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Construction and Repair
27 October 2021

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Firstaid Plumbing and Heating

Firstaid Plumbing and Heating are Gas Safe registered heating engineers who undertake installations of gas boilers, oil boilers and LPG boilers. For similar replacement boiler companies in this area please visit the Nuneaton boiler page.


We specialise in

Domestic,ElectricGas,LPG,Oil,Vented Cylinders,Unvented Cylinders,Bathroom,Shower Installation


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Boiler Repair Advice
There's never a good time to need a boiler repair. Whether it's a one off boiler repair or emergency boiler repair, this guide takes you through possible faults and potential repair costs. And with an annual boiler service you can greatly minimise the chance of needing a boiler repair.

Have you been asking the internet for 'boiler repair near me'? Then get a free boiler repair quote from a local heating engineer now.


Emergency boiler repair

Not all boiler faults are considered an emergency. If your boiler repair falls into any of the following categories then it's considered an emergency boiler repair:

No heating or hot water in winter

If there are children or vulnerable people living in the property

A gas leak


Fortunately, many heating engineers are able to respond to emergency boiler repairs within 24 hours.


NEVER attempt to carry out an emergency boiler repair yourself – ALWAYS contact a professional heating engineer.


A gas leak is one of the most serious boiler problems as it can lead to serious health issues for anyone in the property. Natural gas – which is used as fuel by gas boilers – has a smell added to it to help you detect a leak. Carbon monoxide is a lethal gas produced when an issue is preventing the boiler from burning the fuel to completion. Unlike natural gas, carbon monoxide doesn't have a smell added to it and is also colourless. For this reason, a carbon monoxide alarm must be installed close to your boiler to detect a leak.


In the event of any suspected gas leak, strictly follow these steps:

Open all windows and doors

Do not press switches or light any flames

Evacuate the property

Call the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999


It's also to be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. There are 6 key signs to look out for:








One off boiler repair


If your boiler develops a fault but it's not classed as an emergency you will need what's known as a one off boiler repair.

The cost of one off boiler repairs can vary considerably. It could be based on the time the engineer takes to repair your broken boiler. In this case an engineer will usually estimate the time that will be needed and the cost of the job, but this could increase if unexpected complications arise.

Alternatively, many engineers offer a fixed price boiler repair. This is also known as fixed fee boiler repair and means the price you're quoted won't change, even if the job takes longer than initially planned. Parts and labour should be included in this price so there are no surprises down the road.


Common boiler repairs

Some boiler repairs are much more common than others. And a couple of them are safe enough for you to resolve yourself. However, this only includes repairs such as increasing boiler pressure and bleeding radiators. A heating engineer should always be hired to carry out more serious repairs.


No heating or hot water

Being left without heating and hot water, especially during the winter, is the last thing you want to be dealing with. Unfortunately, there's no single issue that can lead to your property being left without heating or hot water, it could be one of many. And these include:

Power to the boiler being off

Make sure that gas is being supplied to your property or that the oil storage tank isn't empty

The thermostat is working and try setting a central heating temperature that is above current room temperature

If there's been a period of freezing cold weather, the condensate pipe may have frozen

The boiler pressure is too low


In addition to the above, if you have an older boiler that has a pilot light, it may have gone out. The pilot light is a small flame burning constantly which has the job of lighting a larger flame when there's a need for central heating or hot water. Without a pilot light, your property will be left without heating and hot water.


Boiler leaking

A leak from the boiler or central heating system, no matter how small, is a serious problem. And if you spot a leak, you should turn off your water supply as well as your boiler to prevent it from getting worse.

It's most common for a boiler leak to be caused by a broken component. And as a result, a boiler leak should only ever be repaired by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The guilty parts are most likely to be a pressure valve or pump seal, either of which may have worn out and need replacing. Should you find water coming from a pipe, this is probably caused by corrosion or poor installation.

Another cause of a boiler leak is high boiler pressure. So, if you've recently increased the boiler pressure, check that it isn't higher than the instructions set by the manufacturer.


Hot water but no heating

Before getting too concerned about the central heating not coming on, double check your thermostat. It could simply be that the settings need a slight adjustment. Additionally, it's also worth taking a look at the boiler pressure as a drop in pressure will lead to a failure of the central heating system – more on this later.

If the thermostat and boiler pressure are as they should be then it's time to contact a heating engineer. It's likely that a part within the boiler has broken or failed. In the case that you have domestic hot water but no heating, the guilty part could well be a broken diaphragm, faulty airlock or the motorised valve failing.


Combi boilers are the most likely boiler type to run into the issue of hot water but no heating as they provide domestic hot water on demand. This is unlike system and regular boilers which store hot water in a cylinder.


Depending on whether you want domestic hot water or central heating at a given time, combi boilers have a diverter valve which directs hot water to either the hot water outlets or central heating system. If the diverter valve gets stuck then you could be left with hot water but no heating.

To get your boiler doing its job of providing both central heating and hot water then you should consult a Gas Safe registered engineer. And you can get a free quote for boiler repair from a heating engineer in your area by completing our simple online form.


Cold radiators

Cold patches on radiators are a common problem that often have a simple solution. When you turn the central heating on, hot water is circulated around the radiators. However, a buildup of air in the system can act as a blockage, preventing the hot water from heating the whole radiator. This will lead to cold patches on radiators.

To get the water flowing through the entire radiator again, the air needs to be freed from the system.


Low boiler pressure

Without sufficient pressure, a boiler will fail to operate. And this will leave you without central heating and hot water. Boiler pressure will naturally drop over a long period of time of time but a sudden drop could be the sign of a water leak. Should you notice water leaking from your boiler or heating system, shut off the boiler as well as the water supply and contact a heating engineer.

Boilers have a pressure gauge on the front of the unit which is where you can check the boiler pressure. If the dial is anywhere below 1bar then low boiler pressure is the cause of the problem. To find out the right pressure for your boiler, you should take a look at the manufacturer's instructions. Having said this, boiler pressure should typically sit at around 1.5bar.

Low boiler pressure is one of the few boiler repairs you can actually do yourself – find out how to increase boiler pressure. However, if you're the slightest bit unsure, don't hesitate to contact a professional heating engineer.


Boiler repair costs typically range from between £100 and £500 but this will vary depending on the problem and rates set by the heating engineer.


Boiler cover and servicing plans

Boiler cover is a great option if your manufacturer warranty has come to an end. For a monthly or annual fee, you'll be covered should you need a boiler repair. This will give you great peace of mind if you're left without heating or hot water.

In terms of cost, boiler cover prices will vary based on what's covered by the policy. Typically, you'll be covered if there's a fault with the boiler. However, in addition to that you could also add boiler servicing, central heating repairs, electrical wiring, plumbing and drainage repairs and even pest control. The more covered by the policy, the more it's likely to cost.


Three main types of boiler cover

Boiler-only cover: This protects the boiler unit itself and its heating controls, but nothing else.

Boiler and central heating cover: Covers the boiler, its controls, plumbing and radiators.

Home emergency cover: Will not only protect your heating system but also any other plumbing, electricity, gas, damaged windows / doors / roof / locks and even pest infestation.


Boiler cover small print

As with any kind of policy, it's worth checking the small print. And in terms of boiler cover, you'll want to look out for the following clauses:

A limit on the time a heating engineer can spend repairing the boiler

Whether there's a maximum number of claims you can make each year

Length of the initial 'no claims' period from when the boiler cover begins (typically up to 30 days)

Age at which your boiler will cease to be covered as well as what will happen in the event of the unit being beyond economical repair


If your boiler was installed less than 12 months ago then it should still be covered by the manufacturer warranty. As long as you are keeping to the terms and conditions which will state that the boiler must be serviced annually. The warranty period could potentially stretch out as long as 10 years or even 12 years in some cases.


The importance of an annual boiler service can't be understated. They ensure efficiency, safety and reliability while also being an essential part of keeping your warranty valid. With costs in the region of £60 – £120 you may want to spread the payment out over the year and that's where boiler servicing plans come in. Through a boiler servicing plan you could potentially pay as little as £5 per month.


Is the boiler covered by your home insurance?

Before taking out any form of boiler cover or boiler insurance, it's worth checking if it's covered under your home insurance. If it isn't then it could be added for an additional cost.

If you have insurance which covers boiler breakdowns and repairs you should contact your insurer. They will usually organise a qualified and trusted engineer to carry out the repairs. Most insurers have a 24 hour hotline for emergency boiler repair, so do not be afraid to contact them right away if you are worried about your boiler.

Sometimes an insurer will ask you to find a local engineer to repair your boiler and will then reimburse you based on your receipts. Of course, if you do not have insurance you will need to find a reliable engineer and pay for the repairs yourself.


Should you repair or replace your boiler?

If you've found that you're calling out a heating engineer on a regular basis then those repair bills will begin to add up. And there comes a point where it makes more financial sense to replace your boiler rather than have it repaired.

The average lifespan of a boiler is 10-15 years and it is generally recommended that any boiler over 15-years-old is replaced. However, this doesn't mean that you should wait until 15 years have passed. Instead, it could be worth considering a boiler replacement after 8 years, especially if it needs repairing on a regular basis. After all, you don't want to be left needing a boiler replacement out of the blue as the result of a complete boiler breakdown.

By replacing an old boiler, you will be increasing the efficiency of your property. Over time, boilers become less efficient – adding to your energy bills.

Old boilers can drop to efficiencies as low as 60% which means that for every £1 spent heating your home 50p is wasted. New condensing boilers generally reach a minimum efficiency of over 90% so far less fuel, helping to reduce your energy bills.


What Does a Boiler Service Involve?

An annual boiler service keeps it working safely and running efficiently.

During a boiler service, an engineer will perform a few checks on your central heating system. But what exactly does it involve? We’ve put this guide together so that you know why your boiler needs servicing and what will happen during that service.

We can also put you in touch with up to 3 qualified and trustworthy engineers in your area. Each will give you a free quote for your boiler service so you can compare prices and choose the best.


Why a boiler service is important

Here are just a few reasons why you should get your boiler serviced each year:


A boiler service gives the engineer the opportunity to identify safety issues such as a carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide is an odourless and colourless gas which can quickly cause brain damage and, in some cases, death. If you're concerned that your boiler may not be working correctly, for example the flame is orange rather than blue, you should get in touch with a Gas Safe engineer even if your annual service is not yet due.

Keep heating bills low

As a boiler ages it can become less efficient which means it needs to use more fuel to heat your home which will cost you more money. An annual service will ensure all the components are in the best possible condition and deliver a higher level of efficiency for longer.

Prevent breakdowns

It could be easy to put off getting your boiler serviced in the hope of saving yourself a bit of money, but in the long run, a boiler service will help keep your energy bills down and also spot a potential fault before it happens, saving you from a boiler breakdown and a hefty repair bill.


Your boiler will usually include a manufacturer's warranty of between 1 – 15 years which means any faults that develop in that time will be repaired free of charge. However, this warranty is only valid as long as you get the boiler serviced by a Gas Safe engineer every year.

What happens during a boiler service?

Before we list what happens during a service, it’s important to ensure that the engineer is qualified to carry out the work. If you have a gas boiler then the engineer must by authorised and regulated by the Gas Safe register, while an oil boiler should be serviced by an OFTEC engineer. Ask to check their ID card before they start work on your boiler.

Here are some of the practices your engineer may carry out during their visit:

Visual inspection – your engineer will check that the boiler still meets current standards and requirements and look for any corrosion or leaks. They will also visually check the flame in your boiler.

Removal of the boiler casing - they will then check the components to ensure everything is working correctly and then clean the inside of the boiler. These checks should include the heat exchanger, burner, main injector and spark probe.

Flue check - the engineer will ensure there are no obstructions in the flue terminals and that the flue is safely fitted.

Gas pressure check - this will ensure your boiler is working at the correct pressure.

Boiler fired up - this allows the engineer to check for any working faults.


How long does a boiler service take?

A boiler service should last at least 30 minutes but the time will vary depending on the brand and model. Afterwards, the engineer will likely give you a service report, explaining what they’ve done. Don't be afraid to ask them any questions, you might have regarding the boiler service, they will likely be very happy to explain things and advise you appropriately.


When should I service my boiler?

As we’ve mentioned, any boiler should be serviced annually, this not only ensures that the heating system is running safely and efficiently but is also a requirement to keep the warranty valid in many cases.

The best time of year is during the summer, when there’s less reliance on your boiler. This way, you know that your boiler is ready to heat your home come the cold winter months. You’ll also find that engineers aren’t as busy at this time of year.

If you’re concerned that your boiler may not be working correctly, it is advisable to get in touch with a registered and qualified engineer even if your annual service is not yet due as there could be a safety issue.


How much does a boiler service cost?

The cost of a full boiler service will vary depending on the type of unit you have and where you live. Getting a standard efficiency boiler serviced will cost from £50 to £80, with a high-efficiency condensing boiler service costing around £80 to £160. If you live in London, then you are likely to be charged more than those living in rural areas.

You could potentially save money by getting your boiler serviced during the summer when engineers aren’t as busy. This will also give you the peace of mind that your boiler is ready to heat your home and provide hot water when the cold winter comes around.


Boiler cover & service plans

If your boiler is no longer covered by a manufacturer’s warranty you may want to consider a boiler cover plan which includes servicing. For a monthly fee, the cost of your annual service is taken care of and you’ll have peace of mind that should anything go wrong you won’t be facing an unexpected repair bill. However, it’s worth noting that over a year your monthly fees are likely to add up to more than the cost of a service.


Gas boiler services

A gas boiler service has to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer and is essential to not only keep the boiler running efficiently but also ensure that there isn’t a risk of carbon monoxide leaking into the home. Find out more with our guide to getting a gas boiler service.


Oil boiler services

Oil boilers should also be serviced annually to ensure that they’re running safely and efficiently and must be carried out by an OFTEC engineer. Find out what’s involved and how much it is likely to cost with our guide to getting an oil boiler service.

Comparing quotes from several engineers will help you find the best deal possible.


Write to Us:

11 The Point,

Rockingham Rd,

Market Harborough

LE16 7QU


Call Us:

0330 808 0405

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