How to test your boiler and central heating

Boiler testing – get ahead of the winter rush

The leaves are falling and the weather’s starting to turn – autumn is well on its way and we’re thinking ahead to hot chocolates and cosy blankets. But did you know autumn is our most common time to receive repairs requests for boiler issues? As people start to turn on their heating for the first time in October and November, we tend to see an increase in the amount of calls we receive and the demand on our engineers is significantly higher than at other times of year.

To ease the demand and make sure all our customers can be seen in a timely fashion, we’re asking you to test your boiler and central heating before you need it. This will allow our teams to deal with any issues before they become a problem and make sure you’re ready for the cooler months.

To test your boiler:

  • Turn the hot water thermostat to the maximum temperature. Make sure anyone in your household knows you’re testing the boiler so they don’t scald themselves.
  • Run the hot water tap for a few minutes to allow it to heat up, being careful not to scald yourself. Remember, it can take a few minutes for hot water to come through if there is cold water sat in the pipe.
  • If the water is coming through hot as expected, you can turn the thermostat back down to your usual setting.
  • If the water is getting warm, but not warm enough, or not getting warm at all, report a repair through My Account or by contacting our customer services team via Live Chat.

To test your central heating:

  • Turn up your thermostat to ‘constant’ and adjust it to the maximum temperature.
  • Allow it to heat up for 10 minutes or so.
  • Once you’re satisfied it’s working, you can turn it back to your normal settings.
  • If it’s not working, report a repair through My Account or by contacting our customer services team via Live Chat.

If your thermostat isn’t working:

  • If your thermostat doesn’t seem to be responding, change the batteries to a high-quality option. Lower quality batteries may not work effectively in your thermostat.
  • Once the batteries have been replaced, test the thermostat again by amending a setting or switching your heating to constant. If it’s still not responding as expected, report a repair through My Account or by contacting our customer services team via Live Chat.
  • If your thermostat is not battery-powered and you’re still encountering issues, please contact our customer services team. Do not attempt to remove the programmer or any other heating control if it’s mains powered.

We know the coming months are going to be a challenge for many of us, and that it may be tempting to avoid using your heating at all. However, when it drops to very cold temperatures there is a risk that not using your heating at all could cause the pipes in your home to freeze and burst – which can cause damage to your home and belongings. Even just running the heating for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening could be enough to prevent this from happening.

You can also turn off the water supply to external toilets or outside taps using your stop tap or isolation valve, which will prevent outside pipes from freezing and bursting.