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Common Firebird Boiler Problems & Repair Advice

Rob Wells
By: Rob Wells
Updated: 9th December 2021

If you have a Firebird boiler, this guide will take you through common Firebird boiler problems and how to fix them to get your hot water and heating back up and running.

The safest way to fix your Firebird boiler is by hiring a Gas Safe registered engineer, use our free service to get quotes from reliable and trusted engineers near you.

Most Common Firebird boiler problems

Firebird boiler problems Firebird error / fault code
No central heating E1, E2, E3, E5
Low boiler pressure E5
Leaking E5
Strange noises E5
Radiators not heating up E1, E2, E3, E5

No central heating

If your central heating isn't coming on then it's worth checking that your thermostats are turned on, whether the bottom of the radiators are warm (may need to be bled) and low boiler pressure. If none of these seem to be causing the issue then it's likely to be an appliance issue, which will need a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Low boiler pressure

If your central heating system isn't working correctly then your boiler might be low on pressure. You can easily check the pressure of the boiler by looking at the built-in pressure gauge – if you see anything below 1 bar then the unit is low on pressure.

Fix low boiler pressure

Increasing low boiler pressure is something that’s safe to do yourself, our guide to low boiler pressure can take you through the steps. Don’t hesitate to contact a Gas Safe registered engineer if you feel the slightest bit unsure.

Boiler leaking

A leak can begin for one of many reasons, but it normally means that an internal component has broken, usually a seal or valve. In time, this may lead to corrosion, rust or cause electrical components within the boiler to short circuit.

Fix a leaking boiler

Once you spot the leak, turn the mains water supply off to prevent the leak from worsening. You should contact a Gas Safe registered engineer as soon as you spot a leak from your central heating system, even if it’s small.

Hearing strange noises

Limescale or sludge building up on your boiler's heat exchanger can cause the boiler to make some strange noises which is known as kettling. This build-up can restrict the flow of water within the heat exchanger causing the water to boil then steam and whistle, like a kettle.

Fix strange noises

To allow the water to circulate properly, a Gas Safe registered engineer will be able to perform a powerflush of the heating system, which involves flushing chemicals through the system to clear any blockages. Once this has been done, it could be worth having a magnetic filter fitted to the heating system which will catch any debris before it has chance to build-up.

5. Radiators not heating up

A number of things can prevent your radiators from heating up, but the most common reason is sludge or air build-up in the system. If the bottom of your radiator is getting hot but not the top, you may need to bleed it.

Fix cold radiators

Bleeding the radiators clears trapped air from the system, allowing the hot water to circulate around the entire radiator. Our guide to bleeding radiators will take you through the steps if you wish to do this yourself but otherwise, you should hire a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Need a boiler repair?



Which Firebird boiler problems need a heating engineer?

To help you identify the potential causes of some common boiler problems, we've put together the table below so you'll know if you'll need an engineer.

Problem Possible cause Do you need an engineer?
No heat or hot water Can be caused by several things including broken diaphragms and airlocks, failure of motorised valves, issues with the thermostat or low water levels Yes
Leaking and dripping Most likely to be a broken internal component but it will depend where the water is leaking from Yes
Banging, whistling or gurgling noises Air in the system could be causing this, otherwise it could be that the water pressure is too low Yes
Pilot light goes out The thermocouple could be broken which is in turn stopping the gas supply Yes
Losing pressure Could be a water leak in the system, the pressure relief valve needs replacing or due to recently bleeding radiators No, unless there’s a leak
Frozen condensate pipe This fault should be displayed on your boiler as an error code or warning notification Yes
Thermostat issues Thermostat could be turned off or not set to the correct settings (time etc.) Consider replacing
Kettling Limescale or sludge building up on the heat exchanger Yes
Radiators not getting hot Sludge or air building up in the system or an unequal distribution of heat Your radiators will need to be bled which doesn't require an engineer but if you don't feel like carrying out the task yourself
Boiler keeps switching itself off Could be low water pressure, a problem with the thermostat or a lack of water flow due to a closed valve, air or the pump not circulating the water in the system properly Yes

Firebird boiler warranty

The majority of Firebird boilers come with a 2 warranty as standard that covers parts although they can stretch to as long as 10 years in some cases. Use our guide to Firebird warranties for more information. It’s important to arrange an annual service of your Firebird boiler to keep the warranty valid, your home safe and your energy bills as low as possible.

Boiler insurance and ongoing cover

If your Firebird boiler warranty has expired, then boiler insurance is something you might be thinking about incase anything goes wrong. Insurance that offer an annual service and safety inspections are well worth considering and remember that while you can take out insurance with your energy supplier, you don’t have to.

Is it time to replace your Firebird boiler?

If your boiler has been providing heating and hot water to your home for many years, then the time to replace it may be here. If you're living in a detached home you could be making potential savings of £300* a year. Take a look at the table below to see how much you could be saving depending on your current boiler rating and property.

House Type G (less than 70%) F (70-74%) E (74-78%) D (78-82%)
Semi-detached £195 £140 £125 £110
Detached £300 £210 £165 £135
Detached bungalow £155 £110 £100 £90
Mid-terrace £170 £120 £105 £95
Mid-floor flat £80 £55 £50 £45

How to find the best installer for a Firebird boiler replacement

If you think a new boiler is the right way to go, then you need to to think about who you want to do the replacement.

First things first though, any installation should be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The big decision to make comes down to a local engineer or a national company.

Local engineers can often offer very competitive rates and if you like the personal touch then you'll be happy to know that you're likely to be dealing with the same person from the first phone call to the last.

When it comes to national companies, not only will you be getting your boiler replaced but also have the option to get some extra services like ongoing boiler cover and big brand protection.

We always recommend getting up to 3 quotes, rather than the first one you're given, to give you the best chance of finding the deal that's right for you. With our service you can receive free quotes from engineers near you.

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*According to the latest figures from the Energy Saving Trust

Rob Wells

About the author

Rob Wells

Rob is another of our resident home heating experts. He manages our external partnerships, making sure you get the most up to date information.

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