Checking your boiler

Here are some simple steps to check your boiler is in top condition. Coupled with regular servicing, this could help your boiler run more efficiently, saving you money.

Regular servicing could help your boiler run more efficiently – saving you money. Unless you have boiler cover in place, you’ll need to call an engineer if things go wrong, which can be expensive.

1. Know how your boiler works

Learn where the switches and controls are, and what the right settings for your home should be. If your radiators are cold, you may have the thermostat set too low, or not have the timer set correctly. It might also be that you have a closed/partially closed radiator valve.

2. Double check - is it switched on?

It’s easier than you think to accidentally turn a boiler off. Make sure it’s switched on. If it’s still not working, check your electricity supply and see if the fuse for the boiler has tripped. If you have a gas boiler, check there aren’t any service disruptions in your area. If you have an oil boiler, make sure the tank tap is open.

3. Gently thaw your pipes

Most combination boilers have a condensate pipe that runs outside the house. In the event this freezes, turn your system off and defrost the pipe gently with a hairdryer, hot water, or a towel soaked in hot water. Once everything’s thawed, you should be able to restart your boiler. You might consider lagging the pipes to prevent them freezing again.

4. Check the boiler pressure

Combination boilers might stop working if there’s a drop in pressure. If the pressure gauge on the boiler shows it’s low, check your pipes for leaks. If there’s no leak, you can turn the boiler off and manually increase the pressure by following the instructions detailed in the manual.

5. Bleed your radiators

If your radiators have cold patches at the top, air could be trapped in the system. Turn off your boiler and let it cool, then place a towel below the valve and use a radiator key to slowly open it. If it hisses, that’s air escaping. When water drips from the valve, close it again tightly. If you have a combination system make sure to check the pressure before turning the boiler back on - it may need re-pressurising.

Boiler still not working?

Now it’s time to get a registered engineer in. If you have Aviva Response gas boiler cover, get in touch and we’ll send one out to you.