Boiler broken down? Should you call a plumber or a heating engineer?

Posted in Boilers | Plumbing
Published on October 18, 2019

We rely on our central heating system to work effectively 24 hours a day, especially with Britain’s temperamental weather, and often take it for granted that it’ll be there to provide heat when we need it. So when the worst happens and your boiler breaks down it can be frustrating and worrying.

When you have a faulty boiler, the question arises, who should you call to fix it? A plumber or a heating engineer? When the pressure is on to stop a boiler leak or restore heating to your house, knowing which one to call can make all the difference.

On the surface, the role of a plumber and a heating engineer can appear quite similar but there are key differences.

Should you contact a plumber of heating engineer to fix your boiler?

Can a plumber repair your boiler?

A plumber can work on your heating system and bathrooms with tasks including changing radiators, fitting thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), and fitting towel rails. They can complete repairs to pipework, taps, toilets, showers, gutters, water tanks, radiators, and more.

While plumbers may be highly experienced in the full range of plumbing services and be able to deal with leaky pipes, dripping taps and dishwasher installation, they are not necessarily qualified to work on a gas boiler.

Some plumbers can be Gas Safe registered but this isn’t a standard for everyone. If you find a plumber who is also offering gas central heating services, check the Gas Safe Register to make sure that they’re legally permitted to work with gas.

Can a heating engineer repair your boiler?

A heating engineer will work solely on heating in domestic and commercial properties rather than working across a range of disciplines, making them specialists in heating. For this reason, you may prefer to contact a heating engineer rather than a plumber, as they may be more familiar with your issue.

Heating engineers are experts on fixing boilers and can complete tasks including installing new boilers, repair boilers, running new gas pipes, fixing gas leaks, changing radiators, fixing leaks, and installing heating controls.

Again, you should still ensure that your heating engineer is Gas Safe registered before allowing them to work on your boiler.

Gas Safe registered engineers are a must

Heating and plumbing jobs are incredibly varied and require different skill sets. Of course, some tradespeople will do everything but most tend to specialise.

An experienced heating engineer that is very skilled in repairing boilers may not get involved at all in heating system work, while a plumber that specialises in bathrooms may carry out radiator swaps but does not get involved in repairing a boiler.

A boiler repair involves working with gas, so only Gas Safe registered engineers can legally work on a gas boiler. This is another big difference between a plumber and a heating engineer – plumbers don’t need to have any Gas Safe qualifications.

The gas industry is highly regulated to ensure that relevant services are provided to the highest safety standards, so whoever you choose to contact, you must make sure that only Gas Safe engineers are dealing with your boiler repair.

Kiasu Workforce use only Gas Safe Registered engineers to carry out our boiler maintenance, servicing and repairs. So get in touch with our team today to benefit from our central heating and boiler services.