Can a Plumber Install a Boiler?


If you have a new boiler in your home and you are wondering if you need to call a heating engineer or a plumber, you are not alone. A lot of people want to know if they can call a familiar face instead of a heating engineer from the company to make sure the job is done well.

And this is not a question one can avoid because boilers are quickly becoming popular. This is because they are eco-friendly and energy efficient. So, first of all, well done on moving to the better option for you and the planet.

A boiler is efficient in the way it works because it takes cold water that comes from the pipes and is cycled inside its heating system. It is then distributed all across the house, whether as steam or hot water, depending on how you use it.

We’re talking about how a boiler works because you need to know what it does not just to decide who is the right person for the installation, but also because you need to know who to call in the future when it might be broken.

The short answer to the question at hand is that a professional plumber with the right plumbing tools might just be able to handle the boiler. But there are a few ifs and buts. Let’s see what they might be.

Heating Engineer vs Plumber

A heating engineer works strictly on appliances that are for heating- and gas-related issues. It could be residential or commercial, they are well versed in both. This is a specific job, unlike other trades where you will find generalists.

Heating engineers have a wide range of jobs, from installing heating appliances and dealing with the related pipelines to maintaining and fixing them when there is a problem or otherwise.

So, it is not a bad idea to go for a heating engineer when you need to install a boiler. But just make sure that the one you hire is registered as ‘Gas Safe’ before you contact them.

Plumbers, on the other hand, are often generalists. But that does not mean they do the job on a whim. They are equipped and often licensed to work on a range of spaces like kitchens, bathrooms, dry and wet pipes and yes, even installing and maintaining boilers and other heating systems in the market.

They do have the skills and are qualified to handle the installation of a boiler. Some of them even have more qualifications than are necessary to get their license. This is a better choice. But some are self-taught which is not to say they are bad at the job.

So, the tag might be the same but some of them are specialists while others are lousy. Now, not all plumbers are registered as ‘Gas Safe’ which means, technically speaking, they should not work on the boiler.

So, for one don’t assume your plumber is no matter how good they are. And secondly, if you are going to take this chance, you better be sure of the plumber’s capability in dealing with your specific type of boiler.

The ‘Gas Safe’ register is the result of a highly regulated gas industry. This is because they want to make sure that the services performed on appliances like boilers meet the safety requirements.

How Boiler Installation Works

The process of installing a boiler starts even before the tank arrives at your home. This is especially true if you have hired a contractor. A heating, ventilation and air conditioning or HVAC expert will come home to inspect it.

This is because they need to calculate the heat load of the home. This will help determine the size of the boiler that suits your structure.

This expert will also tell you the best place for the boiler in the house. They will also connect it to the power source which will run the boiler. This could be gas or electrical.

Now, it is hard to say how long it will take to get the job done. That’s because it depends on the type of boiler and the amount of piping work that needs to be done to fix it in your home.

If you already have a heating system in place, well then they will have to remove it and that will take some more time, won’t it? If you are looking for a ballpark figure, you can expect it to be done in less than one day. By evening, it will be in place.

Sometimes, the personnel will have to reconfigure the pipes in the house. This ensures that there isn’t as much heat loss. So, you must take that into account too. This kind of heat loss happens through the pipes and it is not uncommon even for the best of boilers. If you have hired a professional installer, they will take care of these little details for you.

If your boiler is powered by natural gas, your technicians must make sure that it is connected safely to the gas line in the house. This includes checking for leaks and monitoring gas pressure levels to see that there is no violation of the local codes.

The Bottom Line

So, it is not so much worrying about whether you should get a heating engineer or a plumber. You could get either of them but if you get a heating engineer, they are more qualified to look at the smaller details and take care of them for you.

This is not just about the efficient functioning of the boiler but also its safety in the house. That’s not to say there won’t be lousy heating engineers.

But if you are getting a plumber to install a boiler for you, that might work too. If you know the plumber and are sure that they are more than qualified or capable of handling the boiler you got, by all means go for it.

But a heating engineer recommended by the company might also know the specifics of that particular manufacturer’s product and might just be better equipped. Take your pick.

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