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How to survive a boiler breakdown

Boiler Replacements

If your central heating breaks down in summer, you might miss having hot water on tap, but you can probably cope without the heating with the weather being warmer. However, a winter boiler breakdown can be much more difficult to deal with. If you have elderly people or people with health problems – especially respiratory conditions – in your home, then the cold weather could even be life-threatening.

The best thing to do in this situation is to go to another property that is heated, such as a friend or relative’s home, or even a hotel, and to stay there until the boiler has been fixed. This isn’t always feasible or affordable, and you may have to cope with it at home.

If you are unable to stay somewhere else:

  • Consider buying (or borrowing) alternative heating equipment, such as electric radiators and space heaters. These are more expensive to run than gas boilers, but can be essential during the colder months. If you or a member of your household is elderly or has a health problem that is exacerbated by the cold, your local authority or NHS Trust may be able to provide you with temporary heating equipment.
  • Don’t use any non-electric heating products, however, aside from log-fires and properly-serviced gas fires. Many people have lost their lives by using camping stoves and outdoor gas burners indoors; these devices emit carbon monoxide, which is not going to cause any damage in the open air but can build up in enclosed spaces to reach dangerously-high concentrations. If you don’t die from carbon monoxide poisoning, you may suffer serious brain damage.
  • Wrap up well. Wear thermal socks and underpants, and put plenty of layers on. There’s nothing wrong with wearing gloves, a woolly hat and an outdoor coat when sat on your couch if your house is freezing cold!
  • Do what you can to insulate your home. Pull the curtains to prevent heat from escaping through the windows, and use draught excluders or even masking tape to reduce draughts.
  • You can still enjoy warm baths with a broken boiler, although it may be more difficult, time-consuming and expensive to do so than it would usually be. Use a kettle to heat up some water and pour this into your bathtub. You’ll have to repeat this process dozens of times to enjoy a nice soak, of course.

Still having problems?

Don’t attempt to touch any part of your boiler or central heating system if you’re unsure. Did you know? It’s illegal for anyone to use a gas appliance if they think it’s unsafe. It’s always better to be safe than sorry as you could make things worse.

Instead, call out your local gas safe registered engineer. They will be able to diagnose and fix the issues you’re having with your boiler.

If your having problems with your boiler, then contact JWC Plumbing and Heating today – 0151 345 4039

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