When your boiler breaks down, a natural reaction is to panic - no one wants to sit in a house with no central heating and no access to hot water - but preparing for an emergency will mean that you can stay calm so you can solve the problem faster.
So what should you do if your boiler breaks down?
- Firstly, if you have home cover which includes your boiler, as soon as it breaks down, contact your insurance company. They will be able to find an engineer to come and fix it for you, as well as covering (at least part of) the cost. Each situation is different but this article has some further information on insurance, cover and the Government’s ECO scheme.
- If your boiler is relatively new, it may still be covered under its warranty. If so, if you get in touch with the manufacturer, they should be able to help; however, the level of support they provide may vary.
- If you rent, call your landlord. It’s likely that they will have a preferred engineer that they can contact, and it’s always important that they know about any issues you have.
- Alternatively, your first step is to call a Gas Safe registered engineer. Broken down boilers can potentially be dangerous, so look for companies with emergency engineers on hand. Our emergency engineers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year on 0800 032 6478. Keep in mind that not all emergencies are exactly the same, so be sure to tell your plumber about your problem in as much detail as you can so they can properly prepare.
- After you’ve contacted your engineer, be sure to assess if the home is still safe to live in until they arrive - especially if your boiler requires a couple of days’ worth of work. If necessary, make arrangements to stay with friends or relatives until your home is ready for you to move back in.
- If you have elderly relatives whose boilers have broken down in winter, or if you have young children, it is especially important that you make sure your home isn’t too cold to stay in until your central heating is back up and running.
- If your home is safe to live in while your boiler is repaired, make sure you can keep warm. Be sure to wear plenty of layers and warm clothing - slippers and jumpers will be your best friend until your boiler’s working again. Keeping doors closed, and using an old towel to cover any gaps under them will help keep the heat in and prevent draughts from making you feel cold.
- If your boiler does require significant work over a number of days, it might be worth investing in an electric heater. While this won’t be as effective as your central heating, it can make all the difference in an emergency - and if your boiler ever breaks again in the future, it’ll be on hand should you need it
If you want some more tips, this article has some great ideas for staying warm whilst your boiler is broken.
After your boiler has been repaired or replaced, make sure you have it serviced annually so any wear and tear or potential problem areas can be identified and dealt with before they cause you any trouble in the future.