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Day 15: Troubleshooting Heating Emergencies

radiator plumbing heating

You’ve opened advent window 15!

Over the holidays, you might wake up one morning and find that your central heating has decided to have its own holiday. Not ideal. Especially over Christmas, when emergency plumbing and heating services may face high demand and so will be less available. So it’s important that you know how to trouble shoot minor issues yourself.

NB: If after following these steps, you notice that your boiler/radiators are still not working, call a qualified gas engineer. Everything in this guide can be done without needing tools, or having to open any part of your boiler other than accessing the controls. If you find that you need tools to access any part of your boiler, don’t touch it at all. Don’t try to fix your boiler yourself, it is dangerous and may be illegal to do so if you’re not a qualified gas engineer.


Here are some troubleshooting checks you can carry out yourself, safely:

Hit the reset button.

Did you have a power cut recently? Or fuse tripped on your main electricity? If you did, your boiler’s timer may simply have reset itself. All you need to do in this instance is re – programme your boiler again. Just to make sure set the timer to come on in the next 15 minutes and turn your thermostat all the way up to see if this generates any heat. If after that, it still doesn’t come on, move on to the next step.

Check your gas supply

The prospect of having no heating or hot water can sometimes make us panic. Most people would call a gas engineer out over minor issues that they could’ve resolved themselves with simple checks. The next step is to check that your gas supply is actually on. For modern homes, your gas isolation valve may be located outside, where your gas meter is. If you can’t find it there, check the cupboard under the stairs, under your kitchen sink or in the garage. If the handle is at 90 degrees to the vertical gas pipe, that means it’s off.

If that’s the case at this point, don’t touch anything. Call a gas engineer immediately. There is no reason why your gas will turn itself off and if you find the valve in the off position, there is usually a reason for it that you may be unaware of.

If it is on however, you can move on to the next step.


Check the pressure

Another simple reason your heating may h