June 25, 2022


Boiler Not Working: Boiler Troubleshooting in Easy Steps

If your house is cold and you do not feel the heat from the radiators, most likely, your boiler is not working. It could have stopped working due to electrical, plumbing or mechanical issues. You’ll need some proficiency with boiler troubleshooting to get your house warm again.

Here are some common boiler problems and how to troubleshoot them:

Check: If The Boiler Is Switched On

Sometimes we miss the most basic things. If you notice that the temperature has neither increased nor decreased significantly, possibly the boiler is not swithed on. Check the switch if the boiler is on. Also, you need to check the thermostat to ensure that the heat setting is enabled.

Reset Your Boiler

reset your boiler

If the power supply and water pressure are okay, but still the boiler is not working, a simple resetting should solve the problem. First, go through your manual for instructions specific to your model. Next, you need to be sure that the reset button is not surrounded by casing because, in this situation, you have to call an engineer to reset the boiler for you. Otherwise, press the reset button for 10 seconds and then wait 2-3 minutes to see if the boiler turns on. If it does not work, then try resetting it again. If the boiler won’t turn on, even after the third attempt, you should contact a boiler specialist.

Check for Low Pressure

The low water pressure might also be responsible for a boiler not working smoothly. Low pressure can happen due to any of these factors:

  • The boiler sitting idle for too long
  • A water leak
  • A frozen pipe
  • Water trapped in the return lines

If the fore-mentioned issues are taken care of, then you can follow these steps to re-pressurize the boiler:

  • Turn off the switch and allow the boiler to completely cool
  • Ensure your filling loop is securely attached and open the valves at both ends
  • Keep an eye on the pressure gauge until it reaches the manufacturer’s suggested level. (1 to 1.5 bar)
  • When you see the needle in the green zone, turn off the valves one after the other
  • Switch your boiler back on and reset it.
  • Watch the pressure gauge to see if the pressure remains stable.

If these procedures don’t work, contact a boiler specialist.

Check your Condensate Pipe

A clogged or frozen condensate pipe can also be a reason for the boiler not working properly. As the years pass, sediment builds up in the condensate pipe, and during the winter, you also worry about temperatures dropping so low that the water within the pipe freezes. Either way, your boiler automatically ceases to work for safety reasons, but before that happens, you might hear a gurgling noise that signals that there is a clog. To resolve this problem, an engineer would remove the pipe, clean it, rinse it, and then replace it. Although it is a simple repair, experts recommend that you have a professional complete it.

To defrost a frozen pipe by yourself, find the icy accumulation first, then defrost it using hot (not boiling) water, a heat pack, or a hot water bottle. You’ll then clear the blockage, reset your boiler, and turn it back on.

Bleed your Radiators

Bleed your Radiators

Also, you might need to bleed your radiators if you notice that the radiator is colder at the top. This boiler troubleshooting deals with trapped air inside the radiator.

Once you have identified which radiator needs bleeding — turn off the heat and allow it to cool. After that — place a piece of cloth behind the bleed valve to catch any water leaks. And then, when you open the valve, you hear a hissing noise as the air escapes. You’ll close the valve after that stops and water begins dripping. To maintain your heating system functioning efficiently, repeat this operation every two months.

Change Thermostat Batteries

change thermostat batteries

Additionally, when troubleshooting the boiler, you should check the thermostat batteries. This device regulates the room temperature, so if the batteries are dead, your boiler will not turn on or stay on long enough to heat the home. Also, remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when changing the batteries.

Check to see if the Circulator Pump Running

Circulator pumps can also cause low water pressure. This part pushes the water in one direction through a one-way valve. So, if it’s not working, you’ll see a difference in the temperature and water pressure. A burnt-out motor, a poor connection, or a blown fuse are the most frequent causes of a problem. Replace the fuse or the pump once you’ve established the cause.

Check Motor Temperature

Check the temperature of the boiler engine. If it is hot to the touch, your run capacitor is not working, or the pump has locked up, as previously described. If the motor is cool and the boiler is still not working, the circulator relay or thermostat might be causing the issue. Check the circulator pump or the thermostat, depending on the problem. You could also check your breaker box to determine if a fuse has blown. Alternatively, you may need to refill the tank with heating oil. If the problem still persists, call a professional to diagnose the motor issues.

Check Main/Pilot Burner

When boiler troubleshooting doesn’t seem to be something mechanical, you can check the pilot burner to see if it needs to be re-ignited. If the flame blows out, you’ll need to repair a defective seal or repair/replace the thermocouple.

Check for Overheating & Noise

The boiler will overheat if the water circulation is affected by a blockage, limescale build-up, or faulty parts like the pump and thermistor. Most boilers will lock out when they overheat, and you’ll see an error code.

In case of the limescale build-up, you’ll also hear a noise that sounds like a kettle. Other rattling noises would indicate a blockage in the pipes. IN such cases, an engineer would be better equipped to flush out limescale and replace any parts that aren’t functioning correctly.

Check the Electrical and Gas Supplies

Sometimes, the supply can be the troublemaker rather than the unit or the radiators. Here check if a tripped breaker, blown fuse or faulty gas line needs rectification. While a fuse needs to be replaced and breaker box switches turned on, a gas problem would need the repair or replacement of old lines by a qualified professional.

Boiler still not working? Contact the Heating Experts for Help

While you may be able to handle some of these issues on your own, most of them will require a Gas Safe or OFTEC registered professional’s assistance. The Boiler Installation Specialists ensure safe and effective repairs of boilers within your budget. With our 30-plus years of experience and the proper registrations and training, we can give your family peace of mind that your boiler heating system will run efficiently and safely.

If you need help with your home heating systems installations, TBIS professionals can help. We also offer boiler finance if you need a new boiler. Call us today on our freephone.

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