Can I Service My Own Boiler?

Monday 18th October 2021
by Homeforce

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Mon 18th October 2021

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It’s not surprising that many of us might be asking the question ‘can I service my boiler?’. Many of us don’t give our boilers a second thought during the warm summer months. 

However, the wise homeowner understands that boilers require essential care and timely service to ensure no nasty surprises during the colder part of the year. 

In our helpful article, we will find out the definitive answer, discover any legalities, who can service boilers and why it’s important.

Read on to find out the short answer before we head into the details. 

In the U.K unless you are classed as ‘competent and not receiving payment’ it is legal to service your boiler. However, if issues arise you could be prosecuted. The law is not clear on what ‘competent’ means so for safety reasons, regular boiler services should be conducted by qualified engineers.

In a recent survey by Which?, it was uncovered that a staggering 18% of UK homes recently suffered from broken boilers. 

With the repair bill costing an average of around £270, it’s not surprising that many of us might have thought about servicing our own boiler.

Let’s delve a little deeper as to why it’s safest to leave it in the hands of professional boiler engineers. 

Servicing your boiler is not safe

A faulty boiler can be a great threat to those who are untrained and those around you, as it has the potential to leak gas and carbon monoxide.

The reason why it’s important to be skilled before you consider tackling boiler issues is that there may be serious and dangerous consequences.

Any boiler maintenance and troubleshooting require proper equipment and training. So it’s crucial to seek professional help in the case of any serious problems …and for regular boiler services. 

You may be prosecuted

Even though you are legally allowed to service your own boiler and in other homes, if you are not properly registered, certified and trained you could be involved in legal action in the event of any major safety consequences.

It’s also crucial to understand that if you are taking any kind of payment for boiler maintenance or fixes, you are breaking the law.

Ok so with the safety advice understood, let’s look in a little more detail as to whether there is any training you require to service your own boiler legally. 

“If you are not properly registered, certified and trained you could be involved in legal action in the event of any major safety consequences.”

Should I service my own boiler? 

So although we’ve seen that it is possible to service your boiler if you are:

  • Classed as ‘competent’ 
  • Not taking payment 

The actual question is most probably SHOULD you service your boiler WITHOUT proper training and equipment.

One of the most confusing elements of discovering if you can service your own boiler is down to the difficulty of unravelling the true meaning of ‘competence’. 

Even those in maintenance trades such as plumbers can’t agree on exactly what this means simply because competency levels change on different levels and for different types of systems and models.

What is ‘competence’?

So even though we’ve found out legally you can service your own boiler if you are ‘competent’, there is still much debate as to what this may mean.

Some professionals think it might mean you have to be gas safety registered, others say you need to have performed ACS, which is a competency-based assessment procedure. 

The plot thickens …as some discussions on forums suggest competency can be defined as knowing appropriate standards and codes of practice such as IGE/UP/1, A, B, and relevant BS. 

Also, some professionals suggest you may need to understand appropriate sections of other applicable legislation including GSIUR GA HSWA.  This relates to the safety and legislation required when turning gas supplies on and off.

Without trying to unravel complicated competency legislation, you may not simply understand the type of boiler you are dealing with – or have the tools. And none of this takes account of practical experience gained – potentially through years of practice.

However, they all agree that the crucial issue is that if something goes wrong, you will be held responsible and liable to prosecution.

“Without trying to unravel complicated competency legislation, you may not simply understand the type of boiler you are dealing with or have the tools.”

Is it worth trying to service my own boiler? 

So alongside recommendations from our qualified maintenance experts and our safety recommendations here at Homeforce, is it worth it? 

To save the equivalent of a family night out at the cinema, it’s just not worth the safety and legal consequences if anything goes wrong. 

So how important is it to have your boiler serviced regularly by professionals? 

Regular boiler services are crucial

It’s recommended to get your boiler system serviced regularly for several important reasons. 

When we think of boiler checks, we instantly think of the cost – an intangible cost at that. But one of the most major benefits of a regular boiler check is that you will actually save money. 

Periodic checks will take care of any minor issues and flag up any potentially expensive ones before they become a problem.

Routine service can check:

  • Loss of pressure
  • Power failure
  • Loss of pilot light
  • Leaks
  • Ignition failure 

“One of the most major benefits of a regular boiler check is that you will actually save money”

How often should my boiler be serviced?

It generally depends on the type of boiler. If you have a boiler gas or oil boiler then it should be serviced at least once a year.

Many of the best professional boiler engineers offer regular maintenance plans to make sure your boiler is working efficiently.

Always make sure you ID check any professional conducting any boiler maintenance or servicing. 

Ok so now we’ve discovered all the information we need to decide whether it’s a good idea to service your boiler, let’s find out some more reasons why you need a professional boiler service plan. 

Protects your family from carbon monoxide leaks 

Routine servicing of a boiler not only enhances the lifetime and durability of the boiler but also provides a lot of other benefits.

According to experts, many people die annually due to the leaked carbon monoxide from faulty boilers and other heating systems.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas and when it enters the lungs it can cause suffocation possibly leading to death. It’s commonly known as carbon monoxide poisoning.

A serviced boiler runs efficiently 

Regular maintenance of boilers also reduces the average fuel cost because if regularly serviced any issues can be detected and rectified. Regular service means your boiler runs at its most optimum efficiency. 

Warranties remain valid 

Many boiler warranties are for 10 year periods. To keep your warranty valid, manufacturers require a professional annual service. 

This means if any problems are detected or you have a boiler breakdown, you will be liable for the full costs.

And finally… 

Here at Homeforce, we can help you remove the stress that comes with a boiler breakdown with a Boiler Plan.

Our team of professional and expert engineers will service your boiler and also will get your boiler back up and running quickly in the event of a breakdown. 

With a Homeforce Boiler plan, our UK-wide network of engineers will repair your broken down boiler with no further costs whatsoever outside of your monthly plan fee.

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