- It's unnerving when your central heating goes kaput. But don't worry because as long as long as you have a spare few hours, this guide will talk you through the tricky job of working out where the problem is..
Step 1: No heating
If you've got no heating at all, first check that the thermostat hasn't been set too low. The boiler will only work if the heating has been set higher than room temperature. Also check that the timer hasn't been set to come on at 4 in the morning instead of 4 in the afternoon. Finally, before phoning in the experts, check the boiler is switched on at the local isolator and at the boiler itself. Look for unusual flashing lights on the boiler control panel and check the water pressure is over 0.8 Bar. If this is all fine, check that the pilot light in your gas boiler works. If it doesn't, there are usually instructions as to how to re-light it on the inside of the boiler door.
Step 2: Noisy boiler
If your boiler makes all sorts of odd banging and bumping noises, and you live in a house with a conventional boiler, then there may be a lack of water in the header tank. Take a look in your loft, where you should find the tank, and make sure that it's topped up with water. If not, there may be a frozen pipe, airlock or even the mains water has been switched off. If the header tank seems OK, it sounds like your system's choking with sludge, so call in the professionals to drain that gloop away
Step 3: Water leaking from central heating pipes
The first thing that most of us will do when we see a pipe leaking is panic - picturing the nightmare of the whole house flooding. But don't worry - just see our film "how to stop a leak" for more information
Step 4: Water Gurgling
If you can easily hear water gurgling through the central heating system, then it is a clear sign that you have got air in the radiators. This problem can be easily resolved by bleeding the radiators, watch 'How to bleed a radiator' to see how. If after bleeding the radiators you've still got gurgling sounds then there might be a deeper problem so call in the pros.