Boiler problem. Can you please help?

Discussion in 'Engineers' Talk' started by hampshire rosie, May 2, 2018.

  1. Hello,
    Could I please ask for your help?

    I have an old Baxi Bermuda 552 Back Boiler and (I believe) the gas fire that went with it. (I'll add a photo of the fire as that might help you once I start wittering away:rolleyes::)) I think they're approx 27 years old and, until now, have been very reliable and we've never had any problems. However, on Sunday the pilot light went out. I wriggled about on the floor and discovered how to light it again but the next day it went out again and, since then, it won't stay alight. I'm pressing the grey button and the ignition button, then holding in the grey button for AGES but, as soon as I release the grey button, the pilot light goes out again. The gas fire works fine so I'm able to use that (I hope that's safe) but the boiler is dead ...... kaput ..... conked out ..... is a boiler no more. :( I rummaged about in the airing cupboard and found a switch for the immersion heater (which I didn't even know we had:oops:) but that doesn't work. The switch lights up but seems to think that's all it needs to do; "Heating the water must be someone else's job coz it ain't mine". I've now left it switched on for 24 hours and the water is still cold. I'm just glad we had an immersion heater to fall back on!! :rolleyes: So I have no hot water in the house apart from boiling a kettle.

    Please, can you tell me if the pilot light going out is a common problem and easily fixed (even temporarily)? Also, am I OK to use the gas fire? I don't want to blow up the house, or my neighbours, or myself.:eek:

    I appreciate the boiler is very old and I don't know if it's worth fixing (if that's possible) Perhaps it's time to buy a new boiler and gas fire but, ideally, I'd like to have some hot water whilst I'm deciding what to buy and where to put it. I know I can't have another back boiler and any new boiler needs to be placed elsewhere in the house but I'd prefer to have some time to think it through properly rather than do it in a rush and maybe regret it later.

    Apologies if I'm asking you questions which you can't answer without seeing the boiler. Also, I'm sorry if I sound like a complete dead loss; ......... it's probably because I am :) I've never really had to sort out these things before but now, sadly, I do. I have a house which is falling to pieces around me and I'm learning as I go along. Actually, I don't mind that :) but it's sometimes a steep learning curve and it means I ask loads of really daft questions ............ So I'll just apologize in advance:)

    I'd be very grateful for any help and advice you can give me.:)

    Attached Files:

  2. teabreak

    teabreak Well-Known Member

    You need a Gas safe engineer to service it, chances are it is a problem with the thermocouple, simple and cheap for someone qualified to repair.
    Apart from the gas supply being shared the fire and boiler are separate appliances, if your fire was being used safely without any problems up to now the flame failure device on the boiler should not affect it.
  3. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  4. teabreak

    teabreak Well-Known Member

    !00% with KAIB time to replace the whole thing! However it should be a simple repair for a service engineer to get it going again for a while, chances are it is in dire need of a service anyway, they do tend to grow a "fur" coat from house dust and pets!
  5. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    My mum had same boiler, use to have same problem, use to blow it clear with compressed air.
    Sometimes spark got so bad,electrode use to wear away, so use to relight pilot light with a gas lighter.:D
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  6. Thank you for replying and for the link KIAB but what do you mean by "Crud"? :eek: It's ONLY about 27 years old, it ought to have years of life in it yet!!!:D
    Baxi Boy likes this.
  7. Thank you Teabreak for your help. I'll ask a Gas safe chap to check it out and see if it can have a temporary fix. That would buy me some time to sort out what's best to buy. Brace yourselves chaps for 1000 daft questions later on when I get to that bit.:oops::)

    As for the "fur coat", I did shove the Hoover nozzle in there on Monday when it conked out again. I thought I might as well do something useful whilst I was flat out on the floor pressing buttons which weren't doing anything helpful:)
    teabreak likes this.
  8. Isitreally

    Isitreally Well-Known Member

    I have just removed my backboiler last week, when mine used to do what yours is, it was nearly always dust and fluff in and around the pilot light and burner.
    Once cleaned it would be as good as gold, i only swapped mine out because i wanted high hot water pressure so now have a unvented system.
    KIAB likes this.
  9. Oh blimey, that's thrown the cat amongst the pigeons, hasn't it? Now I don't know what to do:) I was veering over to the "Buy a new boiler" camp and now you say "Give it a clean and it might be as good as gold." Seriously though, thank you Isitreally for your help, I am very grateful:).

    I'm a pain in the whatsit because I tend to stick with the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory and I'll keep things for as long as possible. (Obviously, that theory isn't working too well at the moment coz the boiler IS broke and I AIN'T got any hot water:rolleyes::)) Until now the boiler has been perfect but everything has its life span and I have been wondering (and dithering:oops:) for quite some time as to when it would finally give up the ghost. I've also held off getting a new boiler for so long because I'm limited with wall space and, put bluntly, I don't know where to shove it where it won't be taking up room I use. Anyway, I think perhaps my best plan is to ask a gas engineer to look at it and hopefully fix it for now, then take his advice as to whether it's worth keeping any longer or to sing it a chorus of, "So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, goodbye". :rolleyes::)
  10. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Rip out back boiler, open up fire place & stick a nice multi fuel fire( burns coal,smokeless fuel,peat,etc), nice on cold winter evenings.:)
    Second get rid of cylinder & get a cupboard back & fit combi somewhere suitable, or fit a system boiler & using airing cupboard for unvented cylinder
  11. Mike83

    Mike83 Well-Known Member

    Probably a better built boiler than most on the market today.
    A simple boiler that's easy to fault find on and work on.
    As mentioned before chances are it's a simple thermocouple fault.
    The pilot going out on the back boiler won't affect the fire operation.
    dobbie likes this.
  12. dobbie

    dobbie Well-Known Member

    Try and get a recommendation from friends/family for a local gas engineer to come and give the boiler and fire a clean and service.

    As Mike above says it is probably built better than the new boilers today and there could be a few years left in it yet.
    If you get a good honest engineer, he should tell you condition of it and how much longer it should last.

    IT is all very well for someone on here having never seen it to spend your money (whether you have it or not) by telling you to rip it out and put in a few different items.
  13. Yes, that's true, you can't beat a nice, real fire, can you? We always had one when I was growing up and it was lovely and cosy. Mind you, I was only little so I never had to clean it out etc. But it's certainly something to consider, so thank you.

    As for fitting a combi "somewhere suitable"; well, that's a bit of a problem. As I understand it, it needs to be placed on an outside wall and, in the kitchen here, there is only one outside wall and it's mainly taken up with windows. I had thought about putting it in the smallest bedroom but the B&Q chappie advised against that because he said many people dislike boilers in bedrooms and it would put off people from buying if I decided to sell up later and move. And the loft is out of bounds for a boiler because ............ of some reason I can't remember at the mo:rolleyes:

    As for a system boiler and unvented cylinder; I know absolutely nothing about them so, rather than pester the life out of you all, I'll turn to my friend Google and do some research.:)
  14. Many thanks Mike83 for your help.:)

    To be honest, you've rather hit the nail on the head. It seems that pretty much everything you buy nowadays only lasts 5 minutes and I know I won't get another boiler likely to last almost 30 years. (Mind you, I'm not sure I'll last another 30 years either so why am I worrying?:)) This Baxi Bermuda doesn't have all the bells and whistles of newer gadgets but it switches on and off when I tell it to and it heats the water and radiators absolutely fine. ........... Well, obviously not at the moment but it has done until now, which is why I've been reluctant to get rid of it. Anyway, you're all giving me plenty of food for thought and I do appreciate your time and trouble:)
  15. Hello Dobbie, thank you for your help. Finding a good, honest engineer sounds very good advice and I'd be happy to go with his recommendations as to whether to keep or change the boiler. As you say, a new boiler is unlikely to last as long as this trusty old work horse but, to be honest, I'm not completely against buying a new boiler if that's the best option. It's a subject about which I know very little so I welcome all suggestions and I am most grateful for any help you chaps offer:)

    I seem to always have something which has either conked out, seized up or dropped off (and the house isn't much better:rolleyes:) I don't like to pester you too much so, rather than ask numerous questions which you've all answered before, I'm often on here going through old posts. Many of you have helped me without even knowing it. I sit here silently and furtively picking your collective brains:) to find out what I need to do to fix "the problem of the day". Many, many thanks to you all for your help:)
    Muzungu likes this.
  16. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Combi, system boiler, flues can also go out through the roof,instead of a wall.
  17. Oh, OK, that's helpful to know, thank you.

    Actually, I've made a plan for a new kitchen (before the boiler hassle). Now, I doubt this would work but can I please be lazy and ask a quick question? I've planned on having a tall unit for a single gas oven with a built in microwave above it. Can a boiler go in the cupboard above the microwave and oven? Also, the space available from the microwave up to the ceiling would only be 600mm. Would that be enough space for a boiler?
    (I told you I was a dead loss, didn't I?:rolleyes::))
  18. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    No & No to both questions.:(
  19. teabreak

    teabreak Well-Known Member

    Do not get talked into putting it in a bedroom, any installer that says they are silent is talking those round hangy down wrinkly bits! It will drive you nuts Much safer too, even modern boilers can be lethal if some twit messes up servicing.
    KIAB likes this.
  20. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Good advice.:)

Share This Page