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Broken Down Boiler Repair Costs

A broken down boiler always seems to happen at the worst possible moment, usually the winter rather than the summer, a weekend, not a weekday so the call out is more expensive and then there are the actual boiler repair costs themselves. Add the call out charge and VAT to the cost of a new part and this can soon add up. Most average boiler breakdowns cost anywhere from £100 to £500.

How much a broken down boiler costs to repair will depend on the fault, the price of the part and the time it takes to fix it. Some parts can be pretty pricey such as the heat exchanger which costs around £400, the PCB or Printed Circuit Board is around the £200 mark and if you need a replacement fan or gas valve then these costs are more minor at around £150 or less.

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What are the individual elements which can affect boiler repair costs?

It is really hard to give an overall average for a boiler repair as there are so many variables.

These include:

  • The type of boiler, larger combi boilers are typically more expensive to repair than conventional boilers
  • The age of the boiler – older boilers can be more expensive to repair as the parts cost more
  • The cause of the fault and the cost of the replacement part
  • Who you ask to fix it – prices can fluctuate widely
  • Where you live in the UK, it tends to be more expensive to repair a boiler in London and the South East compared to other parts of the country

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How to avoid getting caught with a large bill for boiler repair costs?

There are two main ways to try and manage large and unexpected costs for boiler repair. The first is to look after your boiler and have it serviced annually, this should pick up any worn parts before they become a problem and will also ensure your central heating is as efficient as possible protecting your energy bills.

The other way to avoid nasty bills is to take out a boiler maintenance and repair package, essentially insurance so unexpected call outs are covered. Make sure you study the small print of the policy carefully; some do not include an annual boiler service but will require you to do this and evidence it in order that the policy is valid. Most just cover the boiler itself and not the central heating system which is attached to it so do your homework carefully. There are loads of providers of this type of cover in the marketplace and lots of comparison websites to help you highlight the right policy for your boiler.

There is a third choice especially if your boiler is proving particularly troublesome and that is to upgrade it with a new model. There is a point where repairs of an old boiler just become money badly spent and you would be better off putting those funds towards a new model which will be more reliable, energy-efficient and come with a shiny new warranty.

Finding someone to repair your broken down boiler

Because boilers always seem to break down at the most inconvenient moments, there is always an imperative to get the boiler repaired quickly and this is one of the reasons it can cost so much.

Finding someone to come out for a repair is one of the biggest challenges so it is always worth researching this ahead of time so that you have some names and numbers to hand ready in the event of a boiler breakdown. It’s not so difficult finding an engineer to come out during normal working hours but evenings and weekends present a completely different problem.

Sometimes, you will just have to accept that if you want your boiler repaired at an anti-social time then it is going to cost you more money. This is where a monthly plan can come into its own as you will have a number to call and there will be no nasty bill at the end of it. Here are some ways to find a boiler repairman that you can call on in a crisis if you don’t currently have boiler breakdown insurance cover:-

  • Ask your regular engineer if he does out of hours work or can recommend someone
  • Talk to neighbours or friends
  • Use a local community group on social media for a recommendation
  • There are online portals which can find you an engineer at short notice but many of these will just ring round numbers until they find someone which you can do for yourself and their call out charges can be hefty

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How to minimise your boiler breakdowns

  • Have your boiler serviced annually, it won’t always prevent breakdowns but it will minimise them as well as ensuring your boiler is running at peak efficiency. Some insurance policies require this as one of their terms and conditions
  • Replace an old boiler which is more prone to problems and which will cost more to repair due to its age
  • Take out an insurance policy which means if your boiler does breakdown, there is no large bill and it is usually easy to find someone to call to come out and repair it

Are there any boiler faults which the householder can handle themselves?

Most boiler problems are beyond the remit of the average householder and if the boiler is gas-powered then it should only be looked at by a qualified Gas Safe engineer. However, there are a couple of faults which anyone can check very simply and which will cause the boiler to malfunction; it is worth ruling these out before you pick the phone up

When there is a cold snap, it is quite common for a frozen condensate pipe on a condensing boiler to close the boiler down because it has frozen – this is a safety shut off. There is plenty of online guidance on how to safely defrost the pipe which is external to the property. This pipe should be properly insulated with foam as this will prevent it from freezing in the first place.

Another common fault is if the boiler loses pressure. There are many possible causes of this but one of them is a leak somewhere, quite common if you have bled the radiators recently or if the heating system has been off for a long time. You can easily repressurise the system yourself by filling the loop taps on the boiler until the pressure is restored and once up to pressure if you close the taps then the boiler should start to work again.

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Electrician Call Out Fee FAQs

If I have a new boiler, will any breakdown be covered by a warranty?

A new boiler should have a warranty in place and these can range from 3-5 years or even longer but only if you abide by the terms and conditions otherwise the warranty can cease after the first twelve months. The two main stipulations in almost every boiler warranty are that the boiler is installed correctly by a qualified fitter or engineer and that it is serviced annually by a registered Gas Safe engineer. The boiler warranty will usually cover the cost of replacement parts.

Is my Smart thermostat covered by a boiler warranty?

Smart thermostats like Nest, Honeywell and Danfoss all come with their own standard warranty and won’t be covered under the same manufacturer warranty as your boiler. However, the boiler manufacturer’s own thermostat will be covered by the boiler warranty if it is installed at the same time. Remember, you will need to register the warranty for your boiler within thirty days of installation and the same for the thermostat, the boiler installer won’t do this for you and it is easy to overlook.

How often should I replace my boiler?

A boiler lasts on average around 15 years if it is well cared for and has an annual service which can improve its lifespan. However, even a well maintained older boiler, will have to work harder to heat your home and is going to be prone to breakdowns and costly repairs.

How much does a new boiler cost?

A new combi or system boiler will cost between £600-£850 for a budget model and between £800 and £1,1000 for a mid-range option. A premium make depending on its size will set you back between £900 and £2,000. A new boiler can come with a long warranty, five or seven years or sometimes even longer but you must abide by the warranty conditions which usually include an annual service otherwise it will be invalidated.

Which type of boiler is the most expensive to buy?

Combi boilers are usually more expensive than traditional boilers although will work out cheaper in the long run. Combi boilers heat the water straight from the mains meaning there is an unlimited supply rather than relying on heating the hot water in a tank which is the more traditional method.