What to do if your boiler won’t ignite - Broke in London

What to do if your boiler won’t ignite

Simple steps you can take to solve the problem yourself

Guest post by Paul Gordon

If your heating isn’t working or you can’t get any hot water from the taps, a cold day can quickly become very uncomfortable. Your boiler is a complicated piece of equipment, so you’d be forgiven for not being an expert, but there are some things you can learn than can save you from waiting for a call out. If your boiler won’t even ignite, there are steps you can take to try to solve the problem yourself. You could soon have a warm and cosy home again.

Check the gas supply

First up, check that your gas supply is still working. Turn on another gas appliance to check that your domestic gas supply is working. If your gas supply is managed on a prepayment meter, check that you have enough credit. If there is no gas supply then the issue could lie with your supplier. Get in touch with your supplier to find out if this is a scheduled outage and when you can expect it to return.

Find your fuse box

If one of the switches in your fuse box is down, this could be affecting the power supply to your boiler. All of the switches should be facing the same way. 

Check for power outages

If you have recently lost power, your thermostat timer could be incorrect. This would mean that your boiler doesn’t turn on and off at the right times. Check the time on the thermostat, if it’s incorrect, you may need to reset it.

Check the boiler power switch

Many boilers include a power switch on the wall, this can easily get knocked and lead to a boiler outage. Check the power supply and make sure that your boiler is switched on. If you can’t switch it on this way, there may be an issue with the power supply to your home. The display on your boiler should let you know it is switched on.

Is the pilot light lit?

Older boilers may have a pilot light which needs to be lit manually. Look through the window to see if you can see the blue flame. If this is not lit, your boiler will not turn on. Newer style boilers can be lit by using the reset button. Follow the reset instructions for your boiler and this should solve any problems if the pilot light is to blame.

Another popular way to check if your boiler is functioning correctly is to turn up the thermostat. If the temperature in your home is the same or higher than the thermostat temperature, it won’t switch on. Turn your thermostat up high and see if that sparks your boiler to life.

Troubleshooting your boiler issues

1 – The gas valve

One of the most common reasons a boiler won’t start is down to the gas flow. There could be a blockage along the pipes which is prevented a steady flow of gas into your boiler. If this is happening, you will need the help of a Gas Safe engineer.

2 – Gas pressure

Too much or too little gas can cause issues. If this is the reason your boiler won’t ignite, it will likely display an error code. The only way to resolve this will be with the help of a Gas Safe engineer.

3 – Cold weather

When the weather is really cold, you should check the pipes outside your home to check if they have frozen. A frozen condensate pipe will prevent your boiler from working as there will be nowhere for the wastewater to drain away. You can easily solve this by defrosting the pipe using hot water from your kettle.

4 – Water pressure

In addition to the right gas pressure, your boiler also needs the right water pressure. You can check your boiler to find out the correct pressure range. If the pressure is too low, you can easily top up your system. If the boiler won’t stay pressurised, then you will need the help of a Gas Safe engineer.

5 – Ignition lead

When you turn on your boiler, you should normally hear a clicking noise. If this noise stops, it could be a sign that your ignition lead isn’t working. A Gas Safe engineer will need to identify the problem and then replace the parts.

6 – Is the fan working?

Inside your boiler, there is a fan which removes the harmful waste substances and pushes them out of the flue. If this fan isn’t working, the entire boiler will stop working as a safety precaution. If this happens, a Gas Safe engineer will need to replace the faulty parts. 

Next steps

If you have gone through this list and your boiler still won’t start, it’s time to call in the experts. With home boiler cover from YourRepair, you will be covered for this type of call out so you won’t need to worry about the costs stacking up.