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Common Ideal Boiler Problems & Repair Advice

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

Take a look through the most common Ideal problems and how to fix them.

Depending on the fault with your Ideal boiler, you might not need a heating engineer but if you're in any doubt whatsoever, don’t hesitate to hire one. With Boiler Guide you can get free boiler repair quotes from engineers near you.

Common Ideal boiler problems

Ideal boiler problems Ideal error / fault code
Failing to ignite L2
Blank display Blank
Loud noise when igniting L2
Gurgling noises L2
No hot water F1, F2, L2…
Low boiler pressure F1
Flame loss F2, L2, FN or LN

Boiler failing to ignite

When Ideal boilers attempt but fail to ignite 3 times, they’ll lockout. This basically means that the boiler has shut down. If you're unsure, an orange light will display on the boiler.

Boiler display is blank

If nothing is appearing on the boiler display then that suggests there's no power to the boiler. If there is, it's then likely to mean that a component within the boiler may have failed, which an engineer will be needed for.

Loud noise when igniting

You don't expect your boiler to make a loud explosion and it can cause quite a scare, chances are that too much gas was in the chamber prior to ignition.

Gurgling noises

If you're hearing a gurgling sound then the likely cause are blocked waterways from the boiler to the condensate. The condensate trap will need to be removed so that the blockage can be cleared. This process is bound to cause some leakage, so it's a good idea to have a bowl underneath the boiler.

No hot water

On Ideal combi boilers simply check that the hot water temperature is turned up on the front, then check that the isolation valve underneath the boiler on the cold mains pipe is vertical/open. If neither of these seem to be the cause of the issue then it's likely to be a problem within the appliance, possibly a zone valve issue.

Low water pressure (F1 error code)

Ideal boiler pressure should sit around the 1.5 bar mark, you can check this by taking a look at the built-in pressure gauge. Over time, an Ideal boiler will very gradually reduce pressure but if there’s a sudden drop in pressure it’s likely that it will be down to a leak in the system or the radiators having recently been bled.

Increasing pressure on Ideal boilers

Increasing boiler pressure is something you can do yourself, simply follow the steps in our guide to fixing boiler pressure. If you’d prefer a heating engineer took care of it, then don’t hesitate to hire one.

Flame loss (F2 error code)

Finding the reason behind your Ideal boiler suffering from flame loss is a tough one as there are so many possible causes:

  • Faulty fan
  • No or insufficient gas supply
  • Issue with electrical components (pump, fan or PCB)
  • Low gas pressure

Fixing flame loss

If you use a prepayment meter then it’s worth double checking there’s enough credit. If you don’t have a prepayment meter, or there’s plenty of credit, then the Ideal F2 error code isn’t something you should even attempt to fix yourself. Always hire a Gas Safe registered engineer who will be able to find the issue and either repair or replace the faulty component.

Which Ideal boiler problems need an engineer?

To help you understand some of the more common boiler problems, we've put together the list below which will also lets you know if you'll need an engineer or not.

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 Only if 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

Ideal boiler warranty

Depending on the boiler you get through Ideal, you can get a longer warranty ranging from 2-7 years. We've put together a complete guide to Ideal warranties so that you know exactly what to expect. Keep your warranty valid by arranging an annual Ideal boiler service that will also give you the peace of mind that your boiler is running safely and efficiently too.

Boiler insurance and ongoing cover

If your boiler warranty has expired, then boiler insurance is a possible option. You can take out insurance with your energy supplier but you're absolutely no obligation to do so. When comparing insurance, the best ones will include an annual service and safety inspection, so keep an eye out for them.

Is it time to replace your Ideal boiler?

If you've had your Ideal boiler for some period of time then it's worth considering a new one as you could be saving up to £300* a year in a detached home. 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

Who should I hire to replace my Ideal boiler?

If you've come to the decision that you want to invest in a new boiler, now you need to think about who will be replacing the old one.

Whoever you get to replace a boiler they must be Gas Safe registered, that's the easy part. The work is going to be carried out by either a national company or local engineer but which is right for you?

As well as replacing your boiler, national companies will be able to offer extra services like ongoing boiler cover and big brand protection is always a bonus.

Meanwhile, local engineers can offer extremely competitive rates with a very personal service so you can talk with the same person from start to finish.

We don't recommend going with the first engineer you talk to so it's a good idea to get a quote from up to 3 engineers to give you the best chance of getting the perfect deal for you.

Send us an enquiry today to receive free quotes for a new boiler and find trusted engineers near you with our free service.

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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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