Broken boiler, or just a glitch, would you know how to tell?
It could simply be a matter of relighting the pilot, replacing a fuse in the spur or plug, or just topping up the pressure. All too often, central heating engineers in Bromley and south east London are called out to households that have lost heating and/or hot water, only to find the boiler is not really broken.
You can avoid paying for nothing and losing your valuable time waiting for the heating engineer to arrive by carrying out a few simple checks. It helps if you are aware of what the most common tricks are that are used to flog unnecessary repairs.
Unless you have money to burn, or are particularly concerned about plumbers' earnings, you may want to check first and see to make sure that there actually is a fault. If you have done all you can and you really do need a breakdown specialist who works in South East London and Bromley, call:
When you turn the heating on or run the hot tap, and nothing happens, you can easily check the following items. Just
follow the items below one by one.
All boilers use electricity, in one form or another. Check if there is a control light on, or maybe you can see/hear the fan or the pump. Maybe you have to turn the system on and off, flip the switch or change the timer selector or turn up the thermostat. Check that the lead is plugged in, or the switch at the spur is turned on. If nothing happens when you do this, you can change the fuse in the plug or the spur for a new one. This must always be a 3 Amp fuse, unless the manual states specifically otherwise.
Electricity, water and copper pipe make for a tricky combination. If you are less than totally comfortable with checking or doing even minor jobs on it, don't. Ask a friend, relative or a kind neighbour to have a quick look for you; anyone who is competent will only need one minute to do this.
The next requirement is gas.
Sometimes it can be interrupted, and if you have a gas cooker or a
gas fire, just turn that one on for a minute to prove there is
If there is no gas, verify that the emergency control valve is on. This is the handle on a pipe near the meter. If it is installed correctly, it will face in the same direction as the gaspipe when open, and a perpendicular position indicates it is shut.
Some boilers have a pilot light that must be on for it to work. Check to see that it is on, and if not relight it safely. Different boilers have different ways of doing this; the manual will tell you exactly how to relight yours. If it goes out occasionally, it does not automatically mean your boiler is broken.
If the meter does work, double check that it has not run out of credit. Most if not all of these have a few pound of emergency credit that you can activate which should carry over until the next day. This is really easy to forget, and sometimes you just use more than you think.
One of the most common causes of unnecessary callouts in Bromley and South East London for boilers that are not broken, is the card meter. Also known as a key meter and officially called a electronic token meter, there are two things to verify. The first is to see that the meter is working properly. They are delicate bits of kit and can go "tilt" when bumped too hard. In this case you need to call the Gas Emergency Service and tell them your meter doesn't seem to work. Their number should be on a label on or near the meter. You don't have to worry about whether or not you should call them. Just call and explain exactly what the problem is, and leave it to them to judge what the best line of action is. The number for Bromley and south east London is 0800111999.
Most modern boilers have a pressurised system, invariably with a gauge that tells you the
pressure. If it is very low, between 0 and 0.5, you probably need to
top it up. The boiler manual will tell you exactly what the pressure
should be. Most boilers will work fine with a pressure
between 1 and 1.5, but the only way to be really safe and sure is to
verify the value in the manual. Always err on the side of caution;
if you are not sure what you are doing, don't do it.
If your boiler is of the kind that has a tank to keep the system filled, check that it has some water in it. If you see two tanks, it will probably be the smaller of the two. It does not have to be full, normally about four to six inches is sufficient. If all these things are fine, the answer to the question is your boiler broken?, is probably yes.
You need a boiler engineer who can repair central heating systems in Bromley or South East London, and can be there soon.
I guarantee results or you don't pay a penny. If you can tell me over the phone exactly what boiler you have so that I can verify parts are available if need be, I won't charge if I can't find the fault. Most people like that better than paying money when the plumber leaves, and the boiler is still broken.
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