Worcester boiler problems: top 5 and how to fix them

Worcester boilers are one of the top selling boiler brands in the UK, with over half a million of them sold in 2017 alone. Worcester boilers have an excellent reputation and are Which?’s best buy for gas and oil boilers in 2021. However, like any equipment under daily operation they can see faults and breakdowns. We take a look here at what to do when your Worcester boiler is not working, some of the most likely Worcester boiler problems that you might come across and – critical on a cold winter’s morning – what to do if you find yourself in the position of your Worcester boiler not firing up for hot water.

Worcester boilers, owned by Bosch, have been manufacturing boilers since the early 1960s and now supply combi, system and regular boilers in a range of configurations which are suited to gas, propane (LPG) and oil fuel power. Worcester boilers come with an industry leading guarantee, however, they can be prone to day-to-day stoppages just like any other boiler system, particularly if you have an older model – but the good news is that some of these problems don’t necessarily need a qualified engineer to resolve them. Having some basic knowledge and tips on hand can ensure that your heating and hot water remains flowing as you need it, and will help you to understand when it’s time to call out an engineer.

Loss of boiler pressure

It is fairly common for boilers of all makes to lose pressure over time and need topping up – so this is not just a Worcester boiler problem. When your system is cool, the boiler’s pressure should be somewhere between 1-1.5, although your user manual should tell you specifically what pressure is right for your model. If you are consistently seeing a pressure drop and low boiler pressure then you should check your system for leaks such as holes (particularly in the bends in pipework), as well as seals or joints leaking. 

If you suspect a leak or actually find one, you should call on a Gas Safe Engineer to help you, rather than attempt to fix it yourself. Alternatively, if you have boiler service cover, this is where you would need to call someone. If you do not locate a leak and this is the first pressure drop that you’ve seen, you can re-pressurise the boiler yourself. 

Boiler lockout

If you have a boiler lockout light and it is flashing, or if your boiler is showing a 227 error code, then it means that your boiler has shut itself down as a safety precaution to prevent further damage. The reason for this can be varied, from boiler pressure being wrong (either too high or too low), to blocked flues, worn ignition leads or even a straight PCB failure. With this particular fault, it is best to get a qualified engineer to locate and identify the problem and then resolve it for you. 

Blocked condensate pipe (error code EA229)

If you find your Worcester boiler not working and it is displaying code EA229, this means that the condensate pipe is blocked. A condensate pipe has the job of disposing of harmful waste gases from a condensing boiler out through your drains. 

This fault most commonly occurs during the winter months when the pipes freeze and block as they transport the waste outside your home where there is no protection from the cold. To thaw the pipe, pour hot water over the outdoors section of it, starting at the end. To prevent this problem from recurring you can either move the pipe to a warmer location, or you can use lagging to insulate the outdoor section of the pipework. 

No hot water

If you have a problem with your Worcester boiler not firing up for hot water, there are a number of faults that could be the cause. One of the more common reasons is a faulty diverter valve, which is the valve that controls the flow of hot water from your boiler to either your central heating or your hot water system; if it sticks, then chances are you will have heating but no hot water. 

It could also be the result of a faulty PCB unit or heating pump, however. In the case of your Worcester boiler not firing up for hot water, we recommend that you contact a Gas Safe Engineer to take a look at the problem for you. 

Noisy boiler

If your Worcester boiler problems focus around noises coming from it, such as banging, whistling and other odd noises, this can be due to limescale build-up on the heat exchanger causing it to overheat – the whistling noise is the result of steam being produced and is called ‘kettling’. Strange boiler noises can also be caused by a drop in water pressure or a faulty thermostat. It is important to deal with these kinds of problems as soon as possible because they can cause much wider damage if left unresolved, leading to potentially expensive repairs. To remove the limescale, a heating engineer will use special chemicals to clean through the system, but they would check for other problems and identify the underlying cause before applying a treatment. 

If you’re having problems with your Worcester boiler not working, get in touch with the friendly team at toasti today. With Gas Safe Engineers on hand to safely address your problems or advise you on the best course of action, whether that’s repair or a new boiler installation, your Worcester boiler problems will soon be a thing of the past.