Boiler regulations – a guide
Planning on replacing your boiler or installing a brand new one? Then make sure it is safe and legal with our guide to boiler regulations.
Your boiler is one of the most important parts of your home, providing you with warmth and hot water. However, a boiler can also be expensive to run, harmful to the environment and pose a safety risk if it’s installed incorrectly. That’s why government guidelines exist to regulate boiler installation< – here’s a guide to what you need to consider when installing a boiler.
Planning permission for boiler installation
You won’t need planning permission to install or replace a new boiler if the work is all internal. However, if your boiler installation involves inserting a flue outside the home, this will need to meet specific guidelines. You’ll need to ask your Local Building Authority for advice in this case and also if you are planning any boiler installation work in a listed building.
Building regulations for boiler installation
For the purpose of safety and energy efficiency, you will need to obtain building regulation approval when installing a new boiler. From the 1st April 2005, Part L of the building regulations requires all boilers to be high efficiency condensing models:
- Condensing boilers – according to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), a condensing boiler is up to 12% more efficient than a non-condensing boiler. This is because they capture more usable heat from exhaust gases, which means they cost less to run and are kinder to the environment.
- Condensing boiler exceptions - in rare cases it may not be possible to install a condensing boiler, for example if it cannot be positioned anywhere in the property safely, even when using an extended flue. In these cases, a qualified engineer will assess the property to determine whether it’s possible to install a condensing boiler. If not, then they will provide you with a written declaration to confirm this and a non-condensing model can be installed instead.
SEDBUK boiler ratings
From October 2010, building regulations require all new boilers to be A-rated or at least 88% efficient on the Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK (SEDBUK) scale. There are two SEDBUK ratings, the 2005 system uses an A – G rating (A being the most efficient) while the 2009 system displays efficiency in percentage terms. According to the EST, you could save around £225 a year by installing an A-rated or 88% efficient boiler; only 90% efficient boilers have an EST recommended logo on them.
When you’re installing a new boiler, building regulations state that your heating control systems must be upgraded as well to include a time and temperature control – which basically means you need a programmable room thermostat. Heating controls help you to maintain a comfortable temperature in your property and can save you £55 and 280kg of CO2 each year, says the EST. Controls include boiler thermostats, programmers, room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves. A boiler installer will be able to help you choose the right heating controls for your property and boiler type.
One of the most important requirements when installing a new boiler involves making sure that a qualified engineer installs it for you. It’s best to hire someone registered with an approved self-certification scheme such as the Gas Safe Register, the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) or HETAS for solid fuel burning boilers. These boiler engineers will adhere to building regulations and be able to provide you with a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate, which you will need to have if you sell your house. If you’re installing an electric boiler it’s important to hire a qualified electrician who can comply with BS7671: 2008 Requirements for Electrical Installations.
If you choose not to hire a member of one of these associations, the engineer must self-certify the work and the householder must notify building control who will inspect the work and provide you with a certificate if it meets set standards. This costs more time and money and you must note that it’s illegal to install a gas boiler or other appliances if you’re not registered with Gas Safe.