There is nothing worse at any time of the year than discovering your central heating is not working.
Ensuring that your central heating system is regularly serviced will help you avoid potential issues but from your Google search, we can gauge that you’re looking for an easy fix.
So, before calling in an expert, here are some simple and sometimes free solutions to check out.
Simple & Free Central Heating Checks To Do
Your home’s boiler is a complex appliance, but that doesn’t mean the reason why it’s not working is complicated.
Here are some simple checks to perform.
Is Your Central Heating Switched On?
It might seem like a condescending question, but it is a valid one. It’s wise to switch off appliances not in regular use during the changing seasons.
Often, the simplest solution is the one required. So, flip the switch and double-check.
Also, make sure that your gas supply is on.
Do You Have Any Outstanding Bills?
Sometimes, we decide that specific bills can be addressed later. If you’ve forgotten about that bill, you should possibly pay it or check with your utilities provider.
What Are The Programme Settings?
Nowadays, every appliance has some sort of computer embedded into it. If not programmed correctly, it can cause the appliance to stop working.
Remember to check if the settings on your boiler are correct. If you encounter an error message, it can let you trace the problem.
We’ve spoken about several boiler error codes about various brands before.
These are fast and straightforward checks you can do without needing professional help. The next bout of issues is easy to solve for keen DIYers.
If you feel uncertain, you might prefer to call in an expert.
DIY Fixes You Can Do
Before going any further, you must be a Gas Safe Register member or a Gas Heating Engineer to work on gas boiler systems.
But the following fixes are simple enough to complete without calling in an expert.
Check Boiler’s Pilot Light
All gas heaters will have a pilot light. If you’re unsure what you’re looking for, in most older boiler models, there is a window to show if it is on.
Usually, all that is required to fix this issue is to follow the prompts in your manufacturer’s manual about resetting or reigniting the flame. If you are unsuccessful with this, you must call in an expert.
Check Your Boiler’s System Pressure Levels
To determine if the pressure in your heating system is correct, you can read the boiler’s gauge, which will be located on the unit itself.
When a system is suffering from low pressure, the lack of water running through your central heating pipes will mean less heat circulating. If this is the case, and you’ve confirmed it with a reading, you can:
Bleed Your Radiators
Bleeding your radiators is a simple job. Just open the radiator valve (it might require a key) and release the trapped air until water drips out. Make sure to place towels on the floor before you start.
Make Sure The Water Mains Are Open
If water can’t flow into the system, it will result in low pressure. Make sure to double-check that your water mains are open properly.
Check For General Leaks In The System
If the leak is easy to see and fix, you can do a simple repair, but if it is a valve, you will need to call in a professional.
As mentioned, you must contact a professional if the low-pressure issue is more complex.
On the other hand, if your system has high pressure, it won’t have enough time to heat your water properly. To solve this, you can:
Open Up Valves On The Radiators
When a valve is closed, it will build up pressure until it is opened. Simply check whether or not the valves are opened correctly.
Resetting Your Boiler’s Settings
To reset your boiler’s settings, follow the manufacturer's user manual. Usually, it is a simple process that anyone can do.
Check Your Boiler’s Condensation Pipe
Your boiler’s condensate pipe is crucial to your central heating system. A condensation pipe helps your system's efficiency by harnessing and recycling heat from water vapour generated during combustion.
The other main task of the condensation pipe is to carry away the acidic condensate resulting from this process, channeling it towards a drain or outside the property. Typically, this pipe is made from white plastic or PVC, draining away from the boiler to a suitable drainage point.
However, cold temperatures during winter can lead to the condensate pipe freezing, disrupting the boiler's functionality. To fix this, simply pour warm water over the pipe. Do not use boiling water, which will cause the PVC to bend.
If you’ve read up until this point and still haven’t found a solution, you must call a professional to sort out your central heating.
The Reasons To Call In a Professional
When all the DIY options are exhausted, it is time to call the professionals to find out why your central heating is not working. We’ve alluded to some situations, but let’s elaborate on them now.
If you follow the advice above without results, you will need a professional to investigate the problem.
These professionals will look for a few tell-tale signs of what is wrong with your central heating.
If the pressure is low in your system, the repair person will investigate leaks in-depth. Usually, these leaks will be centralised around inlet and outlet valves. The repair person will replace these valves, which you can only do if qualified.
Another area where the professional can work and you can’t is within the boiler’s electrical system. Sometimes, wiring can come loose, and it will simply need to be rewired.
Or if the boiler doesn’t turn on, you could have a broken PCB (your home’s circuit board).
If you are in a weird situation where you know the boiler is working but not heating the home, you could have a diverter valve problem. In this situation, you will need to purchase a new boiler.
You could have a sludge issue if you are in a home where the radiators are not warming up properly, have cold spots, and are old. The heating engineer will flush your central heating system and offer to install a magnetic boiler filter.
If you are still trying to figure out the problem, you must ask an expert. We have a 24/7 helpline, email, and instant chat window.
And for those who find out they need a new boiler, we can fit it for you within 48 hours.