Ironically the most common time for a central heating boiler to break down is when we need it most – the first time we switch it on after the summer, in a really cold snap etc. Finding yourself without heating and/or hot water can be very distressing, especially in freezing weather. It is very important if your boiler does break that you do not attempt to fix it yourself. Not only could this be dangerous, but it could invalidate your household insurance and any guarantees the boiler may have. For these reasons it is important to call in an expert, but before you do this you can take notes on what the problem is and there are some steps you can take before you call an engineer.
Things to check when your boiler stops working:
Power supply – is there any electricity?
If there is no electricity in the house it could be that you are having a power cut, in which case your boiler should start working again once power is restored. If the power doesn’t come back on call your local supply company (i.e. for Norfolk or Norwich) – you should find this in your telephone directory.
Is there any gas?
If there is no gas reaching the boiler check the gas stop cock is switched on. This is usually located in a cupboard just outside your house or might be indoors. If it is on and there is no gas then call a heating engineer. If you smell gas then you might have a leak – switch off the gas at the stop cock, open the windows and call the national grid. Do not light any matches or switch on any lights as this could cause an explosion.
Check your pilot light
If your pilot light is out your boiler won’t work so check it is igniting. If it won’t ignite call an engineer.
Check programme, thermostat and timer
Before you panic check that your heating is actually set to come on. Sometimes it gets accidently changed or it might need the clock on updating – for instance when the clocks have gone backwards or forwards. Check that the thermostat hasn’t accidently been changed – you can check this by turning it up higher than normal – the heating should then come on. If you have a remote control for operating your heating it is worth checking that it doesn’t have flat batteries!
If none of this works then you really do have a problem and the next step is to ring a heating engineer. For Norwich and surrounding areas, we recommend you call HGS!