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When does a new boiler installation legally need a service visit?

Hi guys, Im desperate to find out for my pensioner mum when a new boiler installation legally needs a service. The boiler was installed incorrectly and was checked by another boiler installation company 2 and half years after installation who said that if she hadnt had it checked when she did it could have been deadly. Myself and mum didnt think a brand new boiler installation would need a service for at least the first 2 yrs ( a bit like a new car). Can someone please tell me how long "legally" a new boiler installation needs a service.

The thing is, mum has always been a stickler for getting the boiler sorted, but unfortunately my dad became ill with dementia so this was obviously put on the to do list.

Mum lost my dad mentally due to dementia during the first year and a half after installation, and then dad died and when she got the boiler serviced by another company (who didnt install it initially) they said she was lucky she didnt have carbon monoxide poisoning due to faulty installation. Please help xx Tricky time to ask for help, but any help from anyone who knows would be so gratefully received. Merry Christmas all and thanks for any help you can give me.

Asked by angie brook
Posted Dec 22, 2012 3:37 PM ET
Edited Dec 23, 2012 7:38 AM ET


6 Answers

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Angie: Service time depends on a lot of factors, like how much the boiler is used, the quality of fuel, stack length, etc, so it is impossible to say. Many folks, like me, clean and tune their boilers annually, though Martin, I believe, posted the necessity of that in one of his "myth" columns; apparently going longer may not be a problem in some areas. If you can prove that the original installation was hazardous to your health, you may have a case to at least punch someone's lights out (kidding about that). Have you ever discussed what the situation is with the original installers? It is always possible for Crew 2 to bad mouth Crew 1 just to polish their own boiler, in a word. I'd suggest you seek local help; you need boots on the ground for this type of thing, IMO. Sorry to hear about Dad.

Answered by John Klingel
Posted Dec 23, 2012 2:46 AM ET


Sorry about your father. If the new boiler had been properly installed, there should be no reason it should be "deadly" 2.5 years later, unless something unusual occurred to interfere with proper venting.

Assuming that the boiler was connected to a sound, legal, flue or chimney -- something the original installer should have verified -- there shouldn't be a dangerous condition. But since you didn't describe the dangerous condition, it's hard to know what is going on.

Answered by Martin Holladay
Posted Dec 23, 2012 7:11 AM ET


I don't know about the legal situation in the USA.

On the European continent combustion boilers in household situations must be serviced at least once per year, a legal requirement irrelevant of the age of the boiler/installation.

Check the manual of the boiler, contact the manufacturer.

Not only the boiler should be serviced and certified but the entire heating system including flues and thermal distribution.

Check with the local health and safety authorities who is responsible and capeable to do the job.

Answered by Hein Bloed
Posted Dec 23, 2012 4:16 PM ET


Hein- in (nearly all of the) US there is no legal requirement for periodic checking of heating systems, and many are literally NEVER tested for combustion efficiency, not even at the time it was installed. Local health and safety authorities ) would rarely have information on who is competent for performing the task. (Code inspectors responsible for signing off on the installation might, but that is far from guaranteed.) Home owners have to figure these things out on their own.

That said, the fuel type matters. Simple-minded mid-efficiency natural gas or propane fired boilers often go for many years (or even over a decade) without maintenance or adjustment if they were installed correctly. Condensing boilers may need more attention & maintenance, but even there once every three years would usually do it. Oil fired boilers are more prone to rapidly evolving problems, particularly those with smaller-orifice jets that are susceptible to changes in spray pattern/volume when there is particulate contamination in the fuel.

As Martin correctly points out, we don't have sufficient information on this system or the alleged hazard to make any sort of guess as to what an appropriate inspection & adjustment interval would be.

Answered by Dana Dorsett
Posted Dec 24, 2012 5:40 PM ET



Did the company that found the supposedly deadly problem go ahead and fix it? Or is the boiler out of service waiting for some type of fix based on that company's assessment? The idea that some followup company found something deadly seems a little fishy to me. But certainly boilers can have a variety of problems within the first two years. But they are problems that cause failure to heat, not probelms that are deadly.

We need more details about what that company said about finding a deadly probelm.

Answered by Ron Keagle
Posted Dec 24, 2012 8:55 PM ET


Here some info from Canada:


Or check the search engine.

Here something from a manufacturer, mind the protocol issue:


Some legal information from Canada:


Dana Dorsett would be interested in that I supose. As far as I can see from this Canadian document there are only 2 states in the USA which have no legislations concerning boiler maintenance.

Answered by Hein Bloed
Posted Dec 25, 2012 3:18 PM ET
Edited Dec 25, 2012 3:58 PM ET.

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