Common Heating Problems

Boilers break down at the most inconvienent of times, and when you don’t want them to,  usually during the colder months when you’re most dependent on them. Boilers can stop working for any number of reasons so it’s important to use them regularly and report any issues when you notice them.

Before we start shopping for a new expensive boiler when one stops working, we always look for simple explanations – is a valve closed, is the gas turned on, is there enough credit on the gas account,  has a fuse blown, is the thermostat set correctly?  All of these are common issues that can cause a boiler to stop working.

On this page, we address some of the common problems associated with a cenetral heating system.

Service Stanards

If your boiler stops working, please read this page to see if it could be one of these issues.   If the boiler will not work, we are committed to addressing repair requests promptly.  But you must understand that response times vary based on the nature and urgency of the issue. Emergency repairs will be dealt with quickly while non-urgent matters will be addressed within a reasonable timeframe.  If your heating has stopped working and the problem is a boiler part or thermostat issue, the repair can only be done when the new part is available and we ask for your patience in this regard.  Where heating has been lost, we can provide temporary electric heaters and hot water caddy where necessary.

Narrowing Down The Problem

Boilers break down when you least expect them to, and usually during the colder months when you’re most dependent on them.  Gas boilers can break down due to a number of reasons and below are some of the main causes of faults within a heating system.

  1. Required maintenance.
  2. Aging and wear of components.
  3. Corrosion and or rust.
  4. Mechanical faults.
  5. Dirty filters.
  6. Low water pressure.
  7. Thermostat malfunctions.
  8. Ignition problems.
  9. Gas or fuel supply issues.

Frozen Condensatio Pipes

The plastic condensate pipe that transports acidic water away from a boiler to the outside of the property can freeze in cold weather and stop the boiler from working. Inactivity during warm months, and the strain of going from one temperature extreme to the other can make this worse.

Symptoms: No hot water or heating, gurgling sounds from the boiler.

How to fix: Pour hot (not boiling) water over the pipes until they thaw. Hot water bottles can be used on sections of pipe that require heat for longer periods.

How to prevent: Cover and insulate your external pipes, or put the heating on at around 15 degrees during winter if nobody’s home. This may seem like a waste of money, but it will save you from the far worse consequences of a burst pipe.

Faulty diverter valve

On combi boilers, the diverter valve opens and closes depending on whether your tenants require central heating or hot water. If you’ve attempted to fix the diverter but the heating still isn’t working properly, there may be a build-up of sludge in the radiators, which an engineer can chemically flush out.

Symptoms: Getting hot water but not heating, getting heating but not hot water, or only getting hot water when the heating is on.

How to fix: Call us to arrange a gas-safe registered engineer to fix or possibly replace the valve.

Damaged pump or pump seal

Many issues can occur with a boiler pump, including leaking, airlock, gathered sludge, and jammed propellers. Pumps should last at least 15 years, but can wear out faster if used excessively. Make sure the boiler pressure isn’t too high, as this could be the cause of leaking.

Symptoms: Poor heat output, only some radiators working, unusual noises from boiler, no noises at all, leaking, failure to start.

How to fix:  Call us to arrange a gas-safe registered engineer to fix or possibly replace the pump.


Low water pressure

 A boiler usually has low water pressure if there is a leak in the system, or if a radiator has recently been bled. Check the pressure gauge; if the needle is below 1, your heating won’t function properly.

If the boiler pressure changes sporadically, it may have a leak, or a faulty pressure relief valve. If so, this will need replacing.

Symptoms: Heating does not function properly, boiler will not strike up.

How to fix: If you are aware of a leak, call us out. Otherwise, repressurise the boiler as you have been shown.

How to prevent: Regular checking of valves and reporting of leaks.


Thermostat Problems

If the thermostat can’t communicate efficiently (for example, if it is set to the wrong time and date), the boiler may not switch on when it is expected to. Basically, if the thermostat doesn’t work, neither will the heating. The boiler won’t be able to detect the temperature of the water and will shut itself off to prevent overheating or assume it is already at the required temperature.

Symptoms: Heating not coming on at all/when expected.

How to fix: Replace batteries, check the right time and date are set. Clean and/or adjust the thermostat. If it still doesn’t work, it may need to be replaced.

How to prevent: Regularly clean the thermostat and replace batteries.


No Gas or Oil

As The boiler is a critical component of your home’s heating system, and it requires a constant supply of gas or fuel oil to function. In the event that the boiler runs out of gas or fuel due to negligence or oversight, we would like to clarify the responsibility for this situation.  When a boiler runs out of gas or fuel, it will normally cause an air lock which will likely prevent the boiler from starting and and engineer will be required to re-fire the boiler.

If, for any reason, the boiler runs out of gas or fuel, resulting in a service calls, repairs, the cost or expenses will be the responsibility of the tenant.  Therefore, we strongly encourage you to be proactive in monitoring the credit on meters or the fuel levels and taking necessary steps to prevent such incidents happening.


We understand the inconvenience and discomfort that can arise when a boiler breaks down, especially at inconvieneitn times such as weekends, or holidays and especially during colder months. We strive to address these situations promptly and efficiently while maintaining a balance between urgency and practicality.

Best Endeavours:
We operate under the principle of “best endeavours,” meaning we will do everything within our power to resolve the issue promptly and effectively. Our office will prioritise the repair of the boiler to minimize inconvenience to you.

Our Responsibilities:

It’s our duty to ensure that essential services like heating and hot water are restored as quickly as possible in the event of a boiler breakdown. However, it’s important to clarify our approach to handling such incidents:

Qualified Engineers:

It’s crucial to emphasise that only qualified engineers can carry out repairs on boilers, therefore the timing of the repair may depend on the availability of qualified engineers and necessary parts. While we strive to expedite the process, please understand that immediate repairs may not always be feasible.

Assessment By Our Engineers
When a boiler breakdown occurs during normal working hours, our qualified engineer will assess the situation as soon as possible.
This assessment allows us to determine the cause of the issue and devise an appropriate repair plan.

Emergency Engineer Call-Out and Out of Hours:

In situations such as a complete loss of heating or hot water which occurs out of office hours, please understand that it may not be possible to raise our own engineer immediately.  We will only call out an emergency engineer where the tenant agrees in writing to make full payment for the call out if it is discovered by the engineer that the boiler breakdown has been caused by the tenants actions (such as gas credit running out).  The decision to call out an emergency engineer would be made based on the severity of the situation and the availability of our own engineer.

Temporary Solutions:

While awaiting the repair of your boiler, we understand that you may require access to heating and hot water:

Electric Water Caddy and Heaters:

We can provide temporary solutions such as an electric water caddy and electric heaters to ensure you have access to hot water and heating.
These temporary measures can help alleviate inconvienience until the boiler repair is completed, alternatively, tenants are welcome to make their own arrangements for temporary heating and hot water if they prefer.



Whilst we sympathise with the inconvenience caused by a boiler breakdown, it’s important to note that unreasonable demands will not expedite the repair process. We kindly request your patience and cooperation as we work to resolve the issue.