How To Reset a Boiler

Boiler problems can be incredibly frustrating; starting the day with no hot water or returning to a cold house after a long day of work is far from ideal. Luckily, in some instances, it might just be a matter of performing a boiler reset.

Unsure of how to go about this? Don't worry, our boiler experts are on hand to help with this guide explaining everything you need to know about resetting your boiler.

When To Reset Your Boiler

A reset can be performed whenever your gas or combi boiler stops working. One of the first signs that your boiler isn't working properly is your heat not working or there being no hot water. Upon inspecting your boiler, you'll likely notice the boiler light flashing or a fault code on the display screen.

What is boiler lockout?

Boiler lockout is a term that manufacturers use to describe a boiler that has shut down. Lockout is a safety feature, so when your boiler detects a fault, the lockout state prevents further damage. Several things can cause a lockout, and the fault code displayed on the boiler should indicate what the cause may be. Take a look at our L2 boiler fault guide for more information on boiler faults.

Steps To Reset Your Boiler

Before you attempt to reset your boiler, you must have assessed and resolved the cause of the lockout. This is where boiler fault codes come in handy, as they will indicate the problem so you can take the necessary steps to fix it.

Upon seeing an error code, refer to your boiler's manual to cross-reference it and understand what the code represents. Some issues, such as frozen condensate pipes, may be minor, and you might be able to fix them on your own, but it is always recommended that you enlist the services of a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

Once you have confirmation that the issue has been resolved, you can proceed with the reset:

General reset

Check your boiler manual - Your manual should tell you exactly where to find your boiler reset button and how to reset your boiler. Your manual should also tell you what the error code on the display screen means, if applicable.

  • Push and hold the reset button - The general rule is to hold down the boiler reset button for between three to ten seconds. After this, you can wait around 5 minutes for your boiler to reset.

  • Repeat - If your boiler does not restart automatically, you can repeat step 2. Avoid the temptation to repeatedly press the reset in quick succession, as this can damage the control panel.

    Vaillant boiler

    Like any other boiler, only attempt to reset a Vaillant boiler once the faults have been fixed. To reset a Vaillant boiler, you'll have to press and hold the reset button for one second on the ecoTEC Plus model or for five seconds on the ecoFIT Pure.

    Worcester boiler

    Resetting a Worcester boiler is generally a matter of giving the reset button a quick press or a press and hold; this varies from model to model. For example, on the CDI Classic and Greenstar I Junior, you must press and hold the reset button for three and five seconds, respectively. Whereas on the Greenstar Si, you simply press the reset button.

    Baxi boiler

    All Baxi boiler models require a standard press and hold off the reset button, except for the Platinum, Platinum+, and Duo-Tec models, and those models require you to turn the selector switch to R, hold for five seconds, and then let it go.

    What Happens When You Reset Your Boiler?

    If your reset has been successful, you will notice the following:

    The flame will ignite the boiler

  • The flashing boiler light will glow steadily

  • The error code on the display screen will have disappeared

  • You'll have hot water and heat again

    Reasons Why Boilers Stop Working Properly

    Reasons why boilers stop working properly

    Boilers can stop working for multiple reasons, but luckily, the digital displays on modern boilers do a good job of communicating the reason behind a fault. The following are some common reasons why boilers can suddenly stop working:

    Ignition failure - An ignition failure may occur because of a dirty flame scanner, a broken electrode, a faulty ignition lead, or a broken gas valve.

  • Broken pump - If water is leaking from the pump, if the casting feels unusually hot to touch, or if strange noises are coming from the boiler, you may have a broken pump on your hands.

  • Condensate pipe - During particularly cold winters, the condensate pipe connected to your boiler can freeze. This, in turn, leads to a blockage, meaning that excess water cannot escape, and your boiler will shut itself down to prevent damage.

  • Damaged or blocked heat exchanger - There are several instances in which a heat exchanger can become rusted and corroded due to excess condensation. This can be quite an expensive fix.

  • Pilot light - The boiler's pilot light must be alight to ignite the gas. The flame can sometimes go out if there is a sudden draft.

  • Low pressure - This can refer to either low gas or water pressure, although low gas pressure is more common. Boilers will naturally lose pressure over time, so fixing this usually involves turning a valve.

  • Power cut - Power cuts will force all the devices in your home that rely on electricity to either turn off or reset. Once power has been restored, you may have to reset your boiler to get it running properly again.

    When To Get Help

    Gas boilers have many safety features designed to prevent dangerous situations. However, if a boiler keeps locking out and needs to be reset, then that may be a sign of a more serious issue.

    Unless you know what you're doing, you should always consult a professional. Boiler engineers have the expert knowledge and training needed to diagnose an issue and advise you on whether you should fix or replace your heating system.

    FAQs about boiler resets

    Do all boilers have a reset button?

    All modern boilers have a reset button, but they vary in location. If you can't see the reset button on your boiler, you should refer to your manual or a guide from the manufacturer's website.

    Avoid tinkering with your boiler unless you're absolutely sure of what you're doing. Very often, a minor problem can be made worse simply because someone presses a button that they shouldn't.

    Why isn't my boiler turning on after a reset?

    Depending on the make and model, a boiler may take several minutes to complete the reset sequence. In some instances, you may even need to perform a follow-up reset. If a boiler does not turn on after a reset or still displays a fault code, you will have to consult a Gas Safe Engineer.

    Should I have my boiler serviced?

    It can be tempting to cut corners on expenses that don’t seem necessary at the time, but it's advisable to have your boiler serviced at least once a year.

    With regular service, you will better the chances of your boiler operating safely and improve the efficiency of both your boiler and central heating system, saving you money in the long term. Not having your boiler serviced can result in faults, higher energy bills, and your warranty being voided.

    Browse our range of boilers at PlumbNation

    Browse our range of boilers at PlumbNation

    When a reset code isn't enough, and your boiler needs to be replaced, PlumbNation offers a selection of boilers with assured quality.

    We supply a range of heating options, from gas boilers and radiators to heat pumps and underfloor heating systems.