A Guide to Boiler Servicing

Please note. All servicing and repairs to boilers should be carried out by a qualified installer/engineer. A boiler can be extremely dangerous and should only be assessed and worked on by someone who has passed accreditation. If you have a gas boiler then you should use a gas safe registered engineer because gas safety is incredibly important. 

The Heating Hot Water and Industry Council continue to set out guidelines on an industry framework on the boiler maintenance and servicing. Although each manufacturer will have their own suggestions, it’s good to know what to expect when getting your boiler serviced and up to date.

Many people wait until they have a problem with their boiler before considering getting it looked at, but this is not a good idea. Your boiler should be serviced annually and when you move to a new house to ensure that the environment you are living in is safe and so you’re not left with any nasty surprises. You can find many reputable sources online to find engineers to service your boiler if you don’t already know someone and the information contained below is important for when you book your appointment.

The manufacturers’ instructions are an important reference when getting your boiler serviced and the engineer should have access to these before continuing. It will be helpful to let your engineer know in advance of the appointment the make and model of your boiler if known, to give them the best opportunity of having all the right equipment and knowledge for your annual service. Although you should’ve been left with the manual of your boiler when you had it installed, if you’ve misplaced it or didn’t get it in the first place, it should be available to download online from the manufacturer website.

When looking for someone to come and service your boiler, you should always make sure that they are Gas Safe certified. All certified engineers should carry a card and that should be shown to you before the service begins. They should then ask if whether your boiler has been performing satisfactory recently or displaying any fault.

According to the HHIC, the below is a rough guide for the actual service of the boiler by an engineer.

  1. Have the manufacturers’ instructions for your boiler available.
  2. Operate the boiler briefly and ensure it appears to work correctly. Isolate the boiler/heating system electrically and confirm this with suitable test equipment. Check the fuse rating for the boiler/heating system is correct.
  3. Remove the boiler case and carry out a visual inspection of the appliance, internally and externally, for any signs of distress (e.g. corrosion, water leaks etc.)
  4. With due regard to the manufacturers’ instructions, clean the boiler and its components as necessary (e.g. primary heat-exchanger, burner, any condensate trap)
  5. Safely reinstate the electrical supply, before carrying out a check of the boiler’s gas burner pressure, a gas-rate check (taken at the gas-meter), or both (as appropriate)
  6. The heating engineer should visually check the boiler’s flames (where visible) and carry out a flue-gas-analysis test
  7. Ensure that any combustion analysis test-points are correctly replaced, and that any boiler case seals are forming an effective seal.
  8. Check that any ventilation requirements for the boiler have been met.
  9. Check the boiler flue throughout its length, including its point of termination. Carry out flue-flow & spillage tests (smoke tests) if the boiler is of an open-flued type.
  10. Check that any boiler safety devices operate correctly.
  11. Important safety checks should be carried out, such as checking that there is no leakage of gas from the boiler, or its connecting pipework. (for gas appliances)
  12. In the event of any safety defect(s) being noted; advise you of the details, and either rectify these, or act in accordance with the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP)
  13. Where rectification is not possible, discuss with you any remedial action necessary, and the options to correct the fault(s)
  14. Complete the Benchmark service report and record, and provide any additional work documentation, either routinely in line with business policy, or if you request this.

Once the boiler service has been done and the above (or similar) work has been carried out, then the boiler engineer should carry out some final checks. These include checking the system works overall, checking pressure, explaining to you any further work that may need to be done, advise you on regular servicing and suggesting that a carbon monoxide alarm be installed.

It’s important that boilers and central heating systems are kept healthy and serviced especially as many warranties are only upheld if a service is being carried out once a year. Check your warranty on the manufacturer’s website for more information. Ultimately it makes sense to keep your warranty valid, especially with a new boiler. Your aOd nnual boiler service can help avoid boiler breakdowns, and a well serviced boiler can also be more efficient to run helping keep your energy bills in check. Some companies wrap up your boiler service cost into a package where you can spread the cost with smaller monthly fees. You can also get boiler cover for boiler repair and call out if something does go wrong and this is great for peace of mind.

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