Any heating engineers around?


How much does it cost to Oldham?
Alas, on the coldest night of the year so far, the boiler decides to pack in. It is ancient so its hardly surprising, but a tad ironic.

It seems the pilot light has blown out and will only light very weakly with a lighter. I think the pilot light isn't hot enough to warm the themostat enough to make the whole thing go 'woof!' as it were- the other problem being that the ignition assembly is riveted to the chassis making it difficult to de-coke the bugger.

any ideas?

Thermocouple? Universal-Thermocouple

Or perhaps a blocked nozzle in the pilot?

Where are you Mickle?


Über Member
I can't fix your problem but I can point out that boilers will almost always break in the winter as this is when they are being used most.

It really is worth joining a scheme like HomeServe who will come and fix it straight away, we pay about £7 a month for this, but repairs are free at the point of delivery, you just have to sign a form.

And also of course, have an alternative heating strategy, a few portable fan heaters and oil filled rad's should keep you from freezing.


Legendary Member
Wotcher Dan, don't ask on here, ask on but be sure to tell 'em the make of boiler or they will be rude to you.

But yes, it does sound like your thermocouple. A new one is easy to install and can be bought from any supplier. Best to take the old one with you if you want an exact match. Ummm... you do know what the thermocouple is, don't you....?


This happened a couple of times on my parents' boiler and it was the thermocouple both times. The guy who services it now replaces the thermocouple annually - cheap part and worth it for the peace of mind.
Aperitif said:
Thermocouple? Universal-Thermocouple

Or perhaps a blocked nozzle in the pilot?

Where are you Mickle?

I am (was) a mere plumber rather than an heating ingineerer.


In order for the thermocouple to do it's job there has to be a flame present first. If there's no flame (or a weak one) the t/c won't get hot and keep the gas valve open. A weak flame says iffy solenoid valve or nozzle blockage to me.

Not that i'm an expert or owt.
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