Boiler Installation and Central Heating Regulations

This guide for the building regulations and planning permissions of boiler installs and central heating refers only to England.

Planning permission

Planning permission is not usually needed for installing and replacing a boiler or a heating system if the work is indoor. But if you a resident of a listed building, you will need to verify with your Local Planning Authority.

If the installation needs an external flue, you will receive permission from your local authorities in these cases:

  • The flues on the hinder or lateral eminence of the building have maximal height of one metre over the highest top of the roof.
  • If you live in a listed building or in a denoted area, even if you have received permission rights for development, you still need to check with your Local Planning Authority before mounting your flue. An agreement should also be needed for any indoor changes made.
  • In all conservation zones, national parks, World Heritage sites, protected areas of extraordinary nature beauty, and the Broads, the flue shouldn’t be installed on the main or lateral height of the building, if it faces a highway.

Other rights apply for installing of flues for combined and mixed power and heat systems.

If your boiler installation and central heating project needs another premises to hoard additional equipment, the rules mentioned above apply for it as for all other elongations and garden outbuildings.

Building Regulations

Heating systems

For substituting a heating or a hot water system, an application blank is not necessary. Even if it is needed in some cases, it’s not necessary to apply before the actual work starts. In cases some urgent work is necessary, like a leak, coming from a hole from the cylinder or others, the reparation work should be in line with the requirements. After such occasions it is necessary to file a claim for retrospective acceptance and a completion certificate.

For installation of a new heating system, the person in charge should act the same way as if the work is performed in a new edifice.

A guide for what is sensible provision for keeping the energy productivity you can find in the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) publication: “Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide 2010 Edition with 2011 amendments”.

If an already existing heating system has been changed or substituted with another, the person, who had last worked on it is in charge for the secure and safe functioning of this system. He should supply you with a certificate, showing that the needed tests and verifications have been done.

Regulation of other building projects

House Extensions
Loft Conversions
Fence Installation
Conservatory Construction
Kitchens and Bathroom Refurbishment

Replacing Boilers

The new standards are run if you make the decision to alter your hot-water central-heating boiler or if you choose to replace your other type of central heating system to a boiler of this type.

If you plan installation of a new boiler or a stove, which supplies your home central heating – Raeburn, Aga etc. you will need approving form the Building Regulations. The reasons for this are the safety of the boiler installation and usage, as well as the necessity of energy effectiveness. This can be accomplished by hiring a registered under an approved system installer. According to the type of boiler you want installed, there are different requirements for the installers:

  • Gas Boiler – The installer needs to be Gas Safe Registered from 1 April 2009
  • Solid fuel fired boiler – The installer should be registered with one of the applicable Competent Person Schemes
  • Oil fired Boiler – The installing person needs to be registered with one of the appropriate Competent Person Schemes

The installers should follow the directions pointed out in Approved Document J. It indicates what is needed for air supplies,
fireplaces, flue linings, hearths and chimney classifying where the flue outlet can be placed.

Every boiler must have a minimal productivity of 86% if it is a gas boiler and 85% if it is an oil boiler. When exchanging a gas boiler the substitute should be made with a condensing boiler, if there is a reasonable factor not to install such. The estimation should be done by a registered installer on the kind of boiler you will be demanded to have installed. The evaluation is reported in details to the Department for Communities and in a Local Government publication “Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide 2010 Edition with 2011 amendments”.

More information and advices you can receive from the brochure of the Department for Communities and Local Government ( formerly known as ODPM): ”Gas and oil central heating boilers: Advice to householders”.

Condensing boilers with a SEDBUK category A or B should be installed in all cases, except if an evaluation performed by a Gas Safe Register installer from 1 April 2009 states that it is not appropriate. In these cases the less efficacious with SEDBUK Ratings of C or D will be installed, if they have the minimal effectiveness as was explained.

If an oil fired heating system needs to have a new storage reservoir, the directions, pointed out in the Approved Document J
must be followed strictly. This should be done in order to protect yourself and the others from fires and to decrease the dangers of oil pollution.

The Approved Document J prohibits the placing of the exchanged oil storage tanks in the same position, where the old tank was. However the local authorities may dismiss or ignore this rule in the cases, in which they find that this is irrational, according to the conditions. Before making their decision, they will take under attention the exposure of the fuel container to a fire for the premises or beyond the border of the building, as well as the threat of an oil pollution for each case independently.

In some occasions the owners of the house or other kind of estate, may choose to hire a company or firm, not a member of the approved Competent Person schemes. Then the installer won’t be able to provide that his work will be approved by the local authorities. In such cases the owners of the property needs to inform the Local Authority before doing the boiler replacing he plans to do and pay a notification fee. The Local Authority Building Control may decide to verify that the work has been done according to the necessary level and norms and even hire a registered installer to do the work.

When the work has been finished, the installer is required to manufacture a commissioning certificate like a Benchmark certificate. He should also report to the building control department of the local authorities straight or if he is a member of the Competent Person Scheme announce through the scheme operator. In due time you should receive a Building Regulations Completion Certificate from the local authority, which denotes conformity.

More information here and here.

The following guide should be regarded as an introductory and therefore it doesn’t provide legal information.

You are strongly advised to get in touch with your local planning authority for a complete peace of mind. Make sure that all your doubts, concerning the project are disproved before taking any building actions.