How to install a boiler… can you do it yourself?
When you are in the market for a new boiler, it may be tempting to consider installing it yourself to save a bit of cash. However, the ordinary property owner should never try to install their own boiler – only a specific group of people should undertake boiler installations.
To find out more about who is allowed to install boilers, why this is the case, and the exact approach you should take to the boiler installation you require, read on.
The legalities of installing a boiler yourself
It is a legal requirement that gas work should be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer, “a person who has successfully completed an industry-recognised training course followed by assessment of competence”. It is also a legal requirement to follow your building’s codes of practice. If you fail to do so, you will have to remove the boiler and start again.
However, it is important to note that gas boilers are not your only choice when it comes to getting a new boiler. Indeed, an electric boiler will not need to be installed by a Gas Safe engineer. However, it is always best to arrange for someone with expertise working in electrics to install anything that runs from mains electricity.
Thus, it is recommended that you enlist the help of a professional for any and all forms of boiler installation work, unless you possess the necessary skills, qualifications and expertise to do so yourself.
Why should you hire a professional for your boiler installation?
As trusted specialists in boiler installation in Rayleigh, Grays and Billericay here at HGM Mechanical Ltd, we can tell you that professional knowhow is essential for installing an brand new boiler, or moving an existing boiler’s position within a property. This is because working with gas in an unsafe manner, or incorrectly fitting gas or electric appliances, can have devastating consequences.
If installed incorrectly, a faulty boiler could cause a gas leak. If left untreated, this has the potential to cause an explosion. Although this is very rare, it still happens, and is a huge risk that comes with installing your boiler yourself. If you ever suspect a gas leak, or can smell gas, we urge you to follow these emergency steps set out by Gas Safe Register.
Another risk of an incorrectly installed boiler is carbon monoxide poisoning. This is an odourless and colourless gas that stops the blood from being able to carry oxygen around your body. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, tiredness, confusion, stomach pain, and breathing problems. If left unresolved, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal; indeed, it is associated with about 60 deaths in England and Wales every year.
Therefore, although installing your boiler yourself might save you some money in the immediate term, it is not worth risking your health and safety in the long run. Instead, you should only carry out smaller tasks such as adjusting the temperature or pressure, and only undertake the installation if you have the proper training.
How to install a boiler
If you are a Gas Safe registered engineer, or you are looking for tips on how to choose the right boiler for installation by a professional, here is a guide on the stages to go through to ensure the best-quality boiler fitting.
- Select the best boiler for your needs
Every house and family will have different requirements for their boiler. For example, do you want your water to be heated by electricity or gas? Don’t be afraid to shop around and do your research until you find the one that is right for you.
- Choose a reliable brand
Although you might be tempted to save a bit of money, it is always worth opting for a boiler from a reliable manufacturer. If you are in doubt about this, just get in touch with a professional, as they will always be happy to advise on their favoured boiler brands.
- Decide on a budget
In these uncertain times, it goes without saying that no one wants to spend more than is strictly necessary. So, you should be careful when determining a budget for your boiler and its installation, adding in a little extra for contingency, and then try your best to stick to it.
- Work out the best location
Where will be the best place in your property to install your boiler? In most cases, it will be where the water pipes, electricity, ventilation, and gas lines are located. If you are undergoing a refurbishment and have decided you want the boiler to be situated somewhere else, you could enlist a professional to see whether the location can be moved.
- Dress the boiler
Using add-on pipes, connect the boiler to the circulator pump, and then the riser nipple. The number of riser nipples you will need will depend on the number of pipe zones, which in turn depends on the size of your property. This step connects all the pipes to the boiler.
- Attach feed and return pipes
Attach the feed pipe to the flow-check side of the boiler, and the return pipes to the circulator pump side of the boiler. Then attach the boiler to the hot water tank in your property.
- Connect the flue
Connect the boiler to the ventilation system, which is typically called a smoke pipe.
- Attach the combustion fuel pipe
Read the manual of your chosen boiler in order to perform this step, as this varies depending on the manufacturer’s processes.
- Start it up
Turn on the boiler and open up the water line. You will then be able to see whether the installation process has been successful.
As you can see, the steps for installing a boiler yourself are extremely complicated. So, we would advise you to follow the steps one to four, before calling in a Gas Safe registered engineer or electric boiler specialist to install your boiler. This way, you can be assured that everything about your boiler and the associated system will run smoothly for years to come.