Should you move a boiler and how much will it cost?

Moving a boiler from one room to another is no small task. We talk to the experts to find out how much it’s likely to cost and how it’s done.

Moving a boiler is not something that happens every day. But if you’re carrying out building work or simply don’t want it where it was originally housed, it might seem like your best option.

Whether you choose to go ahead with it or not will depend on several factors – the cost being perhaps the most crucial. Saga Exceptional caught up with three different specialists for all the need-to-know information about the cost of moving a boiler.

Worcester Bosch boiler close upCredit: Worcester Bosch

Why might you want to move a boiler?

These are valid reasons to reposition your boiler

Paul Honeyman, head of product management at Vaillant, says that moving a boiler from one position to another is: “not a regular occurrence”. But there are some scenarios that might lead you to relocate your boiler.

It could be that you’ve been losing sleep over a noisy bedroom boiler. Or, perhaps you want to move yours out of sight from a convivial space in the home, such as the kitchen, as part of a renovation or extension. “If your extension is going to include a new utility room, you might want to move the boiler into it from the main kitchen, to keep it out of the way,” shares Honeyman.

Honeyman shares another typical scenario where moving the boiler would make sense. “For years, my mum and dad had a system boiler with a cylinder to provide our family home with plenty of hot water,” he says. “But when we left home and there was just mum and dad left, they had the cylinder removed to save space and switched to a combi boiler.” It then made sense to move the boiler from the airing cupboard, so that the space could be knocked through to create a bigger bedroom.

What is the average cost of moving a boiler?

This is what you might typically pay

Checkatrade estimates the cost of moving a new boiler to a different location to be around £800,” says Daniel Khanlarpour, verified Checkatrade member and gas engineer at Gas Guru.

This is the average cost of moving an existing boiler. It can start at £600 and rise to £1000, including VAT.

What impacts the cost of moving a boiler

The amount of disruption and the materials needed will drive up costs

“It’s difficult to estimate the cost of moving a boiler to another position. That’s because all of the current pipework presently connected to the boiler and the electricity supply will also need to be re-routed,” says Martyn Bridges, director of technical communications at Worcester Bosch.

“It may well be that the new position is some distance from the existing one. Therefore the pipework may require an increased diameter. The longer the pipework run, the more the frictional resistance. So it might be that you get insufficient gas to the boiler in its new position if you don’t upgrade.”

These are the other main factors that will affect the cost:

1. Where you’re moving it from and to

How far you are moving the boiler, and whether it’s going from downstairs to upstairs, will significantly impact costs, as it means moving all of the pipework.

For example, if you need scaffolding to get a boiler up into the attic you’ll pay more than if you’re simply moving a boiler to a new location in a bungalow.

“One thing that you should bear in mind is that you want it to be on an external wall where possible, to minimise your flue routes. Ideally, you want to be going directly through the wall and out with your flue to minimise disruption,” says Honeyman.

2. The type of boiler and pipework needed

Checktrade says a combi boiler is the cheapest to move, costing around £600. Bridges’ notes that if you do have a modern boiler, there might be an easier and likely cheaper route to take – particularly if you’re planning it into a new extension.

In 2005 it became a legal requirement to install a condensing boiler when replacing an old appliance. “These newer boilers can have quite long flue pipe runs, with optional bends and elbows to change its direction,” he says. “Some Worcester Bosch boilers have a horizontal flue that can run more than 10m.”

As such, it might be possible for the boiler to stay where it is and for the flue to extend through, say, a ceiling void so that it vents to the outside. “Before this is undertaken, a Gas-Safe- registered installer should check whether it is possible,” Bridges concludes.

If you’re upgrading from a non-condensing boiler to a condensing boiler in the process, make sure you can connect it to an internal drain. “There needs to be somewhere for the condense to run away,” says Honeyman. “It needs to be rooted into an internal drain like a washing machine waste pipe, or a sink U u-bend. If necessary, it can go outside, but it needs to be fully insulated to stop it from freezing in winter,” he tells us.

3. Materials

A considerable amount of copper and raw materials may also be involved when moving your boiler, especially if it’s going from upstairs to downstairs.

4. Time, labour and location

Geography will play a part in the cost of moving a boiler. “Scotland is going to be a lot cheaper than Kent in terms of labour,” admits Honeyman.

To make sure you’re getting a good deal, get quotes from different, well-rated, local installers. Check if any neighbours have had similar work done on their house for comparison and ask for advice and recommendations where possible. If your neighbours aren’t forthcoming, your local Facebook group may be a good place to start.

Can you save on the cost of moving a boiler? 

It’s not possible to cut costs without compromises

Khanlarpour says that this isn’t a job where you can easily or safely cut costs. “Unfortunately, there is no real way to cut costs other than maybe reusing the existing flue, which I don’t recommend. Boiler flues are typically sealed with rubber seals, which deteriorate over time. So when moving a boiler, I would always quote for a new flue. A typical horizontal flue kit for an average combi boiler costs less than £150.”

Is it worth moving an existing boiler?

Should you move an old boiler or buy a new one?

If you’re moving a boiler that is out of its warranty period, it might make more sense to upgrade yours to a more energy-efficient one in the process. A modern boiler typically lasts 15 years, and if it’s any older than this, it is unlikely to be a condensing appliance.

“Let’s say the boiler is nine or 10 years old and there’s going to be a considerable cost to moving it,” says Honeyman. “You may as well upgrade the boiler to a much more efficient, condensing modern appliance that could overall save you money on your gas bill.”

According to Checkatrade, replacing a combi boiler with a new mid-range one, and moving it to a different location, costs around £2,650. It also notes that a new boiler will soon pay for itself through the savings you’ll make on your heating bill.

Khanlarpour warns us that moving an old boiler might not be worth it either: “If the boiler is an older model, I wouldn’t recommend moving it. Moving a boiler that’s more than seven years old may create problems such as leaks, as all its seals and washers will be disturbed when removing and rehanging the boiler.”

What is the best location for a boiler? 

Ensuring that your boiler is in the right place is crucial in any setting

You might typically find a boiler in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, and sometimes you’ll find them in lofts. Honeyman tells us that it varies quite significantly in terms of where boilers are located. “We see quite a lot in kitchens, and we see a smaller number in lofts,” he says.

Key factors to bear in mind when moving a boiler

This will minimise the flue run. “An external wall is always the best location for flue access, says Honeyman. “You don’t want a boiler in the middle of a house, as you’ll give yourself all sorts of problems with the flue run.”

You need to make sure it can be easily reached for servicing. This is easier in a kitchen, for example. If you’re thinking of putting a boiler in the loft, Honeyman notes that it “needs to be fully boarded out and well-lit” so that maintenance engineers can see what they are doing and get to the boiler safely.

Has the cost of moving a boiler changed over time?

It’s got more expensive to move a boiler

From labour to material costs, moving a boiler is likely to be more expensive now than in previous years. “As with most things, the cost has gone up on any plumbing and heating work over the years. The cost of fittings, copper pipework, flue systems etc have all increased over the years, as have installers’ labour charges, as their costs have all risen,” says Bridges.

Khanlarpour seconds this: “The costs of moving a boiler has increased in line with everything else. Your Gas-Safe engineer now spends more on insurance, tools and fuel for their van, and the cost of copper pipe is very high at the moment.”

How about forgoing a boiler altogether?

If you’re toying with the idea of upgrading and moving an old and expensive-to-run boiler, it could be worth doing away with gas and considering a heat pump or solar panels as eco-friendly alternatives.

They’re a bigger investment but might be one to consider, says Honeyman, especially for the carbon saving.

Camille Dubuis-Welch

Written by Camille Dubuis-Welch she/her

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Camille is a freelance writer based in north London with her cat and two friends. She has been writing on lots of interesting subjects over the past few years, starting out with a travel blog and online fashion column when she was studying English Language and Italian at the University of Manchester. Cam has been in love with everything interior design and garden-related since before she can remember. She previously worked for Yankee Candle, as well as Groupon, and is the former deputy editor of realhomes.com where she got to collaborate with some very inspiring DIYers and focus on small-space improvements.