So your heating system needs repairing and you’ve decided to get your own parts in?
Well, we understand the reasons why you might do such a thing. Invariably, however, there are consequences.
A 24-hour callout is central to our remit, meaning that we’ll always endeavour to get your heating system up and running just as soon as we can. Yet inevitably – albeit only occasionally – there are mitigating circumstances.
There’s the supply chain, for example, parts have to be ordered – sometimes very specialised parts – which may mean you having to wait a day or two. This might particularly prove the case if you suffer a breakdown on a weekend or bank holiday.
A difficult scenario might arise: you may have children at home, say, and with a malfunctioning or broken-down heating system to cope with as well, there’s an obvious temptation to try for a shortcut.
But consider this: if you source a replacement boiler part yourself, would you know its quality? The advantages of selling sites such as eBay are obvious, but there is a risk involved – certainly compared to sourcing an original manufacturer part from a trusted supplier.
That’s the route we take. And while we would fit a part sourced from elsewhere if you asked us to, we’d insist you signed a disclaimer first. After all, if the part fails the chances are it might cause bigger problems in the longer term.
One of life’s maxims is that you get what you pay for. But while we appreciate that a desire to cut corners on cost might not even be the main reason for your decision, in our experience it is a saying that tends to ring true.
Moreover, in pursuing such a course of action, it may be the case that you are invalidating your manufacturer warranty. A new boiler can have a warranty of up to 10 years, yet it comes with conditions, like the upkeep of regular servicing.
As we’ve already mentioned, it might not even be the replacement part that fails in the longer run. But if the failure can be traced to that part then it could invalidate the warranty.
Another scenario might be that the repair comes as part of an insurance claim. If this is the case, however, it’s highly unlikely the cost of a replacement part bought privately would be covered. So why not wait just a little bit longer instead?
Perhaps the clearest drawback is that, when it comes to boiler servicing and plumbing a central heating system, your knowledge might not be at the level of a fully-qualified central heating service engineer. (Then again, you might actually be a fully-qualified heating service engineer and plumber. If you are, though, it does rather beg the question of just why you’re bothering to read this blog in the first place.)
Of course, none of this is to suggest that our readers can’t tell one end of a spanner from the other. For all we know, you’re all dab hands with a toolbox – and know quite a bit about central heating for that matter. But do you know enough?
Would you know, for example, that a particular component that works in one model of boiler won’t work in another, or understand just how easy it is to get a part number slightly wrong? These questions – and plenty of others besides – are the sort we constantly ask ourselves when out on a job.
Getting the answer wrong (or not even being aware there’s a question to ask in the first place) will only cause a greater headache.
As you’ve probably gathered by now our advice is to play it safe and seek professional help – from the sourcing of components onwards.
We’ll stress once more that, ultimately, it’s the customer’s call and if you do want to order the parts yourself we will fit them. However, we’ll only do so after an engineer has explained the potential consequences and asked you to sign a disclaimer.
We must stress, though, that we’ll usually order the right parts just as quickly, if not quicker. It’s only during times of peak demand (i.e. the depths of winter) or when trying to source a particularly obscure or specialised part that it might prove otherwise.
Yes – if you’re an ardent, dyed-in-the-wool bargain hunter then the idea of a false economy might not ring true with your personal experience. Naturally, we respect that, although we should stress one last time that our own personal experiences suggest a rather different story!
Meantime, if you have a boiler problem – and your hunch is that a component(s) might need replacing – then please give us a call on 01423 572 150.