Guide to Boiler Regulations

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.

boiler regulations

A new boiler will increase the energy efficiency of your home

The boiler in your home provides you with heat and hot water throughout the year and it needs to be safe and correctly installed and serviced regularly. There are government guidelines for installing boilers in your home that will keep you safe with minimum harm to the environment – here’s a guide to what you need to consider when installing a boiler.

Planning permission for boiler installation

If your boiler is in your home and does not have any external flues you will not need to get planning permission to replace or install a boiler. Boiler regulations do apply to boilers that have external flues and for these you will need planning permission. Your Local Building Authority or council will have these guidelines.

Building regulations for boiler installation

For energy efficiency and safety you will need to obtain building regulation approval when you install a new boiler. These have been in place since April 1 2005 and Part L requires all boilers to be efficient condensing models:

  • Condensing boilers are 12% more efficient according to the Energy Saving Trust. Heat is captured from the exhaust gases and they are kinder to the environment and more cost effective to run.
  • Condensing boiler exceptions can occur in some rare cases where it is not possible to install a condensing boiler. These occur if the boiler cannot be located safely on the property with an extended flue. A qualified boiler engineer will issue you with a certificate to confirm that a non-condensing boiler can be used.

SEDBUK boiler ratings

Domestic boiler efficiency was incorporated into the building regulations and nit requires that all boilers have a seasonal efficiency rating of at least 88%. There are two boiler ratings systems:

  • 2005 uses a rating system from A-G
  • 2009 uses a percentage efficiency rating

The Energy Savings Trust has calculated that you will save more than £200 by installing an A-rated boiler.

boiler regulations

Make sure you abide by boiler installation regulations

Boiler controls

Boiler installation regulations state that when you have a new boiler installed the heating controls must be upgraded to a programmable thermostat. Heating controls allow you to keep your home at a warm comfortable temperature all year round and will save you both money and reduce your carbon footprint. The controls include thermostats and programmers, room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves.

Boiler installers

The most important requirement with new boiler installation is to ensure that you use a qualified engineer. For gas boiler regulations and installation ensure the person has a Gas Safe certificate. Other registers include the Oil Firing Technical Association and HETAS for solid fuel burning boilers. These engineers will give you a boiler certificate of compliance after boiler installation to show that all gas building regulations have been followed. An electric boiler needs a qualified electrician so the boiler will 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.

Sunita says:

Dear Sirs, just a question I would like an answer to. I have been told that a boiler flue can be directed to the neighbours garden at the end so long as it is above 3 or 3.5 metres above the ground. Before we have a plan for the kitchen re-planned are you able to provide some answers on this issue pease. If its ok, i will also check with the neighbours as well to make sure they do not have any objections.

Your urgent reply would be appreciated.

Mrs Sunita Bhara

mjackson says:

Hi Sunita,

We would love to advise however, as we aren’t professionals, it would be hard.

I would suggest contacting a local heating engineer who will have the knowledge to advise.

GORDON W Hunt says:

Does electrical wiring have to be in plastic trunking adjacent to the boiler .?

mjackson says:

Hi Gordon,

I have had a look online and would suggest that you take a look at the Electrical safety first website, which has some useful information.

You can also contact them with individual queries.

We hope this helps
Mark @ Servicemagic



I was recently told that it is now illegal to install a boiler in a bathroom – is this in fact true?

In my home the boiler is situated in an airing cupboard which itself is in the corner of the bathroom. A flue from the boiler passes through the bathroom wall to the outside

Thank you in anticipation

mjackson says:

Hi Ellery,

Thanks for your post.

It would be hard for us to advise as we aren’t heating engineers ourselves however we would recommend speaking to your local council who should be able to point you in the right direction.

Kimon says:

I have a studio apartment so the boiler has to be cited in the one room. However the room is 4.5 m tall. An old school building. Is their a legal restriction on height, I have an external wall and would like to put the boiler above head height so it is out of the way

Shirin says:

Hi, we had a new energy efficient boiler fitted in May 2014 under the free boiler government scheme, and wanted to know does the installer have to get the system power flushed and fit thermostatic radiator valves by regulations. I spoke to the installers and they said that under the Eco scheme this is not required?

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