It is always important to remember even if you have no hot water or heating that you should never work on any boilers internally unless you are a gas safe registered engineer. However the below checks can be carried out and may avoid a visit from an engineer.
No hot water or heating?
- First of all check your boilers water pressure. This will be displayed on the front of the boiler either on a pressure dial or on newer boilers on the digital display. Your boiler pressure should be at 1.5 bar. If it is below this significantly your boiler may have turned itself off as there is not enough water in the system. If this is the case you can top up your boiler pressure. Topping up the pressure will be different on every boiler. Most boilers will have external filling loops these have connected valves which will be under your boiler on the pipework. If this is the case you will need to turn both valves to the right until the pressure reaches 1.5 bar, it is important that you turn both the valves back to there original position immediately at this point to avoid over pressuring the boiler. Some boilers may have an internal filling loop in which case its normally best to get a gas safe registered engineer to top it up for you. If you need further guidance check your boiler make & model and the manufacturers will most likely have videos on their website or you tube demonstrating this. After topping up pressure your boiler should come back on if you run the tap and test for your hot water. In some instances you may also need to press the reset button.
- If you have no hot water & heating it’s also worth checking your external controls such as your thermostat/programmer. If its not hard wired you may need to change the batteries.
- If you have no hot water & heating check that your electrics to the boiler are OK. Check a fuse spur to the boiler has not been knocked or switched off. You should also check your fuse board to make sure that the circuit the boiler is connected too, has not tripped. If it has you may be able to switch it back up, as this sometimes occurs due to a one off or power surge. However if its still not staying on seek professional advice from a gas safe registered engineer/electrician.
I have heating, but no hot water?
If you have heating but no hot water you can carry out some simple checks that may not fix the issue but may determine the cause which can help in getting the issue resolved quicker by your engineer. Carry out the below checks, before calling a gas safe registered engineer or plumber.
- Check all of your water outlets in the property i.e All taps & the shower. If your issue lies in one outlet alone it may point to a faulty tap or shower and not the boiler/central heating system itself.
- If you have a hot water storage tank or cylinder check your programmer/thermostat to this and make sure it is displaying the correct information and or working. If you have an economy 7 system linked with your cylinder/tank, see whether you are not getting hot water at all times or just at night/day.
- If you have a combi boiler also check that your boiler thermostat or settings for the hot water are at the correct temperature and working.
I have hot water, but no heating?
If you have hot water but no heating you can carry out some simple checks that may not fix the issue but may determine the cause which can help in getting the issue resolved quicker by your engineer. Carry out the below checks, before calling a gas safe registered engineer or plumber.
- Check whether its only some or all of your radiators which are not getting hot. If its only some that are not getting hot it will be either your system has air in it and need bleeding/balancing, the system is dirty with sludge and may need powerflushing, your pump is not working to its full capacity, faulty radiator valves or a faulty valve in the property. Therefore check you have tried bleeding the radiators if you know how, check all radiator valves are open and appear to be getting heat above them, if you have an external pump check you can hear it kicking in. This will help you try and identify the issue before calling for help which may be required.
- If you are getting no heat to any radiators, it can be a number of issues however it is worth checking you can hear your pump operating if external which may assist the gas safe registered engineer before attendance in order to get your issue solved quickly.
How can i get my central heating/boiler issue fixed as soon as possible?
If you have carried out the simple checks and need to call out a gas safe registered engineer to diagnose & repair the issue. It is worth remembering the below points in order to get your issue solved as quickly & cost effectively as possible.
- When you call the engineer & company (who must be gas safe registered) provide them with as much background information you have. Such as what boiler/system you have, describe clearly what you are experiencing, mention any recent works you have had carried out on the system and provide any further information you have that may be related. This is as just like when you go to the doctors, the lesser information you can provide the lesser chance you have of getting the right diagnosis quickly. Likewise its always best if you can be on site for the visit so any questions the engineer may have, can be answered.
- Some boiler & central heating issues may be able to be solved within the first visit in a short period of time and with what the engineers has on them. However as you can imagine there are thousands of different boiler makes/models & system set ups, this makes it impossible to guarantee to have parts on the van to fix issues although sometimes you may be lucky. Certain issues also range in the time needed to fix them, which means until you know the fault its impossible for the engineer to have enough time penciled out. Therefore the engineer must attend to diagnose the issue, should he needs parts or extended labour quote you to come back. This also means it carried out efficiently with time for you to make a well informed decision. Remembering this means you can ask about availability for potential returns up front.
- If you are calling out gas safe engineer out of hours (normally 8-5 pm normal hours) decide if you think it is an emergency. As in the instance of a boiler breakdown and attending out of hours, manufacturers parts & technical lines are shut and of course plumbing merchants are not open. This can mean a more costly call out but not necessarily a quicker result.
- If you think you know what the part required is and you are certain provide the company/engineer with the manufacturers parts number or boiler g.c number to locate the correct part and they may be able to bring it along to fit. However bare in mind if they do not use this or they use it and its the wrong parts you are going to be charged with no result only to have the correct fix quoted.
My boiler is working but i can smell gas?
If you smell gas at any point within your property make sure you open all windows and call the gas emergency services to attend to carry out safety checks, if you cannot get a gas safe registered out quicker. The National Grid have a 24hr helpline for all emergencies and can be reached on 0800 111 999 or check their website at http://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/Gas/Safety/Gas+Emergency/