‘How often should you service your boiler?’ is a question you should be asking yourself if you want to keep your central heating systems working as they should. Beyond ensuring your boiler is working properly, regular servicing will prevent any safety issues from becoming a problem.
Although boiler servicing isn’t a legal requirement for homeowners, it’s a critical part of property maintenance and will protect your heating system in the long run. It also saves you the hassle of having to shell out for costly repairs and, in a worst-case scenario, a full gas boiler replacement.
At Complete Plumbing Solutions, we’re the go-to provider for gas boiler service and maintenance in County Cork. Even at the best of times, a boiler breakdown is inconvenient. When your boiler runs into trouble during the winter months, having to struggle without central heating and hot water is almost impossible.
If you’ve recently moved into a new property and your boiler needs a check or your system is long overdue, now’s the time to get in touch to see how we can help you.
How do I know if my boiler needs servicing?
If your boiler is being serviced regularly, there shouldn’t be any underlying issues to worry about. However, some telltale signs are a clear indication that your boiler needs attention. See some of them below:
- Water is dripping from the base of your unit.
- Pilot light is any colour other than blue.
- A yellow or orange flame might suggest a carbon monoxide leak.
- Unusual stains on or around your boiler.
- The boiler is taking a long time to heat up.
- Kettling sounds, especially during the start-up stage.
- Energy bills are higher than usual.
A dripping boiler might go unnoticed for some time, but a constant leak can cause all manner of unseen damage. Water will eventually corrode sensitive components and can ultimately trigger a short circuit. Both are expensive scenarios you want to avoid.
If your boiler is not firing up right away, it’s tempting to try and resolve the issue yourself with a quick fix. However, it can be impossible to know where to start when the cause of the problem isn’t obvious. If bleeding your radiators or increasing boiler pressure hasn’t gotten your heating system back on track, it’s time to call in the experts and arrange for a service.
What happens during a boiler service?
A plumber in Cork will first inspect the outside of your boiler to check for obvious faults or problems with the installation of your system.
During this inspection, evidence of corrosion from potential leaks will be looked out for, as well as any staining that might have been caused by carbon monoxide.
Next, a plumber will examine the boiler controls and electrics. The venting of your boiler will also be looked at. If your boiler is not firing up or there are any major faults, this will be flagged, and the next steps will be discussed.
If things are working as they should, they’ll simply perform some routine maintenance. This includes a quick clean of the fan assembly and cleaning away any debris and dirt that might have accumulated. Other internal components, like heat exchanger connections and combustion seals, are then checked before the boiler itself is tested to see if it’s in full working order.
What’s checked during a gas boiler service?
During a gas boiler inspection, a plumber will carry out detailed checks of boiler components, including:
- Flue Inspection: To identify any safety issues, a plumber will inspect for any evidence of flue spills. Ideally, flue ducts should be able to remove chemicals and pollutants from your system. A plumber will also check for signs of carbon monoxide.
- Pilot and Burners: Your boiler pilot and burners are next up. In many cases, these will only require minor readjustment and a little cleaning. A plumber will turn off the main burner switch of the boiler and see how the burner reacts. Fuel readings will also be taken to ensure your boiler is working as efficiently as possible.
- Gas Flow and Pressure: To ensure boiler flow is optimal, a plumber will inspect valves and components like filling loops. For optimal gas flow and pressure levels, these need to be attached correctly.
- Other Internal Components: Your boiler is a complex system made up of all manner of seals, sensors, cables, and connectors. Sometimes, these elements need to be checked and repaired. A certified electrician can handle any repairs to electrical wiring when necessary.
- Controls and thermostats: Finally, a plumber will check the switches and thermostat controls of your boiler. If there are any major issues, replacement parts can be ordered, and repairs can be carried out.
How long does it take to service a boiler?
It doesn’t take very long at all for a boiler to be serviced. However, service times will vary depending on the exact model. In the vast majority of cases, a full boiler service can be completed in under an hour.
If any major issues are detected or repairs and heavy maintenance need to be carried out, you’re looking at a longer process. Once any major issues have been identified and maintenance carried out, future services should be more streamlined.
The time it takes for an annual boiler service to be completed is nothing compared to having to replace a defective boiler. Even relatively simple installations like swapping out your existing boiler for a like-for-like model can take up to 6 hours. Are you weighing up the pros and cons of the combi boiler vs. system boiler debate? If you do decide to replace a defective combi unit with a system boiler, all that pipe installation and electrical work can mean you have to wait several days before hot water starts running again.
To save yourself all this hassle, make the smart choice and ensure your boiler is serviced every 12 months. An hour of your time is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that your central heating and hot water will continue to run all year.
When to get your boiler serviced
‘How often should you service your boiler?’ is a question our plumbers get asked a lot. For peace of mind, you should aim to have your boiler serviced at least once every 12 months. Doing so will ensure that your boiler is operating as efficiently as it can. It’s even more important for older boilers.
Even if it’s in full working order, the design of an outdated boiler can make it 40% less efficient than its modern-day counterparts. Just about any boiler manufactured 15 or more years ago will only receive a G rating for energy efficiency.
The longer your boiler is in operation, the less efficient it will be. This isn’t just due to newer boiler technology superseding your current model. Something as simple as limescale deposits caused by your water supply can put a strain on your system, forcing it to work harder. An annual service ensures your boiler is receiving enough maintenance to carry on efficiently for as long as possible.
Regular servicing also means that you don’t have to worry about safety issues posing a risk to you and your family. Carbon monoxide has no colour or odour, so it’s easy for a leak to go unnoticed if you don’t have a CO detector or alarm installed. If there are signs of a leak, an engineer will spot it right away during a service.
Furthermore, annual servicing is essential if you want to keep your warranty valid. If your boiler is within warranty and an annual check detects a manufacturer’s fault, you can often be compensated for any costs involved.
Searching for boiler service and repairs?
Boiler service isn’t something you should take chances with. If it’s been more than a year since your system was last checked, now’s the time to arrange for an RGI-certified to carry out an overdue inspection.
As well as boiler service, we provide a full range of plumbing solutions. Looking for a plumber in Mallow? We can help. Searching for a plumber in Cork to tackle burst pipework? Our emergency callout service is on hand to help when you need it most.
We also provide a range of services for the commercial sector. Looking for power flushing or pump services? Our team has extensive experience with complex systems, ensuring your operation is back on track in no time.
If a boiler service won’t suffice, then you may need to consider the cost of replacing a gas boiler.
Do you need to talk about your plumbing issue in more detail? Schedule a callback today at a time that suits you. We offer great rates in County Cork. Call us on (085) 169 4244 to chat with our experts today!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you service a boiler?
Even if you think you’re a dab hand at DIY, never attempt to service a boiler yourself. A thorough boiler service requires the expertise of an RGI-certified professional. Boilers are complex systems. If you attempt to service them yourself, you risk creating safety hazards and voiding your boiler warranty.
How much does a gas boiler service cost?
Gas boiler service typically costs in the region of €99. However, the price of a service ultimately depends on the boiler model itself. It’s a relatively minor expense when you consider the cost of carrying out pricey repairs or having to invest in a full gas boiler replacement if something goes wrong with your current system.
Does a boiler need to be serviced every year?
Yes, especially if you live in a busy household where your boiler is put through its paces regularly. An annual service will save you money in the long run, keeping energy costs down and preventing safety risks like water and carbon monoxide leaks.