It’s a question that’s asked many times, when a boiler breaks down – ‘do I need a plumber or heating engineer?’ And therein lies the next question, what’s the difference between the two?

The most obvious difference is that a plumber will carry out a multitude of wet and dry tasks which can vary from leaking taps and running toilets, to fixing dishwashers and damaged pipework.

A heating engineer, on the other hand, is specifically qualified in installing, servicing and repairing the heating of a domestic or commercial property. So, when your boiler isn’t working correctly, for example, these are the people to call.

Heating engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register in order to legally work on boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances in the UK. Checking this fact is the way that home and business owners can be sure the work carried out is safe and reliable.

Sometimes you’ll find a heating plumber who can do both plumbing and heating, but, when it comes to working on something as potentially dangerous as a gas appliance, it’s vital to always establish that they are Gas Safe registered, because some plumbers aren’t.

What can a plumber do?

The word plumber comes from the Latin for lead – plumbum (also the reason why lead is PB on the periodic table). The relation to a plumber comes from back in the days when lead piping was the norm. Of course, lead piping is now a thing of the past, after people realised that it was getting into the water supply!

Reasons to call a professional plumber out might include the following:

  • Dripping taps
  • Blocked drains
  • Leaky pipes
  • Running toilets
  • Reduced water flow
  • Install a new bathroom or kitchen appliance
  • Install new pipework
  • Blocked sinks and toilets
  • Faulty dishwasher
  • Flooding
  • No water
  • Frozen pipes

What does a heating engineer do?

As you can see, a good plumber will be able to reliably carry out a whole range of tasks, whereas a heating engineer will be fully qualified and registered to focus on appliances which provide heat.

Within this category falls a whole host of gas and other fuel appliances that might require inspection, installation, servicing and repair. These can include cookers, central heating systems, boilers, fires and gas heaters.

Remember – always check that your heating plumber or heating engineer is Gas Safe registered before allowing them to work on your boiler or any other gas appliance. In addition, always report someone who you discover is not Gas Safe registered and working illegally on gas appliances – you could save lives by doing so.

Need a plumber or heating engineer?

Paine Manwaring has a huge workforce of highly experienced, qualified plumbers, electricians and professional heating engineers.

Our domestic and commercial heating plumbers are all Gas Safe registered, which means you can have peace of mind that any work carried out will be safe and properly done.

If your boiler has broken down, requires servicing, or you need new central heating in Sussex, Surrey or Hampshire, get in touch online or give us a call. And for updates on the plumbing, heating and electrical services provided by Paine Manwaring, follow us on Facebook or Twitter @Paine_Manwaring.