If you’re reading this, then the chances are that your boiler has stopped working – or, at the very least, you’re bothered by the possibility. This short guide will make the situation a little more tolerable, and ultimately get your central heating working again. In many cases, you’ll be able to recover from a boiler break-down without calling out an engineer.
Is the Gas Running?
First, check your other appliances to check that the gas is working. If the stove isn’t putting out any gas, then you’ve got a problem with your connection. Check to see that the Emergency Control Valve leading into the house hasn’t been mistakenly turned off. If it’s active and there’s still no gas, then you’ll need to get in touch with your supplier.
Is the fuse-box tripped?
If you’ve had a power-cut recently, then the fuse-box might have tripped. Similarly, a loss of power might cause the timer on your boiler to reset: making it think that it’s midnight when it’s actually midday. Check that the clock display matches with the current time. If it doesn’t, it’s time to reprogram. You can usually find the relevant instructions in the manual; if you don’t have a hard copy available, tracking one down online is usually quite straightforward.
Have You Paid?
If you’re running a prepaid meter, then running out of credit will cause your supply to cut off and your boiler to stop working. Getting things working again is, in this case, a simple matter of squaring up. If you’re looking to save money in the long-term, making the switch to a contract is probably going to work out cheaper, and it’ll prevent this from happening. In the short term, however, you’ll need to square up.
Is there enough pressure?
The front of your boiler should display the pressure in the central heating system in bars. This might be either a mechanical gauge or a digital LCD. Boilers tend to come with safety features that’ll shut off the supply when the pressure drops to this extent. This can be corrected by adjusting the taps located near the boiler until the pressure reads between 1 and 1.5. Be careful when doing this, as you don’t want to put too much pressure into the system.
Check the thermostat
Some boilers will stop working when the thermostat is set lower than 21°C. This is often an energy-saving feature, but it can be confusing if it prevents the boiler from activating at all. Try cranking the temperature temporarily and watching the results.
Radio-frequency pairing issues between the thermostat and the boiler tend to produce unwanted results, but sometimes the thermostat itself might have developed a fault. Some thermostats are more elaborate than others, so be sure to consult the manual to see that everything’s functioning as it should. While you’re at it, try replacing the batteries.
Press the reset button
Modern boilers lack a pilot light, instead sporting a reset button, which can typically found on the front of the unit. If yours is of this sort, then pressing the button might solve the problem. Some boilers might come instead with a dial that must be twisted back to the zero position and then returned to where it was.
Call in a Professional
If you’ve tried everything and still your boiler isn’t working, then it’s time to call in qualified heating engineer to help.
Warning! Do not attempt to open up or service the boiler yourself. In doing so you risk endangering yourself and damaging the boiler – not to mention falling afoul of the law!