What is the difference between a heating engineer and a plumber?

When a problem arises with our boiler or heating system, our first thought may be to turn to a plumber. However, before picking up the phone, you need to decide if this really is a job for a plumber or whether it calls for a heating engineer. Many people confuse the two professions and, although there may be some overlap, they are two distinct roles.

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Plumber versus heating engineer

The key difference between the two professions is that a heating engineer can install heating systems.

To do this they need to have the relevant qualifications, including Gas Safe registration. UK law requires all professionals working with gas to be on the Gas Safe Register

A heating engineer should be called if you need to install a new boiler or hot water cylinder, deal with heating controls and thermostats, maintain the heating system and work on radiators.

A plumber, on the other hand, works with pipes that carry water around your home.

This means they can deal with problems in your sewage system, replace leaking taps or pipes, fit appliances such as washing machines and help if your pipes have frozen. They can also install bathrooms and deal with hot water cylinders.

If you experience a flood due to a cracked pipe at your home or business, then you would need to search for ‘plumber Cheltenham’, for example. Always use a qualified professional or company such as www.hprservicesltd.com/emergency-plumber-cheltenham/.

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Why do people confuse the two?

Some people train to become heating engineers, but many start out as plumbers before taking the necessary qualifications to also become heating engineers. These qualifications allow them to carry out work on both heating and hot water systems. This is why you can often find people advertising both plumbing and heating services.

It is important to note that not all heating engineers can carry out work on gas boilers. This can only happen if they are Gas Safe Registered. Those that do not have this licence often work alongside a gas engineer.

Vincent Gross
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