What to do if your boiler goes out?

When your boiler goes out, it can be a major inconvenience and cause discomfort in your home. Knowing what steps to take and when to call a professional can help you address the issue efficiently. Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind when dealing with a malfunctioning boiler:

Key Takeaways

  • Check the thermostat to ensure it is set correctly.
  • Inspect the pilot light to see if it is lit and functioning properly.
  • Reset the circuit breaker to troubleshoot any electrical issues.
  • Schedule regular inspections to maintain the boiler’s efficiency and prevent breakdowns.
  • Clean the boiler annually to remove any buildup and ensure optimal performance.

Troubleshooting Steps

Troubleshooting Steps

Check the Thermostat

When your boiler goes out, the first thing to check is the thermostat. It’s the central hub for controlling your home’s temperature and can often be the culprit behind heating issues. Ensure that it is turned on and set to a temperature that would trigger the boiler to heat.

  • Verify the thermostat’s settings are correct.
  • Check if the batteries need replacing.
  • Ensure the thermostat is in heating mode and not set to ‘cool’ or ‘off’.

If the thermostat settings appear correct and the boiler still doesn’t respond, it may indicate a deeper issue.

Remember, a malfunctioning thermostat can mimic more serious boiler problems. Before proceeding to more complex troubleshooting steps, it’s essential to rule out any thermostat-related issues.

Inspect the Pilot Light

If your boiler has stopped working, one of the first things to check is the pilot light. This small flame ignites the gas to heat your home and should always be on. If it’s out, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure there is a sufficient supply of gas to the pilot light.
  2. Verify that there is enough oxygen available for combustion.
  3. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, it could indicate a faulty thermocouple or a clogged pilot orifice.

Before attempting to relight the pilot light, read your boiler’s manual for specific instructions and safety precautions.

If you’re uncomfortable performing these steps or the pilot light continues to go out, it’s time to call a specialist. Persistent issues with the pilot light can be a sign of a deeper problem that requires professional attention.

Reset the Circuit Breaker

If your boiler has stopped working, one of the first things to check is the circuit breaker. It’s possible that a power surge or overload has tripped the breaker, cutting off power to the boiler. Locate your home’s electrical panel and find the breaker that corresponds to the boiler. If it’s in the ‘off’ position or stuck in the middle, this could be the cause of your boiler’s malfunction.

Resetting the circuit breaker is a simple process:

  1. Turn the breaker fully to the ‘off’ position.
  2. Wait for a couple of seconds.
  3. Flip the breaker back to the ‘on’ position.

After resetting the breaker, give your boiler a few minutes to restart. If the boiler does not resume operation or the breaker trips again, this indicates a more serious issue that may require professional attention.

Remember, frequent trips of the circuit breaker could signal an underlying electrical problem. In such cases, it’s crucial to consult with a certified electrician to ensure your home’s safety.

Maintenance Tips

Maintenance Tips

Schedule Regular Inspections

To ensure your boiler operates efficiently and to prevent unexpected breakdowns, schedule regular inspections with a qualified technician. These check-ups can identify potential issues before they escalate into costly repairs.

Inspections should ideally be conducted annually, but the frequency can vary depending on the age and model of your boiler. Here’s a simple checklist for what a typical inspection might include:

  • Examination of the boiler and controls
  • Checking for leaks and corrosion
  • Testing pressure levels and safety devices
  • Cleaning essential components
  • Assessing the overall system performance

Regular maintenance not only prolongs the life of your boiler but also ensures it runs safely and at optimal efficiency. Neglecting this can lead to higher energy bills and increased risk of malfunctions.

Clean the Boiler Annually

Keeping your boiler in top condition requires regular maintenance, and an essential part of this is the annual cleaning. Over time, boilers can accumulate dust and debris which can affect their efficiency and operation. It’s important to remove any buildup and check for signs of wear or damage.

Cleaning your boiler annually not only extends its lifespan but also ensures it operates safely and at optimal performance. Here’s a simple checklist to follow during the annual clean-up:

  • Disassemble and inspect components for sludge and corrosion.
  • Check and clean the burners.
  • Verify the settings and make necessary adjustments.

Remember, a well-maintained boiler is less likely to fail and can save you money on energy bills and potential repair costs in the long run.

Refer to a comprehensive guide like ‘Boiler Maintenance Checklist- AN EXTENSIVE GUIDE‘ for a detailed breakdown of the tasks involved in annual maintenance. This can help ensure that nothing is overlooked during the cleaning process.

Calling for Professional Help

Calling for Professional Help

Contact a Certified Technician

When your boiler malfunctions, it’s crucial to contact a certified technician who can provide professional and reliable solutions. Certified technicians have the necessary training and expertise to diagnose and fix complex boiler issues safely and efficiently.

Trusted Boilers offers a range of services to ensure your boiler is running smoothly. Don’t hesitate to reach out for expert assistance, especially if you’re experiencing persistent problems that simple troubleshooting can’t resolve.

Remember, attempting to repair a boiler without proper knowledge can be dangerous and may lead to further damage. Always seek professional help.

Here’s a quick guide on what to expect when you call for a technician:

  • The technician will conduct a thorough inspection of your boiler.
  • They will identify the root cause of the problem.
  • You will receive a detailed explanation of the necessary repairs.
  • A quote for the repair costs will be provided.
  • Upon agreement, the technician will proceed with the repairs.

Request a Boiler Repair Service

Once you’ve determined that a professional’s expertise is needed, requesting a boiler repair service is your next step. Ensure that you choose a reputable service provider with certified technicians who have experience with your boiler’s make and model.

Communication is key when dealing with service providers. Be prepared to describe the issue in detail, providing any relevant information that could help diagnose the problem. Here’s a simple checklist to follow when you contact a repair service:

  • Describe the symptoms and any troubleshooting steps you’ve already taken.
  • Mention the make, model, and age of your boiler.
  • Provide availability for the technician’s visit.
  • Ask for an estimated cost and time frame for the repair.

Remember, timely repairs can prevent further damage and save on costs in the long run. Don’t hesitate to call for help if you’re unsure about any steps in the troubleshooting process.


In conclusion, dealing with a boiler that has gone out can be a stressful situation. However, by following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively troubleshoot the issue and take the necessary actions to get your boiler up and running again. Remember to prioritize safety and consider seeking professional help if needed. With the right approach, you can quickly resolve the problem and restore warmth and comfort to your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my boiler stop working suddenly?

There could be various reasons for a sudden boiler shutdown, such as a malfunctioning thermostat, a pilot light issue, or a tripped circuit breaker.

How often should I schedule boiler inspections?

It is recommended to schedule boiler inspections at least once a year to ensure the system is functioning properly and to catch any potential issues early.

What should I do if I smell gas near the boiler?

If you smell gas near the boiler, immediately evacuate the area, do not turn on any electrical devices, and contact your gas provider and a professional technician for assistance.

Can I clean the boiler myself?

While some basic maintenance tasks like cleaning the exterior of the boiler can be done by homeowners, it is recommended to have a professional technician handle more complex cleaning and maintenance procedures.

How do I know if my boiler needs repairs?

Signs that your boiler may need repairs include strange noises, uneven heating, increased energy bills, and frequent cycling on and off.

What should I do if my boiler is leaking water?

If your boiler is leaking water, turn off the power and water supply to the boiler, place a container to collect the water, and contact a professional technician for repairs.

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