How to fix boiler controls that aren’t working

Boilers are powered by a series of controls and they can be programmed to distribute heating and hot-water at designated times. When these controls are working correctly, you should be able to adjust the settings as needed.

If your boiler controls stop working unexpectedly, you could check the parts listed below to help locate the cause. Ideally, the tips on this page will help to fix or identify the issue, but if not, we could send a qualified engineer out to you in a jiffy.

The thermostat

If your thermostat is dated, it’s possible that it may have lost accuracy over time which could result in misread temperature settings and your heating turning itself on and off. If this is the case, a heating engineer could help by recalibrating your old thermostat or installing a new one. A newer model could improve energy-efficiency in your home and help lower costs, since they are programmable and designed to give you better control over your heating (Energy Saving Trust).


The programmers and time switches

The hot-water and heating in your home are controllable via the programmer and time switch. A time switch controls your heating system at the same time each day, whereas a programmer sets different heating times on different days if required. If you notice that the boiler isn’t working or firing up at all, or turns on and then off again, it is possible that there is a problem with the time switch or the programmer. Check that the timer is set correctly – have the clocks changed or has there been a recent power cut? If so, you may just need to reset the clock.


The electronic programmers

Check that the LCD display, circuit board electronics and other electrical components haven’t failed. Can you see the display?

You may just need to click the reset button, but if the programmer needs replacing, you could upgrade to one that has an industry-standard ‘universal backplate’. This means that you could fix a new programmer easily by just ‘clipping’ it on.


The radiator valve

Radiator valves control the flow of water through the individual radiators in your home, ensuring that they heat up appropriately. They can develop problems, such as leaking and sticking, and could thus cause issues with specific radiators, overheating for instance. A Gas Safe registered engineer could rectify this issue quickly and easily.


Thermostatic radiator valve

Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) control the temperature of an individual radiator, thus allowing you to regulate the heat in different ‘zones’ in your home. They are generally reliable, but occasionally they can ‘stick’ – either making the room too hot or too cold – and it may need to be loosened with some WD40. If this doesn’t work, you may need a replacement valve, in which case you should contact a qualified engineer.

To replace a damaged radiator valve, we recommend that you contact your local heating engineer.

Information and other materials on this website are not intended to constitute professional advice and should not be relied upon. Please see our Terms of Use for further details.

It is crucial to remember that you should only perform checks on your boiler and its equipment that are simple with minimum risk. Do not attempt to fix the issue yourself as this could be extremely dangerous.

All of our engineers are Gas Safe-registered and fully qualified to diagnose and fix your central heating problems, so whether you know what the problem is or not, you can book an appointment with a local expert to diagnose the issue and get your heating back up and running effectively again.

Information and other materials on this website are not intended to constitute professional advice and should not be relied upon. Please see our Terms of Use for further details.

Related articles

Related articles

9 common boiler faults & problems

9 common boiler faults & problems

The average homeowner doesn’t necessarily need to know what’s going on beneath the surface of a central heating system, but they do need to regularly...
5 facts about increasing boiler efficiency

5 facts about increasing boiler efficiency

The efficiency of your boiler is of utmost importance if you want to avoid paying more than you should to heat your home. The technology...
5 Energy saving tips to make the most out of your central heating

5 Energy saving tips to make the most out of your central heating

Most efficient way to run central heating While the lifespan of the average boiler is 12 years, it’s important to maintain it regularly to ensure...

Get a Boiler Quote

Need a new boiler? Get a boiler quote online in 60 seconds.

Get a boiler quote