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Do I need a heating engineer or a plumber?

By Rhys Gale 7 years ago


What would you do if your boiler breaks down? Who would you call? A heating engineer or a plumber?

We get phone calls all the time from worried customers form across south Wales with faulty boilers who are unsure whether they have called the right person. It’s fair to say that the lines between a heating engineer and a plumber can be blurred and when the pressure is on to stop a leak from a boiler or restore heat to you house, knowing which one to call can make all the difference.

Your boiler uses a lot of water pipes and is plumbed into the mains, so should you call a plumber to repair your boiler? The answer to this question is …. No.

Here’s the difference between the two.

Heating Engineer

The clue is in the name! 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 and gas work. They carry out a wide range of jobs from maintaining and installing heating pipework to fixing appliances when they break down. 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.


We feel the confusion has come from plumbers, as their trade can cover a multitude of tasks when it comes to bathrooms, kitchens, wet pipes, dry pipes, boiler maintenance or servicing and heating systems.

While many plumbers do possess a number of plumbing skills and qualifications, they are not essential in order for them to trade as a plumber, meaning that anyone can refer to themselves as a plumber without any formal certifications. Although they may be experts in their field and highly recommended, they may not be Gas Safe registered and therefore can not work on your boiler.

Some plumbers are also Gas Safe registered, however 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.

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 to a boiler or other gas appliance, you must make sure that you contact a Gas Safe engineer.

Luckily Limgreen has everything you need right here, with just one phone call and a few simple questions we can have the right person on the job.

Boiler Check list.

  • Check your gas supply – are your other appliances working? Is the emergency control valve open? If none of your appliances are working, then call your gas supplier as it is likely to be a problem at the mains.
  • Press your reset button – it might have tripped due to a safety precaution. You should find it on the front of your boiler but otherwise check manufacturer’s instructions. You should NOT have to remove a panel to locate the reset button.
  • Is your boiler pilot light? Older models with a pilot light might require reignition. Follow your boiler manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s a newer model, then you could try pressing the deblocking button to reignite the burner.
  • Check your power supply – check to see whether one of the fuses hasn’t tripped on your fuse box. Sometimes the obvious is overlooked! And can be fixed with a simple reset.
  • Heating controls – check the times on your thermostat / programmer. Get the manual out and make sure you’ve got them set up correctly. Check your timer. Your thermostat will lose accuracy as it gets older and might need replacing.
  • Check your boiler pressure – low system pressure in boilers can cause them to run at a lower capacity or cause them to stop working completely. It’s especially common in combi boilers. The pressure gauge should be at 1 bar when your system is cold. If your boiler has a flexible filling top, you’re able to fill up (charge) your system with water yourself. If you’re at all unsure as to how to do this then please call us and we’ll set out one of our Gas Safe Register engineers to service your boiler.
  • Radiator valves – these might be a problem. Fiddle around with them to see if you can get them warming up. For a standard lock shield valve, you’ll need to remove the plastic cover and use the appropriate tool (can be from DIY shop) to adjust the setting, whereas a thermostatic valve can just be turned to the desired setting.

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