A boiler service is a set of checks and tests that a Gas Safe engineer performs on the boiler. This ensures your boiler is working efficiently and effectively. A good boiler service means that a Gas Safe engineer checks the correct gas pressure and flow. Apart from that, the flue and combustion of the boiler are also analysed.
What Is Boiler Service?
A boiler service is an annual check and test conducted to ensure that your boiler is working efficiently. It is a service all boiler manufacturers recommend. Your boiler warranty will be void if you do not service your boiler annually. Therefore, it is binding upon you to get your boiler serviced annually.
Boiler service can only be carried out by a Gas Safe Register engineer. You cannot perform it on your own. You might also need a boiler service certificate for your record. A boiler certificate is a proof that the service is carried out by Gas Safe registered engineer and your boiler is safe to operate. Only a Gas Safe registered engineer can provide you with this certificate.
Whether you are a landlord or homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure the annual boiler service and gas safe check for your tenant and yourself. As per law, every landlord must have a record of boiler service and any other gas appliance check record in the form of Gas Safety Certificate (CP12 certificate).
You cannot overlook the importance of getting your boiler serviced annually as it can lead to various problems. One of the major problems is carbon monoxide poisoning. This can be dangerous for your family. You will also have to live without hot water and heating. An annual service will help ensure that you avoid all those problems.
What’s Included in a Boiler Service?
When you call a Gas Certified engineer for boiler service, he will perform the following:
Visual Inspection: To begin with, a Gas Safe registered engineer will inspect your boiler. You will have to look for a Gas Safe registered engineer yourself. As a rough estimate, hiring an engineer for an annual service will cost you around 100 pounds. The engineer will have a look at your boiler and its control. This will help him to ensure that the parts are working correctly.
During the visual examination, the engineer will pay close attention to any weak points such as gas leaks and corrosion damage. The engineer will also check the flame of the boiler.
Removal of the Casing: Once the Gas Safety registered engineer is done having a look at the boiler from the outside, he will remove the boiler’s casing. He will check the main components of the boiler to make sure they are operating as they regularly should. When the engineer will remove the casing, he will check a couple of things. These include checking the heat exchanger, main injector, burner, and spark probe.
Note: You should never try to open the case of the boiler yourself. It can be dangerous.
Flue Check: By conducting this check, the engineer will make sure there are no obstructions in the flue terminals. He will also check if the flue is safely fitted or not. This will also help him check if any dangerous emissions are being discharged.
Gas Pressure Check: A boiler works with the help of the gas pressure. Therefore, the boiler must have optimum gas pressure at all times. If it doesn’t the water in the taps and radiators will not heat up to the level that it should.
To save you from any such trouble, the Gas Safety registered engineer will also check the gas pressure of your boiler.
Boiler Fired Up: This check allows the engineer to see if there are any working faults in the boiler.
Issuance of Report: After the engineer has thoroughly examined the boiler and he is done conducting all the necessary tests, he will leave a report with you. This report will enable you to see all the problems (if any) in your boiler. The report will also guide you on how to look after your boiler so that it operates efficiently and effectively.
Remember to ask your engineer if he would examine the boiler that you have (state the company’s name and model). Not all engineers work with all types of boilers. Although this is rare but to be on a safe side, you should ask the Gas safety registered engineer before you book the visit.
Importance of Annual Boiler Servicing
While many people tend to ignore the importance of a boiler service, here are all the reasons why you should treat it as important.
Catch boiler problems early: An annual boiler service lets you catch boiler problems early. You may not realize but there might be some minor issue with your boiler. You should get your boiler serviced at least once a year. As the use of boiler increases in winter, it needs a little maintenance to run smoothly.
Boiler repairs are costly: Spotting a problem when it has worsened to the extent that the only solution is the replacement or repair of a particular part can cost you a lot. The following table includes the repair costs of some parts of a boiler:
|Common Boiler Repairs||*Cost (In Pounds)|
|Printed Circuit Board||277|
|Fan for Combustion||240|
|Pressure Relief Valve||102|
|Automatic Air Vent||96|
*Prices are estimates taken from the source as of 26/7/19 and may change in the future.
Service is cheaper than a replacement: Regular checks and maintenance ensure your boiler is running efficiently. This will reduce the chances of boiler breakdown. This will also save you from spending a huge amount if the boiler needs replacement.
Annual boiler service can cost you anywhere between 60 and 100 pounds. However, purchasing a new boiler means you will have to spend somewhere between 500 and 2500 pounds. The difference is huge. Annual boiler service can save you from this expense.
You will save money on energy bills: Some people think that getting the boiler serviced means they will have to pay a high cost. However, they fail to understand that if your boiler is serviced on time, then it will reduce your energy bill. Boiler service will improve the efficiency of your boiler which means it will consume less energy to operate.
It can keep your family safe: Boiler service also ensures safe boiler operation. Around 4000 people are reported to go to A&E each year because of carbon monoxide poisoning. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning including headaches, breathlessness, nausea and dizziness. All this can easily be mistaken for some other illness. Furthermore, carbon monoxide does not have any odour. It’s hard to determine your boiler is leaking. However, when an engineer will come to your place for annual servicing, they will spot the leaks right away.
The boiler warranty will void: For those who do not know, here’s a little fact reveal. If you do not get your boiler serviced for a year or so, it will void your boiler’s warranty. You won’t be able to claim any type of repairs or claim anything in case of a problem.
Signs Your Boiler Needs Service
A well-maintained boiler can last for up to 15 years. With an annual boiler service, you can make you the boiler last even longer. Since a boiler is the most importance machine, it should be taken care of.
Chances are your boiler is already showing signs that it needs servicing and you are ignoring them. Let’s have a look at them:
Inactive pilot light: If the pilot light keeps on turning off, that is a sign your boiler is not functioning properly. The pilot light is the ignition for the boiler. If it’s not on, that means the boiler is not working.
On the other hand, if the pilot light is burning with a yellow flame, this is an indication that it’s leaking carbon monoxide. In any case, you need to call an engineer to inspect the boiler.
Loud noises: When a boiler is in operation, it produces a sound that fades into the background eventually. This is normal. However, if you start hearing unusual noises and they are not fading, it means the boiler is not working properly.
Sometimes, the boiler makes strange noise not because it’s not functioning well but because of the wear and tear of the fan and pump. It is also a sign that you need to call an engineer for a boiler service.
Unusual odour: When you smell an unusual odour that means the gas in the boiler is leaking. You will notice dark marks on the casing of the boiler. When that happens, you must call an engineer for boiler service immediately.
Inefficient performance: If the heating is on and your home still feels cold that means there is a fault with the boiler. Sometimes, in such a situation, the radiators are working well but the boiler still performs inefficiently. This means the boiler needs a power flush. Call the engineer and they will inspect the boiler to see what’s wrong.
No service for a year: If you haven’t serviced the boiler in more than a year, even if you don’t see obvious signs, it’s recommended to get it serviced. A boiler is subjected to wear and tear because it’s used regularly in winter. Regular maintenance ensures that it is not overworked and the system is working efficiently.
How Long Does Boiler Service Take?
A boiler service lasts for 30 minutes. However, the time might vary depending on the type of boiler, brand and model. Once the engineer is done performing the service, they usually give a service report that explains what they have done.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions regarding the boiler service. Professionals are happy to explain things to their clients.
When Should I Service My Boiler?
A boiler service is performed annually. The purpose of the service to check the boiler and the heating system to make sure it is running safely and efficiently. Even if there is nothing wrong with your boiler, service is recommended because it keeps the warranty of the boiler valid.
The best time to get a boiler serviced is summer. This is the time when you are relying on your boiler less. It will give you peace of mind as you will know that your boiler is ready to supply hot water and heat the house in winter. Since summer is off-season, you will find an engineer quick.
Note: If you have noticed that your boiler is not working correctly or it is making an unusual noise, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an engineer even if the annual service is not due yet.
Cost of Gas Boiler Service
A boiler service for 30 minutes can cost from £65 to £80. Customers have two options when it comes to boiler service. They can either pay a one-off fee or take out a boiler cover. The boiler cover costs around £180 to £300. It covers boiler breakdown and annual boiler service. Although paying the one-off fee for annual service is cheaper, but a yearly boiler cover gives you complete peace of mind.
A boiler service helps maintain your boiler regularly. It must be performed by a Gas Safe certified engineer once a year. Book the service in summer to make sure an engineer is available to perform the inspection. Whenever you call a Gas Safe engineer to perform the boiler service, they check all the parts inside the boiler. They also check the boiler for leaks and determine the boiler pressure. A boiler service is performed once in a year.
Once the engineer has performed the service, ask for a Gas Safety Certificate. The certificate includes the name of the engineer and company, the address and Gas Safe number. It also includes any problem the engineer encountered during the inspection. If you need tips on taking care of the boiler, feel free to ask. Certified engineers are always willing to answer.