How to Prevent Emergency Boiler Repairs

It’s the middle of winter, it’s cold, it’s dark. You switch on your heating and silence.

Dread fills you as you realise your boiler isn’t firing up.

Unexpected boiler breakdowns are something no one wants. The lack of heating or hot water and a bill we never prepared for, fills every householder with anxiety just thinking about it.

There are things you can do to ensure your boiler doesn’t decide to stop working right when you need it most.

If, however, your boiler breaks down anyway, there are emergency boiler repairs that can help you get your heating system up and running again.

How to know there’s a problem with your boiler

There can be different issues with your boiler that you may be able to fix yourself or that at least aren’t an emergency, and you can wait for a plumber or heating specialists to call out.

But when is a broken boiler an emergency repair? If your boiler has stopped working completely and does not go on at all, then this would be an emergency.

You don’t want to do without heat especially coming into the colder weather. Especially if you are elderly then heating is particularly important for your wellbeing, and you shouldn’t go without it.

If you’re not sure whether your issue is an emergency, then you can phone your local heating specialists for emergency boiler advice.

What to do when there’s a problem with your boiler

If your boiler isn’t working at all, it is best to phone a heating specialist as soon as possible.

Keep your heating specialists’ number on your boiler, so in emergency it is quick to find.

For most issues, you should not try to fix the boiler yourself as you could scold yourself and boilers give off waste gases which can be dangerous.

Who can carry out emergency boiler repairs?

If your boiler is not working, a plumber or heating specialist can fix your boiler.

A plumber can deal with anything to do with water including boiler systems and will be able to help with your emergency boiler breakdown.

You should choose a plumber who is registered as Gas Safe and OFTEC registered such as Add Heat. This ensures they are up to date with all the latest information in their industry and are the best at helping you with any boiler issues.

It is also best to choose a heating technician who has experience with your particular brand of boiler, so if your boiler is a Vaillant, Worcester, Grant, or another make, it is best to go with a company that has worked with these boilers before.

What happens for emergency repairs?

When you phone your local plumber, they will make it a priority to get out to you quickly if you have a boiler emergency.

The plumber will call to your house and inspect the boiler. They may be able to fix the issue there and then.

If your boiler needs a new part, they may have parts with them that can fix the issue, or they may have to get parts.

The plumber will always do what they can to get your boiler up and running, even if it is a temporary fix or even if you need an emergency replacement boiler.

The plumber will advise you of the issue, the best way to fix it, and schedule any other appointments if they need to come back to make any more repairs.

Ask your plumber for an estimate or any repairs, so you are prepared. You should also ask about paying by finance if it’s outside of your budget to pay all at once for your repair.

What is the cost of an emergency boiler repair?

Emergency repairs can vary depending on the issue with your boiler.

It can be stressful not knowing if a replacement boiler is in your budget. Companies like Add Heat offer credit, so you don’t have to pay everything at once. This is a great help at getting a new boiler immediately while spreading the cost.

No one should be left without heating and any reputable heating company will do everything they can to help you, whatever your situation.

Add Heat also offers home emergency cover. We offer four different packages to suit your needs.

This means you have peace of mind, that if your boiler should break unexpectedly, you are covered and don’t need to stress about where you’re going to find the money for an unexpected bill.

Add Heat homecare packages cover things such as an annual boiler service, hot water cylinder cover, heating controls cover, heating pipework cover, and radiator cover, among others.

You can choose which package suits you best and pay a small fee on a regular basis that will save you money from costly repairs.

How to prevent emergencies

The last thing you want is for your boiler to break down unexpectedly and leave you without heat or hot water.

There are things you can do to help reduce the likelihood of this happening.

Annual boiler service

Your boiler, whether it is a gas boiler or an oil boiler, should be serviced once a year and this could be a condition of your warranty.

If you are a landlord or commercial property, you will obliged to ensure the safety of your tenants or staff by getting your boiler regularly serviced.

An annual boiler service also helps maintain your boiler to prevent breakdowns and keep your boiler lasting for longer to give you better value for money.

At Add Heat a gas boiler service costs £75 plus vat which is a lot less expensive than your boiler breaking down.

A boiler service will include visually inspecting your boiler, checking the flu, seals, boiler components, and other checks to ensure the safety of your boiler.

Boiler maintenance

There are things you can do yourself to keep your boiler at its best.

  • Do a check

Check it on a regular basis to make sure there aren’t any signs of leaks, any strange noises, or smells.

  • Insulate your pipes

By insulating your pipes, you will prevent them from freezing in the cold weather.

  • Check your radiators

Regularly have a feel of your radiators when they are on (being careful not to scold yourself), to see if there are any cold patches. Even if there aren’t, it is good to bleed your radiators regularly to ensure they are working efficiently.

  • Turn your heating on

While we’re all trying to reduce our energy bills at the moment, leaving your heating off for long periods can mean it may seize up.

Regularly put your heating on for at least 15 minutes to avoid this even during warmer months.

Non-emergency boiler repairs

Signs your boiler may not be running efficiently, but do not constitute an emergency, include an increase in your energy bills (or at least this was the case but with the cost of energy at the moment, this may not be a sign your boiler is the problem).

If your radiators are slow to heat up, they could simply need bled, or there could be an issue with your boiler if bleeding them doesn’t help.

Another sign to look out for is the colour of your boiler flame. A boiler flame should be blue. If it’s orange or yellow, then something’s not right.

Emergency boiler repair insurance

Add Heat offers boiler finance to spread the cost of new boilers and installation for a small monthly payment. We also offer homecare packages for emergency cover.

Your home insurance probably won’t cover any boiler issues unless you have specified this when purchasing your insurance.

A homecare package is a good way of spreading the cost and you know that if you do have any issues, you are covered.

What to do if you smell gas

Boilers can give off carbon monoxide which is an odourless gas that can be fatal. Installing carbon monoxide alarms in your home will alert you to any release of this gas.

If you smell any other unusual smells from your boiler like a sulphurous, eggy odour then this could also indicate a gas leak.

Immediately switch your boiler off, open any windows and doors, stay out of your property, and call the National Gas Emergencies number on 0800 111 999.

Boiler error codes

Your boiler will have a LED screen with a simple display. If you notice any error codes on it, it could be for several reasons.

The most likely is boiler pressure which you can probably fix yourself.

Other codes may indicate a fault with a sensor or other boiler part, frozen pipes, or a range of other issues.

You should have a manual for your boiler and can check what each code means. You can also check the error code online with your type of boiler.

If it is a pressure issue, try to fix this yourself, but for any other code, it is best to call your plumber.

Issues with boiler pressure

You will be able to tell quickly when your boiler has low or high pressure. Your boiler pressure should be 1.5 bars which should be displayed on your pressure gauge.

If you have low pressure, your heating may not activate when you switch it on leaving you without heating or hot water and there may be an error code on your boiler.

While low or high pressure should be easily fixed, it could cause a leak or stop your system from working which is a major inconvenience. 

First switch off your boiler and leave it to cool. Open your valves and wait for the pressure to read 1.5 bar.

Close the valves and switch your boiler back on. You may need to press the reset button.

If this doesn’t work, there may be another issue and you’ll have to contact a plumber.

There are several reasons why your boiler pressure may be off but if this happens on a regular basis, you should check with your local plumber if it’s time for a replacement boiler.

How to fix a leaking boiler?

Checking your boiler regularly for any signs of leaks helps you to detect these early before they do a lot of damage.

Look for any sign of damp or rust around pipework.

A leaking boiler could cause electrical damage as well as to your property. It could simply be that a fitting needs to be tightened but you should get a plumber to check this.

If you do spot a leak, turn your unit off, turn your water off, and call an engineer.

How to fix a boiler with no hot water

There are two common issues with hot water. Either there is no hot water, or you always have hot water even though you’ve switched your hot water off.

While always having hot water may seem like a good thing, it is actually costing you to continually heat it and at the moment, that could be very expensive.

If you have either of these issues, first check the settings on your boiler and take any air out of your system. If this doesn’t work, do not try to anything else yourself and call your local plumber.

Boiler breakdowns sorted

A boiler breakdown always seems to happen at the worse possible time. It can fill you with dread about the cost of repairs but there are ways to carry out repairs and get your boiler running smoothly again without leaving you out of pocket.

Homecare cover or finance can help spread the cost of emergency boiler repairs.

If you regularly service your boiler and maintain it as best as you can, then the chances of an unexpected breakdown should be reduced.

If your boiler continually breaks down, it may be time for a new boiler. While this may seem like an expense you could do without, it should help save you money in the long run as a new boiler will be more efficient and shouldn’t unexpectedly breakdown and leave you with regular repair bills.

For any emergency boiler repairs in Manchester, Altrincham, Wilmslow, Macclesfield or the surrounding area, contact us for a family friendly service.

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