The printed circuit board (PCB) is a crucial component of your boiler, serving as the brain behind the process that allows electric components to work together seamlessly to provide you with central heating and hot water. If your PCB malfunctions, regardless of age, you will undoubtedly experience issues and need to contact a Gas Safe Engineer or replace it altogether.
This article will comprehensively explain what a PCB is, the common causes of boiler PCB problems, and the associated repair costs for major manufacturing brands, including Vaillant and Worcester PCB replacement costs. By the end of this article, you will better grasp the importance of your boiler’s PCB and how to address any issues that may arise.
What is a PCB on a boiler?
A printed circuit board (PCB) is a vital boiler component. It serves as the control centre for all other parts of your boiler, ensuring that they synchronise to provide uninterrupted heating and hot water supply. The PCB is responsible for synchronisation and maintaining pressure, temperature, and current flow, ensuring that your boiler operates at optimal levels.
Without a functioning PCB, your boiler would be unable to regulate its various components, leading to potential breakdowns and costly repairs. Therefore, ensuring that your boiler’s PCB is regularly maintained and serviced by a qualified professional is essential.
How does it operate?
The operation of the boiler PCB is internal, involving the monitoring of all its components. When the boiler is started, the printed circuit board (PCB) signals the fan to check if it is functioning correctly. Once the signal is received, the PCB transfers the information and ignites the boiler. However, if the PCB detects that the fan is not working correctly, it sends an error code and prevents the boiler from functioning further.
Signs of a faulty PCB
Knowing the signs of a faulty boiler PCB is very important, as identifying them early can prevent the problem and cause potential health and safety risks. So let’s discuss them:
1. Burning Smell
Experiencing a burning smell emanating from your electric appliance is a cause for concern. If you detect a burning odour from your boiler, it is likely due to an internal leakage issue that has caused the circuit board to burn. You must turn off your boiler immediately and contact a Gas Safe engineer. Allow the professional to inspect the problem and provide recommendations.
In some cases, the leakage issue may be severe, and your boiler may be too old, necessitating a boiler replacement. Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance to ensure your safety and prevent further damage.
2. Disrupted communication with the gas valve
The gas valve is a crucial component of your boiler that the PCB powers. As mentioned, when you start the boiler, the PCB checks whether the fan is functioning. Once it receives the signal, it transfers it to open the gas valve, providing a gas stream to the burner. However, this sequence can be disrupted due to an electrical fault between the PCB and the gas valve. This fault can cause your boiler to malfunction or reduce efficiency, potentially leading to dangerous situations.
It is essential to ensure the gas valve is functioning correctly to avoid potential hazards. Regular maintenance and inspections can help identify faults or issues with the gas valve and PCB. If you notice any irregularities or suspect a fault, it is crucial to contact a professional technician immediately to avoid any further damage or safety risks.
3. The display screen is not working properly
If your boiler’s screen is not displaying anything or showing disrupted images, the issue may be a loose connection between the PCB and the interface. However, display problems may not always be related to the PCB. In such cases, it is best to seek the assistance of a certified engineer who can diagnose and resolve the issue. Don’t hesitate to call a professional to ensure your boiler functions correctly and efficiently.
4. The boiler shuts itself off before reaching the ideal temperature
When a boiler shuts off before reaching the desired temperature, it indicates a communication breakdown between the PCB and the thermistor. The thermistor is responsible for transmitting accurate signals to the PCB, determining whether the water has reached the ideal temperature. If the signals are incorrect, the PCB may mistakenly assume that the water has reached the desired temperature and shut off the boiler prematurely.
If this issue occurs frequently, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a professional to diagnose and resolve the problem. Attempting to fix the issue without the necessary expertise may result in further damage to the boiler or even pose a safety hazard.
5. Memory Fault
If you’re experiencing a memory fault error code on your boiler’s display screen, it’s likely due to a misconfiguration within the PCB. This technical issue often arises after replacing the boiler or PCB. If you’ve recently replaced the PCB, contacting an engineer for assistance is best.
However, if you’ve purchased a new boiler, you can refer to the user manual for the recommended code to re-synchronise the boiler with the PCB and eliminate the error code. Don’t let a memory fault error code leave you in the cold—take action today to get your boiler back up and running smoothly.
6. PCB wiring issues
As mentioned, the PCB synchronises all electrical components to ensure efficient performance. Therefore, if there is a decrease in performance between the components, the culprit may be a loose wire connection. This loose connection can significantly impact the operation of your boiler, particularly when it comes to receiving signals from the fan and sending signals to the gas valve.
It is crucial to promptly address any loose connections to avoid potential safety hazards and ensure optimal performance.
Reasons behind PCB faults
Above, we have mentioned the signs that indicate faults within the PCB. Now, we will discuss the reasons behind these faults.
There are several reasons why faults may occur on the PCB. One common cause is poor design or manufacturing. If the PCB is not designed or manufactured correctly, it can lead to issues such as incorrect connections, short circuits, or even damage to the components.
Another reason for faults within the PCB is environmental factors. Exposure to moisture, heat, or other harsh conditions can cause the PCB to deteriorate over time, leading to faults and malfunctions.
Furthermore, improper handling or installation of the PCB can also cause faults. If the PCB is not handled or installed correctly, it can damage the components or result in incorrect connections, resulting in malfunctions.
Cost of replacing a PCB
The cost of replacing a boiler PCB (printed circuit board) can vary greatly depending on the type and model of the unit, as well as the complexity of the installation process. On average, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from £350 to £500 for a replacement PCB, with installation costs potentially adding several hundred more dollars.
However, this range may not accurately reflect all scenarios or locations; costs may be higher in some regions due to labour rates or the availability of replacement parts. In addition to considering the price, it’s important to work with a qualified and experienced heating professional who can ensure proper installation and minimise future issues.
Ultimately, investing in a quality PCB replacement and installation is crucial for maintaining optimal boiler performance and avoiding costly repairs down the line.
To conclude, it is imperative to acknowledge that the printed circuit board (PCB) plays a vital role in the functioning of your boiler. As highlighted in this article, it is crucial to identify any issues that may arise within the PCB. However, it is important to note that the more significant the problem, the more expensive it can be to repair.
Therefore, investing in a new one is recommended if your boiler is over 15 years old. If the cost is a concern, 24|7 Home Rescue can assist you in obtaining a boiler on finance. Don’t let the cost of a new boiler deter you from ensuring the safety and efficiency of your home’s heating system.