What To Do If Your Boiler Is Broken
Certain boiler faults can even lead to potentially life-threatening gas leaks, so it’s crucial to act fast when your boiler breaks down. In some cases, problems with a boiler may be simple to put right, but you should still never attempt to fix any issues yourself. All boiler repairs must always be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe engineer to keep your home safe and to ensure you don’t invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty or boiler cover policy.
Tell-Tale Signs of a Faulty Boiler
There are a number of warning signs that will tell you if your boiler is broken, including the following:
- The pilot light keeps going out or is yellow (the pilot light should always be blue)
- Noises, such as clanking, banging or tapping
- The pressure is too high, rather than being steady
- You are using more gas than usual
If you’re concerned that your broken boiler is dangerous or you suspect a gas leak, switch off your boiler and call out a Gas Safe engineer immediately.
Safe and Simple Ways to Check for Boiler-Related Problems
By performing simple checks, not only could you spot minor boiler problems before they turn into serious issues but you may also be able to avoid calling out a registered engineer. Here are six safe checks you can carry out if your boiler isn’t working properly.
Check for issues with your gas supply
When your boiler stops functioning, there’s always a chance that your gas supply is causing the problem, rather than your actual boiler. To determine whether you have an issue with your gas supply, make sure your gas stopcock is switched on and then check if your other gas appliances are working. If you find that all of your gas appliances are refusing to work as well, it could be a gas supply problem that is affecting the area where you live. In this instance, you’ll need to contact your gas supplier.
Check that your water supply is turned on
Your boiler may not be working properly because you might have accidentally turned off your water supply, so it’s always best to check that it’s still switched on. You may find that you didn’t actually turn off your water supply at all, in which case you should turn on your taps to see whether water is flowing out of them. If water is not coming out of your taps, get in touch with your water provider for help.
Check for problems with your power supply
If your boiler is plugged in but is not turning on, there may be a problem with your power supply and you will, therefore, need to call your electricity provider. However, if there has been a power cut and your boiler has lost your chosen settings, the fix may be as simple as resetting your boiler. To make sure your boiler is working properly, set it to turn on your heating in a few minutes time. If it does as you asked, simply chose your preferred settings to enable your boiler to behave as it did before the power cut occurred.
Check that the boiler pressure is set to the correct level
It is essential that your boiler has the right amount of pressure so that your hot water can circulate around your property. If the pressure is too low, your boiler will switch itself off and you’ll be left without any hot water. But if it’s too high, it causes unnecessary strain on the boiler and forces your system to break down. You can find out the required pressure for your boiler by reading the manufacturer’s manual, which will also tell you how to re-pressurise and bleed your boiler if it is, in fact, below or above the correct level. If the pressure is fine when you initially check it, you should call your gas supplier or a Gas Safe engineer.
Check your boiler’s thermostat
It’s always worth checking your boiler’s thermostat to ensure it’s still in the on position and set above room temperature. If it works on a timer and the clocks have gone backwards or forwards recently, you may need to adjust the settings. You may even find that the thermostat has malfunctioned and needs to be replaced.
Check for frozen pipes
All condensing boilers have a condensate pipe, which should lead outside of your home so that the acidic water can run into a drain. When it’s cold outside, your condensate pipe can become frozen and cause your boiler to shut down. Most modern boilers will warn you when this happens by displaying a fault or error code. Pouring warm (NOT boiling) water onto the frozen pipe will help to thaw it, but we recommend you call out a Gas Safe engineer if you would rather not do this yourself or this common boiler problem persists.
Boiler still not working?
If your boiler is faulty and you can’t find anything wrong with your gas, water, power, boiler pressure, thermostat or pipes, you have no other choice but to contact a professional. Remember, you must check that your chosen engineer is Gas Safe registered as this confirms that they’re legally allowed to diagnose problems and work on your boiler.