5 Common Alpha Boilers Problems
Are you looking for reliable answers to the most common Alpha boilers faults? At Boiler Installation Nottingham, we have this quick guide that covers some of the most common faults associated with Alpha boilers. While the guide tries to cover all Alpha boiler models, the CB24, Intex 28X, CD28X and CD28C are the most commonly featured.
Some of the fixes to the problems are simple. But even for the simplest fixes, if you have any shred of doubt when dealing with the boiler, pick up the phone and call an engineer. There’s no price tag for your safety and wellbeing and boilers can be unpredictable under inexperienced hands.
Low Boiler Pressure (Fault Code E10)
No matter where you look, as long as you have a boiler, you’re going to have boiler pressure problems at some point.
Boilers heat water under pressure. Over time, the boiler pressure can drop and you only need to top up the boiler using the external filling loop. When the boiler loses pressure, it will display an E10 fault code on the display panel.
The code is an indication that the boiler has lost pressure. In addition to the code, if the boiler pressure falls too low for the boiler to operate safely, the boiler will lockout. Typically, this happens when the pressure level drops to 0.8 bars or less.
Cause: There are two reasons your boiler could be losing pressure. The first is the natural path that boilers take and lose pressure gradually over some time. If the drop in boiler pressure is constant and spontaneous, it is linked directly to a heating system leak.
Leaks can happen in different parts of the system include pumps, expansion vessels and even the radiator. Without finding the leak and fixing it, topping up the boiler and resetting it will only work for a short while.
Fix: You need to find the source of the leak. If it’s a faulty valve, it needs to be replaced. You can also check for a blown pressure valve as well as soldered joints on the pipework. Once you find the leak and fix it, you can follow the repressurisation protocol on the Alpha boiler user manual to restore the boiler pressure.
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This problem happens often in older Alpha boilers. As some of the parts get worn out, the boiler might not be as efficient in heat transfer and the water coming out might only be lukewarm. The problem is also common with other types of boilers.
Cause: Limescale build-up and a faulty NTC thermistor are to blame. The NTC thermistor monitors the temperature of the water. If it’s not working correctly, it can pass the wrong information to the boiler resulting in inadequate heat transfer.
If you find that the thermistor is working correctly, check for hotspots on the central heating pipes. Dents and bend sin the pipes or limescale build-up near the thermistor can cause the same problem.
A faulty diverter valve, defective thermostat or a blocked diaphragm could also cause the water to be lukewarm. Identifying which of these is not working properly is critical in determining the right fix.
Fix: You need a boiler engineer for this one. He will test the NTC thermistor to make sure it is producing the right readings. If the thermistor is at fault, there’s no shortcut. It needs to be replaced.
If the thermistor is working correctly, the engineer will check for limescale build-up around the thermistor. The limescale has to be removed to restore the flow of water. A hot flush can remove the limescale or replacing the affected parts of the pipework.
If there’s build upon the thermistor shelves, replacement or cleaning is required.
For a faulty thermostat or diverter valve, these need to be replaced to guarantee the boiler works properly again.
If each of these areas checks out and you still can’t find what the problem is, try checking if the radiators are heating up when you run hot water taps. If this happens to be the case, it points to the thermistor being the culprit.
Red (A-Indicator) light is on
Alpha boilers often display errors and faults with red or yellow lights on the display panel. The different colours and actions of the lights point to different types of problems. Deciphering the actions and colours of the light is critical in repairing the boiler.
Cause: A solid red A Indication light which shows a 47 fault code on the boiler panel points to a burner that has failed to light.
Fix: Attempt to reset the boiler by turning the boiler switch to 3. After about 30 seconds, the boiler should restart. If the indicator still behaves the same way, it’s time to get in touch with a Gas Safe engineer. The engineer will check for blockages and check the state of the burner. This problem has a higher chance of happening if the boiler is old. If the burner is out of commission, changing it might cost a pretty penny. You should consider replacing the boiler with a new and more efficient boiler.
(A) Indicator Flashing Red
A red flash on the A-Indicator accompanied by a 2, 0A3 or a 25 error code points to a faulty thermostat. Usually, the overheat thermostat is the problem. The fault is followed by a boiler lockout.
Cause: There are a number of things that could be causing problems. The most common is an airlock in the heat exchanger. Other culprits are a primary flow blockage, a faulty pump, a closed-circuit valve for the heating, a faulty flue sensor and a blocked flue outlet. There are other factors associated with this problem. That’s why you might want to get an engineer come and give the boiler a look.
Fix: Before attempting any fixes, the engineer must run tests to determine what the problem is. If it’s a blockage, the blockage should be cleared. An airlock should be removed using the bleeding screw if the boiler has one and if there are faulty parts they should be replaced.
No light on the boiler
This happens rarely but can send all your alarm bells ringing. Every time you power on the boiler, there’s a light. If the light is out, it means there’s no power to the boiler. The boiler will not only fail to light up but will also not ignite. That means no heating and no hot water.
Cause: The problem is usually an electrical malfunction. It could be as simple as a blown fuse around the house, the plug or the socket. It could also be a problem with the circuit around the house.
Fix: Start by plugging other appliances in the same socket to see if they work. If they do, you can rule out any circuit or socket problems. You can proceed to check the plug. If it’s working fine, you need to call in an engineer to test the electrical components and boards to make sure they are not the problem.
There are other minor problems like gurgling sounds in the pipes that you might experience with your Alpha boiler. These are not unique to Alpha boilers and you should follow the same tips offered for other boiler brands.
It’s always a good idea to run some diagnostics on the boiler if you have some experience before calling an engineer. This saves you unnecessary costs and also saves the engineer the time of coming up to your residence.
However, if you’re not sure of what to do, give the engineer a call. Most will offer you valuable information and quick tips on what you should do before they can determine if the boiler problem warrants a visit. For additional tips, you can also refer to the boiler’s user manual.