So, you know how life can be full of surprises? Well, one of those surprises could be your boiler breaking down and leaving you without heat or hot water. Yikes! But don’t worry because we’re here to save the day!
In this blog, we’ll discuss what you can do and what to expect when a boiler breaks down. We’ll also discuss everything you need to know about emergency boiler installation timelines and costs. But first, let’s briefly talk about the less obvious signs that your boiler might break down soon.
Boiler breakdown warning signs
Before you start panicking and lighting candles for warmth, let’s talk about the signs that your boiler might be on its last legs. We’ve put together a list of warning signs which can indicate that you need to shop around for a new boiler.
- An unexplained rise in energy bills – naturally, boilers lose efficiency over time, which means your energy bills will go up regardless, but if your energy bills are creeping up out of control, this might be a sign that your boiler needs replacing.
- Your boiler makes odd noises such as banging, whistling, popping or hissing sounds.
- Your boiler is leaking – while leaking doesn’t mean you have to replace it; it is a sign of issues in one of the internal components. We recommend calling a heating engineer to check it out before it becomes more serious.
- Frequent breakdowns – this happens a lot towards the end of the boiler’s lifespan, and it may be time to start shopping around for a new boiler.
- The boiler doesn’t heat your home as it used to and doesn’t provide hot water either.
- Finding replacement parts for your boiler is a nightmare.
- Low energy efficiency – If your boiler is less than 90% efficient, it may be worth considering a replacement to save money on your energy bills.
But before you commit to the big purchase, ask a heating engineer to check that there isn’t a build-up in your heating system stopping your boiler from working as it should.
Generally speaking, your boiler could last 10-15 years, or even longer, if it is well-maintained and serviced. By this point, if it has served its time, it’s fair to say that you’ve got your money’s worth.
What to do if your boiler breaks down?
It’s important to identify the urgent signs of a boiler breakdown, so you can act quickly before it’s too late. Some signs to look out for include strange noises, a loss of pressure, and water leaks. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to call a Gas Safe registered engineer as soon as possible to assess the situation. Don’t try to fix the boiler yourself – this can be dangerous and could make the problem worse.
Once you’ve got an engineer on the way, you can try a few things to make sure the situation doesn’t get any worse. Turn off the boiler and any gas or electrical supplies to it, and shut off the water supply – if you’re unsure how to do this, you can contact your gas or water supplier, who will be able to guide you through the process.
If you smell gas, open the windows and doors, leave the house immediately, and call the Gas Emergency Services on 0800 111 999.
When the engineer arrives, they’ll assess the situation and let you know whether your boiler can be repaired or needs replacing. If it needs to be replaced, they may be able to do an emergency installation, depending on availability and the type of boiler you need.
Boilers under warranty
If your boiler is still within its warranty period and is relatively new, we recommend prioritising attempting repairs if it stops working.
Similarly, it is prudent to attempt repairs if the problems with your boiler are minor, such as a defective fan, diverter valve, ignition leads, or timer, provided that the boiler is functioning well overall.
Old and inefficient boilers
On the flip side, if you’ve got an old boiler (+9 years) & it keeps breaking down, it may be cheaper, in the long run, to cut your losses and get a new one. Imagine having to fork out £400 to repair your wonky boiler and then having to replace it the next year!
You’ll also need to remember that when you replace your boiler with a new condensing boiler, you’ll see a drop in energy bills because modern boilers are more energy-efficient.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, you could save up to £840 per year by upgrading your old boiler to an energy-efficient A-rated boiler, which typically operates at 90% and over energy efficiency, which is obviously much better for the environment too.
Still unsure if you should repair or replace your boiler? Contact us on live chat, and we should be able to provide free advice to help you make the right decision.
Should I repair or replace my boiler?
Need an emergency boiler replacement?
Emergency boiler replacement costs on average 25% more than a standard installation due to the urgency of the situation.
So if the Gas Safe engineer inspected your boiler and offered an instant boiler replacement on the spot, expect to pay a premium for this instant service.
As we always say, shop around before you commit to a big purchase, like buying a new boiler! With WarmZilla, you can get an instant quote in seconds, get it installed in 48 hours and spread the cost over 2 years interest-free.
Does home much does an emergency boiler installation cost?
Getting a new boiler quote isn’t one-size-fits-all. Boiler replacement costs vary based on many factors, such as;
- The boiler type you’ve already got
- The new boiler type you’d like to have
- If you’re going to convert your boiler
- If you want to relocate your boiler
- If you need to upgrade your boiler pipework
- Boiler add-ons
Other factors can also affect the cost of replacing your boiler, i.e. where you live.
To give you a rough idea, a standard boiler installation, which includes a new boiler and basic controls, can cost anywhere from £1,200 to £5,000 (including installation) but, the cost can increase if additional work is needed, such as upgrading the pipework. Here’s a pricepoint guide for boiler types and costs:
Boiler (without installation)
Installation (without boiler)
Total (boiler + installation)
£600 – £2,200
£500 – £1,000
£1,100 – £3,200
£650 – £2,700
£500 – £1,000
£1,150 – £3,700
£700 – £2,900
£500 – £1,000
£1,200 – £3,900
How long does it take to get a new boiler fitted?
The length of time it takes to fit a new boiler can vary depending on several factors, such as the boiler type, the complexity of the installation, and the state of the current heating system. Generally speaking, a new boiler installation can take 1 -3 days to complete.
The simplest and most straightforward installations can often be completed in just one day. For example, if you’re replacing an old combi boiler with a new combi of the same type and in the exact location, the installation may only take a few hours.
However, if the installation is more complex or requires additional work, such as moving the location of the boiler or upgrading the gas supply or flue, the installation may take longer.
As a rough guide, these are the kind of boiler conversion timelines and prices from WarmZilla:
- Combi to combi boiler swap (Approx. 4-6 hours) – £1,529
- System/Standard boiler to combi conversion (Approx. 2 days) – £2,249
- Back boiler to combi conversion (Approx. 2-3 days) – £2,499
Investing in a boiler cover plan
A boiler cover is a plan designed to protect you from unexpected boiler repairs.
When you sign up for one of our boiler cover plans, you can ensure that your boiler is looked after! If your boiler breaks down, we’ll send you one of our certified Gas Safe engineers to investigate the cause of the issue and repair it if possible. With these boiler cover plans, you’ll get unlimited callouts with no limit on the value of each repair, including all parts and labour; you’ll also get your boiler service booked annually without hassle (that’s one less thing to worry about!)
Boiler cover plans vary, so choosing a plan that suits your needs and budget is crucial. Here at WarmZilla, we offer four cover plans; Basic, Extra, Plus and Total plan, take a look at what’s included in these boiler cover plans here to find out which one is the ideal plan for your home.
Following a heating engineer’s visit for a boiler service or a boiler repair, they submit a report which includes requirements for a repair. At this point, an assessment will be carried out. The assessment will include the total cost of repairing your boiler (i.e. cost of the parts, labour, etc.), and it will compare it to the current value of the boiler, taking into account depreciation at the rate of 10% per year. If the total cost of repairing your boiler is 60% or more than the current manufacturer’s retail price, the boiler is deemed BER.
The most important thing to do first is to get everyone to leave the house.
Your safety is the most important thing, but if you can open a few windows as you leave (please do not put yourself or your loved ones in harm’s way), it will help prevent a build-up of gas in the home. This can avoid potential explosions and long-term odour effects. Do not use anything that could cause a spark; this could be a simple light switch or plug.
No matter how small you think the problem is, it will not take much for the gas build-up to become a major risk. Call 0800 111 999 for assistance right away.
It is also a good idea to notify your neighbours – they’ll be thankful for you letting them know.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it could be carbon monoxide poisoning, also known as the silent killer; please refer to our Carbon Monoxide and its dangers blog to learn more.
- Flu symptoms with no temperature
- Constant headaches
- Finding it difficult to breathe
- Dizziness, vomiting, and nausea
- Loss of balance
- Blurred vision
If any of these symptoms occur, then once again, leave your house immediately and call the emergency gas hotlines, and they will respond appropriately.
A carbon monoxide alarm is a household essential and should give you plenty of warning if a leak has occurred. One should be placed by your boiler and another by any other gas appliance like your cooker.