What to do if your boiler has stopped working

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There’s no doubt that your boiler plays an integral part in your daily life, particularly in the chilly winter months. But what do you do when your boiler suddenly stops working and you don’t have any hot water? In this post, we’ll take you through some common problems, and what to do when they happen.

Why might your boiler stop working

There are any number of reasons why your boiler might suddenly stop working, but it’s no coincidence that problems are more likely to occur during the winter months. Your boiler is put under more strain due to increased usage during winter. Although, your boiler problems could just be a case of simple home maintenance. Here are some of the more common boiler problems and how you should deal with them.

Is your boiler switched on, and are you up to date with bill payments?

Sounds simple enough, but check that your boiler is switched on properly, and that you’ve paid your bills before calling an engineer.

Boiler pressure

Low pressure is usually nothing to worry about and is something you can easily fix in a few minutes.

What should the pressure on my boiler be?

Check the pressure gauge on your boiler; it should read between 1-1.5 and be in the green zone. When in use, the bar will rise slightly and drop back down afterwards. If the pressure is below 1 bar you’ll need to repressurise the tank. If the problem persists, contact an engineer.  Similarly, if your boiler pressure regularly reads over 2.5, you should have it checked out by a professional.

Want to fix it yourself?

Locate the pressure valve. It should be underneath your boiler near to the pipes. There will be one or two taps/levers that control the pressure. Open one or both taps to begin repressurising your boiler. Once the pressure gauge reaches around 1, turn off the tap. 

Your boiler is making weird noises

If your boiler is making gurgling, banging or whistling noises, it might be time for a boiler service. These noises could indicate a faulty pump, pressure issues or even a build up of limescale. Such noises can be completely normal, though, but get it checked out if this is a new occurrence or if you hear unusual noises for your boiler. Learn more about Home Assist’s boiler servicing here.

Boiler not responding to the thermostat

Firstly, check that your time settings are correct (have the clocks changed recently?), and that the batteries are still working. Also check your temperature settings. If this doesn’t work, try resetting your thermostat. Still not working? Check your manual for advice, and call out a professional if you can’t find a solution. 

Frozen Condensate Pipe

A common issue in winter, the condensate produced by your boiler can freeze and cause a blockage. This may cause the condensate to revert back into the boiler and lead to system failures. 

Want to fix it yourself? 

Locate the relevant pipe outside your home, then try to locate the blockage. This will likely be at the most exposed point. Pour warm, but not hot, water over the pipe to try to thaw it out. Once thawed, restart your boiler. If  it doesn’t work immediately, try again, it may just take time. Call out a Home Assist boiler engineer if this doesn’t work. 

Pilot light keeps switching off

Restart the system and check that the pilot light is lit. If it doesn’t light, or won’t stay lit you might have a problem with your gas supply or ignition equipment. We’d strongly recommend contacting a Gas Safe engineer to solve this problem as attempting to fix gas related issues yourself could be dangerous. 

No heating or hot water

This may be caused by anything from faulty valves to a broken thermostat, low pressure, leaks or internal faults. Firstly,  check your pressure gauge to see if it’s slipped below 1 bar. Repressurise the boiler if this is the problem. If your thermostat is broken, consult your manual for advice. Contact a Home Assist boiler engineer if you can’t find a solution or you think the issue may be internal faults as these will require a qualified engineer to fix. 

If your problem is with your radiators, it’s unlikely that your boiler is at fault, unless multiple radiators are underperforming. First, check your thermostat and timers, as well as the individual radiator’s temperature valve. If that fails, try bleeding the radiator. If the problem persists, it may be a problem with your central heating system. You’ll need to contact a qualified heating engineer to repair the problem.

When you need to call out an engineer

There are, of course, some problems that you can fix yourself such as low pressure or troubles with your thermostat. However, if your boiler’s problem is related to gas supply or is an internal fault, you’ll definitely need to call out a professional. Don’t attempt to pull off the boiler’s cover to repair internal problems yourself as this may cause further damage. Likewise, do not attempt to repair gas related issues as this could be dangerous. Home Assist’s team of Gas Safe qualified engineers can tackle these problems for you.

Home Assist’s engineers are fully qualified and can have your boiler up and running in no time. We have a team of friendly and reliable experts serving the North of England, and can often be there on the same day for boiler repairs, servicing and installations.

Call us today on 0191 406 0888 for more information. Alternatively, you can request a callback here.

Scott Flannigan

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