If you've woken up to a house with no hot water, it can seem impossible to get through the day without it. Baths, showers, and even washing the dishes can become a freezing nightmare – and in the colder months, you can't afford to go without central heating.
Luckily, we've got a few tips to help you deal with a broken boiler. We've partnered with blogger Cassie from Cassie Fairy
to bring you some advice – how to check if your boiler's really broken, and how to work around the problem if you're stuck without hot water.
Try a few quick fixes yourself
A lack of hot water doesn't always mean you've got a broken boiler. There are plenty of simple problems that you might be able to correct yourself – have a look at our guide to some of the most common central heating fixes. Before you panic:
- Make sure the boiler's pilot light is on and that it's showing a strong blue flame. If it's not, you can try to ignite the pilot light yourself by following the manufacturer's instructions.
- Check the boiler's water pressure by looking at the gauge. In most cases, it should be around 1 bar, but you should always check with the manufacturer before turning the filling valve.
- Try manually restarting the boiler. There's often a restart switch on the outside.
- Find your circuit breaker box and see if any of the switches have tripped. If they have, flip them back on and see if your boiler starts up.
- Check your other gas appliances. If none of them are working, there could be a problem with the gas supply, which means you'll need to call in some professional help.
How to get hot water with a broken boiler
If you've checked your boiler and you're sure it's out of action, there are still a few ways you can comfortably wash the dishes or take a bath.
Although it's only small, the kettle can be useful. One full kettle of boiling water mixed with some cold water from the tap should fill your sink with enough warm water to let you wash the dishes. And if you're patient enough, you can make several trips with the kettle to the bathroom until you've filled the bath enough for a soak.
If you don't have the patience to wait for the kettle each time, put your cooker to good use. With four saucepans of water boiling on the stove, two in the oven and a kettle full of water, you should be able to fill a satisfying bath – once you add some cold water from the taps.
And if you're really in a hurry, you can use hot water from the kettle mixed with cold water from the tap to fill your bathroom sink. You can then use a jug or a large bowl to pour warm water over yourself, giving yourself a makeshift shower.
Of course, these workarounds are no substitute for getting your hot water back. So if you're convinced that you've got a broken boiler – or if you're not confident about trying to fix it yourself – it's always a good idea to call in a professional