Where should my combi boiler be installed?

There are a variety of locations that a combi boiler can be installed, and this handy guide will help you decide the best solution for your home. Unsurprisingly most homeowners prefer their boiler to be placed in a discreet place or hidden in a cupboard and here are our top recommendations.

Fitting a kitchen boiler is very popular as the water will reach sink taps and appliances very quickly. Kitchen boilers can be wall mounted and tucked away in a discreet part of the room or installed in a cupboard. Modern compact combi boilers in particular tend to fit very neatly into kitchen cupboards due to their efficient size and because they do not require additional tanks or storage cylinders.

Remember when fitting a boiler in a cupboard, ventilation may be required. Some boilers run at highly efficient low temperatures, so do not require in-cupboard ventilation - provided minimum clearances shown in installation instructions are met. The waste gases produced by the boiler need somewhere to go and they are expelled via a flue to the outside of the building. For this reason, your boiler must be a suitable distance away from any doors or windows. It will also need to be positioned on, or close to, an outside wall and be easily accessible for gas boiler maintenance.

Other locations include the utility room if you have one. This is popular as it is more ‘out of the way’ than busier living spaces. As always, the area around your boiler will need to be kept clear to ensure combi boiler parts and cables are not obstructed.

For the same reason that kitchens are good places to install compact combi boilers, so too are bathrooms i.e. the boiler will be in a room that not only uses lots of hot water and will heat the water quickly, but also drainage and waste pipes will already exist. However, caution must also be taken when installing a boiler in a bathroom as there are a number of safety regulations that must be followed. For example, the boiler must be enclosed within a cupboard to ensure that it does not come into contact with any water. Additionally, the boiler system’s electrical spur must be located outside of the bathroom so that it is not in reach of a bath or shower. Always consult a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer who will be able to advise ‘safe zones’ for the boiler according to wiring and gas safety regulations.

A less popular but possible location is the bedroom. The downside of this is that all boilers make some noise and this may bother a light sleeper.

Lofts are also a permissible location if the boiler is easily accessible for gas boiler service and maintenance. The downside is that hot water may take longer to reach taps and the flue installation may be more costly due to roof access, etc. In addition, cold loft temperatures mean you will need additional frost protection to prevent pipework freezing, as well as loft boarding, permanent lighting and a means of access such as a fixed loft ladder

These issues also apply if your appliance is located in an outside boiler cabinet in, say, a garage or shed. If you really need to keep your appliance in an outside boiler cabinet do bear in mind the additional cost of protection and the inconvenience of hot water taking longer to reach its destinations and the associated energy wastage.

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We have taken the questions we're asked most frequently at our Call Centre and answered them here for quick and easy reference.

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