When your boiler is on the blink, you probably don't care who fixes it, so long as someone fixes it. There can be a lot of confusion over who is allowed to fix a boiler and if you should be calling a plumber or heating engineer.
It's worth making sure you contact the right person to fix your boiler, or you could be left with additional callout fees and frustration if the plumber cannot complete the job.
Only Gas Safe registered heating engineers are allowed to service gas boilers. If you have electric heating system and hot water, you can call a plumber to deal with any issues.
But when it comes to gas installations, only someone on the Gas Safe register is allowed to intervene.
Heating Engineers & Plumbers: What’s the Difference?
While many heating engineers are plumbers, not all plumbers are heating engineers. To be able to work on gas boilers, a heating engineer needs to be on the Gas Safe register. This is a list regulated by the gas industry that ensures that all people working on gas central heating systems are qualified and capable of doing so safely.
Gas Safe registered heating engineers will have to undergo regular training and pass assessments to ensure their skills are up to date. They are then allowed to do specific things like carry out gas safety inspections in domestic and commercial properties.
Can I repair my own gas boiler?
You cannot repair your own gas boiler and it's against the law to do so. Only a gas safe heating engineer can work on a gas boiler or gas appliances. This is because of the high risk of gas leaks and explosions if gas pipes are handled incorrectly.
There may be steps you can take before you call a heating engineer. This could include resetting the boiler, refilling the boiler and checking the boiler pressure. These are all simple steps that can often get a boiler working again without the need to open the boiler.
However, in the case of a broken boiler, only a Gas safe registered heating engineer is legally permitted to fix the issue.
When Do You Need a Plumber?
Plumbers are typically called out to handled issues like leaky pipes, broken thermostatic radiator valves or issues with your plumbing such as blocked pipes. To make things confusing for homeowners, many plumbers are also able to fix boilers, but not all plumbers can do this.
Plumbing jobs also covers tasks like installing new washing machines, replacing water pipes, removing lead pipes fro your home, or dishwasher installation.
Plumbers can also help with things like new bathroom installations, or moving the bathroom to a new location in your home. The only time you would need to call in a heating engineer would be if you are also moving the boiler to a new location.
Do I need a plumber or heating engineer to fix my boiler?
Some plumbers may also on the Gas Safe register, so it's worth asking if you aren't sure. If you have a usual plumber you always turn to for issues with your pipes, it could be worth asking if they are also qualified to help with your gas boiler.
If your boiler breaks and you need someone to fix it quickly, boiler repair should always be left to a Gas Safe engineer. By choosing a heating engineer, you'll have a better chance of finding someone who can help
Who can replace my boiler?
If your boiler is faulty or inefficient and you want to replace it, you will need to find a qualified plumber or heating engineer to update your boiler. They will be able to remove the old one, replace it with a new system and make sure everything is connected safely.
For electric hot water cylinders and electric radiators, you may be better choosing an electrician to replace your central heating system.
However, if you are switching from a gas boiler to an electric boiler, you will still need to call in a qualified heating engineer to safely remove the boiler and stop the gas supply to your home.
Once this step is complete, you will be free to call in an electrician or a plumber to put in your new radiators and hot water cylinder.
Who can perform radiator swaps?
If your radiators are old or outdated, you can easily upgrade your heating system in your home with new radiators that are modern and sleek.
If you're thinking about just replacing the radiators in your home, this stage can be completed by any plumber. Since they will not be touching the boiler and will only be replacing your radiators in a like-for-like swap, you can save money by shopping around for a plumber.
However, if there will be any changes to the heating system that require changes to your boiler, you will need to call in a Gas Safe registered engineer. And if your boiler breaks as a result of these changes, you'll also need to call in a qualified heating engineer.
Find a Gas Safe registered engineer
Most heating engineers and plumbers will be happy to advertise that they are on the Gas Safe register as this allows them to carry out more work for customers in domestic and commercial properties.
However, if you have called out a plumber and they are claiming they can work on your gas boiler, you might want to confirm their status first.
If you aren't sure if your plumber or heating engineer is on the Gas Safe register, there are a few steps you can take to confirm their status. When they visit your property, you can ask to see their Gas Safe ID card. This should include their name, company name, a photograph and the Gas Safe logo. It should also include their license number.
You can also check if they appear on the Gas Safe register. You can use this tool to check if a plumber or a heating engineer is on the Gas Safe register.
This list can help you to determine if a heating engineer is still active on the register, as it is possible for their credentials to expire.
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