Do plumbers fix boilers? Or do you need a heating engineer? In this guide we answer we’ll help you understand their key differences and who you’ll need for your particular job.
Plumbers and heating engineers have two different domains and it’s important to choose the right one to carry out specific jobs.
While plumbers mainly deal with water-based appliances, a heating engineer is skilled in dealing with the jobs related to the heating system.
However, there is still confusion as to whom to call when it comes to problems related to the heating system of your house or if you need to install a new one.
This confusion is mainly because of the overlap as many tradesmen can handle multiple tasks.
Hiring a person with the right skills is important to ensure not only a high-quality job but also the safety of the appliances and people living in the house.
What does a heating engineer do?
As the name suggests, a heating engineer is trained to install, repair or replace your heating system.
Heating engineers solely work on the works related to heating in residential, commercial and industrial properties.
So whenever there is an issue regarding boilers, radiators, thermostats, hot water cylinders or heating pipework, you need to call an expert heating engineer without a second thought.
However, it is important to check if the heating engineer is Gas Safe Register before booking an appointment for your heating system.
It is required in the law that a person dealing with gas appliances must be Gas Safe Registered and a person supposed to work on oil boilers must hold OFTEC certification.
What does a plumber do?
As mentioned above, a plumber deals with water-based appliances including bathroom and kitchen taps, dishwashers, washing machines, sinks etc.
You call a plumber for your piping work and the installation of kitchen or bathroom appliances.
A plumber also fixes problems regarding the drainage and clears the blocked pipes besides that he is an expert in solving the problems related to bathroom leaks and sewage systems.
A plumber can also deal with the problems related to the heating system if he has the qualifications to do so.
He also needs to be accredited with the Gas Safe Register which can easily be verified online.
Why is their confusion?
So the question here is why there is confusion that prevails between plumbers and heating engineers when it comes to the heating system.
We already know that a plumber deals with the water-based appliances, drainage and sewage system while a heating engineer deals with the problems related to heating.
The confusion arise because some tradesmen could do the work of either i.e. plumbing or heating.
A lot of plumbers are well trained to install or fix the heating systems and they are also Gas Safe Registered.
What is the Gas Safe Register?
It is essential to check if the heating engineer or plumber you are hiring is registered with the Gas safe register.
According to the Law in the UK, Isle of Man and Guernsey, any business dealing with Gas appliances must be Gas Safe Register.
It is very easy to check the company name or person’s name on the Gas Safe Register website. Alternatively, you can also ask for the Gas Safe ID card of the heating engineer or plumber.
A Gas Safe ID card includes the photograph of the person, Unique registration number, applied business date, and start and expiry date.
It is illegal to hire a person without a Gas Safe Register to carry out work on gas appliances.
Remember it is possible that a plumber is Gas Safe Registered but is not qualified to carry out heating works.
He can only be qualified to install or fix problems related to stoves. So making sure that a plumber holds Gas Safe Registration for the heating system is important.
What happens when you hire an unqualified tradesperson?
With the prevalence of confusion and options in the market, It is easy to hire a tradesperson with the wrong qualification for your heating system.
This could leave you with a catastrophic outcome.
An unqualified tradesperson may cost you less in terms of labour but can leave you with problems related to poor installation and leakage.
This is a huge safety concern as a faulty gas appliance can result in leaking Carbon monoxide (CO).
CO is a toxic gas that can cause headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea and in extreme cases brain damage or even death.
If you have any concerns about gas leakage, immediately contact Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 99.
So a plumber or a heating Engineer?
The answer is a qualified tradesperson. A qualified tradesperson has qualifications and training in heating systems which is a heating engineer.
Make sure that the heating engineer you are hiring is Gas Safe Registered. It is a matter of literally a few minutes to check the accreditation of heating engineers from the Gas Safe Register website.
While a plumber can also be accredited with the Gas Safe Register it is important to make sure that he has gas safe qualifications.
For that, you need to check if the plumber is accredited to work on boilers or other parts of the heating system.
There is a higher possibility that the plumber is only accredited for stove work.
If a plumber is accredited for boilers and heating systems, he is a qualified person to do your job.
Where can I find the right tradesperson?
So far we know that we need a gas safe registered tradesperson for the repair, replacement and installation of the boiler and other parts of the heating system.
But how to find a gas-safe register engineer near you?
Remember, not all Gas Safe registered engineers will have the same industry qualifications.
It’s important to find a heating engineer who is qualified for the job they are going to be doing for you.
You can find local gas safe register engineers with just a click at finding heating engineers near me on the Gas Safe Register Website.
The gas Safe Registered website has given some tips to help you find the right tradesperson for your job.
These guidelines include:
- Compare quotes from 2-3 different Gas Safe registered businesses (making sure they are all qualified for the work you need to do)
- Check reviews online
- Consider asking the business to provide references from previous customers
- Check that the business has public liability insurance
- Confirm the job details in writing beforehand.