Why isn't my boiler working?

February 21, 2023

Why isn't my boiler working?

5 Reasons Your Boiler Isn’t Working & Solutions

5 free, simple solutions to common boiler problems

99% of the time, boilers are tucked away from sight, working overtime to keep you and your family comfortable. The other 1% of the time, homeowners are scratching their heads trying to work out what went wrong. Boiler problems can be daunting, especially with the cost of a new boiler reaching around £2,500. 

Whether you’ve got Vaillant boiler problems or Worcester boiler problems, you need to act fast. Believe it or not, the five most common boiler problems are easy to fix. You might not even need a heating engineer! 

Why Is My Boiler Not Working? 

Your boiler could stop working for any number of reasons. Before you jump to the worst-case scenario, let’s look at some of the simpler explanations.

Check Your Boiler Is Switched On 

Sometimes the best solutions are the easiest.

An alarming number of homeowners call their boiler company, furious that their shiny new boiler has stopped working a month or two after purchase. One of the first things that heating engineers ask worried homeowners to check is the switch. 

It might seem unlikely, but you’d be surprised how many homeowners can solve their Ideal boiler problems by flipping a switch. If nothing seems amiss there, check the mains. You might have had a power cut in the night. They’re more common than you might think! 

Check The Pilot Light

The pilot light is the flame that lights the gas inside your boiler. This feature is mostly only present on older furnaces and boilers, with very few newer models having pilot lights. Still, lots of homeowners across the UK have older models fitted, so it’s one of the more obvious boiler problems. 

Leaks and drafts can cause the pilot light in your boiler to suddenly go out. The solution is simple; just have a look through the casing on your boiler. If you can’t see a flame, you’ve found your problem. 

Check For Low-Pressure 

Boilers lose pressure for any number of reasons; it is inevitable. One of the more common ways that homeowners unknowingly lower the pressure of their boiler is by bleeding a radiator. This causes air to seep out. 

Homeowners who have Worcester, Ideal, or Vaillant boiler problems almost immediately assume that they have to call a heating engineer to fix their low pressure. In fact, it is one of the easiest fixes that you can do at home. 

First, make sure that the pressure is the problem. To do this, you have to look at the pressure gauge, that’s the circular feature that looks like a clock. Inactive boilers should have a reading that’s within the green zone. If the pressure is lower than 1 BAR, you need to increase it.

For combi boiler problems, you need a filling loop. They are hoses that connect your boiler to the main water supply, and it helps to repressurise water. 

Follow these steps: 

  1. Turn your boiler off and let it cool. 
  2. Check that the filling loop is properly attached. 
  3. Open the valve(s). You should hear cold mains water going into the system. 
  4. When the pressure valve reaches somewhere between 1 and 1.5 BAR, close the valves.
  5. Turn your boiler back on - you might need to press the reset button here! 
  6. Remove the filling loop.

Conventional and system boilers already have a valve in the pipework; it is usually located between the pressure gauge and the red vessel. To increase the pressure, just open the valve and wait until the arrow rests between 1 and 1.5 BAR.

Check Your Thermostat Timer

If you’ve Googled ‘Why is my central heating not working?’ you might need to check your thermostat timer. Lots of homeowners assume that their boiler isn’t working when the heating doesn’t turn on at 8 am sharp, but most of the time it’s just a problem with the thermostat. 

That being said, human error plays a part as well. Many modern models come with in-built display screens that are difficult to get the hang of. You need to check the manual for more in-depth instructions. 

Check Your Gas Meter 

Some Worcester and Ideal boiler problems don’t have anything to do with mechanics. This is one of those cases. When it comes to boiler questions, energy bills are one of the biggest culprits. It can be easy to forget to check the meter, especially if the rest of the house runs on electricity. Unfortunately, if there’s no money on the meter your boiler won’t work. 

Likewise, if you haven’t paid your energy bill, your supplier will cut you off.  

Who to Call For Boiler Problems?

So, there you have it. There are the top five reasons why your boiler might be (or appear to be) broken, as well as some free solutions. 

If your boiler still doesn’t work, you need to call a Gas Safe engineer. At TaskHer, we have a pool of professional, reliable, Gas Safe tradeswomen who are waiting to hear about your problem. Get an instant quote and book a Gas Safe tradeswoman online now. 

Latest POSTS

"I blame the parents"

Many parents aren’t as excited to show off to their friends that their child is a plumber not a doctor. However, the reality paints a different picture...


Making Her Mark: Garden Designer

Suelan Allison’s journey as a garden designer is a testament to the remarkable transformative influence of nature and design...

Find more articles