How to Fix a Broken Natural Gas Boiler

  • 0.5-1
  • Beginner
  • 2-5
What You'll Need
Long matches
What You'll Need
Long matches

Natural gas boilers work for a long time with limited maintenance. Compared to an oil-fired boiler, you don’t have much to do at all. However, sometimes things go wrong and you can’t get any heat. Instead of calling your maintenance professional right away, you can attempt to repair the boiler yourself. You should take care to make sure that the area is free of anything that could catch fire as you will be working with an open flame.

Step 1 - Diagnose the Problem

If you have turned your heat on and getting no heat at all, you don’t have much to diagnose. Go to the boiler and check to see if it is getting any power. You should be able to tell if it is receiving power. The standing pilot light should be visible. You may have to get on the floor to see it, however.

You should also check the water valve. If the water has dropped below a certain level the boiler will cut off. This is protective measure to ensure that the boiler doesn’t explode. If the water valve is reading normal water levels, you know that isn’t the cause of the problem.

Step 2 - Check the Electrical Service Panel

If you don’t see the flame from the pilot light you can be pretty sure that the problem with your heat lies there. You should check the electrical service panel as well. Here you should be able to find out if there is a tripped breaker or a blown fuse. If you do have a bad fuse or a tripped breaker, replace them. The boiler may begin to work. If not, you will need to light the pilot.

Step 3 - Relight the Pilot Light

You should first look on the boiler to see if there are instructions listed for how to relight the pilot light. If there are instructions listed, you should follow those. The instructions listed on the boiler are going to be specific to your model and will give the easiest and fastest way to get the pilot lit again. If there are no instructions listed, follow the steps below.

  • You will need to set whatever control mechanism is featured on your boiler to pilot. This lets the machine know that you are attempting to light the pilot light.
  • Light a long match and hold it under the opening for the gas.
  • The pilot light should automatically come on. You should keep the control mechanism engaged until the pilot is burning very strong.
  • Set the boiler to the "On" position and release the control.

If the pilot goes out, go through the steps for relighting the pilot again. If the pilot won’t continue to burn, there is probably some other problem affecting your boiler. You should call a professional. They will be able to get the problem rectified and get your home heated as soon as possible.