Alpha boilers have a good reputation for reliability however there are a few common issues that can occur, causing a breakdown.
Boiler breakdowns seem to have a tendency of always occurring at the most inconvenient time! However, this article will help to identify common Alpha boiler issues along with providing some troubleshooting to help get the heating system back up and running again.
Common Alpha Boiler Problems
#1 A Red or Yellow indicator A light
The most frequent Alpha boiler issue is when a red or yellow light is shown on the display panel. The light colour and status, either flashing or constant will identify different issues with the boiler, however, the most common is when the A indicator shows a solid red light, otherwise known as fault code 47, which often means that the boiler burner has failed to ignite.
This fault is often easily fixed by resetting the boiler. On most Alpha boilers, the process to reset the boiler is to rotate the switch located on the front of the boiler into position three. After roughly a thirty second delay the boiler should begin to restart. However, if there is any doubt regarding the boiler reset process always refer to the boiler’s manufacturer instructions.
In the fault reoccurs following a completed reset, there could be internal debris blocking the burner. In this case, a specialised Gas Safe engineer will be required to clean the burner or replace it if the damage is found. Should the burner require a replacement, always obtain multiple quotes for the parts and labour, and consider the age of the boiler as it may be more economical to replace the entire unit.
#2 A Red indicator A light in addition to a Yellow Indicator B light
When an Alpha boiler is showing a red flashing light in the A indicator as well as a yellow light on the B indicator, the issue is likely to be linked to the burner however this matter is likely to be more serious.
Like the first issue, the first troubleshooting step would be to attempt to reset the boiler however with multiple warning lights, a reset is unlikely to resolve the matter. Rather than a debris blockage, the dual warning lights could represent a broken or faulted burner. Similarly, a Gas Safe registered engineer will be required to safely investigate and repair or replace the burner.
#3 A Red indicator A light
When an Alpha boiler displays a red light on the indicator A but there is no light shown on the indicator B, it is likely to mean that the thermostat is overheating. The display codes for overheating could also be shown in the display window of fault code two or twenty-five.
In this scenario, the boiler is likely to lockout for safety purposes too.
As the overheating could be caused by an array of issues from an airlock or faults with the flue, a qualified engineer will be required to safely diagnose the specific part at fault and recommend the best cause of action.
#4 Low Boiler pressure
A boilers pressure will naturally go up and down when in use as the process of heating water causes expansion which in turn increases the pressure within the boiler. However low pressure can cause issues inside the boiler such as part failure and therefore often a boiler will shut down if it detects low pressure to protect the internal parts.
Low pressure can be identified by the error code E10 being displayed on an Alpha boiler display window. One cause of low pressure can be a leak within the boiler itself or throughout the heating system pipework, therefore the first port of call would be to inspect the system for signs of a leak.
If no leak is suspected, the pressure can be adjusted in the boiler itself. Always check the boiler’s manufacturer manual for the re-pressurising process and to locate the source of the pressure taps before making any adjustments.
If a leak is found, sometimes smaller leaks can be resolved yourself by applying some DIY sealant to the pipework however if there is any doubt in the location or size of the leak, always seek the advice of a specialist engineer to review the boiler and heating system.
#5 No Hot Water or Central Heating
When an Alpha boiler appears to be working correctly however is not producing hot water or heating the cause of the issue could be the diverter valve.
A diverter valve is an internal part within the boiler that directs the water that has been heated by the boiler to the radiators, taps, and showers. If this valve is not working correctly, either because it is blocked or damaged, the water circulation can be stopped resulting in no hot water or heating.
A heating engineer should be called in this scenario to either clean the component, removing any blockages, or if the damage is detected, quote for a replacement diverter valve. These parts can be expensive, often around £300 plus labour costs of the fitting, and therefore depending on the age of the boiler, a replacement boiler unit may be more economical.
#6 Lukewarm water
A very common issue with Alpha boilers is that water is not heated to a sufficient temperature level. The cause of lukewarm water could be either due to a fault with the NTC thermistor or due to limescale built up within the system.
An NTC thermistor is an internal part that tells the boiler that the desired water temperature has been reached, and therefore to stop heating the water. If the part is faulty, the signal may be sent to the boiler in error, stopping the water heating process.
Should this part require replacing a heating engineer would be required.
If limescale is the cause, individual components can be cleaned or a system flush can be performed by a heating engineer to clear the system of sludge and debris, depending on the level of the limescale concern.
Alpha Boiler Problems Final Words
There are a number of reasons that can cause an Alpha boiler to fault however hopefully this article has run through the most common concerns and the troubleshooting steps to resolve the issues.
However, if there are any doubts regarding the diagnosis of the concern or confidence to undertake the troubleshooting steps, always call a qualified heating engineer. Also always bear in mind that the age of the boiler when assessing the value of any works to be undertaken as sometimes a replacement, modern boiler could save money in the long run.