Of all the things you can spend your money on, your boiler is not the most exciting so it’s understandable that people want to get theirs back up and running as inexpensively as possible when it breaks down. The two main costs involved in repairing a boiler are replacement parts and labour time. Engineers are less likely to negotiate on their hourly rate but they may offer to keep the cost down by sourcing a cheaper part.
Buy cheap, buy twice goes the old adage but using non-genuine parts in your boiler could have much bigger consequences than just having to replace them sooner. Low cost parts are low cost for a reason; something has usually been compromised along the way to allow it to be manufactured for less. That may be the materials used, the location of manufacture or the expertise of the manufacturer. Or potentially all 3. Any of these reasons could reduce the quality of the part.
This could be a problem because:
The part may not fix the problem – which means you may not get your heating back online and you may have to buy the part again
The part may not last long – if you’re having to replace it much sooner than you would a genuine part then it’s not cheaper, plus you have the added inconvenience of another breakdown and more labour costs
The part may compromise your boiler – a low quality part has the potential to fail but also to damage the functionality of the boiler leading to more breakdowns and possibly even more parts to replace. In a worst case scenario it could even lead to the boiler becoming dangerous
It could invalidate your manufacturer warranty – good boiler manufacturers will offer attractive warranties of 5 or even 7 years and this is what often attracts people to buy them. However, warranties will only be honoured if certain conditions are met and one of these will be that all replacement parts are genuine manufacturer parts. You don’t want to find that you’ve thrown your warranty away for the sake of saving a few pounds on a fix
It could invalidate your insurance policy – many people enjoy the peace of mind of having a boiler cover policy to take care of services and repairs. Just as with a warranty, there will be terms and conditions attached to this and if you’ve had a previous repair that didn’t use appropriate parts, this could well not be covered. Not only will you have to fund your own repair, you will have wasted all your premiums
At the end of the day we believe it’s really not worth the risk and that’s why we only ever use genuine manufacturer parts. The insurance companies that we work for insist on it and we insist on it for our private customers too. Would we ever use them? We’d really rather not but sometimes a customer will insist on providing their own parts. If this is the cased we will always ask them to sign a disclaimer taking all responsibility for the performance of the part – that’s how high the risk is.
So, if your heating engineer offers to fit a cheap part, or you’re tempted to source one yourself, consider the consequences – or just call us out because you know that we wouldn’t do that!
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I recently had a new boiler fitted by Plumbcare.com, the price was excellent. Every process was explained to me prior to fitting and time was spent going through what was required and the reasons why. They were not pushy and I was given time to think, all options were thoroughly explained to me. The staff were all friendly and helpful and the work carried out was to a high standard with minimum disruption and my house was left clean and tidy. Time was also spent showing me what had been done and how to use the equipment. I would definitely recommend them to others.