What’s the difference between a boiler service and a gas safety check?
The best way to ensure your gas boiler’s safety, efficiency, and reliability is to have the appliance inspected annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer, however, you may be unsure whether you need to book a boiler service or a gas safety check.
What’s the difference between a gas safety check (gas safety certificate) and a boiler service?
This is a fairly common question among property owners and landlords, and this guide serves up answers, so keep reading.
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What is a Gas Safety Check?
A gas safety check refers to the inspection carried out on gas appliances. Gas safety checks are legally required for landlords in the UK and must be done every 12 months. During the annual inspection, a Gas Safe engineer checks your gas appliances to ensure they are working at the right operating pressure, burning correctly, and are generally safe.
After this check, the engineer issues a certificate (gas safety certificate) detailing all the checks they carried out. The documentation (also known as a gas safety record) usually signifies that your gas appliances are good for the next 12 months. If you have boiler cover you can get a free boiler service every year
What is a Boiler Service?
A boiler service is a thorough check of the gas appliance. Typically, a boiler service includes all the inspections in a gas safety check and more. An annual boiler service is not the same as a boiler repair job. Instead, it is a comprehensive check on individual parts of a boiler that is already working 100% correctly. If not, the boiler may need fixing, part replacing or perhaps even a new replacement boiler.
During a boiler service, the engineer checks various boiler components to ensure they are clean and working efficiently. The boiler’s front cover is removed, burners are cleaned, seals are changed, and the gas appliance is essentially stripped down for a more in-depth check. Boiler service does not include plumbing and drainage unless you have the correct boiler cover. If you are asking yourself, how much does a boiler service cost?, then read our guide or book online now.
Gas Safety Certificate and Boiler Service – What’s the Difference?
A gas safety check and a boiler service are two different things. Perhaps the easiest way to explain the major difference between the two is by using a car’s MOT test and service.
In the UK, the MOT test is performed annually to ensure a car’s roadworthiness and overall safety. In other words, passing the MOT test means it is okay to drive your car on the road.
On the other hand, a car service is a more in-depth maintenance check-up of the car’s parts. It may involve flushing out the coolant, changing filters, oils, and spark plugs, as well as inspecting brakes, steering, wheel bearing, and suspension.
Now, think of a gas safety check like the annual MOT test, while a boiler service works similar to a more comprehensive car service.
Another difference between the two is that one is required while the other is not. In the UK, a gas safety check is legally required as the minimum routine inspection on gas appliances, and it is carried out every 12 months to ensure user safety and the effectiveness of appliances.
On the other hand, boiler service is not a legal requirement. That notwithstanding, it is crucial to book a service at least once a year to keep your boiler working as it should. This will help you save money on energy bills. Besides, services will ensure that your manufacturer warranty remains valid throughout the warranty period.
Lastly, a gas safety certificate or check is performed on multiple gas appliances, including ovens, cookers, and fires. On the other hand, a boiler service only focuses on a boiler.
What Is Involved In A Gas Safety Check?
The primary goal of a gas safety check is to ensure that your gas appliances are working as they should. Typically, the inspection includes checking boiler pressure, air supply, and safety devices. It also involves checking how correctly and efficiently the gas is being burned.
Chimneys, flues, and ventilation channels are also checked to ensure that harmful gases are expelled safely out of the property.
The safety check usually starts with a visual inspection of the various gas appliances and the entire flue system. The engineer can detect any distress signs in the flue system and whether the ducts are installed correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions and comply with building regulations.
Also, all the seals on the internal air vents are inspected for any signs of leaks. To do this, the combustion cover is removed to allow the engineer to inspect the seals.
Another important part of the safety inspection involves checking the gas rate to see if there is an adequate fuel supply. The pressure relief devices are checked for signs of malfunction or leakage in a sealed system. In an open vented system, the ball valve in the feed and expansion cistern is checked to ensure it is operating as it should.
Landlords must ensure that their properties comply with safety regulations by allowing a Gas Safe Registered engineer to carry out gas safety checks on their appliances and pipework once a year.
After the annual gas safety check, a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate is issued showing the details of the inspection, including:
- The location of the gas appliances and pipework tested.
- The gas appliances tested.
- Any potential safety issues detected.
- Any remedial work required.
- When the inspection was carried out.
- Details of the engineer who performed the check.
- Address of the property and details of the landlord or letting agency.
What Does a Boiler Service Involve?
Typically, a boiler service involves removing the appliance’s front cover, inspecting the individual parts, and cleaning the inside. This service is performed once a year after the first 12 months from the installation date.
After working and burning gas for an entire year, it is normal for dirt and debris to impact the functioning of certain boiler components, meaning you need to run a boiler service after every 12 months.
If you ignore this and continue to use the boiler without running an annual service, it won’t be long before the appliance develops faults and may even stop working altogether.
To avoid annoying boiler issues or even major system faults, it is always a good idea to run annual services. During a gas boiler service, the engineer will perform one or more of the following checks and services:
- Clean the flue ways.
- Inspect the spark gap, flame rectification probes, etc.
- Inspect the insulation shields or panels.
- Check the dilution levels of the inhibitor. A top-up will be done if the levels are low.
- Check to see if there are any vent points around the system that need bleeding.
- Replace the door seals if necessary.
Plus, the heating engineer will also check for any leaks in the pipework. Similar to what’s applicable in a gas safety check, the engineer will also test the expansion vessel to ensure the boiler has the correct pressure.
To end the service, the boiler specialist will turn on the appliance and listen for any abnormal sounds or noises. Once they confirm that everything checks out, they will record all the details of the boiler servicing in the benchmark log, usually at the back of the manufacturer’s instruction booklet.
Gas Safety Certificate and Boiler Service: Which One Do You Need?
An annual gas safety check is required if you are a landlord in the UK. Homeowners are not required by law to do this, but it is recommended to do an annual safety check on all your gas appliances.
Gas appliances, no matter the type of safety devices they have, pose a risk of producing carbon monoxide. This gas is highly poisonous and can cause severe health hazards if inhaled.
While a boiler service is not a legal requirement in the UK, you must book a boiler service once a year to allow you to maintain your boiler warranty.
Whatever you do, it is crucial to perform a boiler service or safety check before winter sets in. This will save you the headache of trying to fix or correct a fault with your boiler when the icy weather is already biting hard.
Ensure that your gas appliances are in tip-top condition before the colder months by running a gas safety check or booking your boiler service during summer.
Whereas a gas safety check will ensure that the appliance is running safely, a boiler service involves checking the individual boiler parts to make sure they're clean and working efficiently. You should think of a boiler service and a safety check as the equivalent of a service and MOT on your vehicle.Should you get a certificate with a boiler service? ›
If you don't currently have a gas safety certificate, you'll need to arrange a check-up of your boiler and gas appliances with a Gas Safe registered engineer. Most boilers require an annual check to ensure their warranty remains intact, so if this is already scheduled you can save money by waiting until that time.What does a boiler service include? ›
During a boiler service, the engineer will check your boiler and related parts – like the flue – are operating safely. But they'll also inspect the boiler parts for wear and tear too, and make sure everything's functioning correctly.What is a boiler certificate? ›
A boiler Gas Safe Certificate provides confirmation that your appliance was installed by a suitably qualified heating engineer.What is the difference between boiler repair and boiler service? ›
An annual boiler service is not the same as a boiler repair job. Instead, it is a comprehensive check on individual parts of a boiler that is already working 100% correctly. If not, the boiler may need fixing, part replacing or perhaps even a new replacement boiler.What certification required for boiler? ›
The ASME BPVC Certification Program conforms to the rules governing the design, fabrication, assembly, and inspection of boiler and pressure vessel components during construction.What happens if you don't get your boiler serviced? ›
Your boiler will become less efficient, consume more energy, and increase the risk of catastrophic failure.How often should boilers be serviced? ›
You should have your boiler serviced at least once a year to ensure it functions correctly and does not have any water or gas leaks. Not sticking to an annual boiler service could affect your boiler's performance, you could experience a boiler breakdown, or you could even invalidate your warranty.Is a boiler service necessary? ›
But just like a car, boilers need regular maintenance to ensure everything is running as smoothly and safely as possible. Servicing isn't just a way to fix problems with your boiler. It's also crucial for preventing serious issues from arising in the future by looking after and maintaining your boiler properly.Who pays for boiler service? ›
When it comes to boilers, it's the landlord's responsibility to ensure a boiler's safe and working efficiently, and to organise fixing it when something goes wrong. Annual central heating maintenance should be a high priority, to avoid costly repairs and ensure tenants are warm and safe.
No significant leaks from steam fittings (There is a variation from this steam test procedure for small boilers under 3 bar litres which may lack some steam fittings and/or means of boiler water feed). The steam test certificate is valid for 12 months.What is heat certificates? ›
Each heat lot comes with a Mill Certificate Document outlining special information about the metal. Among these details are two very important pieces of information: Where the raw materials were melted from. The chemical and physical properties of that particular metal.What are the new boiler regulations? ›
What will replace gas boilers in 2025? The ban means that gas boilers won't be installed in new homes, which will be designed to be heated differently from day one. But what it doesn't mean is that you'll be shut off from all gas in 2025. Millions of homes are heated by gas boilers, and will continue to be beyond 2025.Do boilers need to be serviced every year? ›
Boilers should be serviced once a year, especially if they are gas or oil. This annual service is an opportunity for a qualified heating engineer to look over the unit and make sure it's running as well as possible for you. This will give you the peace of mind that your heating system is running safely and efficiently.Who should service my boiler? ›
It's best to have your boiler serviced by a qualified heating engineer annually. As part of the service, they can inspect the appliance and ensure that it's running as it should be.Can I service my own boiler? ›
In short, it's not safe to service your own boiler if you're not a Gas Safe engineer.What qualifications do you need to fit a gas boiler? ›
- College. A Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating will teach the skills needed to become a trainee with a gas company. ...
- Apprenticeship. ...
- Accredited Certification Scheme. ...
- Managed Learning Programme(MLP)
Some of the things that you might learn about when you study a boilermaking course include the following: How to assemble, maintain, and repair boiler tanks using welding machines. How to inspect and test boilers for leaks and other defects. How to replace broken valves, pipes, and joints.What are the requirements for steam boiler? ›
- The water must be contained safely.
- The steam must be safely delivered in the desired condition (as regards its pressure, temperature, quality and a required rate.
It should take around 60 minutes for a gas boiler to be serviced adequately by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
While it does depend on your boiler type, typically a service will take around an hour to complete. If you have a combi boiler, most of the main components are located inside of the boiler. As a direct result of this a service should be quicker for this type of boiler, around 30 minutes.How many times a day should boiler run? ›
A boiler in good working condition should run for about 8-15 minutes before it cycles off again (a good rule of thumb is that cycling over 8-10 cycles per hour is considered excessive). Anything short of that could mean that there is a short cycle issue with your boiler.Does boiler service include cleaning? ›
During a boiler service, the engineer will remove, inspect and clean the main components in the boiler to ensure they are fit for purpose and have no noticeable defects. This will include the main burner, heat exchanger, flue ways, and ignition pins.What is the annual service of a boiler? ›
Annual boiler servicing is a set of checks undertaken by a certified engineer on your central heating system every year. Its purpose is to ensure that your boiler, radiators and other heating appliances continue to run safely and effectively.Can a plumber service a boiler? ›
A plumber can work on your heating system (radiators, pipework etc), but cannot work on the boiler or the gas pipe. The main difference between a plumber and a heating engineer is that a plumber does not carry any gas safe qualifications.Do plumbers know about boilers? ›
Plumbers typically work on heating systems, including radiators and pipework, but not all of them are qualified to work on the boiler itself or the gas pipe. However, these days you'll find that some plumbers have also trained as Gas Safe engineers – making them well-equipped to repair a gas boiler.What are the benefits of a boiler service? ›
Fewer breakdowns - as you would expect when you take your car for its MOT, when you have your boiler serviced, all the main components are checked for wear and tear, and replaced if necessary. That means that it is less likely to breakdown when you need it the most, particularly in the cold winter months.Do boilers expire? ›
Generally speaking, the average lifespan of many boilers is around 15 years. If your boiler is older than this, then you may want to consider upgrading your system.How often do you change the water in a steam boiler? ›
Proper steam boiler maintenance is very important. If your boiler is equipped with a #67 low water cut-off be sure to flush it every 7-10 days during the heating season. If your domestic hot water is sourced from your boiler remember to flush once during the summer.How often do steam boilers need to be inspected? ›
Typically, a steam boiler should receive servicing at least once per year. Any kind of safety failure with a boiler can have serious consequences, and so a yearly inspection will help to spot any safety issues that need to be addressed.
20 June 2022. The 3.1 inspection certificateis a document in which the manufacturer (manufacturer) declares that the delivered products ordered by the customer are in accordance with the order. The declaration of compliance contains the test results from the specific inspection.What is the best heat degree? ›
What temperature should you keep your house at? Or better yet, “What is the most energy saving temperature to set my thermostat at?” According to ENERGYSTAR.gov, the ideal home temperature should be between 70 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.What is a good degree for heat? ›
According to ENERGY STAR, setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) when you're home is the ideal balance of comfort and energy efficiency. So why is 68 degrees the magic number?Do I need permission to change my boiler? ›
Planning permission is not normally required for installation or replacement of a boiler or heating system if all the work is internal, though if you live in a listed building you should check with your local planning authority.How old should a boiler be? ›
The average life of a boiler depends on the boiler model, but generally, it should last you anywhere between 10 and 15 years. If you maintain your boiler regularly, however, it could even exceed this standard lifespan. It's all about the steps you take to prevent any problems.What is the minimum boiler temperature? ›
Conventional boiler with hot water cylinder
The temperature must be no lower than 65 degrees to keep your hot water supply to your taps safe, otherwise there's a risk of legionella bacteria growing in the cylinder.
Compared to furnaces (both gas and electric) and heat pumps, boilers will go for years longer delivering energy-efficient heating. The reason for their longer service lives is that boilers do not use as many mechanical parts that will wear down from use.Can a boiler last 30 years? ›
The answer is yes, a boiler can last for 30 years or even more, but as with any piece of equipment, its longevity is dependent on a number of factors. In this post, we will focus on high-pressure steam boilers for industrial and commercial applications and how best to extend their lives.Can a boiler last 20 years? ›
In general, standard boilers last between 10 and 15 years in a usable state with minimum maintenance, although sometimes they might last 20 years. Beyond that, though, it's certainly worth upgrading.What time of year is best for boiler service? ›
We recommend that summer/ early autumn is the best time to get your boiler serviced. Booking a service before your energy requirements start increasing for winter, will reduce the chance of a boiler breakdown when your home needs heating the most.
- Check gas line for soundness.
- Check boiler location, is the boiler location suitable.
- Check For the correct ventilation as appropriate.
- Check boiler for any visual damage.
- Check for flue spillage.
- Check flue condition, routing and terminal location.
- Check condensate.
- Check main burner and clean as necessary.
A well maintained boiler will not only run more efficiently, it will also be safer. Boilers have built in safety features to ensure correct operation, again these can be worn and can lead to an avoidable breakdown of your boiler.Is a boiler service guaranteed? ›
Every new boiler should come with a manufacturer-backed warranty that will provide you with added peace of mind knowing that, should it breakdown or develop a fault, you are fully covered, and the manufacturer should organise a repair.How long should a boiler service take? ›
A boiler service usually takes around 40 minutes to 1.5 hours, and the service must be completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Many things need to be inspected and analysed during the service, and various parts must be properly cleaned.Do I have to get my boiler serviced every year? ›
Boilers should be serviced once a year, especially if they are gas or oil. This annual service is an opportunity for a qualified heating engineer to look over the unit and make sure it's running as well as possible for you. This will give you the peace of mind that your heating system is running safely and efficiently.Who pays for boiler maintenance? ›
The technician is also required to check and regulate the burner and clean the boiler. The price may increase if parts need to be replaced. Inspection and maintenance costs are to be paid by the tenant.What should be done on an annual boiler service? ›
- Correct gas pressure and flow.
- Flue and combustion. ...
- Electrical connections are clean and in good condition.
- Fans and other key components are working efficiently.
- Seals are intact.
- Electrodes are in a good condition.
- Safety devices are checked.
- Condensate trap and pipe is not blocked.