There is nothing quite worse than running yourself a nice hot bath only to find out the boiler has broken down, and you’re now without heating. It’s even worse when this happens during wintertime, and you feel exposed to the elements inside of your own home.
If your boiler isn’t working properly, there are some things that you can try yourself before you need to call out a gas engineer for an emergency boiler service. However, if these boiler issues are persistent, or the simple fixes fail to work, you will need a gas engineer to service your boiler and ensure everything is working properly and safely.
1. Have you run out of credit on your prepaid meter?
If you have a prepaid meter for your gas supply, the problem might be that you need more credit. Your meter will usually make a beeping noise if you’re running low. To check your current gas credit, press the ‘A’ button on your meter box.
Most gas meters usually provide some sort of emergency credit in case this happens. The credit is usually £10, and you pay this back when you top up again. To activate the emergency credit, simply insert your gas card into the meter and press the ‘A’ button.
Topped-up, but gas boiler still not working?
Sometimes, when the meter has run out of credit, it will show an ‘OFF’ sign on the meter, indicating that you need to reset it. Ensure that your gas appliances are turned off before doing this, and then insert your card.
The gas meter will instruct you to ‘hold for gas’. You should hold down on the red button for 10 seconds until it instructs you to ‘release for gas’. Try this fix before taking a look at the boiler itself.
2. Check if your pipes are frozen
One of the biggest culprits for a broken down boiler, during the winter time especially, is a frozen condensate pipe. Other signs of a frozen pipe can include a gurgling noise from your boiler or if the water from your taps is trickling out instead of flowing at its normal rate.
To fix this issue, take a look at your pipes outside and check for any signs of a frozen pipe. Once you have found it, you can begin to thaw it out. This requires you to gently and slowly pour hot water over the frozen pipe. It’s very important that you never use boiling water for this fix!
3. Is your gas boiler pressure too high?
Another common cause for a breakdown in a gas boiler is due to the pressure being too high. Check the pressure gauge at the front of your boiler, and if it reads over 2.75, then it indicates that your boiler pressure is above the normal rate.
There are some simple fixes that you can do yourself to try and bring your boiler pressure down, such as bleeding the radiator. Although if this doesn’t work, you will need a gas engineer to take a look.
How to bleed a radiator?
You will need a small butterfly-shaped key to open up the radiator’s bleed valve. If you don’t have one, you can easily pick them up at a DIY store, some radiator valves can be opened using a screwdriver.
Ensure that you have a bucket or container at the ready, as some of the radiator water might squirt out once you open the valve. This water is usually dirty and might stain your wallpaper, carpet or rugs, so it’s best that you have something on hand to mop it up.
Turn the valve slowly, you’ll hear a hissing noise which is the trapped air being released. This process takes only a couple of minutes, and once you see water coming out, you will know there is no trapped air left.
4. You need to reset your gas boiler
Like any piece of mechanical technology, sometimes the best fix is to simply reboot the boiler. Modern boilers will usually show a flashing light or a fault code, indicating that something is wrong with your boiler.
You can try to reset your boiler yourself by holding down the reset button for at least 10 seconds and waiting a few minutes for the flame to reignite. You should only try this method twice, however, as repeatedly pressing the button might damage the boiler and leads to more expensive repairs.
If you find that you’re constantly having to reset your boiler, or if this method doesn’t initially fix the problem, then you will need assistance from a professional gas engineer as there could be a more serious, underlying fault that’s causing your boiler to switch itself off.
5. Check your fuse box
For all gas boilers, there will be an electrical component in order to make it work. Sometimes the fuse blows out on this circuit, usually due to a power surge, causing the boiler to stop working.
You can check if a blown fuse is the cause of your faulty boiler. Simply locate your fuse box in your home, usually found under the stairs, in between bookshelves or in a cupboard. If one of the switches in your fuse box is pointing down, simply flip it back up to get your boiler working again.
Gas boiler not working? Call an engineer
If you don’t have any luck fixing your boiler with these simple fixes, then you most likely need to get a certified gas engineer to take a look at your boiler. You should aim to get a professional boiler service as soon as possible in order to fix minor issues before they lead to serious damage and to ensure that your boiler is in safe working order.
With a professional boiler service, you’ll also get the most out of your boiler, ensuring that it’s running at full efficiency, which saves you money on energy costs. You also need a full gas boiler service at least once a year, but if you’re experiencing problems with a faulty gas boiler before this date, it’s definitely worth getting it seen to sooner rather than later.
If you need a gas boiler service, contact Belfast Boiler Installations today.