What is Boiler Commissioning? A Gas Engineer’s Guide

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Doing Work, Technical Knowledge

Boiler commissioning is a critical procedure that follows the installation of a boiler system. It verifies that the boiler has been installed correctly, meets safety standards, and runs efficiently.

There is much more to know about the full boiler commissioning process, including the importance of obtaining a benchmark certificate and the consequences of not commissioning a boiler. As a Gas Safe registered engineer, you play a key role in this process, so in this guide, we’ll share all the details you should know about it.

We’ll also let you in on a little secret—going paperless makes everything more efficient and easier to manage. Read on to learn how.

Create digital commissioning checklists, Gas Safety Records, and much more with Gas Engineer Software.

(Fast & easy setup with no committment.)

What is Boiler Commissioning?

Boiler commissioning is an essential part of the boiler installation process. It involves evaluating the system’s performance and safety to ensure it operates efficiently while also preventing common issues from arising. This process is a legal requirement, providing assurance beyond just peace of mind.

Once the commissioning is complete, the boiler benchmark certificate is issued. This certificate confirms that the installation complies with national building regulations and is crucial for safeguarding the boiler’s warranty.

Boiler Commissioning Regulations

The Boiler Plus regulations came into effect in April 2018. They stipulate that all boilers installed in residential premises across England and Wales must meet minimum efficiency goals. 

All boilers installed after April 2018 must achieve at least 92% efficiency and have fully functioning timers and temperature controls. These regulations are in place to boost environmental outcomes and improve energy efficiency and heating costs.

What Role Does a Gas Engineer Play in Boiler Commissioning?

A gas engineer is responsible for conducting the necessary tests and evaluations in the commissioning process. They must be gas-safe registered, which ensures that they are up-to-date with the necessary certifications and familiar with the various boiler systems, common problems, and legislation.   

Steps in the Boiler Commissioning Process

The boiler commissioning process is a comprehensive set of steps that includes pre-commissioning checks, safety checks, function tests, and performance analysis. The time it takes to complete varies and can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day, depending on the size of the unit.

Step 1: Cleanse the System 

After installation, the first thing to do is flush the system as per the manufacturer’s specifications. This is key for preventing black magnetite from flowing through the system, which if left, can reduce the system’s efficiency and increase running costs. 

Step 2: Add a Corrosion Inhibitor

Once the system is cleaned, it’s time to add a corrosion inhibitor. This prevents corrosion and hydrogen gas from entering the system and reducing its lifespan, and ensures the owner can get maximum value out of the boiler.

Step 3: Test the Gas Flue

The next step involves testing the gas flue and recording the analyser readings. This test ensures the boiler is burning gas safely and at optimal levels, meeting both the manufacturer’s specifications and the regulatory requirements. 

To streamline this process, check out our Flue Gas Analyser Integration – it’ll help you transfer data fast, give you accurate and traceable reports, and prevent you from making any mistakes.

Step 4: Test Performance and Set Output

At this point, you can test the boiler’s performance and set the gas output for the household’s needs. The output is adjusted according to the size of the house and the number of radiators, ensuring that the boiler isn’t using more energy than required. 

Step 5: Gas Tightness and Let By

These two tests are critical safety checks. The gas tightness measures the flow and pressure within the pipes, and the let by test examines if there is any gas leaking when the valve is switched off.  

Step 6: Register Your Guarantee and Complete the Task

Lastly, you must register the boiler’s guarantee for warranty purposes. This is done through the manufacturer’s installer apps and provides homeowners with long-term coverage and financial security should something unforeseen happen.

Before completing the task, it’s good practice to build customer relationships by explaining what has been completed during the boiler commissioning process. It’s also worth informing the customer of how the boiler guarantee works. 

What are the Potential Hazards?

The main risk of not having a boiler commissioned is the potential for gas leaks, which can be extremely dangerous. Having an expert gas engineer expertly commission a boiler and approve it for use gives the customer peace of mind.

However, other consequences unrelated to safety are likely to occur if a boiler isn’t commissioned. For example, without proper commissioning, a boiler will consume more energy than necessary, leading to more frequent and costly repairs and high energy bills. The system will also become much noisier as a result of having to work harder. 

What Happens if a Boiler is Non-Compliant?

A non-compliant boiler may lead to penalties and prosecution for the homeowner and potentially the gas engineer if processes are not correctly followed. Any issues that make the boiler non-compliant need to be repaired as soon as possible.

The Boiler Commissioning Checklist

Gas Engineer Software offers heating professionals a streamlined way to create digital commissioning checklists – as well as quotes, invoices, and lots more. Going paperless saves heating & plumbing companies hours normally spent on admin and paperwork, and allows engineers to finish all their work in the field.

Going paperless will save you  hours and make admin & paperwork easier.

To give you a snippet of what’s possible with our software, we’ve put together a boiler commissioning checklist template. It’s a straightforward digital PDF file designed to help gas engineers follow and document the commissioning process correctly. It can be filled out from a tablet or mobile device on-site, which means no double-handling of paperwork or risk of documents getting misplaced. It’s been specifically designed by professionals in the industry and it’s 100% free to download.

    Download Your Free Installation/Commissioning Checklist Template

    How to Use the Template?

    You can download the template for free – all you have to provide is an email address, and you will receive it in your inbox immediately. The best way to use it is to keep a blank copy that you can duplicate and rename for each customer.

    The template can be opened in any commonly used PDF viewer software. To maintain a professional appearance, you can add your company logo and digital signatures. The checklist significantly cuts down on admin time, allowing you to complete more jobs without the hassle of managing paperwork.

    How Can Gas Engineer Software Help with Boiler Commissioning?

    Every gas engineer understands how easy it can be to get bookings mixed up and lose paperwork. The good news is you don’t have to be an IT expert to use Gas Engineer Software. What’s more, it’ll cut your admin time in half.

    Gas Engineer Software provides a stack of benefits, including:

    • Reducing the risk of human error in handling paperwork
    • Keeping your schedule organised and your customers happy
    • Connecting all your systems into one for seamless management
    • Saving time, allowing you to fit more customers in, and scaling your business

    Better still, transitioning from a paper-based management system to paperless is made super easy. You can even book a one-on-one trial session and have a customer success manager walk you through the software and show you how to adopt it easily. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How long does boiler commissioning take?

    Boiler commissioning can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a whole day. It depends on the difficulty of the system and, of course, the size of the unit. A boiler that is connected to many radiators in a big home will take much longer to commission than a system in a one bedroom flat.

    What is a boiler commissioning benchmark certificate?

    A boiler benchmark certificate is issued with the completion and approval of a boiler commission carried out by an approved Gas Safe engineer. This certificate outlines safety and efficiency standards that both manufacturers and installers must adhere to. This certificate also guarantees the installed boiler meets the building regulations set in England and Wales.

    What are the consequences of not commissioning a boiler?

    If the boiler commissioning is skipped, several consequences can occur, ranging from minor to significant. The most worrying consequence is the safety risk. A boiler that has not been commissioned by an approved professional increases the risk of gas leaks going unnoticed. The other consequences centre around the increased running costs from an inefficient boiler and the more frequent repairs and replacement of parts.

    When should boiler commissioning be done?

    Boiler commissioning is done just after the installation is completed. Also, if the boiler has undergone significant repairs or system changes, it should be commissioned again.  

    Next steps:

    If you’ve been thinking about implementing software into your workflow to save time, here’s what you can do next: