boiler repairs

Is It Safe To Do Your Own Boiler Repair?


If you’ve ever installed a shower, wired up a 240 volt mains socket, or even repaired a gas BBQ, it might be tempting to combine your DIY skills and apply them to a poorly boiler. This considered, you may be wondering whether it’s safe to do your own boiler repair.


My answer is as follows:

If you’re a trained, certified heating engineer with the competence to carry out the work required, then by all means, go ahead.

But if you’re not…it’s probably best to leave it to the professionals.

If that sounds deeply unfair, or like an unbalanced opinion, read on to find out why repairing your own boiler is a bad idea.


Boilers are complicated 

Most boilers require three critical design elements:

1. A source of fuel, for example gas or oil

2. Electricity, to power the control systems

3. Water feed and handling infrastructure


Dealing with two, or even just one, of these is complicated enough but combine all three and you have a serious headache (literally if you end up inhaling leaked gas) for anyone not qualified to do the job. The scope for error, damaging the boiler, and basically making things worse than they were before is huge.


If you’re not handy with tools, aware of how boilers work, or mechanically minded, carrying out repairs on your own boiler is not safe for you.


Boilers Are Dangerous

As I mentioned, most boilers use gas, electricity, and water simultaneously to provide you with the hot water you need to keep your house - and showers - warm.

Combine either of these factors improperly and you have a potentially life-threatening and, in any case, highly dangerous situation quickly on your hands.

Let’s say you decide to repair a water leak within your boiler.

You over-tighten a valve or fitting and suddenly you’ve sprayed water all over the circuit board of the boiler control system.

Not only have you most likely fried the circuits, but potentially created a fire hazard too.

Similarly, if you’ve identified an issue with the fuel feed and decide to have a go at fixing the boiler yourself you may inadvertently create a leak which can allow gas to enter your home.

This will obviously create an explosive atmosphere, as well as potentially poison you and anyone else in your home.

As the leak may be silent and invisible, you may not even notice it straight away - allowing the gas to quietly accumulate in your home.

The point I’m making is this: boilers are dangerous, and shouldn’t be messed around with, even with the very best intentions.

boiler repair blackpool

It’s illegal

It’s often tempting to have a go at fixing something yourself if it could save you time or money - or ask your mate who is handy with a spanner (or only takes cash) to have a crack.

The problem with this is, it’s illegal.

Boilers are known to be potentially dangerous, due to their complicated and hazardous nature (as we’ve now established).

Safety law in the UK is in place to prevent homeowners from blowing up their houses (a “rapid unplanned disassembly” as NASA would put it!), as well as poisoning themselves and their families.

They’re in place to prevent unsafe work being carried out on gas boilers and other installations in the UK.

Anyone working on a boiler must be on the Gas Safe Register, qualified to do the work, and have insurance in place to cover any liabilities associated.


Prohibited Work

The law surrounding safe boiler repairs is comprehensive, as you can imagine.


The type of repairs that you can’t do yourself include:

     Installing or reconnecting the boiler

●     Maintaining, servicing, renewing, permanently adjusting, disconnecting, repairing, or altering the boiler

     Purging the boiler of gas

     Changing the position of the boiler, if it is not readily moveable

     Removing the boiler


So, unless you’re on the Gas Safe Register … you’ll have to call in the professionals.


Are there ANY repairs you can do on your own boiler?

If you really, really want to save some pennies and have a go at repairing your own boiler, there are a handful of tasks that, legally, you can have a go at - if you’re competent to do so.

While they aren’t prohibited by law, they’re still potentially complicated so if you’re unsure, it’s still a good idea to leave it alone.


Now you’ve been warned, here’s what you are allowed to do:

●     Work that is described within the end user’s manual

●     Remove decorative casings, if they are designed to be removed


Not much is it?

If you’re a trained plumber or electrician, there are other tasks that you’re allowed to do, as long as it doesn’t involve working on anything related to gas or combustion.

Working on the water circulating pump, or a central heating control valve, would both be permitted.


It’s not safe to do your own boiler repair!

As you can see, in the main it isn’t safe to work on your own boiler. They’re complicated and dangerous - so much so that the law prohibits it.


Just google “death by gas explosion UK” and you’ll see why.


Luckily, my team and I at Blackpool Boiler Installations are fully certified, insured, and “Gas Safe” registered - so you can have the confidence that we’ll safely get your existing boiler repaired, or new boiler installed - with quality workmanship throughout.


It’s not safe to do your own boiler repairs, so if you’re concerned about the health of your boiler, give me a call.

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Adam Dilger
Managing Director
We offer ground braking reliable heating solutions across the Northwest. With 20 years experience our engineers install, service and maintain your central heating systems. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn >>
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