Finding out you have a problem with your Alpha boiler can be stressful and a real headache, especially if it breaks down during the winter months. In addition to being an inconvenience, a misbehaving boiler can end up being costly, depending on the fault and whether you need expensive parts fixing. While most issues require professional assistance, it’s not always necessary to call out a Gas Safe registered engineer because there are some common problems that you can tackle yourself.
Read on to discover the most common Alpha boiler problems and repairs and what to do about them.
1. Low boiler pressure
If you find yourself constantly topping up the pressure on your Alpha boiler, then chances are high something is causing the boiler to lose pressure. The E10 error code usually appears on the display panel when the pressure drops to around 0.6 bar, which means the pressure is too low for your boiler to operate. The loss of pressure is often caused by a leak somewhere in your heating system, but it could be that a radiator, pump, expansion vessel or pipework is leaking, rather than your boiler.
What to do next: You can check your pipework and radiators to see if you have a leak and, if so, seal the hole and repressure your boiler. If you can’t spot a leak or think you have an internal leak, you should call out a Gas Safe registered engineer.
2. No hot water
If your heating works but you’re not getting any hot water, the diverter valve inside your boiler is the likely cause of the problem. When the diverter valve becomes damaged or blocked, it can send hot water to the central heating instead of your taps, or vice-versa.
What to do next: You should never attempt to fix a problem with an internal component, meaning you need to get a Gas Safe registered engineer to diagnose the fault and carry out the repair. If the diverter valve is stuck or blocked, your engineer can free it and clean it up for you. However, any damage caused could lead to you needing a replacement diverter valve, which can cost anything from £300, not including labour costs.
3. Water is lukewarm
A boiler generating lukewarm water rather than hot water is a common issue with boilers of all brands, not just Alpha boilers. Potential causes of lukewarm water include a faulty thermostat or a faulty NTC thermistor, which monitors the boiler temperature. Another likely culprit is a build-up of limescale somewhere in your system.
What to do next: You will need to hire a Gas Safe registered engineer to check the thermostat and test the NTC thermistors. If there is a build-up of limescale, your engineer will either clean the affected components manually or flush the whole system to remove any dirt, sludge and debris.
4. A solid red light has appeared on the display
Another common problem with Alpha boilers is solid red lights appearing on the display panel. A solid red light on the A indicator is also known as a 47 error code and means the burner in the boiler will not ignite.
What to do next: You might be able to fix this yourself by resetting your boiler and rotating the switch on the front of the unit to position 3. The boiler will attempt to restart after around 30 seconds. If your Alpha boiler does not ignite after resetting it, the likely cause is debris blocking the burner. You’ve already done all you can, so you now need to get a Gas Safe registered engineer to take a look and fix the problem.
5. Noisy central heating pipes
Over time, central heating systems can create sludge in your pipes, resulting in your boiler becoming noisy. Strange noises are often signs of kettling issues which are more common in hard water areas. Boiler kettling is a mix of gurgling, whistling and popping sounds coming from your boiler when it’s operating.
What to do next: Your heating system needs to be cleared of any sludge, rust and debris, so you have no other option than to call out a Gas Safe registered engineer to perform a power flush, costing anything between £300 and £500, depending on the size of your home. Power flushing is a cleaning process that removes any sludgy build-up in your boiler, pipes and radiators. Your engineer has to connect a machine to your system that pushes a flow of liquid and chemicals through it to flush away the blockage. It usually takes up to 8 hours to perform but can be as long as 2 days if you have a complicated system.
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