My boiler isn’t working properly, do I need a boiler repair or a replacement?
We all know how it is: we get up on a cold morning, turn on the shower and then….no hot water.
It’s not the first time it’s happened, and it’s happening more often. Before, though, you’d managed to fire up the boiler successfully. Now? You keep pressing the ignition button, first in frustration, then in desperation.
Like our cars – in fact, like most machinery we own – we tend to take our boiler for granted. It never lets us down. Except when it does, of course. Then, all of a sudden, we stand there cursing its unreliability.
To an extent, we have only ourselves to blame: taking the boiler for granted means we might forget to have it serviced – which increases the chances of a problem, or problems, developing.
But even if we do treat our boiler with all the TLC it deserves, there will still come a time when we start to question whether the old warhorse’s days might be numbered.
It’s a question you might ask when you find yourself (delete as appropriate): going to work on little more than a strip wash; going to work via the gym to use their showers; not going to work (again) because you’ve got the plumber in (again). And what chance do you have of getting the kids under a cold shower when – as things stand – getting them ready for school in time seems the loftiest of achievements?
If such scenarios are starting to happen a little too often then it’s maybe time to consider the options. To replace or not replace? That is the question…
There are various factors to consider; here are a few suggestions:
If spare parts are needed, are they available?
This is another way of asking ‘How old is my boiler’? Because the older it is, the less chance there is that the manufacturer still makes replacement parts. As a rule of thumb, 10 years is a cut-off point.
How efficient is the boiler?
Again, if the boiler is more than 10 years old, the chances are that it won’t be as efficient as a newer model. Besides the cost of new components, therefore, it’s also worth considering the cost of continuing to run an old boiler – an outgoing that, over time, will probably be higher than the short-term pain inflicted by shelling out on something bang up to date.
…or to turn the equation around, investing in a new, more efficient boiler will mean lower energy bills. Over time, therefore, it’ll pay for itself.
A change came in 2004 when, in lieu of new building regulations, high efficiency condensing boilers started being installed in newbuild houses. All boilers have an energy efficiency rating, and if you’re not sure what the rating on your boiler is, try contacting the manufacturer or visiting their website.
Another factor to consider is a general trend towards higher energy prices – something else that might also suggest it’s time to bite the bullet.
How much are the repairs really going to cost?
Perhaps you decide that the short-term pain of buying a new boiler is too high? So instead you decide to have your existing boiler repaired, a cost that still might run into the hundreds of pounds.
But aside from the question of efficiency (or relative lack of), there remains the possibility of something else going wrong a little further down the line – meaning, of course, further outlay. The classic false economy, in other words.
All this pre-supposes, too, that the warranty has long-since expired. Buying a new boiler will mean that you’re covered, at least for a period.
Might all these repairs be a waste of time?
If you’re getting your boiler patched up every few months, it becomes more than a financial pain: someone has to be at home when the maintenance engineer comes around. It means time off work, time away from the things that matter.
Will installing a new boiler solve your heating problems?
Replacing your boiler is probably the most likely option if it’s old and inefficient. If fundamental components need replacing, then perhaps it is time to take the plunge.
Buying a new boiler will mean a greater outlay in the short-term. But if looked upon as a long-term investment, it can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds.
Asking these questions will, we hope, help you reach the right decision. But if you still need advice and a quotation then call MV Plumbing & Heating Breakdowns on 01423 572 155.