If your boiler is not heating water or the radiators are not coming on it can be a tense situation. If you’re in the winter months, you could be especially worried at the lack of heating and hot water.
We have seen all kinds of faults, hiccups and mishaps when it comes to boiler systems. We know the frustrations, the silly mistakes, and overlooked general maintenance which may cause the headache of your boiler not working.
Do not despair though, as many faults and issues are easily fixed with a few tips and tricks. If you do however need to have a boiler repair or a new boiler, we can recommend trusted partners who will provide you the best quote, saving you time and money.
We have compiled a list of common issues and the remedy for them. From simple mistakes, to faults which require the service of a gas safe engineer.
What is a back boiler?
Your boiler’s pilot light needs to be lit in order for it to burn gas and heat your home/water.
If your boiler is not working and you have checked the pilot light (and it’s gone out), then there is only one real solution you can do at home if you’re not a heating engineer.
Older boilers have a small window where you can see the pilot light flame. Newer boilers may have a door or hinged recess which will allow you access to see the pilot light.
If you’ve checked the pilot light and it is indeed out, there is really only one option and that is to reset it and hope it comes back on.
Your boiler will have a reset button, check your manufacturer’s guidelines to see where this is located but if you press this and it reignites then happy days. If not, we’re afraid you will have to call a certified engineer or similar professional.
My Boiler has lost pressure
Boilers actually lose pressure quite often and it is one of the major causes of repair and service according to our research and experience.
It is well known that all boilers will lose pressure automatically over time and there are a number of reasons for this.
Don’t worry though, as it is usually a simple fix and you can have your system running quite quickly by following the below advice.
To check that your boiler is not working due to low pressure, simply look for the pressure gauge which looks like a clock on most models.
If your pressure is low or off, the arrow will be outside the green area, indicating around 1 BAR or pressure or lower.
How to Repressurise your Boiler
You will need to look for the filling loop and perform one tap turn on the loop. Your filling loop is usually a silver looped pipe with one or two black taps. Some Have red taps so look to your manufacturer’s guide for more info.
To increase the pressure, you just need to open one or both of your taps all the way until they stop moving. Once you do this, you will see that your pressure gauge moves and the pressure will rise. Once you get it to the green area of the gauge you are done and your system is now repressurised. (YAY!)
What if I’ve done this and I keep losing pressure?
If you have repressurised your system and you find that you are continuously losing pressure then there may be a leak in your piping somewhere.
This can be a simple fix if you can easily locate the leak and patch it however if you can’t (as the piping for boiler systems run internally throughout the house), you will need to call an experienced plumber or heating engineer.
What other causes could there be?
If your boiler has too little pressure, it won’t come on at all. If it has too much pressure, it will not be able to heat the water properly. Too much pressure though, can cause the leaks, leading to low pressure so diagnosis can sometimes be a little more difficult than expected.
There are several possible causes so we’ve got a few of the most common to help you to narrow things down.
Items that could fail leading to low or high pressure:
Pressure release valve
Clogged or faulty heat exchanger
Expansion Vessel Failure
If any of these items have failed and you are continuing to fix the boiler and lose pressure, you may need to look at getting a new boiler. Consider getting a custom quote for your home by answering 9 simple questions here and see what it would cost for you to get a new boiler.
3. Check Your Thermostat if Your Boiler Isn’t Working
If your boiler isn’t working, it could be as simple as having a faulty thermostat, or even the batteries dying.
This is something that isn’t considered much when it comes to boiler breakdown or maintenance as we take them for granted, however it pops up as a cause of failure more often than not.
What to check if your boiler’s not working
Check to see if the thermostat is on and has functioning batteries.
If it is digital it is easy to see if the screen is operational.
Ensure that the temperature is in the correct setting.
Replace the batteries with new ones and reboot your boiler.
Clear all settings and return to default, reboot the boiler.
Check your thermostat manual online for any additional care tips.
If you have a modern wifi thermostat, just reboot it or reset it and see if the boiler ‘clicks on’
If not, you may need to call in an engineer.
4. Boiler won’t turn on at all. There is no power to it.
If you’ve tried everything and your boiler won’t power on at all then it’s probably dead. By dead we don’t mean it’s blown up or anything as dramatic as that but we mean that it’s likely to be an electrical problem in the boiler.
We see this problem a lot, hence the top 4 issues we come across being the subject of this article however this failure can be the most costly (and annoying).
It is most likely that the main circuit board or PCB is at fault and will probably need replacing.
Although this can be costly, it will be in the region of £2-300 to get you back up and running which you will probably be glad to pay if it occurs during the winter months.
You can’t really diagnose it either unless you have an engineer with a multimeter to check the terminals and mainboard for any shorts.
The only thing you can do is to reset the power to the boiler and hope it comes back on.
There are a multitude of possible issues which could be causing your boiler problems however we endeavour to provide the best information for common issues which are more likely than not.
If your boiler is indeed older than 8 years, you may need to replace it with a more efficient, modern boiler system.
Try our recommended partner boiler central for more information and have your new boiler installation with a more affordable price, and a fantastic 15 year warranty!