How long does a boiler service take, and why do you need one every year?
Boiler services might not seem essential to some homeowners and landlords.
If there’s a problem with your boiler, can’t you just phone for a repair and save the cost of an annual service in the meantime?
While that can appear to save you time and money, there are good reasons – beyond just finances – to have your annual boiler service.
What should I expect from a boiler service?
A boiler service is a comprehensive health check for your boiler. It should be thorough, but not take all day, and you can expect a heating engineer to inspect its components closely.
The ultimate goal of a boiler service is to establish that yours is working as intended and has nothing that might become a larger fault later and, often, to keep your warranty in check.
A service isn’t the same as a repair. An engineer isn’t necessarily looking to find and fix faults, but rather to appraise your system and clean or reset certain parts.
Most crucially, you should expect your boiler service to be carried out by a Gas Safe-registered engineer.
This means you can trust the person working on your system has the necessary training and qualifications to understand what they’re looking at and leave things safe and secure once they’re done.
What does a boiler service include?
Different providers may offer specific add-ons to their boiler service packages, but generally you can expect a boiler service to include:
Your engineer will inspect your boiler for anything that looks wrong.
This involves removing the case of the boiler and looking closely at areas that might present issues like gas pipes and the burner. Corrosion and damage will be easy for a certified engineer to identify, so this is a simple but crucial step.
Your engineer will likely also check the controls and ensure they’re responding as they should, with the boiler’s flame burning correctly.
Component inspection and cleaning
Some parts, like the burner and heat exchanger, will need to be scrutinised and possibly cleaned to ensure they keep working as efficiently as possible. These parts are ones exposed directly to high temperatures, and are arguably some of the most crucial in your heating system.
It’s possible the only thing standing between a fully working burner and a defective one is a good clean, so this is an essential part of your boiler service.
Your boiler’s flue is essential to its safe operation.
The flue vents out gasses created by the boiler as it burns, while also allowing fresh air intake. It’s a simple piece of pipework but needs to be free to operate properly without risking the health of your home’s occupants.
As such, your engineer should check it for obstructions and ensure it’s venting both ways properly.
Both the gas and water pressure need to be at appropriate levels for your system, and your engineer may check these during your service if it seems necessary.
The water pressure in your system is often easy to discern just by looking at the boiler’s pressure gauge, and can be topped up by using the filling loop.
If you’ve noticed a consistent drop in your system’s pressure that means you’re needing to intervene more than a couple of times a year, it’s worth mentioning this to your engineer because it could signal a leak somewhere.
Depending on your boiler setup and the service offered specifically by the provider you’ve chosen, your service might include extra work like cleaning out a magnetic filter.
How long does it take a plumber to service a boiler?
Typically, a boiler service takes around an hour to complete.
The job isn’t as complex as a repair, and a heating engineer will already have a checklist of what they’re looking to inspect. Some modern combi boilers may be quicker to service and your engineer could be done in as little as half an hour.
Though a relatively quick job, you want your engineer to inspect your system with due care and attention. Even if your boiler is relatively new, the objective of a service is to ensure everything is working as intended—something that can’t be gauged if steps are skipped and components ignored.
Do they check radiators on a boiler service?
Not every provider will check radiators as part of your boiler service, but it’s often a good idea to at least check they’re not filling up with air and that they’re heating properly.
The boiler is the heart of your heating system, but it isn’t the only part that matters. Giving your radiators a clean bill of health ensures there aren’t issues with them, and eliminates the possibility of leaks and corrosion.
Many UK homes have about eight to 10 radiators spread across multiple rooms, so it’s feasible one or more of your radiators could be underperforming without you noticing.
How much does a boiler service cost?
A boiler service is likely to cost in the region of £80-£100, depending on who you choose, what they’re offering, and how much work is involved.
Most if not all heating engineers have no reason not to be upfront with the cost of a service, making it easy to gather quotes and compare them.
Of course, the price is only the half of it.
You want to browse what a boiler service from each provider includes and how many happy customers they’ve got willing to back them. That way, you can ensure you’re getting the best plumbing and heating provider near you to carry out your service.
Boiler services in the North West
To ask ‘How long does it take to service a boiler?’ and other questions about heating, get in touch with our friendly team at Bumblebee Plumbing & Heating.
We have a full-time office to answer your calls and emails quickly and with our full attention, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Contact us today to talk about our services.