Central heating top tips
Do you have a broken boiler?
Before getting in touch with us take a few minutes to check the following.
You may save yourself a lot of time and hassle and get your heating working quicker than if you had to wait for an engineer to attend.
Check the fuse or main circuit breaker, as this may have just tripped and can be fixed with a simple reset. You can find out how to do this in our repairs handbook.
You should also check that your electricity is still connected by testing other electrical items in the house.
If none of them are working then there’s a problem with your electricity supply and you will need to call your supplier.
If you have a pre-paid gas meter check that your meter has been reset after your gas card is inserted. The display should show Yes.
A good way to see if you have gas is to check your gas cooker.
If you turn this on and there is still no gas then you may need to press the reset button on your meter.
If this still doesn't work then you will need to call your gas supplier.
Boiler controls and thermostats
Check all of the settings and controls on your boiler. If you have a timer, check that it is set correctly and that it comes on at the right time. If not, you may have a problem with the timer or power source.
Check that the room thermostat is set correctly.
Try increasing the temperature setting on the thermostat, as the boiler will only come on when the thermostat temperature is higher than the room where it is located.
There are numerous safety devices within a boiler that can sometimes trip, meaning that your boiler will need to be reset.
On most boilers, this can be done by pressing the reset button, which is normally at the front of the boiler.
You shouldn't have to remove an access panel to locate the reset button. If you are unsure of where your reset button is, check in your manufacturer’s manual or online.
Low pressure is especially common in most of our boilers and can cause your boiler to run at a lower capacity than normal. Check the pressure gauge on the front of the boiler, which should be around 1 bar when the boiler is cold. If the pressure is lower than this then many boilers won’t restart for safety reasons.
You can use the filling loop to top up the system with more water to correct the problem of low pressure.
In particularly cold weather and mostly at night, your boiler’s condensate pipe may freeze, which can lead to a blockage, causing the boiler to shut down.
Symptoms of a frozen condensate pipe include error codes or warning lights on your boiler’s display, which will be explained in your manual, or a bubbling or gurgling sound emanating from the condensate pipe or the boiler itself.
If the condensate pipe is frozen then it will need to be thawed. The easiest way to deal with a frozen condensate pipe is to put it in contact with warm water. A couple of jugs of warm (but not boiling) water poured over the exterior of the pipework works well. Increasing the temperature within the pipe can cause the ice blockage to subside. Boiling water could cause the pipe to crack.
If the fault signals are still present check your boiler instructions or contact the manufacturer.
It could be that you are experiencing a problem with your radiator valves and not the boiler at all, so try adjusting your radiator valves to see if you can get them to heat up.
If you aren’t seeing a change in temperature after adjusting the radiator valves and the radiator isn’t getting warm you could have a problem with the valve.
This can sometimes simply be that it has become stuck and a gentle tap on the side of the valve will often release the pin inside.
Check your radiators
A common problem that makes your home feel cold is air trapped in the radiators. Remember to check your radiators regularly for cold patches and, if there are any, bleed them if you have a radiator key.
I’ve checked these and nothing has helped...
If you’ve checked all of the above and your boiler still isn’t up and running then it’s time to speak to us. Call us on 0333 400 8222 and please try to give them us as much information as possible.
This should include:
- Any fault codes or flashing lights on the boiler panel
- The reading on the pressure gauge
- The last time the boiler was working
I’ve let you know my boiler isn’t working what do I do now?
We will try to get a heating engineer to you as soon as we can, but you may have to wait several days before we can give you an appointment.
During this time please take some of these reasonable steps to help you keep warm or have access to hot water
- Keep all windows and doors shut and avoid opening doors to outside as much as possible.
- If you have the use of temporary heating e.g. fan heater then place these in the room that you are most likely to spend most of your time in.
- Consider if you could you go and spend some time with relatives or a neighbour whilst you wait for our engineer to attend
- Put on additional clothing, the more layers you have then the air between them will warm up
- Place additional blankets on your bed or have available to wrap around you when sitting down
- Boil a kettle and use a hot water bottle
- If you have a hot water cylinder in your airing cupboard switch on the immersion heater. This will give you hot water.