Boiler Failure In Cold Weather – Getting Through It & Proactive Tips To Make Future Failures Easier To Deal With

08 May. 2019

Written by Neil Marsh MCIPHE RP RHP EngTech

A faulty boiler is never welcome. Often a boiler will fail when it is working the hardest and when it is needed the most, like in the depths of winter! Usually, this is when heating engineers are busy with high workloads, which prolongs the time it takes to resolve any issues with boilers and heating systems, as work schedules are tight!…

Delays can be frustrating and discomforting, but some things can be done to improve on situations while awaiting a repair to be completed. 

Below we have given some advice on ways to help get through such times, and make future situations more comfortable, here are some valuable tips:

1. Purchase electric fan heaters 

Two or three 1.5-2kW plug-in fan heaters can really help keep parts of a house warm, and they work quickly!

Once you and your family members are cold, it will be difficult to get warm. By plugging in an electric fan heater in the sitting room and bedrooms, it will be easy to keep warm and prevent being cold, and possibly avoid any related sickness. Fan heaters are inexpensive, often costing less than £15.00 each. They are small in size, meaning that they can easily be stored for future use.

2. Keep hands, head, and feet warm

Yes, it may seem silly to wear gloves, a hat and extra socks inside, but when the heating system fails you should not be concerned with how things look! If you get cold it is easier for you to get sick and it reduces your effectiveness to undertake tasks. If the heating fails, and if you need to spend time in rooms where you have little or no other heat sources, having some extra layers to help keep you warm is a smart move!

3. If you have a hot water tank/cylinder you may have an immersion heater 

If so, and as long as it is working, it will be possible to get some hot water at the taps and mixer showers. 

It is a good idea to ensure that if there is a tank/cylinder fitted, that an immersion heater is installed and it works.

 Immersion heaters can be slow to operate. It is best to turn the heater on as soon as any issues with the heating system are noticed that could stop the hot water from working and leave on. 

Immersion heaters have built-in thermostats which will prevent the water overheating, although how hot the water will be will depend on the setting which has been set by the installer. The switch to turn on an immersion heater is usually next to the cylinder. By following the wire from the immersion heater, if you have one, will usually lead to the switch to operate the heater. 

4. If you have a combination boiler then it is a good idea to have an electric shower installed where practical.

Should your boiler fail, it will still be possible to get a hot shower. The shower can also be used to run hot water for other tasks, such as washing/cleaning.

5. Keep a kettle handy

A kettle will allow you to boil enough water to wipe yourself down with, clean the dishes and wash your hand. If you are stuck for a shower, and you have a spare pair of hands and a watering can/bucket/bowl, then you can boil enough water to mix down to a more comfortable temperature and use as a makeshift shower.

6. When buying a new boiler it better to stick to companies such as Ideal, Baxi, Worcester Bosch and Vaillant.

Spare parts for these boilers are mostly available the next day, if not already on the shelf. Often uncommon/less used brands can take 3-5 days to source, some even exceed this if overseas or if they are poorly stocked!

7. Always use a professional company to make repairs to your boiler and central heating system!

A well-trained engineer is less likely to make mistakes, which will often reduce the time taken to resolve the issue(s) and can even save you money!

If you are in need of a boiler repair in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud, Tewkesbury or the surrounding areas, then look no further. FORTHRIGHT have highly skilled engineers that can fix faults with your boiler or heating system quickly and effectively.