A broken down boiler is a disaster. Being deprived of heat is never fun.
Boilers have a nasty habit of failing just when you need them most. They only ever tend to fail on Sunday evenings or Christmas eve, right at the moment when no engineer will come to fix them.
Is the assumption that there’s nothing you can do to fix your boiler yourself right, though? After all, there are plenty of other DIY fixes you can apply around your house.
It turns out that it might not be true – there are things that you can try before calling a professional. Let’s take a look.
Swap Out Old Thermostat Batteries
Problems with boilers can often be issues with the thermostat. It’s not possible to repair faulty electrical circuits in thermostats, but if yours has a flat battery, that might be the cause of your problems.
Prise off the outer plastic shell of the thermostat to reveal the battery holder inside. Depending on the model, you may need to unclip the thermostat or use a Philips screwdriver.
The majority of thermostats, including some smart meters, take traditional AA or AAA batteries. Replace the cells and the cover.
Clear The Air From Your Radiators
Air stuck in radiators stops them from working correctly. Air-filled radiators do not get warm. Before calling out the plumber, it’s worth bleeding your radiators to see if this is the source of your boiler problems.
Turn off your central heating, find your radiator key, and attach it to the valve. Gently open the valve, making sure that you have a cloth to mop up water. Tap the radiator and any connecting 316 seamless stainless steel tube components to help air bubbles escape. Then, once air stops hissing out, re-tighten the valve. You should find that once you’ve done this, radiators get warm quickly once you turn the heating on.
Check And Re-pressurise The Boiler
Boiler water pressure should be above 1 bar. Most boilers have a pressure dial on the front, going from 0 to 4. If the pressure is too low, then the boiler cannot push water through the system.
Turn the boiler off and check the manual to find the location of the filling loop. You should be able to unscrew a tap on the filling loop to fill the boiler with new water. Keep the filling loop open and watch the dial. Close the filling loop valve once the reading on the dial reaches 1.5 bars. Now check to see whether your boiler works according to specification.
Find Your Boiler Reset Button
What’s the first thing that most people do when they discover a problem with their PC or laptop? They reset it and hope that the issue goes away. Most of the time it does.
You can do the same with your boiler if it has a reset button.
Check the manual to find out for how long you need to compress the reset button. Push it and then wait a few minutes. The reset process should help the boiler to work again.