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Why does my boiler smell?

Posted on by Rudkin & Herbert Team

Weird smells coming from your boiler can be alarming, and with the multitude of different gases involved in the heating process, it’s important you understand the cause and severity of the various smells. Rudkin & Herbert have constructed this informative article to help you understand why your boiler smells and what you should do about it.

Egg smell

There are two potential reasons for the smell of rotten eggs to be coming from your boiler. The first is a leak of natural gas. Natural gas is a mixture of methane and other hydrocarbons, and is a typical substance used by boilers to heat your home. Natural gas is odourless, and so boiler manufacturers add chemicals with a noticeable smell to alert you to any leaks. Many people claim this smell is similar to the odour of rotting eggs.

A rotten egg smell may also be emitted when components inside the boiler, specifically parts made of magnesium or aluminium, begin to grow bacteria. In addition to the pervasive smell, the bacteria can interfere and damage the interior mechanics of the boiler, causing potential problems and faults in the future.

Regardless of whether it’s a gas leak or bacteria growth, we highly recommended calling a gas-safe technician over as soon as possible to service your boiler.

Gas smell

As noted before, there are various gases involved in the process of heating your home. Unlike natural gas, some gases have a natural odour, and therefore smell more like a gas smell, than an artificial egg smell. If you smell gas, it’s possible a valve is loose in your boiler. Inspect it carefully and tighten any openings you notice. If you cannot distinguish the problem, or the boiler continues to smell of gas despite tightening the valve, call over a gas-safe technician immediately.

Dust smell

It is normal for dust to build up in a boiler when it hasn’t been used for some time. This build up of dust may exhibit a peculiar smell when the boiler returns to use and the dust heats up. This smell should dissipate before long, but have a gas-safe registered technician take a look at it if the problem persists.

Metallic smell

The smell of burning metal will likely indicate an issue within the circuitry of the boiler, and this is likely being exacerbated by the boiler’s heat. A fault with the circuitry in a gas-filled environment can be dangerous. If you smell metal, it is vital you turn your boiler off immediately and call a gas-safe registered technician to take a look at it.

No smell

Can’t smell anything coming from your boiler? That’s great, right? Well, not necessarily. As stated earlier, some gases are odourless, and while precautions are usually in place to make these gases recognisable, it’s always a good idea have safety measures in place.

Carbon monoxide is a common gas that goes undetected when it leaks. It is highly toxic when inhaled and can lead to dizziness, nausea and even death. It is highly recommended you keep a carbon monoxide detector near your boiler to protect you from any invisible leaks.

Rudkin & Herbert are an experience company comprised of fully accredited gas-safe registered technicians. Most smells coming from your boiler should be checked immediately, and our expert team offer quick response times to ensure your safety is a priority. Get in touch with us today to hear more.