If your boiler has stopped working, then you will have to reset it. In some cases, resetting your boiler might be all it takes to get it back up and running. However, the more likely case is that your boiler has shut down due to an underlying fault, or unsuitable conditions. In this article, we will go over why your boiler may have stopped working, how to resolve it, and how to reset your boiler.

how to reset a boiler

When to Reset Your Boiler

If your boiler has stopped working then you will notice that your heating won’t work, and (if you use your boiler for hot water) your water doesn’t heat up. When you look at your boiler, you may notice the boiler light flashing, or a fault code is displayed on the screen. You could see your boiler light flashing green, or red.

If you notice these signs, then you will have to reset your boiler and check if there are any underlying faults.

How to Reset your Boiler

You may find that you have to reset your boiler now and again, but if your boiler constantly needs resetting, then it is very likely that there is some kind of fault with your heating system. Boiler faults can often lead to more serious issues the longer they are left, and you might even end up with your boiler breaking down. For this reason, it’s important to try to resolve your boiler problems as soon as they arise.

What is Boiler Lockout and Why Does it Happen?

You may have come across the term “lockout” in reference to boilers, and wonder what it means. A boiler will lockout when there is a fault or a safety risk within the system. This means that your boiler will switch off, preventing a dangerous situation if there is a serious fault. This is another reason why it is sensible to look into the reasons behind why your boiler is locking out, and resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

Simple Steps to Reset Your Boiler

  1. Refer to your boiler manual

You should check your boilers manual, as it should tell you exactly where your reset button is located on your boiler. It should also have instructions on how to perform a reset, specifically for your model and make. The reset button normally has a flame or a cross on it, and should be clearly labelled “reset”.

  1. Push the reset button for 10 seconds

Generally, you push the reset button and hold it down for 10 seconds. Do this only once. Wait for 2-3 minutes, as the boiler may be starting up. If the reset has been successful, then the flame will ignite in the boiler. The flashing light should also become a steady light, and the error code on the display may even no longer be present.

  1. Repeat x2

If your boiler doesn’t restart, then you can repeat step 2 twice more. DO NOT repeatedly press the reset button, as this can damage the control panel, which would lead to a costly repair.

  1. Call a professional

If you have tried to reset the boiler three times, and it still hasn’t restarted, then you probably have a fault with the boiler. You should call a gas engineer in to diagnose and repair the underlying fault. It’s extremely important not to ignore faults with your boiler, as they often become more serious the longer they are left.

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Common Reasons Boilers Stop Working

There are many potential faults that could have caused your boiler to stop working. If you have a modern boiler, it is likely that your boiler will display a fault code when it goes into lockout. If you want to look up what a code means, then you should look through your boilers manual. The manual will contain the information regarding which fault each code represents.

Common faults include:

  • Extreme pressure
  • Faulty thermostat
  • Faulty pump
  • Leaking system
  • Blocked plate heat exchanger
  • Miscellaneous components old or worn-out
  • A build-up of residues in the pipes

Aside from faults with the boiler or heating system, another possibly overlooked reason you might need to reset your boiler now and again could be due to a power cut. A power cut will cause every device in your home, that relies on electricity, to turn off or reset. If this has happened, then once the power is back on, all you have to do is reset your boiler.

When to Call the Experts

If your boiler keeps needing to be reset, then there is likely an underlying fault. In almost all cases it is best to call a professional whenever there is something wrong with your boiler, as it is a device in the home with a lot of potential risks to health and safety if mistreated. When in doubt, always call a professional.

They will be able to diagnose the issue and advise you as to whether or not you can fix it, or if it’s time to get a new heating system.


If you have to reset your boiler regularly, then you should call in a gas engineer to assess what could be wrong, and the best course of action for you. If the problem continues to persist, then you should consider replacing your boiler, or consider an alternative heating system.

Skills Training Group is an award-winning provider of gas, plumbing, electrical & first aid courses. For further information on our range courses, contact a member of our team on 0141 889 4516.

Become a heating engineer in only 25 weeks

Increase your earning potential by training as a heating engineer with Scotland's leading provider of heating courses.


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