Do different boilers have different servicing requirements?
Boiler manufacturers recommend a regular boiler service, to ensure that the boiler is safe and efficient. An annual boiler service is also a condition of most boiler manufacturer warranty agreements.
The three main types of boiler:
These are popular in households where space is limited, especially in loft spaces, which in many new homes may be insignificant. Larger loft spaces, in older style homes, may have the potential for living space. A combi boiler is a hot water heater and central heating boiler combined. The hot water is heated up as required, directly from the mains. This negates the need for a cold-water storage tank and hot water cylinder, freeing up spaces previously occupied by these, for living space or storage as required.
Combi boilers may be gas or oil. They may also make use of condensing technology to process the products, (either gas or oil) that they utilise. Condensing combi gas boilers are one of the most popular in the UK today, and you can take out combi gas boiler cover to protect yours today.
These are popular in households with more than one bathroom, they take their water directly from the mains, like a combi boiler. However, they need a hot water cylinder to store the water, and they directly heat the central heating system. System boilers are a modern and space-saving alternative to a regular boiler because many of the components are stored within the boiler.
This is a generic name for the older style boiler systems. Also known as a conventional boiler and traditional boiler. These boilers require a cold-water storage tank to feed them and a hot water cylinder to store the hot water they produce.
Boiler service, does each boiler type have different requirements?
The basic requirements of each of these boiler types for a boiler service do not differ greatly.
However, for combi boilers, where the main components are situated within the boiler, the boiler service should be quicker. For regular boilers where the pump, expansion vessel and hot water cylinder are situated outside the boiler, the service may take longer. Similarly, although System boilers contain the major components within the boiler, the hot water cylinder, which stores the hot water produced by the boiler, is likely to be situated elsewhere.
Condensing boilers, which may combi or system may need more frequent servicing than other boiler types that do not use condensing methods to process their combustible materials, most commonly gas or oil. The main reason for this is the condensate pipe, which is vulnerable to freezing. Well maintained boilers that are operated optimally are the best way of avoiding this inconvenience, which can result in no heat and hot water, and a costly boiler repair.
Regular servicing ensures that the boiler is working at a level that minimises the chances of the condensate pipe freezing. It is often recommended by industry professionals that this type of boiler is best run constantly, rather than starting and stopping, particularly in the winter months. This will ensure the condensate pipe is kept at a warm enough temperature to avoid freezing.
Another fail-safe is to set the room stat or boiler control at a level that ensures the boiler will fire up when the temperature falls and freezing of the condensate pipe is a possibility. Running the heating constantly is like to alleviate central heating running costs slightly, but this will be less than the repairs necessary of the condensate pipe is not kept warm.
What is included in a boiler service?
- Visual inspection of the boiler to ensure it meets current standards
- Checks and prescribed tests on the boiler to ensure it is working safely and is securely sited.
- Checks and prescribed tests on the ventilation and flues to ensure that they are adequate, meet current standards and are appropriately sealed.
- Checks and prescribed tests on boiler and system pressure to ensure it is correct.
- Checks and prescribed tests on the boiler to ensure it is using fuel efficiently and is working to its optimal efficiency.
These visual inspections, checks and tests are generic, although there will be some specific differences between a gas boiler service and an oil boiler service. Mostly due to the differences arising from the combustible material used to run the boiler i.e gas or oil.
Similarly, there may be some differences between different boiler makes when they are serviced. For example, a Vaillant boiler service and a Worcester boiler service may have specific differences, in order to comply with the current manufacturer’s standards, for their boilers’ efficiency and safety.
How does this affect the boiler service cost?
The answer is that this may vary. If you have your boiler serviced on an ad-hoc basis, you may be charged on an hourly rate. If the boiler is more complex and takes longer to service, you may be charged more. This is more likely with older boiler systems that feature regular boilers, which have many of the components sited outside of the boiler itself. Combi boilers are generally easier to service so it’s likely the boiler service cost will be less.
How much is a boiler service with a boiler service plan?
Taking out a boiler service plan will usually include your annual boiler service and in most cases it will cover your boiler repairs too. There are also plans to cover your complete central heating system, drains and household electrics too. The costs vary according to the number of services offered. All of them will bring the cost of your boiler service down, compared to purchasing it individually. A boiler service plan also covers most boiler types, and there is no difference in cost, so you may save money this way.