Why Is My Central Heating Not Working
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- central heating problems, common issues
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Are you having boiler problems? Are you asking: why is my central heating not working? Find out more about common reasons why your central heating is not working.
Why is my boiler not working?
As with many complex home appliances, there are many reasons why your boiler may not be working correctly. Typical problems your boiler might encounter include a lack of gas fuel, frozen condensate pipework, low boiler pressure, faulty controllers and leaks.
While your boiler and central heating system may be one of the most complex gas appliances in your home, they are necessary when keeping your home warm in the winter months. However, with any other intricately designed piece of equipment, they can suffer faults and complete breakdowns, even if you have just had a new boiler installed.
It can be difficult to notice any problems emanating from your boiler or central heating, especially if you do not know what to look out for. These heating problems can present themselves in various ways, such as issues with your radiators, loose or missing valves, insufficient water supply or simply your boiler not working as it properly should.
While the computer method of simply switching things off and back on again could potentially solve the issue, this is not a cureall method. This article lists some of the more common problems your boiler could face and what to look out for when diagnosing these issues. Recognising these problems can keep you from worrying about the state of your central heating and now when to call the experts in.
Leaking or dripping boiler
Leaks are the most common reason for combi boilers to stop working properly. A leak can occur at any point throughout your central heating system, given that over time your pipework can corrode and dissolve. Additionally, any loose joints or damaged pipes can also provide a point where a leak can occur.
The biggest problem caused by a leak is that the pressure within your central heating system drops dramatically, meaning you lose all heating efficiency. If the leak occurs beyond where your boiler's pressure gauge takes its readings, you may not even be able to tell there is a leak. Of course, one of the key signs of a leak is hearing a dripping noise.
Checking all exposed areas of your boiler or central heating can also help you identify where the leak is. Radiators are also a good place to check, given that they hold a large concentration of hot water in your system. If you cannot diagnose the issue yourself and find the leak, it is best to call on the expertise of a professional heating engineer and have them assess the problem.
No pilot light to the boiler
Having no pilot light is quite an obvious problem that is easy to identify, given that it will stop your boiler from working entirely. Without the pilot light or a thermostat, there is no way for your boiler to heat anything, meaning your boiler and central heating system will not be able to warm your home.
Modern boiler designs do not rely on naked, open flames anymore, and the chances are that there is a technological issue instead. We strongly recommend that you have a professional assess your boiler, it is a precarious job, and you should never try to fix your boiler yourself.
If you cannot restart your boiler by igniting the pilot light again, arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to come and diagnose which of the components is faulty. With their experience and training, professional boiler engineers can find and replace any boiler parts you may need.
Gas supply problems are not very common today, but if you have one, get it immediately seen as they can be incredibly dangerous. Only Gas Safe registered engineers are qualified to handle repairs and replacements to boiler systems. Therefore, we recommend that you contact your local boiler specialists.
Even small components, such as joints or valves, can cause leaks if faulty, broken or poorly installed. Given that gas leaks can lead to hazardous build-ups of combustible fuel, again, we strongly recommend that you have a qualified gas engineer fix the problem.
Controller/thermostat timer scheduled
If you notice that your boiler is not firing at the time you set it to, this could be an issue with the controller or thermostat scheduling timer. These timers are most often found on modern boilers, which are often electronic and have inbuilt connections online and timer settings.
A simple solution could be that the clock or electronic options on the boiler's system are not set to the right time. If you are unsure how to change the settings to correct them, consulting your boiler's manual should help. If this does not work, contact a professional engineer.
Fuel and electricity issues
Fuel and electricity issues can prove to be significant problems, given that these are what your boiler needs to operate correctly. It goes without saying that without the gas fuel and the electricity necessary to operate, your boiler won't be able to heat your home at all.
A possible reason for these essential elements being lacking could be their delivery. If any connections have come loose or are poorly installed, you can experience trouble with your fuel and electricity supply. Again, we can't state this enough, that you should hire a professionally trained Gas Safe registered engineer to take a look. This is incredibly dangerous work and should not be attempted by those who do not know what they are doing.
Broken Diverter Valves
Broken or faulty diverter valves are among the most common causes of your boiler or central heating system problems. The job of these valves is to switch heat between your central heating system and your water supply for when you need warm water.
These valves are in use all the time and can naturally suffer from wear and tear through years of use. This natural degradation means that the valve will be unable to switch between your heating system and water, preventing it from supplying heat efficiently.
These valves are quite technically constructed, and as with the other issues previously mentioned, they require an expert hand to solve any problems they might experience. Therefore, you should contact your local plumber if you think your diverter valve is broken.
Broken Central Heating Pump
Your central heating pump breaking is also very common and significantly impacts your heating system's ability to heat your home. These pumps are the central driving force behind your central heating and are the components that force hot water throughout your heating system.
If this pump breaks, you will not be able to get warm water in your radiators, taps or shower. There are many reasons why these pumps can break; therefore, unless you know what you are doing, you should not try to meddle with it.
Other Potential Central Heating Faults
If the fault in your central heating is not caused by the pump or diverter valve, it could be one of the following:
- Loose wiring in the electronic components.
- Broken diaphragms.
- A broken thermostat in the internal workings of your boiler.
- An error in the programming of your central heating system.
When Do I Need a Plumber to Fix My Central Heating?
There are many reasons why your boiler or central heating may not be working correctly. Most likely, if you have had any recent renovations or construction work done on your home, your gas, water and electricity supplies will have been switched off. Regarding your electricity, ensuring that the switches in your fuse box are all switched back on should remedy the problem.
Having a gas problem could be a little tricker. You should be able to find your gas valve somewhere outside in your garden or underneath your stairs.
Checking this valve will determine whether anything is wrong or whether it is just turned off. If it is switched off, turning it back on should get you back up and running.
However, if it looks like your gas valve is damaged or faulty, call in a professional gas engineer. Having your water valve turned off during construction is the most likely cause of a lack of water flow.
Even if your water valve is only partially closed, it will not provide enough water for your boiler to heat your home. Therefore, ensuring that it is fully open is the first thing to check.
If your water valve is already completely open, but there is still not enough free water flowing through your boiler or reduced water pressure in your central heating system, you may have a faulty valve.
Again, without the proper know-how, you should not attempt to fix it yourself. Your water valve will most likely be found underneath your sink and will typically look like a bright yellow lever or handle.
Other issues could cause a problem with your boiler and the supply of necessary fuels to it. Here we have listed a few to help you know what to look out for and what you can do about them.
Do you require central heating repairs? We offer services to both domestic and commercial customers Uppingham, Oakham, Stamford and Rutland. Our charges are highly competitive and realistic. If you are experiencing problems with your central heating - Please contact us.