Boiler Pressure Too High? 4 Fixes to Reduce Boiler Pressure
Have you been wondering why your boiler pressure so high?
If your boiler’s pressure is too high, this 5-minutes guide will explain why this happens and what should be done to reduce and release the pressure from your boiler. Our tutorial will teach what’s normal pressure for a boiler, common problems that may lead to high boiler pressure and fixes for each and every one.
Table of Contents
4 Reasons Your Boiler Pressure Is Too High (And How to Fix Them)
These are the top 4 causes of high boiler pressure:
- The heating system has been overfilled with water
- Natural expansion from boiler parts
- Pressure release devices in the boiler are failing
- External filling loop is letting-by water.
Now, let’s dive in and explore these causes and talk about ways to fix them.
#1 – Your Boiler’s Heating System Has Been Overfilled
The first and most obvious problem that leads to high boiler pressure is a heating system that has been overfilled.
By topping up water via the external filling loop, you can add pressure to your boiler. Your boiler needs sufficient water in it to operate correctly. This stops a “dry fire” scenario that might otherwise damage the pump, heat exchanger and other expensive parts.
However, if you overfill the system, it can put unnecessary strain on the whole heating system which causes the dreaded boiler pressure too high scenario. It’s going to mean copper joints are more likely to fail, the pump’s seals are more likely to blow, and it can even induce cracks in the heat exchanger.
Open the radiator valve to remove water from the boiler
So, what’s the fix for a boiler pressure too high situation? that’s too high in this scenario? Simply drain water from the heating system.
You have two options here as a point for bleeding the system:
- Drain cock
- Radiator bleed valve
You can remove water from the system via the radiator bleed valve, using a specifically designed radiator key.
Bleeding water from radiators tends to be messy, so have towels ready to cover walls/flooring, and make sure you have a small container to catch the water you’re bleeding from the system. Again, shut off the valve once at 1.3 bar to avoid reducing the pressure too much which can cause other problems like the so-called dry fire.
If you know where the drain cock in your property is, you can connect a small hose and open the valve slightly. This will allow water to escape. With someone helping you, they’ll be able to tell you when the pressure on your boiler is around 1.3 bar, so you can close the valve.
If you remove too much pressure from the system, don’t worry. You can refill the system using the external filling loop.
#2 – Boiler Parts Expanding (This Is Normal)
Next, we find a lot of people trying to find faults when their boiler’s pressure rises by around 0.3 bar or less when hot water and heating is on.
Naturally, parts expand when they heat up. So, as your heating/hot water comes on, you’ll see the pressure slowly rise.
However, there should be pressure release devices in your boiler that stop pressure rising too far. So, you should expect to see your boiler’s rise by less than 0.3 bar.
Get a professional opinion from a boiler engineer
Feel free to ask your boiler engineer to check the boiler’s pressure during the next service. However, small rises in pressure are normal. Once the pressure rise becomes 0.5 bar or more, that usually signifies that there’s a problem with high pressure.
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#3 – Pressure Release Mechanisms Malfunctioning Rises
As we’ve mentioned, a rise in pressure of under 0.3 bar is normal for boilers. But, if you notice that the higher the pressure goes, the quicker it increases — and it’s rising above 0.5 bar — there is likely to be a pressure release issue.
Different boilers have different parts to help release pressure when it’s at its highest. This includes expansion vessels, auto air-vents, pressure release valves and so on.
If these units fail, they might not be operating in the way they should. Instead of releasing pressure, they are containing it. And that means that the boiler’s excess pressure has nowhere to escape.
Not only could this mean you have a faulty pressure release unit, it means you’re putting excess strain on many boiler components. And eventually, the boiler will get to a point where the pressure is simply too high, and it will lock out.
Let a boiler professional assess whether the pressure is too high.
You’ll need a boiler repair engineer to come and assess your boiler. They’ll be looking at anything that helps to relieve pressure from your appliance. It’s likely to be a faulty part that needs replacing.
And, to make sure the quote they’re offering is reasonable, you can see average boiler repair costs here.
#4 – Filling Loop Isn’t Fully Closed
If you notice that your boiler pressure rises even when heating/hot water isn’t on, it’s likely that the filling loop (the device used to fill the system with water) isn’t fully turned off.
If the valve is stuck partially open (or hasn’t been closed fully), that’s going to constantly leak small amounts of water into the system. When this is the case, the boiler pressure will rise constantly, even when hot water and heating aren’t currently on.
Disconnect the external filling loop on your boiler.
Call a boiler engineer and ask them to disconnect the external filling loop. With both valves closed, it shouldn’t be letting by any water. If it is, that’s going to make your boiler pressure too high.
If the engineer notices that a valve is getting partially stuck open, a replacement filling loop is going to be needed.
What Pressure Should Your Boiler Be?
But, before trying to fix the problem, you need to understand exactly what pressure your boiler needs to be at to ensure that the pressure is neither too high nor that the boiler is losing pressure causing it to be too low. Is, in fact, your boiler pressure too high?
Typically, you’ll find that boiler manufacturers recommend a pressure of 1.3 bar (check your owner’s manual).
What Boiler Pressure Is “Too High”?
Anything above a boiler pressure of 1.5 bar isn’t ideal. 2 bar starts to become more serious and when most boilers hit 3 bar, they’re in the red zone on the pressure gauge.
So, the unit is likely to lock out and display a fault code.
If this happens, I’d suggest speaking to a Gas Safe boiler engineer.
Why Boiler Pressure Rises
To help to determine what the actual problem is, you’ll need to figure out if your boiler pressure is rising, or it’s simply set too high.
A boiler pressure that rises, is likely a completely different problem to heating systems that have a stable boiler pressure that is simply too high.
When to Replace Your Boiler
Luckily, most causes of high boiler pressure can be resolved by either bleeding some water from the system, closing off the filling loop, or replacing a faulty Pressure Relief Valve.
But if your boiler is older and several of its components are nearing the end of their useful life on top of the faulty relief mechanism, it may be wiser to replace your boiler altogether. That’s because for older boilers — especially those not under warranty — repairs are just a short-term solution that postpones their demise.
If you find that your old boiler is frequently malfunctioning, the repair costs exceed £300, and you’re not under warranty, we suggest you consider getting a new one. You can actually get a fixed quote on your screen right now by filling in Heatable’s anonymous questionnaire. The online installation company is still relatively new, but its relationships with top brands like Worcester Bosch, and its low overheads often translate into sizeable savings for consumers. Best of all, Heatable can offer you next-day service if you submit your request by 3pm!
Is Your Boiler Pressure Too High? Advice For What’s Next
Thanks for reading our 5-minute advice guide to fix the “boiler pressure too high” problem.
Fed up with your old and unreliable boiler? Get a fixed price online for a new one with Heatable.
Still got questions about boilers? Drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.