If your boiler breaks down, should you call a plumber or a heating engineer?
There can be some confusion when it comes to the difference between a plumber and a heating engineer as, on the surface, the two roles seem quite similar.
Your boiler uses a lot of water pipes, so should you call a plumber to repair your boiler? The short answer is no.
Gas Safe Register
A boiler repair or service involves working with gas, so only a Gas Safe registered engineer can legally work on a gas boiler. The gas industry is highly regulated to ensure that relevant services are provided to the highest safety standards, so if your repair is pertaining to a boiler or other gas appliance, you must make sure that you contact a Gas Safe engineer.
You can check whether a company or engineer is qualified to work with gas on the Gas Safe Register.
While many plumbers do possess a number of plumbing qualifications, they are not essential in order to trade as a plumber, meaning that anyone can refer to themselves as a plumber without any formal certifications. Although they may be highly experienced in the full range of plumbing such as leaky pipes, dripping taps and dishwasher installation, plumbers are not necessarily qualified to work on a gas boiler.
Some plumbers are also Gas Safe registered, however, but this should not be expected as standard. If you find a plumber who is also offering gas central heating services, check the Gas Safe Register to make sure that they are legally permitted to work with gas.
A heating engineer will work solely on heating in domestic and commercial properties rather than working across the broader industry, 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.
You should still ensure that your heating engineer is Gas Safe registered before allowing them to work on your boiler.
At Boiler Bee we are plumbers and heating engineers which I call a Mechanical Engineer just to add another term into the mix! In essence we are qualified¤ and experienced in dealing will all mechanical, water and gas issues that you may find in a residential and commercial property.
¤ Qualifications come in many different forms – if someone has years of experience in completing a trade they are deemed to be qualified, likewise if someone has a formal industry qualification they are also qualified. I qualified as a time served fitter at Swan Humters ship builders in 1985. From then I have increased my qualifications and experience via University degrees, formal training such as Gas Safety and specific training in manufacturers’ products such as Worcester boilers. The proof of the pudding of course is whether you do a good job – I guarantee my workmanship for life.