What Should You Do When Your Gas Boiler Breaks?

The boiler is the heart of any home, so it goes without saying that when yours is on the brink, the results can be disastrous. Morning school runs are stressful enough without the prospect of cold showers and it’s a well-known fact that man cannot live by hot water bottle alone! A malfunctioning boiler can be particularly worrying for older residents in the winter months, so if you or a loved one are facing difficulties operating your boiler, here’s what to do.

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First steps

The first and possibly most crucial step is to avoid attempting to fix your boiler yourself. No matter how dab a hand you are with DIY, tampering with your device could make things much worse and actually invalidate any warranty or insurance policy that you have. If it’s a gas boiler then you could even be breaking the law by tampering with it, as gas boilers must be repaired by fully qualified Gas Safe technicians. Getting in touch with the British Gas customer service number is one of the easiest and safest ways to do so. Pay close attention to your boiler and note down the issue, perhaps the pilot light is orange/yellow instead of blue or the pressure display is unstable. Recognising clear signs of your fault will make it much easier when contacting the British Gas customer service number on 0843 902 0764.

Common issues include:

  • Inactive gas supply – The quickest way to confirm whether or not your problems are being caused by your gas supply is to check any other gas appliances in your home to see if they are working properly. You could always check in with a neighbour to see if they are experiencing any similar problems. If the gas stopcock is on but there is no gas coming through, then you are almost certainly experiencing a gas supply problem and should call your gas supplier immediately.
  • Issues with power supply – Follow the same steps as above, check for any signs of a recent power cut or issues with your electrical supply. If you have experienced a power cut, you may just need to re-enter your desired heating plan into your boiler’s clock as it could have reset while out of juice. Try setting the central heating to come on in ten minutes to quickly find out if everything is back to normal. If you are experiencing a power supply failure, contact your electricity suppliers customer service number asap to further investigate.
  • Water Supply not working – any issues with your water supply should be directed to your local supplier. Pop around to your neighbour to see if other people on your street/residents in your building are experiencing similar difficulties.

Who to call

If you are unable to locate the source of your problems, your best bet is to call your boiler manufacturer. If you have kept your original instructions manual then you should have all the relevant details for your model’s help desk, if not, a quick online search should sort you out. One of their operatives may be able to guide you through any issues with your thermostat/programmer over the phone.

Your next port of call should be British Gas. Their repairs helpdesk operates 24/7 and can be reached online or via the customer service number 0843 902 0746. There is a range of options available, from timed one-of repairs starting at just £79, to fixed one-off repairs that cost £99 regardless of the time taken to complete your job. One of their operatives will be best be able to guide you to your cheapest and safest option. You should remain at your property to grant access to engineers and talk them through your issues. All one-off repairs bring a one-year guarantee with them to ensure peace of mind once your engineer has left your property.

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Alternative options

You may not feel that British Gas is the best company for your budget or personal needs, in which case a swift search online should connect you to nearby reputable boiler repair services. Be sure to check genuine reviews on impartial sites if at all possible, to avoid connecting with a company that isn’t right for you.

Keeping warm in the meantime

While waiting for your boiler to be repaired, why not get creative and optimise your interior heating?

  • Keep your curtains closed and use draught excluders if you have them (if not, you can get a bit Blue Peter and make your own with pillows and rolled up towels)
  • Utilise any electric blankets, hot water bottles or convection heaters you have, or visit your local appliance shop if you have the budget to support a new purchase.
  • Look online for homemade heat pack ideas. A popular option is microwaving rice and lavender in a sock, for a fragrant yet warming aid.

Plans for the future

It may well be worth having your boiler serviced if it’s been a while since you last had it done. The one-off cost may save you money in the future and economise your interior heating.