Boiler repair or boiler replacement? Which do you need?

boiler repair or replacement


To the untrained eye, it isn’t easy to determine if you need a boiler repair or a boiler replacement when something goes wrong with your boiler.

Replacing a boiler is an expensive project for any homeowner. You need to ensure you’re making the correct choice.

Before replacing your boiler, a boiler repair is an option to be explored as a more cost-effective alternative.

With a boiler, it’s not as simple as leaving the decision to the last moment. This will only make things more expensive in the long run. Not to mention potentially leaving you with a cold house and no hot water!

What you need to do is stay alert. Look out for the tell-tale signs that you need a boiler repair or replacement – and get ahead of the game.

This isn’t always easy if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Here are the tell-tale signs that a boiler repair or replacement is in order:

● Radiators that are slow to heat up
● Odours coming from the boiler
● Expensive energy bills
● Strange noises
● Age and reliability problems.


Is your radiator slow to heat up?

radiator not working


If you find yourself sitting in a cold property, the culprit is undoubtedly your boiler. An effective modern boiler will reach its maximum temperature quickly and generate immediate heat.

Even if the root of the problem doesn’t lie with your boiler, but with a build-up of sludge in your central heating system, you still need a boiler repair or boiler replacement.

This is because the dirty water circulating through the system causes long-term problems.

And this isn’t a problem that only applies to your radiator. If you’re having issues with the water temperature in your shower or bath, your boiler should be checked and assessed for repair or replacement.

The most common cause of these issues is a faulty diverter drive that can be fixed by a trained professional on the Gas Safe register.


Beware of Carbon Monoxide

carbon monoxide problem

A fully functioning and safe boiler will not give off any odours.

So, if you think you can detect even a faint smell, you should leave your home and contact a professional immediately.

This is because unusual odours are one of the key indicators you have a carbon monoxide leak on your hands.

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is one of the most dangerous threats to homeowners in the UK, causing headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, and in extreme cases loss of consciousness.

These odours come not from the Carbon Monoxide itself, which is odourless, but from the odours created – as it impedes your boiler from burning properly.

There are several other potential signs of a carbon monoxide leak, including:

● A yellow flame instead of a blue flame
● Dark soot around and on the appliance
● The pilot light going out frequently.


Bills piling up?

energy bills mounting

It’s understandable that everyone’s priority when it comes to their utility bills is to keep their bills down as much as possible. If your bills are rising, it is a cause for concern.

And the biggest cause of your rising bills could well be your boiler.

As a boiler gets older, its efficiency declines, causing it to become increasingly expensive to run.

Even if this doesn’t happen, choosing to opt for a boiler replacement with a newer and more efficient model will save you money. Boilers are ranked in terms of efficiency on a scale of G (70%) to A (90%).

And estimates show that switching from a G to an A-rated model could save anywhere between £300 and £350 per year.


You’ve spotted a leak


If you’ve noticed puddles of water around your boiler, you should contact a professional right away. These puddles are the product of leaks caused by internal faults or broken parts and can lead to several pressing concerns.

Leaks put your boiler at risk of rust, corrosion, and structural damage, as well as causing your bills to rise.

A leak could be an indication that you need a boiler replacement. A qualified heating engineer will advise on the best route to take – a full replacement or simply a boiler repair.



Fortunately for you, those noises you’re hearing coming from your heating system aren’t a sign you have ghosts in your pipes.

In fact, there a sign of an earthlier problem. If you’re hearing banging and clanking noises, it’s a sign of kettling.

Kettling is the term used to describe the build-up of sludge and limescale that occurs on the heat exchanger of your boiler. This could also be true of whistling noises, although these may also be caused by trapped air in the system – something that would not require more than a simple repair.

If you’re hearing gurgling noises coming from your boiler, this indicates a number of potential issues:

• Trapped air
• A blockage or sediment
• Frozen condensation.

In all these instances, you should have your boiler repaired or choose a boiler replacement by a qualified heating engineer.


Age and reliability

A good way of determining if your boiler needs to be replaced is the 10-year rule.

Experts advise that if your boiler is over 10-years old, it’s time to consider a boiler replacement.

This applies even if your boiler doesn’t have any major faults or reliability issues. The reasoning behind this is that technology is always evolving and improving, with newer models offering vastly improved safety, efficiency, and new features such as smart control.

Irrespective of age, if your boiler is frequently breaking down or it’s unreliable, it’s time to be proactive and replace it.

With the money that you’re spending on inefficiency and repairs adding up, there comes a point when it’s the smarter option to simply invest in a new and reliable boiler.


Repair or replace?

The approach most people adopt is to treat boiler replacement as a last resort, opting for boiler repair wherever possible.
However, this can be inefficient, time-consuming, and ultimately more costly.

If your boiler has displayed recurring issues, or if the repairs themselves would be expensive or difficult, opt for a boiler replacement.

Likewise, if your boiler is old or unsafe it must be replaced.

It’s understandable that a boiler replacement is a difficult and expensive choice for many households. And therefore, a boiler repair should always be the first option you investigate, even if replacement proves to be your final decision.

The most important piece of advice we have when it comes to boiler replacement and repair is to consult the experts.


If you’re looking for a reliable and qualified heating engineer to repair or replace your boiler, call Great British Heating on 0800 048 5915. We’re open 24/7! Our Gas Safe engineers are here to help you with all your heating needs.