There’s nothing better than living with an electric boiler. Compared to a gas boiler, electric boilers are silent, take up less space, have a lower carbon footprint, and offer their owners so much more.
But do they require labour-intensive maintenance or servicing like older boiler systems such as gas? As you’re probably aware, gas boilers require an annual service by law, and for landlords, this means getting the boiler’s flue system checked as well.
So, the answer about whether or not an electric boiler needs a service might be surprising for some. Before we go any further, let’s define what an electric boiler is, its benefits, and other options available in the UK.
What is an Electric Boiler?
As the name would suggest, an electric boiler is an appliance that uses electricity to boil water. There are currently three main methods by which electric boilers can heat water. These include classic (with an element), ionic (heat pump), or induction.
While many will imagine that heat pumps or induction are new technologies, they have actually been in use for over 20 years in certain parts of the world.
And there are many benefits to them.
Benefits of an Electric Boiler
- Can lower running costs or bills;
- Cheap installation
- More efficient at heating (99% efficiency)
- No moving parts
- Can be integrated into a solar system
- Does not pose a risk of carbon monoxide leakage
Electric boilers can be supplemented with other heating methods, such as gas in a combi-boiler system.
Hydrogen is another fuel source for combi-boiler systems and offers a cleaner burning gas, but only 20% of current gas boilers can be converted to this new fuel source.
While the government has said new gas boilers will be banned by 2035, experts are apprehensive about meeting this deadline, even though great strides have been made in developing alternatives.
It’s also worth mentioning that electric boilers are not without their faults, which is unfortunate.
Drawbacks of Electric Boilers
- Operational costs are more expensive (Approx. 14p per unit of electricity to 4p per unit for gas);
- Can't operate without power;
- High voltage
- Electric boilers struggle to heat larger homes
Higher operation costs could be the number one factor for homeowners' reluctance to switch to a newer electric boiler. However, many people are now opting for this more environmentally friendly option because it is more straightforward and safer.
Considering all this information, does an electric boiler need to be serviced?
Do Electric Boilers Need to be Serviced?
Like all appliances around the home in regular use, your electric boiler must be serviced . However, electric boilers require less maintenance than gas boilers or combi-boilers.
As mentioned, electric boilers generally have fewer moving parts compared to alternative heating methods - which is why they don’t require constant work.
This being said it is a complex appliance that operates under pressure and involves water and a heating element. If your electric boiler isn’t cared for properly, expensive and dangerous problems can emerge.
So, what are the main reasons for getting your electric boiler serviced?
Top Reasons for getting your electric boiler serviced
While it may seem like a pain, there are many benefits to getting it done. These include:
Like a car, your electric boiler must be serviced regularly to ensure it performs at its peak. In terms of your electric boiler, improved efficiencies mean lower energy bills, and in turn, this saves you money.
A stitich in time...
As the full expression goes, “A stitch in time saves nine.” With electric boilers, you will mitigate any risk of your appliance breaking down by simply scheduling regular services.
Another reason for consistent services is that they will improve the operational longevity of the electric boiler. And with the price of electric boilers being what they are currently, it is in your best interest to hold onto them as long as possible.
Safety is one of the most critical aspects of servicing your electric boiler regularly. A water leak or an impaired heating element might cause damage to your home, and most appliances must adhere to strict regulation standards, which is also true for your electric boiler.
Manufacturers Require Servicing
Most electric boiler manufacturers will only honour their warranty on your appliance if it is serviced by a trained and accredited professional.
And if there is a warranty on parts, again, this will only be honoured if the boiler is maintained correctly. Keeping within the warranty agreement means the manufacturer must foot the bill if anything goes wrong.
Now that we’ve covered why one would get their electric boiler serviced, you might wonder what will be included in an electric boiler service.
Here’s what you can expect when you service your electric boiler.
What Does An Electric Boiler Service Include?
Each manufacturer will have their recommended service intervals. But generally, most systems/boilers will require at least an annual check (12 months).
It is highly recommended that you contact a trained electrical engineer, an accredited plumber, or a heating engineer to do the service.
Owners of gas boilers must contact a certified Gas Safe registered engineer to perform the service, as laid out by the Approved Code of Practice HSE (Health and Safety Executives) Safety Regulations.
Before calling in the experts, make sure the area around the boiler is clean and clear. This will ensure that the job is completed without disruptions.
An Electric Boiler Service Will Include Testing And Inspecting The Following:
- External check for corrosion or debris build-ups;
- Check if there are any blockages;
- Make sure no error codes are showing;
- Examine hydronic piping;
- Check the water’s pH;
- Inspect the boiler’s temperature;
- Look for any steam leaks;
- And flush the system if there is any sediment build-up.
But you might still have questions. As the experts in electric boiler maintenance, we know all the frequently asked questions (FAQs). Let’s answer some right now.
Electric Boiler Service FAQs
Since 2018, the WarmZilla team has been dedicated to answering every one of our clients’ questions. And when it comes to electric boiler services, we’ve heard every question you could imagine.
Is There a Good Time of Year For Electric Boiler Services?
While it may seem strange, yes. The best time of year to schedule an electric boiler service is during the summer months.
This has nothing to do with the appliance, but rather the demand for our specialised repair individuals. We’re at our busiest in the winter, and so is everyone else, which means there might be a delay in sourcing parts or scheduling visits.
Over the summer months, if there are any other issues with your electric boiler, we should have no issues with that.
I’ve Never Had My Electric Boiler Serviced. Can I Start Now?
No matter the time between services, we’re always willing to step in and help. And for those who think their boiler doesn’t need maintenance, we’d strongly disagree.
As stated, a stitch in time will almost always save you thousands of pounds.
Can I Service My Own Electric Boiler?
Removing the front panel of a gas boiler is illegal unless you are Gas Safe registered. This ruling is not stipulated for electric boilers; however, it is dangerous to work on your own electric boiler as it is wired directly into the home’s Distribution Board or DB board.
An electric boiler can be connected to a single-phase (230 volts) or three-phase (400 volts) electrical supply. Both are dangerous levels of electricity.
Another job you may be considering is switching from an older combi system to a new electric boiler. Again, this will require someone who is a Gas Safe registered specialist.
How Long Can I Expect A Regularly Serviced Electric Boiler to Last?
Every electric boiler installed is exposed to entirely different parameters. It’s almost impossible to predict how long a boiler will last.
And when you start to compare different brands, the variables increase, meaning we can’t give you a solid prediction for how long a regularly serviced electric boiler will last.