Housing

Heating and hot water advice

If you're having problems with your central heating or hot water system, follow the advice below.

No heating

If your heating isn't working, check:

  • there's enough credit in the gas/electricity meter
  • the power supply to your boiler and programmer is switched on
  • your programmer settings - your clock programmer might need adjusting to the correct time (24hr clock) if it has been turned off or the clocks have changed recently
  • the room thermostat is set to the right setting (around 21C). Your heating won’t come on unless the thermostat is set higher than the current room temperature
  • your thermostatic radiator valve is working. If you have turned the dial to the * symbol, it will not allow the radiator to become hot. Note: the radiator found in your hall or bathroom doesn’t have a valve and should be hot. If the dial is set to a number, make a note of it, then turn the dial anti-clockwise as far as it will go. If the radiator does not start to warm up within 5 minutes, turn it clockwise back to the original setting. If the radiator does warm up, turn it clockwise to just above the original setting
  • if there has been a power cut - when the power is off the gas central heating won’t work. This is because the system, even though it is operated by gas, still needs electrical power to run it. If the electricity supply has been off for a lengthy period of time the timer/programmer clock may need to be reset using the 24hr clock

In most cases, one of the above steps should solve the problem and get your heating back up and running again. However, if it still isn’t working, contact the Housing Repairs team; they will arrange an appointment for an engineer to visit your home. If:

  • your heating isn’t working, but you have another heat source such as an electric fire, we will arrange for someone to come out the next day
  • you don’t have any other form of heat in your home we will come out on the same day you contact us
  • we can’t fix your heating on the day we visit, for example, because new parts are needed, we will leave you with temporary heaters until the problem is fixed

We’ve had some extremely cold winters over the last few years, which have caused frozen and burst pipes. When these severe conditions happen we may be called out to a higher number of calls than usual and it may take us longer to fix problems. Please note that we may have to prioritise repairs at such times.

No hot water

If you have cold or lukewarm water coming from your tap, check:

If you have a conventional boiler

  • if someone has run a bath or used a lot of hot water; if so, wait at least 30 minutes for the hot water cylinder to heat up again
  • your clock programmer, it might need adjusting to the correct time (24hr clock) if it has been turned off or the clocks have changed recently.
  • the thermostats for your boiler and cylinder are set correctly

If you have a combination boiler

  • if you have turned the hot water tap too far open. Turn the tap down to reduce the water flow until the temperature increases to a satisfactory level
  • that the boiler has not been switched off; this might be shown as a red light on the switch next to your boiler or programmer
  • your boiler thermostat is set correctly

Contact the Housing Repairs team if your hot water still isn't working after following our advice. If:

  • you have no hot water from your taps but have an electric shower, we will arrange for someone to come out to fix the problem the next day
  • you don’t have access to hot water, we will come out to you on the same day you contact us

Radiator cold spots

Radiators can trap air stopping them getting hot, especially if they have been turned off during the summer. Air in a radiator will rise to the top forming a pocket stopping the hot water from getting to that part. This means they will be less efficient at warming the room. If your radiators are warm at the bottom but cold at the top, they will need the air releasing from them. This is known as 'bleeding' a radiator.

Different action is needed depending on the type of boiler you have.

If you have a combination boiler

It is very important that you do not try to bleed your radiators if you have a combination ('combi') boiler. These systems are pressurised and will need to be re-pressurised once the air has been released from your radiators.

Contact the Housing Repairs team to arrange for a gas engineer to call.

If you have a conventional boiler

You can bleed your radiators if you have a conventional boiler. If you are unsure please contact the Housing Repairs team.

See more information about bleeding your radiators on the uSwitch website.

Leaking boiler

If your boiler is leaking, contact the Housing Repairs team to report the problem. Never ignore a boiler leak. It should always be fixed as soon as you notice it as leaks can be a sign there is a serious problem with your boiler.

Until we can come out to fix the problem, follow these steps to help limit the damage:

  • put a bowl or plastic container underneath to catch the water
  • turn the cold water off by turning your stop tap clockwise
  • turn the electricity supply to your boiler off. The switch is usually near the boiler or in your airing cupboard

Leaking radiators

If your radiator is leaking, contact the Housing Repairs team to report the problem. Until we can come out to fix the problem, follow these steps to help limit the damage:

  • wrap an old towel around the leak.
  • where you can, put a bowl or plastic container underneath to catch the water to protect floor coverings
  • turn the radiator off. (Turn the valves clockwise, at both ends of the radiator)
  • for large leaks, you may also need to turn the cold water off by turning your stop tap clockwise

Also see

Housing Repairs

Telephone: 01904 551550 (option 4)

Hazel Court, James Street, York, YO10 3DS

Housing Repairs - Out of hours emergencies

Telephone: 01904 630405 or 01904 427699