As a heating engineer once said, ‘To repair or replace; that is the question?’
Well, should you repair or replace it?
It depends on a few factors. Firstly, if the boiler is still under warranty, you may be offered the choice to repair or replace it, depending on the nature of the breakdown. However, ultimately, the decision will rest with the boiler manufacturer. If your boiler is 10-15+ years old, it will most likely be out of warranty or difficult to obtain insurance coverage. With ageing boilers, parts can become obsolete and difficult to source, which increases the purchase price per part.
Therefore, an aged boiler that’s out of warranty and uninsurable could mean expensive repair work, with no guarantee that other parts in the boiler won’t fail soon after. Whatever decision you make, it’s always best to get advice from a qualified heating engineer first, as it can be daunting; with so many different boilers, manufacturers, make models and special offers available, you will likely suffer from ‘choice overload’. That overload can be avoided once our engineer has completed a full property survey and discussed your specific needs. You will receive sound advice regarding the best option (repair or replacement), making the decision-making process much easier.
Example: It’s unlikely that any residual value remains in a boiler that’s 15+ years old, i.e., the original cost of the boiler (say) £2,000, annual depreciation (approx.) £250. By year 9, the residual value is no more, and it could be time to replace it over an expensive repair.
On the other hand, if the boiler is 6 years old (without boiler insurance cover), using the same example as above, 6 x £250 = £1,500 leaving £500 value in the boiler. If the repair cost is below the £500 value left in it, then it makes sense to repair it. However, the next repair (if expensive) may exceed the remaining value. Also, when a new part (not always) is installed, there’s no guarantee that it will prevent other ‘age’ parts from failing. This may bring forward the decision to replace rather than repair at the next breakdown. Remember, a modern gas/electric ‘A-rated boiler will be more efficient and cost-effective to run.
To ensure you make the right choice, we recommend a survey, where one of our qualified heating engineers will thoroughly assess your situation first and provide guidance and advice on the best options.
If you need extra boiler protection, it’s worth considering a boiler cover plan (depending on the age of the boiler), which covers the cost of any repairs/breakdowns stipulated in the framework of the policy. A policy in place that covers breakdowns and repairs can relieve some of the stress and anxiety, but this type of annual cover doesn’t come cheap. Boiler cover may be included in your home insurance policy. Still, it might not cover every situation (read the small print). An annual boiler service is important to keep your boiler in peak condition, especially with a newly installed boiler. Failure to do so could give the manufacturer an excuse to avoid covering repair costs. It’s always advisable to read the fine print in any warranty to ensure you’re meeting the necessary requirements. If the truth is known, manufacturers don’t want to pay for costly repairs and services if they can avoid it, so it’s important to be proactive and schedule an annual boiler service (which is not as expensive as an annual boiler insurance policy) every 12 months. Manufacturers would want to see continuity in the annual servicing of your boiler. Missing an annual boiler service and a breakdown could mean you foot the bill!