Boiler on the blink? Radiators making weird gurgling noises? Who are you gonna call?
When something needs fixing or replacing in your house or workplace, it’s not always easy to decide which tradesperson is best for the job. After all, there’s usually some overlap, with many professionals able to turn their hand to multiple tasks.
But heating engineering and plumbing are very different professions and, to get the right result for the job you need doing, it’s important to hire the right talent for the task.
If you need assistance with anything to do with your heating system, you should always call in a heating engineer. They can help with repairs, replacements, annual services and even emergencies with all of the following:
To make sure you are getting the best heating engineer for the job, always ensure they are Gas Safe registered, essential if they need to work on a gas appliance. They will need an OFTEC certification if you need them to look at oil boilers.
As a general rule of thumb, any appliance that is water based is the domain of the plumber. That includes taps, toilets, dishwashers and sinks. You may well find plumbers who have the same Gas Safe registration as heating engineers but this doesn’t mean they’re qualified to work on gas boilers. They may only be legally cleared to work on other gas appliances, such as a stovetop. So it’s worth checking.
Tasks your plumber should most definitely be qualified to perform will include:
As you can see, there is a clear difference between the areas of special expertise that plumbers and heating engineers possess. Should you find professionals advertising their ability to do both, you should assess the nature of the problem you have and decide whether an all-rounder has the specific skills and qualifications to carry out the task to your satisfaction, or whether you need to choose a specialist.
What you don’t need is an under-qualified plumber badly installing your expensive new boiler which can be incredibly dangerous given that faulty gas appliances can lead to the leakage of deadly carbon monoxide.
This is why it’s vital that, as well as reading customer reviews on tradespeople’s websites, you check their qualifications. For anything heating or boiler related, that Gas Safe registration is critical. It’s required by law for anyone working with gas based appliances. A quick search of the company name on the Gas Safe register website will reveal whether a tradesperson you’re interested in has the necessary certification. If not, it’s worth taking the time to find one who does.
Repairing or replacing a boiler is a task that requires skill and expertise. And it should only be carried out by Gas Safe registered engineers. Most of these will proudly display their certification on their website and/or on their advertising literature. You should still carry out a check on the Gas Safe website to confirm this.
If there’s no mention of being Gas Safe in any communications you receive from a tradesperson, ask yourself do they have something to hide? Don’t rule out heating engineers who don’t advertise their Gas Safe registration without first asking them and/or checking the official Gas Safe register website.
Taking a few precautions before letting a visitor into your house or workplace to start work on something as vital as your boiler or heating system can pay dividends. So, be sure to ask to see their ID card. When they show you this, examine it closely and ask yourself:
If you suspect a tradesperson is carrying out work on gas appliances that they aren’t qualified to do, you are within your rights to report them to the Gas Safe register.
But hopefully, by looking around, you can compile a shortlist of professionals able and qualified to carry out the heating or plumbing work you need.
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