Many modern boilers are now operated via a remote wireless thermostat: a separate ‘box’ that connects to the boiler via a radio frequency. The thermostat is used to control the heating and the hot water, to set temperature and to programme the heating to come on at set times.
Now that autumn is upon us, many of us will have succumbed to turning the heating on again after the summer and this is often when we experience issues after a prolonged period of being off (those who followed our Summer Plumbing tips would know that it’s always prudent to turn your heating on for short periods every few weeks over the summer to keep things ticking over!).
This blog specifically looks at what to do should your remote thermostat fail to connect to your boiler. If this happens you may well need to call in a heating engineer, however there are a number of things you should try before doing that because it could in fact be something simple.
Here are the fault-resolving strategies that may well get your thermostat back up and running:
It sounds so obvious but this is a really common thing. Being wireless, the sole power source for the thermostat is its batteries and they don’t last forever. Try changing the batteries and then turn the heating on.
General advice is to not keep the thermostat in the immediate vicinity of the boiler, especially if the boiler is in a small room or enclosed space, because it is likely to be warmer in there than other areas of the house. Therefore the thermostat will take a higher temperature reading than it really is in the house as a whole. However, if it is a bit too far away you may find it losing connection. The range of thermostats will vary but most will give you 30-50m but of course walls and furniture can affect that. Just try bringing it closer and see whether that makes a difference.
Other smart technologies can potentially interrupt the signal and prevent it reaching the boiler. Smart TVs, routers and other devices can potentially prevent it from connecting. Reposition the thermostat so there are none of these kinds of items between the boiler and the thermostat.
It sounds silly but maybe the heating isn’t coming on because it’s just not cold enough! Your heating will only fire up when the temperature drops below that that is set on the thermostat. If you have it set very low it could just be that the room temperature hasn’t dropped low enough. Turn it up and you may find it’s working just fine.
If the thermostat is displaying a fault code you will need to check what that means and it should be listed in the instruction booklet that would have come with the unit (if you don’t have it, most can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website). As well as explaining what the fault codes mean, there will often be some instructions on what you can do to resolve it. Even if you don’t have a fault code, many will have a troubleshooting guide that relates specifically to that unit so this should be useful.
If none of the above has worked then you could try to set up the connection again. How you do this will vary depending on the exact unit you have. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions or Google your exact unit for useful videos and tutorials.
It may be that the fault is with the boiler rather than the thermostat. Try resetting the boiler and see whether that makes a difference.
If it works for computers, it can also work for thermostats! It’s not the most sophisticated of strategies but sometimes a reconfiguration can work. Remove batteries for at least 10 minutes and then replace them (or change them for new ones).
If you have exhausted all of the above and still have problems then it is time to call in an engineer who will be able to diagnose the issue. Of course, the problem may not actually be with the thermostat at all but none of the above wil harm anything and it’s all worth a try before you have to start spending money.
If this is the situation you find yourself in then you can give us a call on 0800 032 6478 or complete the form to the right.
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