There’s nothing quite like that feeling of turning on the shower and standing underneath it only to find that the water is freezing cold. It’s even worse if the weather is cold outside. If you’ve gone to turn your hot tap on and no hot water has come out, then it may not be something serious. Before calling an engineer and parting with all that cash, consult this handy checklist to see if you van fix the problem yourself.
Is your Power Working?
If you have other gas and electrical appliances and they’re working fine, check your main fuse box. One of your switches may have tripped and cut the power to your boiler.
Is your Boiler’s Pilot light on?
Your boiler’s pilot light may have gone out. If this is the case, then try relighting it as per the manufacturer’s instructions on your boiler. If the pilot light keeps going out, then you should call an engineer. It is also worth noting that if you smell or suspect gas, do not try to ignite your boiler.
Check your Water Pressure
Most boilers work at their best when the water pressure is between 1 and 1.5 bar. So if your pressure is less than this, adjust it using your filling loop. Be careful not to over-fill and over-pressure your boiler though.
How High have you set your Thermostat?
If your thermostat is set below 21℃ then your boiler may not come on at all. So it’s a good idea to set your thermostat to a temperature higher than this and see what happens. If you have a digital or smart thermostat and the display is blank, then it might just need some new batteries.
Is the Timer set correctly?
Your boiler will have a timer that tells it when to come on and switch off. If you’ve knocked your timer, or the power has been cut at any point, then the timer might require adjustment. Check your boiler’s instruction manual if you’re not sure how to set and adjust the timer.
Check the programmer on your Cylinder
If you do not have a combi boiler, then the chances are you’ll have a hot water cylinder somewhere in your house. This will have its own thermostat or programmer. Make sure that the settings on this are correct, and adjust them if necessary.
Reset your Boiler
Occasionally your boiler may need a reset, and this isn’t necessarily a sign of any serious problem. Boilers have a reset button, and it’s just a case of locating it and then pushing it. If you need to remove any of the casing of your boiler to locate the reset button, then it’s likely that this button should only be used by qualified heating engineers – so call a professional.
Try Switching the Power off and on again
If you’ve tried all of the above and your water still isn’t heating up, then switch the boiler off at the mains for a few seconds. Then, turn it back on again and see if it fires up properly.
Are your Pipes Frozen?
If it’s particularly cold outside, then there’s every chance that your boiler’s condensate pipe may have frozen. Try thawing it out with hot (but not boiling) water.
Does your Hot Water only work when the heating is on?
If your hot water only seems to work when the central heating is on, try turning the power off to your boiler for a few seconds before turning it back on again.
If after following all of these steps you’re still without hot water, then not is the time to get someone to have a look. If you’ve got boiler cover, then you will probably find that it won’t cost much to get an engineer to have a look. And if there’s part that needs replacing, there’s every chance that this will be free, or not very expensive either. If you do not have boiler cover, then it’s well worth considering. Think of it as an insurance for your hot water and central heating. By making a modest annual payment, or smaller monthly payments you could save yourself the financial hassle when it comes to dealing with a boiler breakdown.
Frequently Asked Questions
Virtually all boilers have a reset button, and it’s just a case of locating it and then pushing it. If you cannot easily find the reset button, then it may be underneath a panel. In which case it’s best to call an engineer.
For the majority of central heating systems in the UK, the water pressure needs to be between 1 and 1.5 bar in order for the system to function effectively.
Apart from servicing your boiler every year, there’s little you can do to prevent your central heating system from breaking down. You can however take out boiler cover, which will minimise the cost to you should the worst happen to your boiler.