There is never a good time for your boiler to breakdown, whether it’s the middle of winter, the school holidays, or now as many people are home working. It’s frustrating to say the least.
Here’s some simple checks you can carry out on your boiler before you need to call out an engineer.
The first thing to check is, does you boiler actually have power? Have you had a power cut? Is the fuse OK? Has the trip in the distribution board failed? If so, reset the switch. If it keeps tripping unplug everything on that circuit and individually turn each electrical item back on until you find the cause.
Have you paid your energy bills?! Sounds silly but the number of call outs we have had when there is simply no credit on the key meter or it’s a new property, etc. The only way of knowing is to look at other gas or electric appliances and see if they work and check with your energy provider(s).
Re-pressurising your Boiler
Low Pressure is the most common and easiest to fix on your boiler. There should be a water pressure indicator on the front of your boiler or sometimes underneath the main case. If the indicator is below 1 or 0.8 depending on your boiler, your boiler pressure is too low and you will not have hot water or heating. You may even get a manufacture error code as well.
Next you need to find the boiler’s filling loop, which is probably at the bottom of the unit.
Make sure the boiler is turned off and the ends of the hose are attached to the valves.
Open the valves and you should be able to hear water filling up the system.
Watch the pressure indicator until it reaches 1.5, then close the valves and switch the boiler back on.
There are many videos on YouTube which can show you how to do this as not all boilers are the same.
When searching on YouTube put the boiler make, model and the words re-pressuring, or if you have an error fault code on the boiler use that.
e.g. Valliant (make) 825 pure (model) repressurise or re-pressurise boiler or F22 (error code)
If you have lost your boiler manual again Google: Make, Model, Manual PDF this may also help you.
Is there a Pilot Light?
A lot of older boilers need a pilot light to work. There should be a small glass viewing point on your boiler and you should see a very small blue flame if it is correctly working. The most common cause of this failing is sudden drafts, wind changes being blown down the flue. Your boiler should have a reset switch or system, this can be found in the boiler manual or on the case of the boiler. If you have lost your boiler manual again Google: Make, Model, Manual PDF this may also help you.
If the boiler still won’t relight, you will need to call an engineer after you have carried out your relevant checks.
The condensate pipe is usually a winter issue. It’s the white plastic pipe that flows from the bottom of the boiler to outside of your property.
In the winter these can freeze up and the water will back fill into the boiler either shutting it down or throwing up a fault code (which again you can check online or in your manual). The easiest way to fix this is to pour boiling water from your kettle on to the plastic pipe outside. Start from the bottom up, this will thaw out the ice and you should be able to reset your boiler. After you have done this, buy some additional pipe lagging and put it round the outside pipes to help prevent this in the future.
It is always worth checking your condensate pipe as sometimes the drain they go into is blocked and that back fills into the boiler.
If you drain is blocked. Worse case scenario cut the pipe and feed it into a bucket. You will have to remember to empty the bucket though!
If the boiler, looks alive and is not doing what you want it to then quite often it’s the controls. Carry out the following checks on the controls:
- Check it’s switched on with a full charge or working batteries. Don’t use cheap batteries sometimes they’re not strong enough to give the boiler the signal strength they need.
- Ensure that the temperate is turned up to the level you require and you’re not just a bit chilly.
- Check your Wi-Fi connection, if applicable, with the boiler thermostat. Have you just changed your Wi-Fi password?
- Run over the time settings, making sure no ‘holiday modes’, stand-by options or unnoticed daily schedules have been set. Have the clocks gone back or forwards putting you out 1 hour?
These are all easy fixes. Replace the batteries in your thermostat, clear any settings and restore to manual operation.
If all else fails, refer to the thermostat manual if you have not got this, try and download it from the Internet, search on Google: Make, Model and Manual PDF