Hello, I live in this private rented flat. My boiler (worcester combi?) started making this intermittent whining sound 4 weeks ago. Plumber came out 3 weeks ago and he said the fan’s on its way out. Also the pressure is rising to a given value way faster than it ought to.
OK, my landlord says he’ll replace my boiler, but he seems to be taking his time! I have the boiler switched off the vast majority of the time, but the pressure gauge pointer is very slowly increasing all the time (when switched off).
My landlord has agreed to replace my boiler, I have no idea why I am waiting so long though! Is the boiler currently dangerous? And what should I do? I’m thinking of maybe giving up my flat due to the fact I effectively don’t have any hot water, but difficult to get somewhere else with this virus.
Speak to environmental health at the council. They will get it sorted out!
OK, I’ll do that. Mind you, I’ve had this ongoing phorid fly problem, (caused by the tenant below me storing rubbish in his flat) and the council showed no interest at all! But a dodgy boiler seems more concerning, so I’ll contact them.
Lack of heating is classed as category 1 hazard and is an emergency.
You will have a tenant liason officer or an HMO officer that will deal with tenant issues
The HMO officer will definitely address. I realise you are not an HMO but they do deal with tenant issues HMO or otherwise as they come under the environmental health team
Problem is that I keep getting told that the plumber said the boiler is safe to use, and the plumber has to deal with all the tenants boilers that have completely broken first. But I’m leery about using the boiler, especially as pressure is going up even whilst not in use. Also, the issue with my boiler was reported almost 4 weeks ago. I’m supposed to be getting a new one, but heaven knows when that will happen.
Why not speak to the landlord again. They may not appreciate the urgency. Let’s not assume they’re trying to fob you off. Maybe the landlord is short of the cash at the moment and maybe struggling to afford the new boiler. Not all landlords have a spare 2 grand or so in their back pockets!
10 years ago my boiler at home broke before Christmas and I was recovering from pneumonia. I waited for two weeks to get seen as everyone was on holiday. It was the most painful time to live in a freezing cold house and it was snowing outside. Since then I have realised what a living hell it is to have no heating especially in winter.
I’m sorry but not being able to afford it is not a reason and certainly would not be a defence in law. You have a legal requirement to provide heating. You signed a contract with your tenant.
The least he could do is provide electric convection heaters ( they are £15 each).
After my own personal experience I changed the way I refurbed and managed the portfolio.
We have left as many heaters in properties as there are rooms just in case of an emergency so tenants don’t freeze to death. The shower is electric although the boiler is gas so if the boiler breaks tenants are not short of hot water to wash.
elec shower and boiler ,i agree
I do have this cheap electrical heater. First time I’ve used it these past 4 weeks since buying months ago. It’s having cold showers I hate. I mean I could switch the boiler on, but feel a bit leery about doing so.
@David68 I don’t know how well off my landlord is. But tenants pay a monthly sum not only to live in a property, but for the landlord to swiftly sort out any problem with items included in the flat that might malfunction. I mean, it’s his contractual obligation. I pay the rent in full and on time, and have done every month in the 6 years I’ve lived here. So he needs to sort all these problems out (but never sorts out any).
David 68 If a landlord has not got enough cash to look after a property they should sell up, as it is not for them There is always something to repair or improve
If it is the divertor valve that has gone you can use the boiler but the pressure will crash after it goes up exponentially so you may need to top it up.
TBH if it is that you can use the boiler and our gas chap has advised the tenants to do so.
The other option is to just change the part which is a lot cheaper.
Our tenants had a problem with the PCB board the week of Christmas last year. They could use the heating but had to manually control the water until we replaced the boiler in January.
We normally repair but the gas chap had said to me it was on its last legs at the last gas certificate and had said to replace if it broke down. He noticed the gas valve was leaking before he even looked at the issue we called him for so we just replaced the boiler.
Just because it’s broken does not mean it can be used
Why don’t you try it and be mindful of watching the pressure?
My tenant got issues with hot water with unvented electric hot water tank. After discussing with plumber instead of changing a few parts, I have just decided to change to new one for my tenant. Just waiting for for plumber to come and fix.
My tenant is very happy with my service.
There was an issue with another flat last in year during lockdown and it was emergency work and I got replaced new one in that flat.
A few month before that I had to get electric storage heater.
As landlord it’s our responsibility to get the work done and sometimes all big expenses come together but we have to be prepare for that even when we have issues with cash flow or not then it’s our problems.
Just a simple suggestion, you say the pressure is increasing when the boiler is off.
try checking the filler top up tap is completely off, if not it will allow water into the boiler and increase the pressure.
Got a phone call this morning from plumber who said he’ll come over next week to fit a new boiler. So that’s good.
@Tony9 I know nothing about boilers or where any filler top up tap might be. I think I’d best just leave it well alone. Doesn’t matter now anyway since being changed next week.
I have read all theposts and deduced the following.
“The pressure keeps rising” For that to happen the plumber must have left the fill valve open. Plumbers fault.
“Fan is on its way out” Mine has been for 15 years,fix the fan if it fails.
“plumber says ok to use” if plumber says that ,he is the expert so trust his word.
" got an electric heater" so use it.
" getting a new boiler fitted" what a waste of your landlords money, proballynothing that cant be fixed, your landlord is getting screwed.
Verdict, plumber is on the make.
From what I understand it’s judged not to be financially viable to just fix the current one. Landlords are not really renown for splashing out on repairs and stuff LOL So I guess he reluctantly concluded I need a new boiler. Personally I don’t mind, I just want one that works!
I replaced a boiler recently because it needed about £300 spending on it and was reasonably old. Got a new boiler fitted for about £1,600 including a 10 year warranty, parts and labour. So my tenants now have a boiler that shouldn’t break again, and, if it does, won’t cost me anything to fix. And it’s costing less per year over the 10 years than a British Gas service plan!
If I were the landlord in this situation, I’d be looking for a new plumber. Unless the Worcester is very old, it’s an excellent make and should be easily repaired by a competent plumber.
There are boiler replacement schemes landlords can use funded by the energy companies. Here in Wales we have used NEST to replace old boilers (if memory serves me right, the boiler needs to be 10years + old). It’s well worth searching on the internet to see what’s available for landlords. Also, there’s a scheme to replace old economy 7 heaters.
I have a Vailant comb boiler and a few years ago, the pressure gauge was showing the pressure increasing, even with the boiler switched off. With combi boilers, you have to top them up periodically. Sometimes there’s a tap to do it and sometimes a screw (you would ordinarily know about it). As the other poster said, maybe that top up valve is not turned off properly or maybe, as was the case with mine, water was bypassing it and continuing to go into the boiler and there was no overflow outside, which there should have been so it was flooding my kitchen. It was a simple job to get fixed, I’m still using the boiler more than ten years later.