Things To Check When Your Boiler Breaks Down

Things To Check When Your Boiler Breaks Down

If you own a modern boiler and it’s stopped working, then you need to check its display for an error code. The good thing about most modern boilers is that they’ll let you know when something’s wrong with the system. If you see an error code, write down the number, then switch off the system before checking to see if other gas appliances in your home such as hobs or ovens are working normally. If they aren’t, then chances are there’s a problem with your gas supply. Visit this website to take out the boiler cover for peace of mind.

To establish where the problem with your boiler could be, follow this checklist:

  • Check the pilot light
  • Check the electricity supply
  • Check the water supply
  • Check gas/oil supply
  • Check for frozen pipes
  • Check the boiler pressure
  • Check for fault codes
  • Check the system’s thermostat and programmer

Check the Electricity Supply

Tripped Fuse Box

One of the first things you need to check is your fuse box since a tripped switch could cause your boiler to stop working. If you have recently experienced a blackout, there is a chance it may have caused your boiler’s timer to reset. Therefore, check to see if the boiler’s clock display reads the correct time. If it is not, then that might call for a reprogram. 

To reprogram your boiler, all you need to do is follow the instructions provided in the programmer manual that came with the system. If you can’t find your hard copy, then search the internet for a soft copy of your boiler’s programmer manual

Faulty Ignition Lead

Ignition leads play a vital role in helping a boiler ignite. If you hear clicking when igniting your boiler, then that means your ignition electrode or lead might be faulty. Another common problem people experience with faulty ignitions is the boiler ignites but immediately goes off again. If you own a newer system, it should display a fault or error code indicating where the problem is. If you are experiencing ignition issues, get in touch with a Gas Safe Registered engineer and have them test and replace faulty parts. Replacing faulty ignition leads is relatively cheap.

Your Prepaid Meter

If you run a prepaid meter, there’s a chance that it ran out of credit, cutting off supply, causing your boiler system to stop working.

Broken System Fan

Inside your boiler, there is a fan whose main purpose is to push harmful gases out of the system and into the flue. If it is not working, then your boiler will lock out and refuse to ignite. When that’s the case, get in touch with a Gas Safe Registered engineer and have them replace the fan right away. 

Check Your System’s Gas/Oil supply

Gas Pressure 

Too little or too much gas could cause issues with your boiler system. If you own a modern boiler, it will probably display a fault or error code indicating that gas pressure is incorrect. Get in touch with a Gas Safe Registered engineer and have them test your system’s gas pressure. 

If you can smell gas or suspect you have a gas leak, call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 right away. 

Gas Valve

A common reason why boilers fail to ignite is because of issues with how gas is flowing into the system. Issues such as internal damage or a blockage in your boiler could be what’s affecting your boiler’s gas flow. Inspect other gas appliances in your home to see if they are operating properly and make sure that the ECV or Emergency Control Valve by your gas meter is not turned off. A professional Gas Safe Registered technician can help diagnose and resolve any gas supply issues you might be experiencing fast and cheaply. 

Check the System’s Water Supply 

Find out if your hot water supply is still on. If it isn’t, then get in touch with your water supplier for assistance in investigating the issue.

Check the System’s Pressure

Most boilers will struggle to turn on (or will not even bother to) if water pressure is low. To check your system’s pressure, look at the boiler display or the pressure gauge. For your boiler to operate properly, its water pressure needs to be between 1 and 2 bars; anything lower than 1 bar is too low for your boiler to operate optimally.

You can try repressurizing your boiler system by following the directions provided in the manual that came with your boiler. If you cannot find your manual, consider searching the internet for a soft copy. 

Check Your Thermostat and Programmer

Your HVAC’s programmer should be on while your thermostat should be set above room temperature. If your system has a timer, the problem could be that the clock’s gone backward or forward and needs to be synced.

Check for Frozen Pipes 

Since the UK’s climate is generally cold, it is quite common for the weather to affect piping systems. As the weather gets colder, it sometimes causes condensation and pipes to freeze, causing blockages in boiler systems. When a blockage occurs, it can cause water to flood the boiler, prompting a breakdown.

While we recommend that you get in touch with a professional Gas Safe Registered engineer and have them help you with frozen pipes, this is a problem that you can remedy on your own. All you need to do is pour warm water or place a hot water bottle on the end of the affected pipes, then turn the system on and off again. However, if the problem persists, have a professional look at the problem for a lasting solution. 

Check the System’s Pilot Light 

Pilot lights are more common on older types of boilers and typically go out for a variety of reasons. To fix a problem with your pilot light, try reigniting it by following the directions located on the inside of your boiler’s door or provided in your boiler’s manual. If you cannot reignite the pilot light then call a qualified Gas Safe Registered technician and have them do it for you – DO NOT alter or try to dismantle your boiler. 

Check for Some of the Most Common Fault Codes

Most modern boilers will show fault codes that help make diagnosing issues quick and efficient. And while some issues are easy or simple enough for you to fix on your own, others require the assistance of skilled and professional Gas Safe Registered engineers.

If you cannot find the manual that came with your boiler, you should find a copy of it online. The guides below cover some of the common boiler fault/error codes: 

  • Baxi boiler fault codes
  • Vaillant boiler fault codes
  • Ideal boiler fault codes


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