When your Vaillant boiler is displaying the letter ‘F’ followed by a number, a fault has been detected which requires attention. For safety reasons, the presence of an error code on a Vaillant boiler will usually stop the boiler from igniting, which will prevent it from working properly.
The Vaillant F32 fault code is caused due to a fault with the air system and occurs in Vaillant boilers ecoTEC models.
Various problems trigger the F32 error code, including a blocked flue pipe, a leak on the component, fan failure, or a communication issue concerning the fan and the PCB, printed circuit board. It is difficult to diagnose the fault yourself if you’re not trained, and replacement parts may be required, therefore it is recommended that you seek a reliable Gas Safe Registered engineer’s assistance.
What is a Vaillant F32 Fault?
The F32 code is activated by an air fault, which suggests a technical issue in regards to the fan operation. When the fan fails to operate correctly, it prevents waste gases from being removed from the system properly, which in turn causes the Vaillant boiler to lockout for safety.
Although the sight of an error code on the boiler’s display is not a sign you wish to see, the F32 code is thankfully an error message which points to a specific issue, making it somewhat easier to resolve the underlying cause.
What Causes a Problem with the Fan?
The fan inside a Vaillant boiler is a robust component, so while it is possible it’s not very likely that it will suffer from a failure. Failure of the fan can be caused by moisture within the device which affects the component’s electronics. A leak can release moisture into the device if the installation of the flue pipe is inadequate.
Another possible cause for the fan’s issues is a jammed motor or damage to the bearings due to age, or just general wear and tear. This problem can be detected if an unusual noise has been coming from the boiler, so it is essential to note this and inform the engineer to identify bearing damage more easily.
What is a PCB Communication Error?
It is possible for the fan and printed circuit board’s communication to be broken down. The fan itself might be in working order but not detected by the PCB. The circuit board will then cease to cause the boiler to be ignited for safety reasons, prompting the F32 fault code, and the boiler will enter lockout.
What is Wrong with the Flue Pipe?
The flue pipe can pose a problem if it has not been correctly installed, as it will cause water to return through the flue system and leak into the boiler’s electronic components.
Typically, flue pipes have some kind of guard in place to prevent any kind of air blockages, however if this is not present then it may be that a blocked flue has triggered the error code. There may be a blockage of the flue’s internal parts, even with a guard in place. This occurs when the component becomes clogged rather than the pipe itself. This would activate the F32 code.
Can I Fix the F32 Error Myself?
Since the diagnosis of the issue is often complicated, and the solution usually involves replacing parts or removing blockages, you must consult a Gas Safe Engineer to assess and complete the repair for you.
How is an F32 Fault Code Repaired?
The ease of resolving this error code very much depends on the underlying cause.
If it is the case that a blocked flue has triggered it, a qualified engineer will be able to fix it and they can implement additional measures to prevent further reoccurrence. If the flue is ageing or the blockage is complex and a time-consuming fix, a new flue installation may be a more economical resolution. This would speed up the repair of the error code and greatly reduce the likelihood of a repeat occurrence.
If the flue has not been installed correctly to begin with and has eventually caused an internal leak, the fan will require replacement. However, the existing flue pipe can be correctly re-installed to prevent further problems. The average cost of a fan replacement is often between £200-£350 inclusive of labour.
If the problem is caused by communication failure to the circuit board, this is likely to be a costly repair. A new PCB would be required, which comes with a significant price tag, and therefore, a replacement boiler would be the most cost-effective solution, mainly if your boiler is of age.
Will the Boiler Need Resetting After Fixing the F32 Error?
Once an F32 fault is identified and repaired, you should reset the boiler before starting it up again. It is crucial to refrain from resetting a Vaillant boiler that displays this code before repair, as this could cause further damage.
If you need any assistance with the F32 error, and need a qualified professional to take a look to diagnose the issue, get in touch with Rowlen today.