Boiler Trouble: Should I Repair Or Replace?

A boiler breakdown will often only require a simple repair, but sometimes a new boiler will be needed. Installers have to tread a fine line.

With the current economic climate, homeowners are looking to save money in all areas of the household budget, and in most cases it’s cheaper to repair a boiler rather than replace it. However, there comes a time when any boiler simply needs to be replaced and patching it up will cost more in the long run.

When to repair a boiler

Generally speaking, boilers will last 12-15 years. With this in mind, if your customer has only had a boiler for a few years, it is worth looking to repair instead of replace – unless there is something seriously faulty with the system.

Many models of boiler have a 10-year warranty, so be sure to check to see whether this applies, as this will obviously help keep repair costs low. In the case where the warranty is still active, a repair is nearly always going to be the most economic option.

Finally, if your customer’s boiler is still efficient by today’s standards then a repair is a good way to go, as you can still expect years of cost-effective heating. In general, if your customer has a relatively new condensing boiler then a repair will still be an economical choice.

At Wolseley, we specialise in boiler parts, so you can be sure to find what you need to deliver cost-effective repairs for you customers.

wolseley boiler sludge scale

When to replace a boiler

Sometimes, it is simply not worth your time repairing a boiler. If a boiler is more than 10 years old and facing a large repair price, it makes sense to replace it. Similarly, if a boiler is out of warranty then replacement quickly becomes a far more feasible option. The state the boiler is in will obviously determine whether a repair is feasible. For example, if the boiler is full of sludge or scale, or an abnormal number of repairs are needed, it will probably work out cheaper to go ahead and replace it. Efficiency is also a big factor. There are quite a few boilers out there that simply don’t offer value for money, and in this case a replacement is the best solution. The short-term gain of an inexpensive repair may well be outweighed by the long-term savings a new and efficient boiler can deliver. If the boiler is safe to repair, for instance, but is more than 10 years old and non-condensing, it is usually worthwhile to replace. As a boiler gets older, breakdowns become more likely. So, while patching it up today could save some money, your customer might just be setting themselves up for a bigger bill later on. Finally, given that the life span of a boiler is around 12 to 15 years, it may be difficult to get support from manufacturers if they have an older model. This means that parts for repair can become expensive and hard to find. This is especially true if your customer has a none condensing boiler, as these models of boiler haven’t been on the market since 2005, so parts are getting really scarce. At Wolseley, we stock a huge range of modern boilers from all the industry’s leading manufacturers. So, finding the right replacement boiler couldn’t be easier.

Consider renewable heating options

If you have decided that replacement is the way to go, it could be worth looking into green heating options. With grants and schemes available for switching to low carbon heating, replacing older boilers with something more eco-friendly can be an economical move. While heat pump systems require a significant overhaul, a biomass boiler can integrate with existing central heating setups, so can be a great, green replacement option. We have an in-depth guide to the pros and cons of biomass boilers to help you weigh up whether or not this is the right option.