Boiler Repairs: Your boiler can play up or break down at any time
When this happens, you can perform simple safe checks to see whether the problem has been caused by something you might have overlooked. If not, you’ll have no other option than to call out a professional to diagnose the problem and fix your broken boiler.
Who Can Carry Out Boiler Repairs?
It’s important to remember that all boiler repairs must be carried out by a fully qualified Gas Safe heating engineer. No matter how frustrated you are about being left with no heating or hot water, you should never attempt any boiler repairs yourself. Working with gas is extremely dangerous and you could end up making problems worse if you try to fix your boiler but don’t have the expertise to repair it. If you aren’t qualified to work on gas appliances and you tamper with your boiler, you will also invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty or insurance policy.
10 Most Common Boiler Problems
A complete boiler failure or major boiler issues will require the expertise of a Gas Safe engineer, but it’s still important to familiarize yourself with common boiler problems. Below is a list of the 10 most common boiler problems that you may come up against.
- Boiler turns itself off
- No heating or hot water
- Leaks and drips
- Clanking, banging or tapping noises
- Pilot light keeps going out
- Frozen condensate pipe
- Loss of pressure
- Radiators only partially heating
- Heating not coming on or switching off at the set time
- Water is too hot
Having your boiler serviced and maintained regularly by a professional will help to lengthen its lifespan, keep it in good working condition and minimise the risk of minor and serious boiler problems.
Choosing the Right Heating Engineer
If your boiler is still under its initial warranty or you have taken out boiler insurance, you may find that the manufacturer or your insurance provider will arrange for an engineer to inspect and repair your boiler. However, if you’re no longer covered by a warranty or you don’t have an insurance policy, you will need to call out an engineer yourself.
There are a few things you need to look for when choosing a boiler repair engineer, including:
- Gas Safe registration status: Always select a Gas Safe registered engineer with the right qualifications, as this confirms that they are legally allowed to work on your boiler. To check this, ask to see their Gas Safe ID card or search the official Gas Safe Register online.
- Boiler repair experience: Make sure you choose an engineer who has specific experience in repairing boilers. Just because an individual calls themselves a gas engineer, it does not necessarily mean that they have ever fixed a boiler. You can find out which jobs an engineer is qualified to do when checking their ID card or the Gas Safe Register.
- Customer recommendations: It’s always a good idea to ask friends and family whether they can recommend a reputable heating engineer that they have previously hired to work on their boiler. If you can’t find a recommendation from someone you know, go online to see if you can find any customer reviews.
We also suggest you choose a heating engineer or company that offers you a fixed price for the work that needs doing, rather than a day or hourly rate. Before agreeing to a price, it’s always wise to get a range of quotes so that you can find the best deal on your boiler repair job.
Boiler Cover and Insurance
If your boiler is out of warranty, you may want to consider purchasing boiler cover. Without boiler cover, you will need to find a Gas Safe engineer and pay for any repairs when your boiler develops a fault or breaks down. However, with the right level of boiler insurance, your insurance provider will arrange for an engineer to fix your boiler at no extra cost to you.
That said, you will have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for boiler insurance, which is available in different levels of cover, such as:
- Boiler-only cover: A boiler-only cover policy will cover the cost of repairs to the boiler and its controls.
- Boiler and central heating cover: A boiler and central heating cover policy will cover your boiler and its controls, as well as your radiators, plumbing and more.
- Home emergency cover: A home emergency cover policy will cover your boiler, central heating system, electrics, plumbing and drainage, along with things like broken windows, faulty locks, roof damage, and pest infestation.
Most cover policies (regardless of which type of cover you choose) offer you access to a 24-hour emergency helpline to enable you to get hold of a trusted tradesperson quickly. The other alternative to boiler cover is a repair and servicing contract, which is usually offered by local companies or engineers who work independently. This type of contract is basically the same as a boiler insurance policy.
The Importance of Boiler Servicing and Maintenance
There are many householders across the UK who don’t keep up with regular boiler servicing, but it’s a lot more important than you may think. You should, in fact, have your boiler serviced by a qualified engineer at least once a year so that any potential problems can be detected and resolved as quickly as possible. Not only does this prevent you from having to spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on future boiler repairs but it helps to ensure you are never left without heating or hot water. Plus, getting your boiler serviced annually will keep it performing safely and at peak efficiency, which means you can have peace of mind and save money on your fuel bills.
Another thing you need to be aware of is that most boiler warranties and insurance policies require you to have an annual boiler service to help minimise the risk of a breakdown. We must also make it clear that all boiler servicing and maintenance should only ever be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.