Home appliances are devised to make work easier. However, this is rarely the case when they breakdown. As a result we are often forced to call in the handyman who ends up whooping a tone of cash from our pockets. On the contrary, basic repairs can be made by you, saving you money.
Below we are going to look at the ways in which you can check on whether your central heating system is working or not. Also, we are going to have a look at fixes that you can attempt and sort out any issues that you might come across.
Just remember that all comprehensive work to a boiler should always be done by a trained gas safe engineer, and if you smell gas always call the National Gas Emergencies number immediately on 0800 111 999.
If you think there could be an issue with our boiler, read our comprehensive do-it-yourself guide to spotting (and fixing) common boiler issues.
Fixing Your Failed Boiler
Double-Check the Basics
A boiler can stop working if it’s out of the monthly plan or either drained out. As a result, it’s crucial that you check on your meter and assess whether you have enough credit to run a boiler. If not, then you have to subscribe for a plan that should sustain you. Thereafter, if all is well, then you can check on whether the devices attached to the boiler such as the fuse box or the cooker hob is working.
Monitor Your Recent Power Supply Trend
Just like most devices, boilers are built to work on power. As a result, a power surge or power loss is likely boilers time to reset. Therefore, if you have had a power loss recently, then you ought to check the timer to see if it is on a reset or not. If so, then you can quickly fix the boiler by reprogramming it depending on your time. Lastly, we recommend that you have your manual with you for reference in case you find it hard reprogramming the timer.
Reset the System
Resetting a device is often a common way of fixing most technical problems. To do this, then you ought to reset the boiler according to its manual. However, in case you have an earlier version that is from 2003 going downwards then you can check the pilot light on the boiler. To perform a reset for such devices then you’ll have to turn it off till the light goes off after which you can relight the heater should come back on again.
Check the Thermostat Temperature
Room temperatures set to bellow 21 degrees can often stop one’s heating systems. As a result, it’s advisable that you check the thermostat and asses its temperature. In case the temperatures are lower than 21 degrees, then you ought to increase the thermostat reading to a higher value to see if the boiler starts working again.
On the other hand, if the above tweaks don’t work for you, then you could either try bleeding the radiator or defrosting your condensate pipes.
Bleeding the Radiator
Bleeding is an essential step for a radiator that is either cold at the top or hot at the top. In addition, if the heater is cold all over, then you can attempt bleeding the radiator. Bleeding is often done via a key that is purchasable at most hardware stores. Bleeding processes are used to release excessively built-up pressure within the radiator.
- Get a radiator key, insert it into the groove in the valve, usually located at the top of your radiator.
- Using a rag as shown in the video to catch any drops, as well as to protect your hand, slowly turn the key in an anti-clockwise direction, and listen for a hiss (this is the air escaping.)
- When the hissing stops, turn the key clockwise again.
- After this you will need to check the boiler pressure, and if you need to increase the pressure you can do this by filling the valve (to about 1.5 on your meter bar.)
Watch our video on how to bleed a radiator.
To make the process more effective, we recommend bleeding radiators on the bottom floors as you work your way to the upper floors.
If there is a constant pressure drop within your system after a bleeding fix, then it is recommended that you call for help from an engineer.
Precautions when bleeding a radiator
- Always have a towel by the valves before attempting a bleed on the radiator.
- Always ensure that the radiator is completely cooled before bleeding.
- For safety, you should hold the key with a piece of cloth as you slowly turn it anti-clockwise to avoid getting burnt.
- Avoid using a screwdriver as your radiator key.
- It’s essential that you always assess your radiators ones a month.
Defrosting the Condensate Pipe
Defrosting is also useful when it comes to fixing failed radiator systems. Radiator systems have condensate pipes; these condensate pipes often get blocked by condensed air. As a result, the system either has a problem letting in gas into the system or either letting out condensed air. This problem is most persistent in mid-winter when temperatures often drop drastically.
To diagnose the problem, then you should assess whether the boilers condensate pipe is flashing. The blue flashing light is often fitted by a small window gap at the boiler’s flap. If it’s not flashing as it should, then you ought to ensure safety first by switching of the power system.
After this you can attempt a warning repair by evenly kittling hot water by the condensate pipes while focusing on the pipe’s joints. Also, you can decide to tuck the tubes with a hot water bottle for half an hour. Lastly, you should be keen to use warm water and avoid using boiling water at all costs. However, if this hack doesn’t work for your systems, then you should call in the handyman for a fix.
Fixing your radiator can be as easy as checking the pilot light, bleeding a radiator, and checking the timer. As a result, you should not only save yourself some money that could have been spent on a technician but also have your heating system working in no time. But always remember that comprehensive work to a boiler should always be carried out by a gas safe engineer.