Plumbing or Heating Engineers: Which Do I Need?

If the light on your boiler is blinking or your radiator is making a buzzing sound, you may need some help. But who should you call? A plumber or a heating engineer?

Not many people know there’s a difference between a plumber and a heating engineer. Even though there are some areas where these two professionals seem similar, only a heating engineer can tackle some home maintenance tasks. But it’s not rocket science to figure out who you need. This article will discuss these two professionals in detail so that you can make an informed decision.

What a Plumber Really Does

A plumber can handle water issues in your daily life. They may not always get the recognition they deserve because they don’t really have a glamorous job. But your home would be a mess without them. They make sure you get daily access to clean water and functioning drainage systems.

Your plumber can do the following:
  • Install your dream bathtub with whirlpool jets
  • Replace your dated dishwasher with a sleek, energy-efficient model
  • Bring your ancient pipes back to life or swap them out for something modern and worry-free
  • Fix frustrating clogs that turn your shower into a standstill
  • Get your laundry swirling happily once again
  • Handle gas line services
  • Keep your water heater and sewer line clean
What’s the Job of a Heating Engineer?

As you may have guessed, a heating engineer’s main job is to install, service, repair, and replace faulty parts of your heating system. From the boiler to the radiators and even the often-overlooked thermostat controls, these experts know how to keep your system running like a dream. They can look over hot water cylinders to ensure you have piping hot water for that well-deserved bath or shower.

If your boiler is giving you trouble and it’s time for a replacement, did you know you could apply for a free boiler grant? A free boiler grant can help cover the cost of a new boiler if you meet certain criteria. Your heat engineer can also guide you more on this.

One thing you’ll want to keep in mind when hiring a heating engineer is to make sure they are registered with the proper authorities. For gas heating, that means being on the Gas Safe register – this is mandatory. This official list has authorised individuals and businesses who are legally allowed to work on gas appliances.

For oil heating, make sure your heating engineer is registered with OFTEC. Don’t settle for just any engineer and find someone who’s qualified to work with your specific appliances.

Choosing the Right Repair Expert – Plumber or Heating Engineer?

It’s not a hassle to choose between a plumber and a heating engineer because both have very specific roles. As mentioned above, a plumber resolves water-related issues, and a heating engineer takes care of a faulty heating system.
People get confused because some plumbers can also perform the duties of a heat engineer. They are Gas Safe registered, which makes them eligible to work on plumbing and heating.

However, it’s possible a plumber knows how to carry heat engineer tasks but isn’t Gas Safe registered. In that case, it’s not legal for them to even move your gas appliance. If your issue is strictly plumbing-related, you can still hire a non-Gas Safe registered plumber to get the job done.

Keep in mind that the Gas Safe registration alone doesn’t necessarily mean a professional is qualified to service all types of gas appliances. Hiring someone who can work on a gas boiler might not be the best choice for your gas stove. So, you should ensure you’re choosing the right repair expert for your heating equipment.

Sometimes, your gas boiler might start acting up simply because it’s past its prime. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a free boiler grant and exchange your old model for a brand-new one.

Why is Gas Safe Registration Necessary?

Anyone who is not Gas Safe registered and attempts to handle gas work in your home is breaking the law. Not only that, but they are also jeopardising the safety of you and your loved ones.

This is not a matter to be taken lightly. Working with gas requires a high level of skill and expertise. One simple mistake or a lack of knowledge can have serious, even catastrophic consequences.

A plumber or a heating engineer with a Gas Safe registration knows how to install or fix a gas appliance correctly. If your gas appliance is broken or incorrectly installed, it can leak gas. This leakage can start fires or even make big explosions in worst-case scenarios. But there’s a unique odour artificially added to the gas to help you quickly recognise a leak.

As soon as you pick up on that scent, you should consult a Gas Safe registered engineer to come and investigate the issue.

Gas Safe registered engineers have a unique ID card that shows their qualifications and affiliation with a business, which you can verify on the Gas Safe website. Always ask for this ID when they come to your home for work.

Gas leaks aren’t just dangerous because of the fire risks, they can also produce a toxic gas called carbon monoxide, or CO for short. If you inhale it, CO takes the place of oxygen in your blood, leaving your cells and tissues without proper oxygen supply.

That’s why even the slightest exposure can leave you feeling sick, dizzy, short of breath, or cause you to lose consciousness. If you’re exposed to high levels of CO, it can actually cause severe, long-term damage to your body.

Final Words

Whether you need a plumber or a heating engineer depends on the specific issue you are facing. Both professionals keep your home safe and functional, but their areas of expertise differ. Plumbers ensure clean water and functioning drainage systems, while heating engineers handle everything related to your heating system. Regardless of who you hire, you should make sure they are qualified and licensed to do the job.

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