How Long Does it Take to Replace a Boiler?

All good things need to come to an end, even your home’s trusty boiler system. This is an unpleasant disruption to your daily routine: you may have to forego your relaxing hot showers until you figure out how much work goes into boiler repair and replacement.

But aside from the amount of work and money spent, how much time will it take to replace a boiler? Here’s a quick look by at the most common replacement scenarios and the estimated time frame for each one.

Take note that these estimates focus exclusively on the tasks associated with replacing and installing boilers. If you need to get any major work done for fitting baths, basins, showers and sinks; or if you need to rework water, gas, and electricity supply systems, then the length of time may increase dramatically. This also means that the scope of your work is much bigger, and you may find yourself working with other service professionals aside from the engineer who you called in for a boiler replacement.

Straight Boiler Swap

A straight boiler swap refers to the act of switching out an old boiler for a new one that’s the exact same type. This usually happens in cases where the old boiler simply broke down and the homeowner is okay with installing a new boiler in the same location. Since the replacement already has an established area and all the water, central heating, and gas pipes are in place, this job will only take four to six hours. It’s the fastest and most straightforward method of replacing a boiler on this list.

However, straight swaps are not always possible. Sometimes, certain kinds of equipment come in a variety of power and capacities. This means that the new model you are fitting in may not be compatible in terms of the size of pipework for central heating, or with the pipes that are meant to supply water. It is also not possible in cases where the adjacent equipment in the system has also become unusable at the same time as the boiler. As a result, you may need to have the pipework and other aspects of the entire boiler system redone as well.

Relocating Boiler to a Different Part of the House

If all you want to do is move a boiler that you already have to a different part of the house, then the engineer will need to install new pipework for both water and gas pipes. They will also need to connect a new set of electric power and thermostat cables.

Depending on how your house is laid out and where you plan on relocating your boiler, they may also need to conduct a little structural work. This involves building frames and finding ways to go through brick walls for the flu and overflow. All in all, this project will probably take one to two days.

Changing the Type of Boiler In Your Home

There are three types of boilers that are commonly used in households: a combi boiler, a heat only boiler, and a system boiler. Each type comes with its unique plumbing and electric set-ups. This means that if you plan on switching from one to another, it is almost like asking for a fresh installation.

Overall, the entire job may take around two to three days. The biggest change would be a transition to a combi from a heat only or system model. Your engineer will need to spend extra time removing any unnecessary cylinder and tanks, stripping away extra pipework, and tidying up after himself afterwards.

Of course, you always have the option to just leave those materials in place just in case you plan on upgrading at a later date. However, all this equipment will take up extra space in your home and might be a cause of clutter. In addition, these components may need to be stripped and cleaned continuously, especially if you do not plan on using them for several years.

Installing a New Combi Boiler

Putting in a new combi boiler will also take one to two days. The amount of work that needs to be done will be similar. This is assuming that the new combi boiler is a replacement for a model that has broken down or does not work anymore.

However, if you are trying to put in a brand new central heating system and combi boiler, then the amount of time spent working on these changes will go up dramatically. This may take around one to two weeks. It will involve serious overhauling around the house; expect the work to involve lifting flooring and floorboards, laying down pipework, and installing radiators. Thankfully, this can be carried out at the same time as the boiler installation.

Changing the Boiler Fuel Type

Planning on getting a new boiler and changing its source of fuel as well? This will require additional plumbing and electrical work. It may take two to three days to completely finish the job.

Diego Martinez

Diego Martinez, with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, has been a leading figure in maintenance and facilities management for 16 years. He joined our editorial team in 2020, sharing his expertise in preventative maintenance, system optimization, and energy efficiency. Diego’s previous roles include engineering manager in manufacturing and consulting for facility management. He has provided practical advice and problem-solving strategies for maintenance issues. He is an enthusiastic cyclist and volunteers in community tech education programs.

Leave a Comment