When winter hits where we live, it’s time to get serious about reliable furnaces and boilers. My workplace is heated by a boiler, which stopped working over the weekend. Our building supervisor was alerted to the problem during an especially frigid stretch that we are experiencing. Thankfully, by the time the employees showed up for work on Monday morning, the problem had been fixed. We learned from the supervisor just how many reasons there are why a boiler stops working. In some cases, boilers quit because the electricity supply to the boiler may have been cut off. If that’s the cause, it’s easy enough to switch it on again and reset the appliance. Sometimes the fuse box may keep tripping, which also requires that the system be reset. If there’s any suspicion that the boiler stopped due to gas problems, everyone needs to get away from the area immediately and call a gas safe-registered engineer. If other gas appliances in the building have stopped working as well, then it’s definitely time to call the professionals. A third reason for a boiler to stop working could be related to plumbing. If the outside temperature has dropped below zero, the culprit could be that the pipes are frozen. A frozen condensate pipe – the pipe that expels steam from the boiler – is the cause of a number of boiler breakdowns in frigid temperatures. If the ball float valve in the water cistern is stuck, the water level of the cistern needs to be checked, then the ball float adjusted. And the worst of scenarios may have happened, in which the internal components – such as pumps and valves – have stopped working. In any event, it’s always wise to have a reliable HVAC professional’s phone number ready.