Regular boiler servicing is an essential component of keeping your hot water and central heating running smoothly. A service is the best way for an engineer to fully appraise the condition of your boiler and spot any errors that might become bigger problems down the road.
So, how do you factor these in to everything else you need to spend? How much should a boiler service cost and what do you get for your money?
How much is a boiler service?
One-off boiler service
A one-off boiler service should cost £70-100 on average for a combi boiler. As with many jobs by tradespeople, costs can vary. If a price seems a bit too low to be true or a bit too high to be competitive, shop around for at least another quote. Prices in London tend to be higher, and a boiler service price in the capital will often cost in excess of £100.
A boiler service must always be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer, so the price should reflect the time spent on the task by a qualified professional. That having been said, a typical boiler service takes roughly half an hour, so it isn’t like you’re paying for a longer job like an installation or full repair.
Boiler service plan
Another option is to take out a boiler cover plan. These boiler servicing plans include an annual service as part of their package that you pay for monthly or annually. The cost of these plans can sometimes exceed the price of a one-off service, so it’s worth knowing whether an annual service is all you need. These plans can be as little as £6.99 a month, which means you can spread the cost. If your boiler is older, a cover plan is overall the better choice for your situation.
Bear in mind that the cost of an annual service is very much worth it when compared to the price of a boiler repair (particularly if an emergency arises and you’re paying last-minute call-out fees) or the cost of a brand-new boiler installation.
Some providers may offer extras to take place alongside your service, such as a system flush or a new filter fitting. It’s worth asking if any additional options are applicable for your job.
What is included in a boiler service?
A boiler service begins with a visual inspection. Your engineer takes a good look at the boiler and its fittings, making sure everything appears in order and is set up as it should be. Common points of fault or weakness such as pipe connections will be inspected, controls may be tested, and flame settings may be checked to ensure the burner is running at the right level and not producing excess levels of carbon monoxide.
Of course, a look at the boiler’s outside only shows so much. Your engineer should next remove the casing and take a closer look at the inner workings of the boiler. Some of the components and functions they might check include:
- Electrical wiring and connections
- Heat exchanger
- Gas flow and pressure
- Seals and gaskets
- Flame failure device
- Flues and piping to ensure its unobstructed
During these checks, the engineer commonly gives several parts a good clean to ensure the balance of gas and air is ideal and the risks of carbon monoxide build-ups are kept to an absolute minimum.
After any additional checks, such as a heating system check that inspects your heating beyond just the boiler itself, your engineer should produce a report of their work, any findings as a result of the job, and may recommend necessary repairs to fix parts that are beyond a simple clean and tweak.
Alongside the actual labour carried out during a boiler service, you’re getting the eyes of a qualified Gas Safe engineer on your appliance to ensure it’s working safely and reliably. This professional input has plenty of worth on its own, giving you the peace of mind that your boiler has been inspected by the best person for the job.
For some manufacturers, a service under guarantee will also come with your adherence to the conditions of that guarantee, which relies on an annual service to stay valid for its full duration.
Is it worth getting a boiler serviced?
It is always worth getting your boiler serviced, providing your last service was roughly a year ago and you aren’t having another one earlier than is strictly necessary.
Even so, a service will either result in a clean bill of health for your boiler, or else identify problems that – hopefully – haven’t become bigger faults. A stitch in time saves nine, and it’s this truism that forms the whole basis of a regular boiler service.
Remember that new boiler and installation jobs can cost well over £2,000 – for a one-off boiler service price, it’s well worth getting your existing boiler checked as prevention is better (and much cheaper) than cure. Many boiler parts can cost more than a whole service individually, so even relatively straightforward repairs can exceed the cost of a one-off service.
For landlords, getting a boiler serviced isn’t just worth it; it’s essential. All landlords must have boilers in their rented properties serviced every 12 months as a legal requirement under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. The law is not kind to landlords who neglect this duty, and the responsibility cannot be passed down to tenants.
Aside from the legal duties of having boilers checked, landlords should be aiming to ensure the health and safety of their tenants, as well as maximising the use of their investment. A well-maintained boiler can and should last a long time, seeing at least 15 years of use.
It should be noted that it isn’t only boilers than need to be checked, and the requirement specifies gas appliances – this means that you may need more than a boiler service to meet your obligations as a landlord, but it should form a big part of your safety checks all the same.
What happens if you don’t get your boiler serviced?
If you’re a private homeowner, there will be no legal comeback to not having your boiler serviced. It’s your responsibility to see it done and unless you have an annual plan that involves a service, nobody will be calling up to remind you.
Depending on your boiler’s manufacturer, however, not getting your annual service may mean forfeiting your warranty or guarantee.
For instance, Intergas offers a 10-year guarantee on its heat exchangers, but these warranties are subject to an annual service by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Worcester Bosch famously offers 10 and 12-year guarantees on its boilers, which similarly rely on annual services by a qualified and registered engineer.
There’s nothing to say that your boiler will definitely encounter a fault if you don’t get it serviced, and for newer boilers, it can be tempting to think that there’s no need to spend the money.
The benefits of having a service flow both ways, particularly for boilers still under warranty or guarantee.
Identifying errors works for you as the owner as well as the manufacturer. Even if your boiler is relatively new, you’ll be glad to have found these problems during a service rather than letting them catch you by surprise precisely when you need your boiler most in the colder months.
For landlords, there can be strong consequences for not having a tentant’s boiler safety checked. Failure to carry out your obligations can result in prosecution, resulting in imprisonment, a fine of up to £20,000, or both – for each offence.
Furthermore, if the case is referred to Crown Court, that fine can become an unlimited amount and still be coupled with jailtime.
Besides this, not having a tenant’s boiler serviced is risking property damage, harm to occupants, or even loss of life. A simple service can reveal any of these looming risks well in advance.
Can I service my own boiler?
No! A boiler service should only be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.
Gas work should never be undertaken lightly – it’s the whole reason that the register exists. Working with gas when you’re not trained and qualified to carry out the task risks your own life and those of the people around you, both in the home and in nearby properties.
Being the cause of an explosion or gas leak can result in criminal charges and massive damage, if not loss of life.
The Gas Safe register defines “work in relation to gas fitting” as:
- Installing or reconnecting the fitting
- Maintaining, servicing, permanently adjusting, disconnecting, repairing, altering, or renewing the fitting or purging it of air or gas
- Where the fitting is not readily movable, changing its position
- Removing the fitting
This list is not exhaustive, and other actions not specified by Gas Safe could still constitute illegal gas work.
You also cannot carry out gas work and have the work checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer as a workaround. You’d be lucky to even find an engineer willing to do that, because the responsibility is then equally split and both parties are breaking the law.
You can carry out standard light maintenance work on your own boiler that doesn’t concern gas carrying components such as gas pipes, and anything outlined as safe and intended for a user to carry out as detailed in the user manual.
Servicing your own boiler might seem like an attractive prospect for saving money, especially if you’re a dab hand with a different area of building work or maintenance, but the bottom line is that gas work needs to be carried out by a qualified individual. If somebody is not on the Gas Safe register, then they should not be undertaking gas work. How much is a boiler service compared to the safety of you and your family?
When should I get my boiler serviced?
Ideally, every 12 months. However, there may be signs a service needs booking in sooner.
- Loud, persistent noises during operation
- Odd smells in the vicinity of the boiler
- Water leaking from somewhere on the boiler or from inside the case
- Lack of normal function such as failing to light or randomly shutting off
Ultimately, you know what’s normal for your boiler. If anything feels amiss, book a service as soon as possible and get it looked at. Booking in the summer months will be easier as engineer workloads tend to be lighter and you’ll get somebody out much sooner. It also means that any problems can be detected before they become big problems in winter.
Boiler services with Bumblebee Plumbing and Heating
We undertake a boiler service with the most thorough approach possible, inspecting every aspect of your boiler and heating system to ensure nothing escapes our engineers. We’ll also produce a full report for your records, and if any repairs are needed we can advise and offer them at a competitive price.
For our boiler service price, you get the very best work.
To learn more about our comprehensive boiler services, contact our friendly office team today.