When your boiler stops working, don’t panic. Before you call an engineer, there are a few steps you can take to try to get it up and running again. Learning how to operate your boiler and how to spot the signs that something is amiss can help you to save money in the long term. 

Boiler Not Working

So take some time to get to know where the key controls are so that you feel confident moving forward with this checklist. You should be able to find the manual for your boiler online by searching for the make and model number.

Check the basics

Your boiler needs electricity, gas and water to be able to operate. Make sure that the supply for each of these is still working in the rest of your home. 

  • If you have a gas stove, check if this is working
  • Check the taps in your kitchen
  • And finally, check the electricity is working

The power to your boiler may have an individual switch on the circuit breaker, so check that this hasn’t been tripped. If you have a prepayment meter, check if you have enough credit and top this up if you’ve run out.

Check the power supply

Now you’ve covered the basics, you can start to look for signs of problems with your boiler. Check that the boiler controls are switched on and that the time and date is correct. If you’ve had a power cut recently, this can reset your boiler controls and cause the boiler to turn on and off at the wrong times.

You should also check the power supply to your thermostat and try moving your thermostat up to above 21°C. Boilers sometimes struggle to turn on when the temperature on the thermostat is set too low.

Check the pressure

Your boiler is a pressurised system, which means if the pressure gets too high or too low, it won’t be able to function. Your boiler will have a pressure gauge on the front, or this may be hidden behind a panel. Most boilers need to be pressurised between 1 to 1.5 bar. This will be indicated on the pressure gauge.

If the pressure is too high, you will need to reduce the pressure by bleeding your radiators or by using the pressure release valve. If the pressure is too low, you will need to repressurise your boiler using the filling loop. The low pressure is often the result of bleeding radiators, or it could be the result of a leak somewhere in your central heating system. If you notice a persistent problem with the pressure, you may need to call in a heating engineer to examine the system.

Reset your boiler

Sometimes the solution is the simplest of all. Like many electrical devices, sometimes they simply need a reboot. If you’ve made changes to the thermostat or power supply, you might need to restart the boiler. And sometimes, boilers will simply switch off on their own and then need to be restarted manually.

Check your boiler manual to find out where the reset switch is located. It might be on the front or side of the boiler or it could be hidden behind a panel. Remember you should never open a boiler on your own as this can be deadly. If you need tools to access a part of the boiler, then you know it’s time to stop and call in the professionals.

If you do all of these steps and your boiler still won’t switch on, then it’s time to pick up the phone. At least you know you’ll be calling a heating engineer for something that isn’t a simple fix.

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