Fast fixes for your broken boiler

When the weather turns, your boiler has to work hard to keep your home warm and keep you in hot water.

But don’t panic if you’re experiencing a problem, there are some common boiler problems you can safely try to fix yourself before calling a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

Check the thermostat & controls

It might sound a bit silly, but the thermostat and other boiler controls can be easily changed by accident. If you’ve got kids who can’t stop fiddling with things or you just brush against a dial as you walk past it, your boiler might shut down without you realising why.

Check that the thermostat is turned up (the National Energy Foundation says 20°C is usually adequate and keeps bills down) and check that the timer is set just how you like it.

fire burning gas nozzle gas water heater

Check the pilot light

If the basic controls are all set and your boiler still isn’t heating your home, check its pilot light is fired up.

On combi boilers, you should have a small window on the front to check through. If you can’t see a blue flame, have a look in your boiler’s manual for how to restart the pilot light. It’s often a simple case of holding a button.

Check the boiler pressure

If you still aren’t getting the comforting warmth you expect from your boiler, take a look at the boiler pressure.

There’s normally a small dial alongside your boiler’s controls that shows the pressure. If this dial has dropped below 1 bar, you’ll need to top it up.

Check your boiler’s manual to find out where the pressure tap is. Use this to carefully up the pressure, but make sure you don’t increase it beyond the manual’s recommendations (usually this is around 1.5 bar).

Check your gas and power supply

If all the simple things with your boiler seem to be present and correct, check gas and electricity are both going to your boiler.

With a gas hob, try lighting it to make sure there are no problems with your home’s gas supply. If there is a problem, you’ll need to call the utility company.

Also check your fuse box to ensure power is getting to your boiler. If your boiler keeps tripping a fuse, you’ll need a Gas Safe engineer to come and find out why.

Check the outdoor pipes

There’s a pipe called the condensate pipe that carries exhaust gases out of your building – these can freeze over in cold weather and stop your boiler working. It’s easy to rectify and usually only takes pouring a kettle-full of water over it to thaw it. Here’s a video showing you how:

We’ve also explained some ways you can prevent your pipes from freezing in our blog about preparing your home for Winter.

Not fixed? Call

If all else fails, call the experts. You don’t want to go messing around with a boiler yourself, so make sure you get a Gas Safe Registered engineer from your boiler’s manufacturer by calling

They only use genuine parts and manufacturer engineers – and their boiler repair & 12 months care will keep your boiler working all year for a fixed monthly price, so you don’t have to worry about a big one-off cost.