So, you’re a competent DIY’er and have purchased your own boiler.
Now you think that you can go ahead and install it yourself not only because you can do it yourself but you can also save yourself money too.
However, you should think twice about doing this yourself because there are many issues that you need to think of. Essentially, this isn’t a job you should do yourself and here’s why.
You Have to Be Qualified
While it’s not illegal to install your boiler yourself, there are consequences that might occur as a result of doing it yourself. Gas is complex and working with it is dangerous. Therefore, you need the right training, experience and knowledge. If anything should go wrong, then you could find yourself in court and even facing prison.
One thing to consider is that it is illegal for someone to handle gas work and charge for it. This is because they need to be Gas Safe registered.
Gas Work – What is it?
In accordance with the Gas Safe Register, gas work is considered to be:
- Maintaining, servicing, permanently adjusting, disconnecting, repairing, altering or renewing the fitting or purging it of gas or air.
- Where the fitting is not fully movable, changing its position.
- Removing the fitting.
All of this work should be handled by a Gas Safe Registered engineer and while the list above is not exhaustive, there might be other tasks that are considered as gas work.
Gas Work You Can Handle Yourself
There are some elements of gas work that you can handle yourself and this will be included in the manufacturer’s guide and will include adjusting the pressure or temperature. However, anything that might alter or disturb the supply of gas, as well as any components, should be avoided.
It’s possible that other tradespeople such as plumbers might have the ability to take care of some jobs on your heating system. This could include radiator work but work that involves gas has to be handled by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
Who is Suitable to Work With Gas?
In accordance with the Approved Code of Practice HSE Safety Regulations in the installation and use of gas systems and appliances (1998) gas work should only be carried out:
- (a) by a person who has successfully completed an industry-recognised training course followed by assessment of competence. Training that leads to the assessment of competence in safe gas work should be recognised by the industry’s standards-setting body; or
- (b) in the case of a currently or previously registered person, where they have proved competence through a certification scheme; or
- (c) for those working at premises that fall outside the scope of the Regulations (see regulation 2(4) and associated guidance), by a person who has successfully completed an appropriate full training course followed by assessment of competence.
The regulations then state that:
Training should be of a standard to enable a gas engineer to achieve competence in the safe installation, purging, commissioning, testing, servicing, maintenance, repair, disconnection, modification and dismantling of the gas systems, fittings and appliances with which they are working. This should include an adequate knowledge of:
(a) relevant associated services such as water and electricity;
(b) the potential for exposure to asbestos;
(c) the dangers these may give rise to;
(d) the precautions to take.
It is important that any individual who carries out work on a gas storage vessel or a gas fitting must be capable and competent. What this means is that those who attempt to do it themselves have to be competent and their competency has to match the work that they are carrying out.
Even retired gas engineers might not be considered competent. This is because the technology or regulations could have changed since they completed their training.
Working With Gas and the Possible Dangers
A gas appliance that is fitted incorrectly could be life-threatening for a number of reasons. One of the biggest risks is the potential to cause a gas explosion through a gas leak. While this is rare, when it occurs the outcome can prove devastating.
Another possible danger that can also prove fatal is carbon monoxide poisoning, which can also occur with boilers that are professionally installed. If the boiler is installed incorrectly, carbon monoxide can leak into the home and because it is colourless and odourless, it cannot be detected. Around 200 people each year are affected by carbon monoxide poisoning and it causes around 50 deaths. So, when it comes to protecting your family, it is always worth paying to have an expert install your system while you should also learn how to recognise the symptoms.
Your Boiler Needs to Meet Building Regulations
Your boiler installation has to legally meet building regulations. So, if you carry out the work yourself, you will need to have it approved by your local authority. However, this can be avoided by using the services of a Gas Safe Registered engineer who has the ability to certify their own work. If you install the boiler and it does not meet building regulations, you could be fined while you will also need to spend money putting it right.
It Could Void Your Warranty
All new boilers will come with a warranty but manufacturers will state that the warranty will only be valid if the installation is handled by a qualified engineer. Some might even state that the engineer has completed a specific training course that is delivered by the manufacturer. If you opt to install your own boiler, then you might find that you no longer have a warranty. So, if a problem should arise in the future, you won’t be able to have any work completed under warranty which means you’ll have to pay to correct the problem.
There Are Other Benefits
When you purchase a boiler and have it installed by a qualified engineer, you will also receive more benefits. Experienced engineers will work with you prior to installing the boiler to make sure that everything is right and that you have the right boiler. They will also carry out checks on your heating system to check that it is ok and to rectify any problems. They might also carry out a Powerflush before they install your new boiler too. This will help to avoid contaminating your new boiler with sludge or debris.
Furthermore, many installers, such as Prime Time Boilers, will also offer servicing as part of a package which means that your boiler has a thorough check every year. This will help to keep your boiler working efficiently and safely.
So, don’t consider installing your boiler yourself. Stay safe and have a qualified engineer to take care of it for you.