Can I Service My Own Boiler?

Your boiler is the heart of your home’s heating system and, while it might not be the most exciting topic, boiler maintenance is incredibly important to keep it in tip-top condition and save you a lot of headaches down the road.

A well-maintained boiler operates more efficiently, which means it uses less fuel and saves you money on your energy bills. Plus, regular check-ups can sport minor issues before they turn into big, costly problems.

In short, by taking care of your boiler, you’re ensuring a consistent supply of heat and hot water, all of which are essential for keeping your home cozy, especially when temperatures plummet – as they inevitably will!

Now, you might be wondering: Can’t I just service my own boiler?

And it’s a fair question, especially if you’re handy around the house. But in the UK, there are strict laws about who can work on gas appliances, and for good reason. Servicing a boiler is not like changing a light bulb; it involves complex and potentially dangerous work that needs to be done correctly to ensure safety. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at UK regulations regarding boiler servicing and the importance of being Gas Safe registered for gas-related work. We’ll also cover the basic maintenance tasks you can do yourself and the kind of tasks that need a professional to take the lead.

What are the UK regulations regarding boiler servicing?

The main piece of legislation you need to know about regarding boiler servicing is the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. This law make sure that any gas appliances, including boilers, are installed maintained, and serviced safely.

The law specifically says that only competent and qualified individuals can work on gas appliances. 

When it comes to gas work, being competent means having the right mix of skills, knowledge, and experience to do the job safely and effectively.

According to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, you’re considered competent if you’ve completed an industry-recognised training course and passed an assessment of competence. Alternatively, being registered with the Gas Safe Register can also prove competence.

Competence involves practical experience and a thorough understanding of standards and codes of practice, as well as laws like the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The importance of being Gas Safe registered

If someone is Gas Safe registered, it means they’ve passed the necessary training and assessments to work safely with gas.

Why is this so important? Well, hiring a Gas Safe registered engineer gives you peace of mind that your boiler is being serviced correctly and safely.

Can you service your own gas boiler?

No, you shouldn’t service your own gas boiler as it is illegal to work on gas appliances unless you are a registered Gas Safe engineer.

Furthermore, servicing a gas boiler involves working with gas and potentially dangerous components. Improper handling can lead to gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, and even explosions. Carbon monoxide is particularly dangerous as it’s colourless and odourless, making it hard to detect without proper equipment​.

Can you service your own oil boiler?

Like with gas boilers, you shouldn’t service your own oil boiler as working with these kinds of boilers involves dealing with flammable oil and high-pressure systems. Improper servicing can lead to dangerous situations such as oil leaks, which can be a fire hazard, and combustion issues.

You should use an OFTEC-registered engineer to service your oil boiler.

Basic maintenance tasks you can do yourself

As we’ve said, you must get your boiler serviced by a professional. However, there are some basic maintenance tasks you can do yourself to keep your boiler running smoothly between services.

These tasks are simple but effective in maintaining efficiency and spotting potential issues and signs your boiler may need servicing.

Having said that, while these tasks are relatively simple, always err on the side of caution and call a professional if you’re unsure about anything!

Visual inspections for leaks and corrosion

One of the easiest and most important tasks you can do yourself is regularly inspect your boiler and surroundings.

Look for any signs of leaks, like puddles of water, damp patches, or rust. Corrosion can suggest that moisture is getting into the parts of the boiler where it shouldn’t be, which can lead to bigger problems down the line. If you do spot any rust or leaks, it’s a good idea to call in a professional to assess and repair the damage.

Checking and re-pressurising the boiler

Your boiler’s pressure should typically be between 1 and 2 bars when cold. You can check this using the gauge on the front of the boiler.

If the pressure is too low, it can affect the performance of your heating system. Re-pressurising your boiler is usually straightforward and involves opening the filling loop to allow water into the system until the desired pressure is reached.

You should always refer to your boiler’s manual for specific instructions on how to do this safely. 

Bleeding radiators

If your radiators are warm at the bottom but cold at the top, they likely have trapped air that needs to be released. Bleeding your radiators can solve this.

To do it, you use a radiator key to open the bleed valve until water starts to come out, then close it. This simple task can make a big difference in the performance of your radiators.

Ensuring proper ventilation around the boiler

Boilers need good ventilation to operate safely and efficiently. Make sure the area around your boiler is clear of clutter and that there is nothing blocking any vents or air inlets.

Testing the pressure relief valve and thermostat

The pressure relief valve prevents your boiler from becoming over-pressurised, which can be dangerous. You can test it by carefully lifting the valve’s lever and letting it snap back. If it’s working correctly, you should hear a rush of water or steam.

Similarly, you can make sure your thermostat is working correctly by setting it to different temperatures and checking if your boiler responds appropriately.

Check your boiler’s manual for specific testing procedures to make sure you do this safely.

Boiler maintenance tasks that require a professional

While there are some basic checks and tasks you can handle yourself, certain parts of boiler servicing are best left to the professionals, such as:

  • Carbon monoxide level checks
  • Pressure relieve valve and gas-related components servicing
  • Electrical component inspection and repairs.

These tasks need specialised knowledge and equipment to be carried out safely and effectively. Therefore, you should never attempt to do them yourself.

What does a boiler service involve?

Before we get into the finer points, let’s cover what exactly happens when you get your boiler serviced.

During a service, a qualified heating engineer will carry out several important checks and maintenance tasks, including:

  • Visually inspecting the boiler and its components
  • Checking and testing the boiler’s controls and safety devices
  • Inspecting and cleaning the internal components
  • Checking the flue for any obstructions or leaks
  • Carrying out pressure checks
  • Checking the gas flow and connections
  • Resealing the boiler and performing final checks

They’ll also provide you with a service report detailing what was done and any recommendations for future maintenance.

Potential risks of DIY boiler servicing

While it might seem cost-effective to service your own boiler, the risks associated with DIY boiler maintenance are significant and can have serious consequences, including:

  • Gas leaks: Improper handling of gas connections can result in leaks, which can lead to explosions or fires.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning: Without proper testing equipment, it’s almost impossible to detect CO leaks.
  • Legal consequences: It is illegal to service a gas boiler without being Gas Safe registered. If you try to service your boiler without proper qualifications you could face a fine, prosecution or invalidation of your home insurance.

What are the benefits of hiring a professional to service your boiler?

One of the biggest benefits of hiring a professional to service your boiler is the assurance that all work will be conducted safely and in compliance with legal requirements. You also benefit from the peace of mind that your boiler is operating safely and efficiently.

Alongside these key benefits, investing in regular professional servicing can actually save you money in the long run by preventing the need for expensive repairs and ensuring your boiler’s warranty remains valid.

Regular maintenance allows engineers to spot and fix small problems before they become significant issues. Further, many boiler manufacturers require annual servicing by qualified professionals to keep the warranty valid.

Skipping these services can void your warranty, leaving you to cover repair costs out of pocket if something goes wrong.

How to verify Gas Safe registration

The easiest way to verify if an engineer is Gas Safe registered is by visiting the official Gas Safe Register website. You can use the ‘Check an Engineer‘ feature to search for the engineer or company by name or registration number to confirm if they are currently registered and qualified to work on gas appliances.

Every registered engineer should also carry a Gas Safe ID card. So, if you want to be doubly sure, you can ask to see this card when the engineer arrives.


Boiler maintenance is an important part of keeping your home safe, warm, and energy efficient. While there are some basic tasks you can handle yourself, comprehensive servicing should always be conducted by a qualified professional to not only be sure that the work is done correctly, safely, and in line with UK regulations, but to maintain your boiler’s warranty and extend its lifespan.

If you’re in Manchester, Cheshire, or Stockport and need a reliable, qualified Gas Safe engineer or OFTEC-registered engineer to service your boiler, look no further than Add Heat. Our team of experienced professionals is on hand to provide high-quality, affordable service to ensure your boiler runs safely and efficiently.

Don’t wait for a problem to rear its ugly head, schedule a boiler service with us today to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with professional care.

Contact us today for a free boiler servicing quote.

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