Nothing is more worrying to a homeowner or tenant than when the heating stops working. You may be thinking: “Do I need to call a plumber? Will I have to buy a new boiler?” This guide should help you to diagnose what is causing your heating problem, and hopefully, solve it, or guide you to the next step of action. However, do not service or repair the system yourself, it is always best to leave this to the professionals, as not to damage the system (or yourself).
If your heating will not come on, the problem could be as a simple as a turned-off thermostat. Try turning it up further than you would normally, as thermostats sometimes lose calibration over time. This can lead to a loss of accuracy, and your heating may turn on or off at the wrong time. It is important to check both your room and boiler thermostats are working.
Your boiler may have an analogue programmer or an electronic programmer. Either way, check to make sure that the display is working, if it’s not, this might suggest that the timing of the programme is off. If the clocks go back or forwards this may lead you to believe that there is an error, but actually, the timer just needs readjusting. With an electronic programmer, a power-cut may cause the timer to reset, so in this case it would also need resetting.
The boiler itself may be causing the issue with your heating. The simplest and easiest method to resolve this would be to reset the boiler. Cut the power supply to the boiler for a minute, and then turn it back on. If this does not solve your issue, either the boiler may need servicing, or the issue lies elsewhere. The boiler may have damaged wiring, the pump may be damaged, or the programming may have malfunctioned. For issues like these, a professional consultation is necessary. Additionally, you should check the pressure of your boiler. It should be one bar, visible on the pressure dial. It will not operate without enough pressure, and the pressure itself should be consistent.
Are all the radiators cold? If you adjust the radiator’s setting and nothing changes, you may have a faulty radiator valve. If some radiators are hot and others aren’t, it may be that some radiators have more water flow than others. Turning down the setting on the warmer radiators may balance them out. If your radiators are warm at the bottom, this means you may be able to fix your problem by bleeding the radiator. This can be done easily at home with a radiator bleed key, which can be bought at most DIY shops.
- Condensate Pipe
If you’ve experienced a problem with your heating, during/following extremely cold weather, it’s possible your condensate pipe (on the wall behind the boiler) has frozen. You may wish to thaw it if it has frozen. To do this, turn off the main stop tap (under the kitchen sink), and either use a hairdryer or cover the pipe with hot water bottles. Be careful, as a damaged pipe may burst during defrosting. If the pipe defrosts fully and you are confident it is undamaged, you may turn the water back on and/or restart your boiler. If it is damaged, you need to contact a plumber.
Hopefully following these tips should help you to resolve, or at the least, understand he problem. If you are not sure what to do at any point when checking your heating system, feel free to give us (Southern Gas Solutions) a call to ensure you have a professional opinion on your heating.