How to reset your boiler

If your central heating or hot water have stopped working, your first step is to check the power supply and boiler pressure. If the power’s on and the pressure seems normal (normal boiler pressure is 1-2 bar, or in the green range on the dial) you might need to reset your boiler to get it working properly again.

If your boiler has a reset button, you’ll probably be able to safely do this yourself. We’ve listed out some instructions for a DIY boiler reset below. But if you’re ever unsure, it’s best to contact a Gas Safe engineer to do this for you.

Find out below why your boiler might need to be reset, and instructions on how to reset it yourself.

When does a boiler need to be reset?

Most modern boilers come with a safety feature which makes them automatically shut down when an issue is detected somewhere in the system. This is called a boiler lockout. It means that you may have no central heating or hot water for a little while. A boiler lockout is there to stop any damage happening to your boiler and heating system. If your boiler does lockout, a fault or error code should appear on the display screen to help you find out what’s wrong. We’ve detailed some of the reasons your boiler might lockout below. Once you’ve worked out what the problem is, you can try resetting your boiler to get things back up and running.

What causes a boiler lockout?

To get the boiler working again, you’ll need to find out what the fault code it’s showing means. This will depend on the make and model of your boiler – the codes should be listed in your user manual. If you’re not sure, always contact a professional. Some of the reasons for a boiler lockout include:

The water pressure’s wrong

If the water pressure in your system is either too low or too high, then your boiler might go into lockout mode. To fix this, you'll need to repressurise the system so that it has a reading between 1-1.5 bar. If the pressure isn't adjusted, your boiler could stop working altogether.

The heat exchanger’s blocked

If there’s something blocking your boiler’s heat exchanger, then the flow of water will be restricted. The heat exchanger might have developed a gradual build-up of limescale or sludge. Listen out for gurgling or popping sounds – these could mean that the water is being blocked somewhere in the heating system.

There’s an ignition failure

For your safety, most boilers will lockout after 3 failed attempts to ignite. Lots of things could cause ignition failure – poor flame picture (this means xxxxxx); lack of, or low, gas pressure; and if there’s no spark detected. If your boiler’s failing to ignite, it's best to contact a professional heating engineer to fix the issue.

Other causes of a lockout

  • Lack of fuel supply
  • No gas to the boiler
  • A blockage somewhere in the system
  • A faulty or damaged component
  • Overheating
  • Insufficient air intake from the flue

If you can't find the problem, then it's time to book an appointment with a Gas Safe engineer to help you get things sorted. And remember that resetting your boiler might not solve the underlying problem. An annual boiler service – included in all our plans – should keep things running smoothly.

Follow these instructions to reset your boiler:

If you’re resetting the boiler yourself, watch our short video to learn how:

  1. First, find your boiler manual. Some boilers don’t have an obvious reset button, or may have different instructions to the ones below.
  2. Find your reset button, and push it for 10 seconds.
  3. Wait 2 to 3 minutes, then turn on the heating or hot water. The boiler should fire up.
  4. Repeat this twice if your first try doesn’t work.
  5. If the boiler still won’t fire up on the third attempt, check that your gas supply is working. See if your other gas appliances work, or check you have credit on your gas meter if it’s Pay As You Go. If this is fine, it looks like you have a fault with the boiler. That means it’s time to call out a Gas Safe engineer.

If the reset button is covered by protective casing, don’t try to reset the boiler yourself. Call out a professional instead.

What to do if your boiler won't fire up

Usually, a boiler will reset in 2 to 3 minutes. Some boilers have a longer reset sequence, and could take around 5 to 10 minutes to power up.

If you’re confident that you've fixed the fault and reset your boiler, but it's still not switching on, then contact a professional. They’ll help you find and fix the problem.

What to do if your boiler constantly needs resetting

A healthy gas boiler shouldn’t need to be reset regularly. If this is happening, there’s probably an ongoing fault. This could be:

  • A faulty pump

  • A leak in the system

  • A blocked plate heat exchanger

  • A faulty electric part

If you find yourself having to reset your boiler often, then it should be checked by a Gas Safe engineer. It might be a sign that your boiler is becoming less efficient.

Finding a Gas Safe engineer or boiler cover

Looking for an expert? If you want to keep your boiler running smoothly, you might want to get the UK’s boiler and home emergency cover. All CORGI HomePlan plans include an annual boiler service, and unlimited callouts for breakdowns and repairs. We’re here for you 24/7 – you can call us anytime on our emergency helpline or raise a claim online.

Contact us now to find out more about our simple plans, and keep your mind at ease.

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