There are tons of components that make up a boiler, which is why it can be hard to identify the issue when it comes to boiler breakdowns. By understanding what parts of your boiler do and how they can impact your system, you can find it much easier to diagnose problems and have quick repairs. Understanding what a diverter valve is, is a great place to start, as faults with this component can be the cause for no hot water.

As experienced plumbers in Buckingham and the surrounding areas, we have put together a guide on what is a diverter valve so that you can understand whether this could be causing your boiler breakdown.

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    What Is A Diverter Valve? A Bishop Plumbing & Heating Guide

    A faulty diverter is a common problem with boilers, which is why, more times than not, you may be told that your diverter needs repair or replacement if your boiler keeps breaking down.

    Below we have provided a host of information, but if you would like to find out more or need our plumbers to see if you could benefit from a diverter replacement, please feel free to get in touch with our plumbers in Milton Keynes.

    fixing broken diverter

    What Is A Diverter Valve In A Boiler?

    A diverter valve can be found in a combi boiler, and it can start to cause issues when the boiler is around 10 years of age. The diverter controls your homes water flow, such as through your radiators, taps and showerheads.

    Combi boilers work by prioritising the hot water depending on the location that it is needed. This means that, for example, if you were to turn the tap on in the bathroom, then the boiler will divert the hot water to come out of the tap and restrict the heat going through the radiators. The reason for this is that a combi boiler will heat water on demand rather than storing it all up in a cylinder. To achieve this, it will need a diverter valve.

    As the diverter valve is a main component of the combi boiler, it is more likely to require repairs over time. So, if you find that your hot water is not heating up efficiently or your heating isn’t keeping your home warm, it may be wise to contact a trustworthy plumber to check your diverter valve.

    man checking boiler

    What Does A Diverter Valve Do?

    Now that you know what a diverter valve is in a boiler, it’s time to discuss what does a diverter valve do? The concept is very simple; the diverter valve will open and close to restrict or allow the flow of hot water through your taps and radiators. This means that when the boiler needs to send your tap hot water instead of to the radiators, the diverter valve will close the supply of hot water to the radiators and open the supply to the taps – diverting the heat to another location. This is the same concept as a shower diverter valve, where you can close the supply of water coming out of the showerhead and open it to flow from the bath tap instead.

    Unlike a combi boiler, a system and conventional boiler will not require a diverter valve, and the boiler will use the hot water supply from a cylinder tank. This means that the hot water can be supplied to your tap and radiators at the same time. While this can be beneficial, when the hot water tank runs out of hot water, you will have to wait for the hot water supply. On the other hand, a combi boiler will supply non-stop hot water, meaning less chance of a cold shower!

    tap on

    What Are The Signs Of A Faulty Diverter Valve?

    It is all fair and well knowing everything you need to know about the technicality of a diverter valve, but what are the signs of a faulty diverter valve? Knowing the signs can help you to identify whether this could be causing your boiler issues. Here are the most common problems that occur with a diverter valve:

    • No hot water – if you have no hot water coming from taps as well as cold radiators, then this could be a sign that your diverters are no longer working efficiently.
    • Hot water but no heating – if you have hot water but no heating, then this shows that the diverter can no longer redirect the hot water to the location that you need it.
    • Lukewarm water – if you have lukewarm water, then it could show that the diverter is sharing the heat rather than diverting it.

    cold shower running

    How To Fix A Diverter Valve

    It is highly recommended that you do not attempt to fix the diverter valve yourself unless you are trained to do so. It can be dangerous to attempt replacing the valve, and you could end up causing more damage than good. For this reason, we highly advise that you contact our team if you are having any issues with your boiler and central heating system. Our experienced plumbers will be able to correctly diagnose the issue, and if it is the valve, they can help you to repair or replace it.

    All of our plumbers know how to fix a diverter valve and will start by running a check to see whether it is, in fact, the valve causing the issue. In many cases, it could be that the valve has simply got stuck and need a quick clean and refitting. However, if you do need the valve to be replaced, then you could be looking at anything between £80 and £200 for the valve and the labour. This is why we highly recommend that our clients invest in a boiler service plan and boiler cover, as it can help to lower the cost and prepare for the unexpected.

    plumber fixing boiler

    What Other Boiler Problems Could I Have?

    As well as looking out for signs that your diverter valve needs repairs, it is also important for you to make sure that you keep an eye out for signs that there could be other problems with your boiler. There are many things that could be causing your boiler to break down, and understanding the different signs can help you to diagnose the issue. However, if you are unsure what the problem is, our plumbers are always just a phone call away!

    Here are the most common problems you can have with your boiler and what they could mean:

    Leaking Boiler

    A boiler leak is not only dangerous, but it can also end up costing a lot of money in repairs for the boiler and for the rest of your home. There are various reasons as to why your boiler may be leaking, including the following:

    • Pressure Relief Valve – As a safety precaution, your pressure valve will allow water to pass if your boiler pressure is too high. You can find out more about boiler pressure on Home Serve.
    • Temperature Pressure Relief Valve – Only some boilers will have this type of valve and it works similar to the pressure relief valve discussed above but for temperature. This means that if the temperature is too high, then it will pass water.
    • Corrosion – The tanks and pipes of your boiler may corrode over time which could mean that you need to make small replacements within your boiler to prevent a breakdown or leaks.
    • Badly Installed Pipework – In some cases, if the pipes of your boiler have not been fitted correctly, then this can cause leaking. This is why it is important to contact a reliable, experienced and expert team.
    • Leaking Pump – If your pump is leaking, then it can easily be replaced or resealed to stop the leak.

    water on floor

    High or Low Boiler Pressure

    In order for your central heating system to work, it will need to be pressurised and sealed. The reason for this is that if your boiler’s pressure is too high or low, then it can stop it from working, leaving you in the cold. If this is an issue you are facing, then please feel free to contact our team for boiler repairs in Woburn Sands.

    Noisy Boiler

    A boiler can make all sorts of noises, from gurgling to whistling and banging, all of which can indicate different things that could be wrong with the boiler. It is normal to experience a small amount of noise, but if you have a loud or constant noise, then it could be a sign that there is an underlying issue. Some issues that could be causing the problem include:

    • Air In The Central Heating – This can potentially be solved by bleeding your radiators to release the air.
    • Low Water Pressure – It will be important for you to check your pressure gauge and contact our plumbers if you need your pressure changed.
    • Faulty Pump – The pump for your central heating is what pushes the water around your system. You will need to get in contact with a professional to fix a faulty pump.
    • Limescale Or Sludge – A build-up of sludge and limescale can cause the boiler to make gurgling noises which can lead to further, more serious problems. Powerflushing could be a solution to this.

    boiler and cylinder

    Boiler Not Firing Up

    Some of the issues that could be causing your boiler not to fire up can be solved yourself, while others will need to be diagnosed and repaired by an experienced plumber. These issues include:

    • Thermostat is set too low or there is a fault
    • Boiler timer has been reset; this can be the cause if you have had a power cut.
    • The fuse to your boiler may have tripped, so double-check if this could be the problem.
    • If the pilot lights have gone, then simply follow the instructions on your boiler to reignite it. If it does not reignite, then you may need to contact our plumbers.

    pilot light on boiler

    Do You Need Your Diverter Valve Replaced?

    There are plenty of signs that you may need your diverter valve repaired or replaced, and by understanding the issues that can occur, you can easily identify what problems could be causing your boiler not to run efficiently. Whether you have an idea what the problem could be or need help to identify the issue, our plumbers are always here to help offer you experienced and expert boiler repairs in Olney, ensuring that you have the most efficient and cost-effective solution.