Having your boiler breakdown can be very stressful. According to British Gas, a boiler breaks down every 20 seconds in the UK. With these alarming statistics, it would be useful to be prepared in case your boiler breaks down, so you’re not left panicked and without hot water and heating for longer than necessary.
There are a few things you can do in case of any emergency, which could ultimately save you money in costly repairs.
Know where your water shut-off valve is
If there is a problem with your boiler leaking, you could find your property being hit with water damage. Knowing where the water shut-off valve is can save you thousands in water damage repairs, as you will be able to stop all the water from running through your property.
What might only start as a small leak can escalate quickly, so it’s better to shut off the water to your boiler, and home, than risk flooding a room while waiting for an engineer, and then having to pay more for expensive water damage repairs.
It’s worth finding this valve when you’re not in an emergency, so you’re not pushed for time when an unexpected leak occurs. You should also check to make sure you can actually turn it by hand yourself during a convenient time, rather than finding out you need help to turn it off during an emergency.
Know your insurance policy
If you do have insurance on your boiler, it will be worth knowing whether you’re covered on emergency repairs, and how much your excess is. If you recently bought a brand new boiler, it could have come with a warranty, or insurance from the company that installed it. For example, LS1 Boiler Installation offer a one year’s aftercare service worth £300 with every new boiler they install. Knowing whether you’re covered could save you from splashing out on emergency repairs by digging into your savings.
Some home insurance also covers boiler breakdowns, so it’s worth knowing whether you can put a claim in with your insurance provider.
Have the number for a 24-hour plumber
If the worst happens, and you need to call a plumber in the early hours of the morning, it would be nice to have someone recommended to you by a friend or family member, rather than go with the first number you find from a quick Google search.
Using someone that’s been recommended to you by someone you trust can help make sure you get the best value for money. If you don’t have this however, there are websites online dedicated to linking consumers with reputable tradespeople, such as TrustMark, which can be helpful if you’re in an emergency.
Keep your manual close to hand
When your boiler breaks down, you’ll understandably be stressed and panicked over how to fix it. Make things a little calmer for you by keeping a copy of the boiler manual close to hand, so you can easily find where the reset button is, should you forget it. The manual may also show you quick fixes if the problem is something that can be easily fixed without the need to call an engineer, which can save you money.
For example, you may just need to adjust the pressure on the boiler if it has dropped too low, or even if it has gone too high. Your manual should explain how to refill or tighten the pressure so it remains at the optimal level, saving you the cost of calling an emergency plumber.
Get your boiler serviced regularly
Having your boiler serviced annually can prevent any breakdowns, as the engineer will ensure that your boiler is kept working as efficiently as possible. A boiler that runs as efficiently as possible can save you money on your bills overall, as there’s less energy being wasted, and it also reduces the risk of your boiler breaking down. Keeping your boiler working to maximum A-rated efficiency can save you up to £340 on your bills per year, so it’s worth getting your boiler serviced annually.
Some insurance policies will only cover you for boiler breakdowns if you have it serviced annually. It’s important to keep proof of when you have your boiler serviced, otherwise your insurance provider may not pay out a claim, which could cost you even more money.