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What’s the difference between a heating engineer and a plumber?


What’s the difference between a heating engineer and a plumber?

People often get confused about what sort of jobs you should go to a heating engineer for, and what you should go to a plumber for. It’s a natural confusion, because there can be substantial overlap in the types of work undertaken, depending on the experience and range of the professional concerned. 

A heating engineer

 Heating engineers work on all aspects of your home heating, although they need – in addition – to be a certified Gas Safe engineer to work with installing or repairing gas boilers and OFTEC approved to deal with oil boilers. They will be able to install new boilers and heating systems, as well as service and repair boilers. They can diagnose faults and advice on options for tackling them. They can carry out powerflushing and cleaning of heating systems, carry out inspections and provide reports.

Heating engineers suitably gas-certified can also provide gas safety certificates for landlords.

A plumber

Plumbers are closely related to heating engineers, and it is often natural for a plumber to progress their training to become a heating engineer. Nevertheless, these are two different trades, and not all plumbers choose to go on to become heating engineers, and not all heating engineers will do non-heating related plumbing work, such as fixing leaks in pipes, installing bathrooms, connecting and disconnecting appliances to the water supply, water storage tanks and cylinders and waste disposal systems. 

Since there is some overlap, you should expect to double check that any professional both provides the services that you need and also has the necessary qualifications to provide high quality and safe work. Equally, it’s reasonable to expect that however a company defines themselves, they will aim to be visible for the services that they offer. So if you do an internet search for ‘boiler repair’ or ‘bathroom installation’ then you should get results for people who advertise those services, whether they brand themselves primarily as heating engineers or plumbers.

And don’t forget to check with your friends and neighbours whether any have had similar work done and can recommend someone to do the work for you. Direct recommendations can be the best way of finding good professionals.

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