difficult to detect so plumbers might have to use advanced equipment to locate the issue.
Low water pressure is often quite easy to fix. If there is a water leak, you might have to call your plumber to get it fixed. Water heaters often shut down if there is a problem to avoid damage. Boilers are very modern and can indicate if something goes wrong.
Check the error code on the display and fix this part if needed.