Boiler controls not working?
Whether your property has a gas, LPG or oil-fired central heating system, you should have access to a full range of controls including a boiler timer or central heating programmer and thermostat. Using these heating and hot water controls can improve the efficiency of your boiler and keep your monthly energy bills to a minimum.
Unfortunately, from time to time you may run into problems with a boiler controller. The good news is there’s usually an easy fix. Below we’ve shared several potential problems that may have occurred if your boiler controls aren’t working properly and solutions to get them up and running again.
Thermostat not working
Thermostats are usually either wall or boiler-mounted and designed to regulate the temperature of your home. Once you’ve set a preferred temperature, the thermostat will tell the boiler what it needs to do to maintain it. If your home starts to drop in temperature, the thermostat will switch your heating on to keep it warm. When the desired temperature is reached, the thermostat will switch off the heating, so you don’t get too hot.
If your home feels too hot or too cold, there may be a problem with your thermostat. Take a look at the most common problems and their solutions below, to see if they help.
Do the batteries need changing?
First, we recommend making sure your thermostat is sufficiently powered. If it's battery-operated, you may find that they simply need changing. You can usually tell if the battery is low as the LED screen will have faded and some of the info on the screen may be missing. Changing the batteries in your thermostat is very straightforward - simply remove the front cover and swap the old for new.
Is your thermostat boiler controller too old?
If you’ve had your thermostat a long while, it may be time to replace it. Old thermostat models have been known to misread settings and misjudge room temperatures, which is why your heating may be turning on and off at the wrong times. Installing a new thermostat in your home could help to improve the efficiency of your boiler and in turn, help to lower your monthly energy costs.
Is the temperature too low?
Thermostats often fail to work properly as people set them too low. If your room thermostat is set below 21 degrees, it may stop your heating from turning on altogether. Crank it right up and see if your boiler starts working again.
Is your thermostat in the wrong place?
Another reason why your thermostat may not be working properly is if it’s been installed in a problematic location. By this we mean, next to a heat source (like a radiator) or too close to a draught, where the temperature could be easily misjudged. Re-installing your thermostat in a better location will greatly improve its accuracy.
Problems with your boiler timer or central heating programmer
You will likely have either a boiler timer or central heating programmer installed in your home. A boiler timer will turn your heating on at a certain time each day, whereas a programmer will allow you to turn your central heating on at different times on different days.
If your boiler doesn’t appear to be working or keeps switching on and off, there could be a problem with your timer or programmer. Check our solutions below to see if they help fix the problem...
Try resetting boiler timer
Boiler timer not working correctly? Check to see if the clock is wrong. If you’ve had a power cut or the clocks have gone back, your boiler programmer may have got a little confused. All you need to do is reset the clock and select your settings.
How to set timer on boiler:
- Turn the dial clockwise to set the current time
- Choose when you want your boiler to come on by changing the pins on the dial
- You need to change the pins to the ‘on’ position for the duration you want your boiler to run (each pin represents 15 minutes)
- Activate the timer function on your boiler so it knows to turn on during your selected times
How to set digital timer on boiler:
- Look for a ‘set time’ or ‘set clock’ button and use the arrow keys to set the current time
- Press ‘select’ button or ‘set clock/time’ to confirm
- Create a schedule by using the arrow keys to switch through the days of the week
- Use the arrows to change the hours and minutes display on the clock
- Press ‘set time’ or ‘set clock’ button to confirm your desired time
- Use the arrow keys to adjust the time you want your boiler to turn off each day and press the ‘set time’ or ‘set clock’ button to confirm
- Press the ‘set’ button again or switch your digital timer to ‘run’ to start your new schedule
Replace central heating programmer
Unfortunately, central heating timer clocks get unreliable over time. They either stop working altogether or only work when they feel like it. If you’ve had yours a little while, it may be time to replace it with an upgrade. Modernising your central heating controls can help you to save money on your energy bills. You will also find that many can be operated via a smartphone app for added convenience.
Confused heating and hot water controls
We almost daren’t say it but have you checked that you’ve not accidentally turned down your hot water instead of your heating? It sounds silly but confusing the controls is easily done. You’d be surprised how many people call out an engineer thinking there’s a major problem with their boiler controller, only to discover they’ve pressed the wrong buttons.
Try resetting your boiler
Believe it or not, a lot of appliance faults can be easily fixed by doing a soft reset. Simply turn the power off on your boiler, wait for at least 60 seconds and then turn it back on again. Keep in mind that when you reset your boiler it may reset the boiler timer clock too. Follow the instructions we shared earlier in our guide on setting boiler timers or your boiler will end up turning on and off at very random times.
Boiler controller still not working? Let us help!
If you’re still having problems with a boiler programmer and can’t identify what’s going wrong, it’s probably best to seek the help of a Gas Safe registered engineer. They will be able to troubleshoot your boiler timer and controls to see if there’s an easy fix or whether there’s a bigger problem with your central heating system.
Save on the cost of expensive call-out and repair charges by taking out home cover. Our package includes repairs to your boiler and controls, including any faults that prevent you from being able to control the timing or temperature of your boiler. Call our friendly team of experts on 0800 368 9881 to find out more or get a quote online.