4 signs your boiler could be dangerous

The signs below are dangerous and mean your boiler should be switched off IMMEDIATELY.

  1. The smell of spent gas or fumes

  2. Any visible signs of scorching, sooting or black spillage marks (also applies to room-sealed appliances)

  3. The pilot light continually going out or a yellow flame

  4. The frequent feeling of headaches or nausea when the boiler is running

If you are currently experiencing any of these tell-tale signs, or there is ANY DOUBT, call in a professional Gas Safe Registered engineer immediately.

Once I was called to a home where the boiler kept cutting out and the owners kept resetting the pilot. The boiler would work for an hour and then cut out again. On inspection the fault was obvious, and entirely due to ignorance and neglect.

The boiler was a floor-standing open-flued appliance that took oxygen from the room, and the client had covered the air vent as it had been causing a draft and allowing cold air in. There were black soot marks on the boiler casing.

As the boiler could not draw fresh air to burn and draft up the chimney, the boiler started burning a wavy yellow flame instead of blue and spilling carbon monoxide into the room. The yellow flame was wavering under the boiler, and the fumes passing up the casing caused sooty marks.

What was happening was when the boiler cut out and the client came in to reset, the door was open with plenty fresh air, so the boiler started. Then all the doors closed and the boiler was starved of air, so it cut out again.

The boiler was so old we advised replacing with a high efficiency room-sealed appliance that took oxygen directly from the outside.