Steam irons tend to have faults in the following categories:
Flex frays, or breaks up internally (sometimes accompanied by an alarming bang and showers of electrical sparks!)
Can be replaced and is generally a straightforward task.
Later model irons (as with many other pieces of domestic electrical appliances) have tamper-proof (Torx, or similar) screws. Most good hardware, or DIY stores will sell screwdrivers, or bits to cope with these screws.
Thermostats can become maladjusted, leading to the iron running too hot, or too cold.
A good repair specialist (such as our shop in Southampton) will be able to rectify this problem with the aid of pyrometer, a device which measures the exact temperature of the soleplate.
The soleplate itself (which incorporates the heating element) can fail.
If this happens, it is not normally an economical repair, but check with your local Domestic electrical appliance spares & repairs centre.
A tip on how to determine if it is the soleplate at fault; with the iron switched on, if there is no heat, but the indicator lamp comes on, this is a sure sign that the soleplate has failed.
Scale can be a problem in hard water areas.
The iron will reduce in steam output, and eventually stop steaming altogether. It is possible to descale most makes of iron (read the manufacturers literature). We recommend "Scaleaway" ,but other proprietary brands may be used.
We have 3 products to help you keep your iron in tip-top order:
Descaler: If the iron is no longer producing steam, this should cure the problem
Demineraliser: Regular use of this product in place of tap water will increase the life of your steam iron
Iron Soleplate Cleaner: If the soleplate has become tainted with burnt-on particles, this will remove them in a jiffy, and have your iron gliding over the clothes like new!
For further help with repairs, try www.howtomendit.com