Some see plumbers and heating engineers as one and the same but that is not the case. We go over the key differences that set these two kinds of trade professionals apart, and when you should call one over the other…

What is a plumber?

Plumbers are trades professionals that are trained to fix, repair and install pipes and fittings. They are equipped to deal with water sources and any domestic issues you may be having when it comes to water such as leaky pipes and taps. They are also able to handle most kitchen and bathroom appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines, and should be the go-to trades professional for problems you might be having.


While some plumbers go on to qualify further than others, it’s important to point out that for a plumber to be able to work on any kind of appliance that utilises gas needs to be Gas Safe registered. The Gas Safe Register is the official registration scheme for heating engineers and plumbers that are able to work on boilers in the United Kingdom. They took over from CORGI as the main governing body as of April 2009.

What is a heating engineer?

In contrast to plumbers that can do a large variety of jobs, heating engineers focus more on the heating appliances that you may find in a domestic or commercial building. This means that any pipe work or fittings that are used in heating are managed and maintained by a heating engineer.


The extra focus on heating allows them to have a deeper understanding of how a boiler should be functioning to meet your personal needs. What’s right for one household isn’t immediately right for another and the amount of choice that homeowners can have is huge. A heating engineer can listen to you and your family’s needs and make recommendations based on that.


For example, if you have a large family or household that would benifit from being able to used 2 or more taps simultaneously, then a combi boiler would not be the best choice for your home as it is unable to deliver water in that manner.


Usually, heating engineers don’t undertake the same kind of general work that a plumber does, but that is not always the case.

Why Gas Safe is important?

Heating Engineers MUST be on the Gas Safe register by law, and are issued a card and number that must be shown to a homeowner before any work can be carried out. Your heating engineer must show this to you when they come to your home.


Gas Safe is important to homeowners as it gives you peace of mind that the person that comes to your house is categorically trained to install or maintain your boiler. They will be able to maximise the potential of your boiler but most importantly keep you and your family safe from the dangers of gas leaks and in particular, carbon monoxide poisoning.

Need a 24 hour plumber in Wigan area?

We are Gas Safe registered and have years of experience under our belt. If you have any questions regarding boilers or any issues you may have in your home feel free to contact us from the contact page, or on 07542 668 944.