Will a Power Cut Affect My Boiler and Stop It From Working?

James Elston
Written by James Elston
Updated on 5th December 2023
Posted on 4th December 2023
Topic: Boiler Advice

In the heart of winter, a power cut can be more than just an inconvenience; it can leave you shivering in the cold, wondering about your boiler’s fate. 

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricate relationship between power cuts and your boiler. We’ll address your concerns, demystify the technicalities, and equip you with the knowledge to brave power outages without sacrificing your comfort.

Luckily power cuts are few and far between in the UK but they do happen so it’s always best to know what to do next.

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Will a Power Cut Actually Affect My Boiler?

When the lights go out, your boiler’s functionality hangs in the balance. 

But yes, a power cut can affect your boiler. Most modern boilers are reliant on electricity to function, so when the power goes out, your boiler will not be able to heat your home. 

Without electricity, most of the main components like the thermostat, central heating pumps, and valves will have no power therefore causing your boiler not working properly, rendering your boiler temporarily useless.

What to do if you have no boiler because of a power cut 

This obviously can be a major inconvenience, especially during the winter months. If you are unfortunate enough to live in an area that is prone to power outages, it is a good idea to have a backup heating source, such as a gas fireplace or gas space heater. 

You should also make sure that you have a plan for how you will stay warm if the power goes out for an extended period of time.

Here are some tips for staying warm during a power outage:

  • Dress in layers.
  • Use blankets or sleeping bags to stay warm.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid using candles, as they can be a fire hazard.
  • If you have a gas fire place, use it to stay warm.
  • If you have a generator, use it to power a space heater or other appliances.
  • Be sure to check on elderly neighbors or family members who may need assistance during a power outage.

Understanding the Impact on Different Boiler Types

Gas Boilers

Gas boilers often rely on electricity for certain functions, such as ignition and thermostats. In the absence of power, these components just won’t work, and ultimately end up leading to a loss of heating.

However, some people have their gas boilers fitted with backup battery systems or manual ignition methods, ensuring continued operation during short power outages – fantastic!

Read more about gas boiler installation here

Electric Boilers

The clue is in the name with this one – Electric boilers are significantly affected by power cuts. Being entirely dependent on electricity, they cease to provide hot water and heating when the power supply is interrupted.

Read more about the best electric boilers here

Oil Boilers

Oil boilers, being predominantly fuel-based, are more resilient during power cuts.

They don’t rely heavily on electricity, ensuring a relatively stable heating supply even when the lights go out. However, certain components like pumps may still require electricity.

FAQs: Your Burning Questions Answered

Will a power cut damage my boiler?

A power cut itself won’t damage your boiler, but the sudden loss of power might cause issues when the electricity is restored. It’s advisable to turn off your boiler during an outage to prevent power surges from damaging its components.

Can I use my boiler during a power cut?

If your boiler operates on gas or oil, it might have limited functionality during a power cut. However, electric boilers won’t work at all without electricity. Consider alternative heating sources during prolonged outages.

How can I protect my boiler during a power cut?

Invest in a surge protector to shield your boiler from power surges when the electricity is reinstated. Additionally, schedule regular maintenance to ensure your boiler’s optimal performance, especially after power outages.

Are there portable heating options for emergencies?

Yes, portable electric heaters and gas-powered generators can provide temporary heating solutions during power outages. Ensure proper ventilation and safety precautions when using these alternatives.

Is it necessary to reset my boiler after a power cut?

After a power cut, your boiler may require a manual reset to resume operation. Refer to your boiler’s manual for specific instructions. If you’re unsure, it’s best to contact a professional technician for assistance.

Can power cuts cause boiler leaks?

While power cuts themselves don’t cause leaks, the fluctuating pressure during power restoration might stress the system. Regularly inspect your boiler for signs of leaks and address them promptly to prevent further damage.


Navigating a power cut’s impact on your boiler requires a blend of preparedness and understanding. By comprehending the vulnerabilities of your specific boiler type and taking proactive measures, you can ensure your heating system weathers power outages effectively.

Remember, regular maintenance and awareness of your boiler’s functioning are your best allies in staying warm even when the lights go out.

Written by
James Elston
James Elston Director Of Boiler Central
Posted on: 4th December 2023
Topic: Boiler Advice

James Elston is our resident boiler replacement and heating expert here at Boiler Central. With over 20 years experience in the boiler installation industry, James ensures that he knows everything there is about our Gas Safe boiler installations, energy saving and home heating solutions. This can be from simply procuring the latest best combi boilers, to reviewing and ensuring that Boiler Central maintains the highest standards across our boiler installation company.

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