What to do when your boiler isn't working.

30 Mar, 2021

A boiler not working can be a huge inconvenience for everyone in your home. That’s why most people call for help immediately in order to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

However, not all hot water boiler issues are created equal, and in some cases, you may be able to tackle the issue on your own. So, if you’re wondering why “my boiler won’t turn on” or “why is my boiler not heating,” and looking for solutions, you’re in luck! There might actually be a relatively simple fix you could do yourself.

This article will go over some of the hot water boiler troubleshooting steps for a boiler not turning on and other common issues.   

What to Do When Your Boiler Isn’t Working

The first step to fixing a boiler heater not working is figuring out what type of boiler you are working with and whether there’s a troubleshooting manual you can reference. If you have a manual from the manufacturer, that might be a good place to start, as it might list some of the more common issues and allow you to fix the problem faster.

Most boilers today use a hydronic system, which circulates water through your home. This type of system has replaced the older generation steam-based boilers. As a result, unless your boiler is quite old, you probably have a hydronic one as well.

The first thing you should look at when dealing with boiler problems is the thermostat. If it’s sitting at room temperature, that means something is wrong with the heating. 

If it isn’t turned on at all, there’s a problem with the electricity, or something has gone wrong within the boiler.

And, if the boiler is leaking, you are probably dealing with the circulator or the pressure-relief valve, which will most likely require professional repairs.

Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the more common issues so that you can have a better idea of whether your boiler not working warrants calling a boiler heater repair professional.

Common Boiler Issues

In most cases, a boiler not working won’t be the result of a unique problem. Boilers tend to fail in a few common ways, as the issues that come up are typically related to how the boiler operates and wears down over time. 


One of the most common issues with heaters is a leak. That’s a problem you can’t put off because the leak can damage the boiler itself or even your home. 

Unfortunately, figuring out the cause of the leak isn’t always easy. 

First, check whether the leak is from the pressure relief valve. If that’s the case, simply reducing the system’s pressure might be enough to fix the problem. 

If it’s related to the pump seal or if you find corrosion, some parts will likely need to be replaced.  This is when a professional will be required. 

No Heating

A boiler not heating is the easiest to spot because you’ll feel it immediately when you take a shower or try to wash the dishes. Unfortunately, there are many reasons this might be happening, which makes troubleshooting and solving this problem a bit more complicated.

If the thermostat readings are off, you should look at your manufacturer’s guide for possible DIY solutions. If that doesn’t work, your only reliable option is to call a technician. 

Low Pressure

One of the most common issues you’re likely to encounter with a boiler is low pressure. When working correctly, your boiler will likely have a pressure reading of around 1.5.   If it should fall below one, it will not work correctly. 

There are many reasons for low boiler pressure. The best place to start your troubleshooting is checking to see whether there are leaks that might be the underlying cause of the problem. If you find one, call a professional to deal with it.

But if it is not a leak, you could try increasing the pressure using a filling loop. Make sure to check to see whether the pressure drops again, as that means there’s a bigger issue at play.

When Should You Call a Professional?

Deciding whether to try to fix the problem yourself or call for help is not always easy. If you’re able to identify the problem yourself, you may be able to use the manual to find an easy solution that fixes it.

However, if you don’t feel confident about solving the problem yourself or believe that the boiler might need to be disassembled or that parts might need to be replaced, it’s better to consult with professionals who can guide you through troubleshooting a boiler

Today, services like air conditioning repair or boiler repair are readily available, and you can get qualified assistance no matter how complex the issue might be. 

Final Words

Gas boiler troubleshooting is a complicated process that can be an uphill battle without proper experience. At Valley Service, we have qualified technicians who specialize in dealing with all types of boiler issues. Call 701-293-5701 or fill out a form to get matched up with the right technician today!