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What to do if your central heating stops working

Quick fixes to restart your central heating this winter

What to do if your central heating stops working this winter

Now that we are in the depths of winter, many homeowners are switching on their heating for the first time this year. This comes with some risks as many people suddenly find that their heating is not working as intended.

During sudden cold snaps, heating companies become inundated with work. So it can be challenging to arrange a repair or replacement. While you are waiting on the phone or waiting for an email reply you can try some of these methods to restart your heating system.

Electrical Fault

Check the nearby electrical systems, such as your hob and other nearby power sockets, if they are not working you may be in the midst of a power cut or may have tripped the breaker circuits from a power surge.

Check your fuse box to see if any of the switches have tripped off, and turn them back to on.

Try your electrics again to see if this has resolved the issues. Otherwise, you may have an electrical fault.

What to do if your central heating stops working Electrical Fault

Check if you are still in credit

If you are a pre-paying consumer check if you still have enough credit in your meter, this may seem obvious at first. However in the current economic climate and weather conditions, you will find that your credit is spent a lot sooner than expected.

Check that your thermostat timer is correct

Knocking against your thermostat or even a power outage can cause your timer settings to change. This can result in your heating not switching on when you expect it to.

Check your timing settings and reset them if they are incorrect. Just to make sure set your boiler to turn on in 15 minutes to verify your timing settings are registering correctly.

Check that your thermostat is set high enough

What to do if your central heating stops working check your thermostat

It is recommended that you set your thermostat to around 21℃. This temperature is the ideal setting for your system. If that does not trigger your heating system, try setting your thermostat on full for a little while.

Check your boilers temperature dial

Inside your boilers control panel, you will find two dials. One of these controls water temperature, and the other controls your central heating. Try turning your heating temperature is turned all the way up and try your heating system again.

Check your radiators

If it appears that your boiler is working and making noises but producing no heat then it may be an issue related to your radiators.

Try turning the thermostatic valve on your radiator all the way up, if you still do not find any heat is produced then it's time to move onto some more specific fixes.

What to do if your central heating stops working check your radiator

Check your boiler pressure.

Your boiler's pressure should sit between 1.0 bar and 1.5 bar. If it doesn't then you will need to adjust your boiler's pressure.

You can use the two levers on either side of the water-filling loop to increase the pressure as needed, for the full guide check out this article How to top up the pressure in your boiler

Once you have completed this you may have to reset your boiler, so it can catch up to these changes.

Bleeding your radiators

If you find that your boiler system pressure is too high, then you may need to bleed your radiators.

You will need a few things, a radiator key and a cloth to catch water.

  1. Turn off your heating. You can’t bleed a radiator when the heating is on, as unsafe, and you may get pressurised water spraying from your system.
  2. Use a radiator key to turn the valve at the top of the radiator. Attach the key to the square groove in the centre of the valve as shown in the diagram and turn it slowly anticlockwise. You should hear a hissing sound. This is the trapped air escaping.
  3. Retighten the valve once the hissing stops and only liquid comes out. Do this quickly to stop too much water from escaping. If you find lots of water escaping use a bucket or cloth to soak it up.
  4. Turn your central heating system back on.
  5. Check the pressure by looking at the gauge on your boiler. Bleeding your radiators can cause the pressure to drop. If the pressure is too low, you’ll need to top it up. Use the filling loops as described to repressurise your boiler.
  6. Check your system if the heat is evenly spread through the radiator, you’ve fixed the problem.

Reset your boiler

The boiler reset button should be located on the front of your boiler's control panel. You can check out our full guide here on how to reset your boiler

If this does not work then you may be need to hard reset your boiler.

How to Hard Reset your Boiler

how to reset your boiler

A hard reset is simply switching your boiler off and then on again. You should find the power switch responsible for the power supply to your boiler next to the boiler or in the airing cupboard.

Switch your power supply off for a few seconds and then turn it back on again and then check your heating system again.

Check your Pilot Light

In the case that your boiler has a permanent pilot light, you may need to relight it. To do this check the instructions for your boiler as each one varies. If you cannot get your boilers pilot light to reignite then you will need to contact a gas-safe engineer.

If you continue to have issues with your pilot light then you will need to get a gas-safe engineer to attend.

What to do if your central heating stops working frozen pipes

Frozen Pipes

If temperatures are starting to get into the negatives then you may find that pipes have begun to freeze.

If you find any frozen pipes you can thaw them out by using hot water (Boiling water is dangerous to use on frozen pipes)

If you find that your pipes are consistently freezing then it may be worth getting them insulated, this lagging will prevent your pipes from freezing in the future.

Once you have thawed the pipes try your heating system again.

Further advice and guidance

If you have tried all of the above and still are unable to remedy the issue it's time to contact a professional. Such as Gasway Services.

Contact us today or start a Live Chat. We will endeavour to assist you as soon as we can.

For further advice and other helpful articles check out our advice centre.

Sam Teal Website Profile

Sam Teal - Marketing Manager: What to do if your central heating stops working (14 December 2022)

Sam is a seasoned writer, blending expertise in marketing, psychology, and emerging technologies.

With a keen understanding of consumer behaviour, Sam strives to make the heating industry greener and more sustainable. His diverse portfolio includes articles spanning multiple industries, including entertainment, board games, tech and of course the heating industry.

With a passion for change and innovation, Sam is one of many industry experts at Gasway Services LTD.

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