If your radiator stops working during the colder months or your boiler decides to break down, it’s never a convenient situation. From having no hot running water for baths and showers, to not being able to heat your home effectively, you will want to get this fixed as soon as possible.
How long this will take to resolve and how much it will cost to fix a boiler or radiator will depend on how old they are, and the extent of the issue. You might first notice a problem with your boiler if your shower has suddenly gone cold, you have no running hot water, or your radiators are not heating up as they should.
At QuidMarket, we know that a boiler fix or replacement, and central heating repairs, are some of the most expensive household problems you can have. It can happen to anyone, which is why we can provide short term loans that can help in an emergency. We can help you when you do not have the cash to cover this, and you need a flexible way to repay over a few months. Although we cannot fix the issue of central heating problems for you, we can provide a small emergency loan when you need it so you can pay for and resolve the issue with a professional.
However, not every situation relating to your central heating not working requires a costly repair or replacement, or a loan to cover the cost. Below, we’ve collated some helpful information about boiler fixes and repairs to your central heating system, and how you can plan for emergencies in future through savings.
How can I afford unexpected boiler costs?
A broken boiler is always inconvenient and usually unexpected. This is why many people may choose to take out short term direct loans to cover the costs, paying them back when they can afford them through flexible instalments. If you do choose to seek a lender to help, you will need to check all the terms and conditions for the loan and ensure you can pay everything back on time, as you wouldn’t want to rack up any unnecessary charges. Here at QuidMarket, our loan options do not have any hidden fees, so you can see how much the loan will cost before proceeding with an application.
Winter in the UK – Being Prepared
Winter in the UK is always cold and with central heating problems, you may not have hot water or your radiators working as efficiently as they should. You will need to sort out the problem as soon as possible in advance before the colder months come around and, in some cases, call out an electrician or plumber. If your central heating is not working, some problems can be quickly fixed yourself, whereas others will need more professional attention, especially if you have an older boiler or much worse problems with your central heating system.
Central Heating Repairs – What Can I Check Before Arranging a Call-Out?
Sometimes you can give DIY a go and try to fix some common central heating and boiler problems yourself. Here are some of the most common issues that can be resolved without needing to be a professional plumber or electrician. If of course, you are not confident to try anything yourself, it’s always best to arrange a call-out instead.
Is there a gas or electric supply?
Checking which type of energy supply you have is a good start. With an electricity or gas supply using a payment meter, you will need to double-check there is enough credit first before taking any other troubleshooting measurements. Make sure it has enough credit, and if it still isn’t working, you will need to ask a professional for help. Check for any error messages displayed and provide this information for the callout. If you do not have a payment meter, check the gas supply is running – if it is and appliances are still not working, you’ll need to arrange a call out to resolve. They may advise you to turn off the gas supply as a precaution in case of a leak.
Check the heating is turned on
It might sound obvious, but it’s worth double-checking the heating is switched on when you have a problem. Also, check the timer switch is working properly too. Sometimes it could just be the timer settings are on from previously being set during warmer months, for example, so a quick reset may resolve the issue.
Reset the thermostat, check the boiler pilot light
The next step to try is resetting the thermostat or turning it up higher to see if that will get it working. Always check the temperature is high enough before thinking there could be a problem. If no lights are flashing and no signs of faults are present, it probably isn’t the thermostat causing the problem and you would need to call an engineer at this point. If the boiler has a pilot light or visible flame, such as on gas warm air heaters, you should be able to see this on the display. If not, this would indicate an issue with your boiler, but you may be able to reignite this by checking the instructions according to the boiler manual. If you are unsure, arrange an engineer visit.
Check vents inside radiators are open and clean the filter
If you own a warm air heater, check the vents as these could be the issue as well as the filter needing cleaning. The filter stops debris and dusty air from getting inside and building up, so may need to be cleaned over time. Nobody wants dusty air blowing around their home. The vents help to manage airflow, so if they are not open or have broken, this may be the issue. In this case, the radiator may need replacing rather than a quick fix.
Not all radiators and heaters have a self-cleaning filter, so the ones that don’t will need to be checked regularly. Always refer to use instructions for information on how to clean the filter before attempting this.
How to repair a noisy/cold radiator
If your radiator has been making strange noises, bleeding it can help remove any trapped air. This is also worth trying for radiators that have gone cold or are taking much longer to heat up. When you bleed the radiator, make sure the valves are open properly and not closed at all. All the trapped air will need to be drained out. If this doesn’t work, this could indicate a blockage and you will normally need to call an engineer.
Naturally, air will get inside the radiators through the valves, so they need to be drained out or ’bled’ at least once a year, and in some cases more regularly. This will release any trapped air and help your radiator heat up more efficiently and resolve any banging or popping sounds you may hear.
What should I do if my radiator is leaking?
There are a few different reasons your radiator could be leaking; these include the valves being loose or a leak in the central heating system. To check the system, you can turn off the valves to prevent damage and then turn off the water mains supply and call an engineer. If water has leaked everywhere, use buckets and towels to soak up the water whilst you are waiting for a callout.
Should I service my boiler and when should I replace it?
It’s not a legal requirement for homeowners who do not rent out their property to have their boiler serviced on an annual basis. However, it is your responsibility to take care of this and make sure you’re boiler is completely safe. Having peace of mind that your boiler and central heating are working properly is worth the cost of having it serviced. An annual boiler service will keep the boiler’s warranty valid during its warranty period and will help identify any issues with the boiler before bigger problems arise.
If your boiler is reasonably new, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacement, and if it is in warranty, most issues are covered. It can be expensive to replace an older boiler, with costs between £1,000 – £3,000 to be expected. If you cannot afford to replace your boiler, it’s worth checking if you are eligible for a government grant as this will sometimes cover the replacement costs if you have an older, inefficient boiler.
Spreading the cost of any repair or service is a good idea, especially if you have an older boiler, as an issue can happen at any time. Setting up an emergency savings fund is an ideal solution so that you can pay into this weekly or monthly what you can afford and have this to help you whenever an issue arises. This will help to minimise the need to borrow money if you are having to replace your boiler.
There are many things to check before calling out an engineer, so hopefully the above tips can help resolve the most common issues. If not and the cost of repairs or a boiler replacement is higher than you can pay in one lump sum, we can help at QuidMarket with short term cash loans with affordable repayment options between 3 – 6 months. Click apply now if you need our help, or contact us if you have any queries.