Nothing can be more inconvenient or upsetting than having your boiler break down in winter, yet there are steps you can take to stay warm until an engineer arrives and makes repairs.
Stay warm by wearing layers, drawing the curtains closed, and using hot water bottles. Additionally, try eliminating drafts by using old towels to block gaps.
Call the Emergency Services
Boilers are essential parts of our homes and when they break down it can be an enormous source of frustration – particularly during the harsh winter months. But there are several things you can try before calling in professional experts in order to restore it to working order again.
As soon as the gas is turned off, check other gas appliances (e.g. the cooker) to make sure they’re still operational without any interruption to supply and note down their error codes (if available) so the professionals can diagnose your problem more quickly.
If your boiler breaks down during a power cut, try switching it on and off; this often helps reset its system. If this doesn’t work, call an engineer immediately for service.
Call Your Landlord
If you are renting, when your boiler goes off you should contact your landlord as soon as possible; they are responsible for fixing it within an acceptable timeline.
If they don’t respond, keep writing them. Emphasize that there is an immediate health and safety risk and suggest withholding rent until the issue has been rectified. Make sure any money withheld goes into a savings account to secure its future use.
If your landlord refuses to act, another option is writing to the NYC Dept of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD), though this may take some time. You can ask them to inspect the property and create a list of repairs; if he/she fails to carry out these necessary repairs as per legal obligations (i.e. providing heating/hot water services within their properties and making necessary repairs accordingly) this would breach their legal obligations; they’d need to pay compensation instead.
Call the Manufacturer
While waiting for an engineer, there are a few steps you can take to keep your home warm. Closing curtains and placing draught excluders (or rolling up towels/blankets as draught excluders) under all doors will help preserve heat in your home and keep draughts at bay. Also ensure you bring extra clothing into your bedroom as well as having a hot water bottle handy will all keep things cozy.
Lastly, for older boilers it may be worthwhile relighting the pilot light – this should be straightforward when following manufacturer’s instructions.
When calling in a company to inspect your boiler, it’s important to provide as much detail as possible about what has been happening and when. This will enable them to pre-diagnose and provide more accurate quotes; such as when and which type of boiler was installed; they will then know which parts will need replacing.
Call an Engineer
One of the first steps you should take if your boiler breaks is calling an engineer; however, before hiring them it’s advisable to ask some pertinent questions such as whether or not they use original parts and cover repairs under warranties.
Ask your engineer about their service price and whether it is hourly. Also make sure they are registered with Gas Safe!
If your boiler has stopped working, it’s vital that you act quickly. DIY solutions could lead to further damage or an accidental gas leak, so follow these guidelines so you stay warm until an engineer arrives and repairs it for you.