12 Times You MUST Call a Gas Safe Engineer

If you are a little handy around the house when something goes wrong, you are likely to attempt fault finding and then fix the problem yourself.

There are some jobs that however that should not be tackled by amateur DIYers, and they require a licenced professional to come in and do the work for you. In some instances, it is not only safer to hire a professional, but it will also keep you out of hot water because some work requires qualifications by law.

To keep yourself, your family, and your neighbours safe, we have 15 cases that are perfect examples of when you should definitely hire a professional gas safe engineer!

Boiler Making Noise Like Aeroplane

If your boiler is making a noise like an aeroplane there is obviously something wrong and this particular sound can often be indicative of a pump issue.

Pump issues can be caused by a whole variety of things such as age, wear and tear, and sludge build-up but your gas-safe engineer will be able to diagnose the problem more thoroughly.

Hopefully, it is just sludge build-up, and the system just needs flushing, if not, the water pump may need replacing.

Back Boiler Bubbling Noise

A bubbling or gurgling sound coming from a back boiler is a worrying sound, particularly when it starts suddenly after working without issue.

If you hear a bubbling or gurgling sound like this, it could mean that your cold feed is blocked in which case, it should not be used until it has been inspected by a professional.

Boiler Making Loud Vibrating Noise

In my time, I have come across all sorts of problems associated with loud vibrating noises coming from boilers. I once had an ideal boiler making a loud vibrating noise due to the flue being installed incorrectly.

There are so many different causes for this such as the pressure, having air trapped in the system or having something trapped in the flue.

Regardless of what you read online, it is impossible to give any kind of accurate diagnosis of this problem without calling in a professional to come and inspect it for you.

Boiler Making Rumbling Noise

Again, a rumbling noise can be several different things and you are best to just turn off the system and get someone out to look at it asap.

Some sites will try and give you a diagnosis depending on a sound or a description of a sound but without inspection, you cannot accept this as fact.

One person’s rumbling noise is another person’s vibration etc – descriptions of sounds will be different for different people. The best bet is – Get a Pro in to sort it.

Boiler Humming Noise

A humming noise is usually caused by vibration somewhere. At worst, the vibrations could be a worn part of the boiler such as the pump or, it could be something a little less obvious like how the boiler has been fixed to the wall on installation.

There are so many different types of humming noise (fast, slow, loud, gentle) again, this one is impossible to give you any real idea of what the problem is.

For a humming sound or if your boiler is making any other unusual sound, call out a gas safe engineer to give you a proper diagnosis.

Smell Of Oil from the Boiler

Firstly, healthy, and regularly serviced oil boilers should not smell so if you are smelling oil, this is a problem that will need rectifying straight away.

An oil smell usually indicates a leak but if your boiler has not been serviced for some time, your boiler may just need a good clean-up and an injector change (this should be done annually anyway).

Not all gas safe engineers are experienced with oil so make sure that you get the right person out to check it for you.

Hot Metal Burning Smell from Boiler

If your boiler has begun to smell like something is burning, turn it off immediately. A burning smell, in particular, a hot metal burning smell from a boiler is usually associated with an electrical fault.

If you are sure that the smell is coming from the boiler area, call out a gas safe engineer immediately! – gas and electricity do not mix and this could potentially be an extremely unsafe situation for you and your family.

Gas boilers do still have electronic components and a hot metal burning smell is a sign that something may have fused, burned out or generally gone wrong.

Condensate Pipe Boiler Bad Smell

One of the primary functions of modern plumbing is to eliminate bad smells/ foul odours from entering living spaces.

If you are smelling anything out of the ordinary or anything that you consider to be bad, you will need to call someone that knows what they’re doing to have a look and find out what is causing it.

There could be a blockage somewhere or the pipework could be damaged, or it could have just been installed badly.

Disconnect Gas Fire

I have been asked many times how to disconnect a gas fire and I have even found sites online that give less than adequate instructions.

Truth is, I am not going to tell you how to disconnect a gas fire because if you are not a gas-safe engineer, you shouldn’t be touching it.

If you need to disconnect a gas fire, you need to ensure that you get a registered professional to do the work for you.

Gas Problem (ALL)

Anything and I mean absolutely anything to do with gas must be attended to by a person with the relevant qualifications.

If you smell gas, if the appliance runs on gas, call the person that has training and experience in whatever the problem may be.

Boiler Losing Pressure When Running Hot Water

If your boiler is losing pressure when the hot water is running there is probably a leak somewhere. This leak may be extremely small and almost undetectable to the untrained eye.

Any competent professional will be able to diagnose and fix this for you so if you are having this problem, call someone now.

Lead Gas Pipe

I have been asked many times over the years if lead gas pipes are okay to be used or if they need replacing.

Lead gas pipes were phased out in the 1970s in favour of copper ones so if you have a newer property, you probably will not have them, but they are still common in older houses.

Lead pipes are still considered safe unless there is any damage or deterioration present. If you have lead pipes and are aware that they may have perished or sustained damage, you must call someone out asap!


There are some jobs you can fix, there are some that you can’t and some you actually must not.

All of the things mentioned in this article require you to call out a gas-safe engineer immediately.

Whether that be sounds, smells or anything else out of the ordinary, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Plumbing Wizard Tips

“If you smell something bad – call an engineer!”

“If you hear an unusual noise – call an engineer!”

“If there is a problem with anything gas related – call an engineer!”

“If is something that you cannot fix or diagnose yourself – you guessed it – call an engineer!”

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if my boiler sounds like it is about to take off?

Unusual noises from the boiler can be any number of things so turn it off and call a gas-safe engineer immediately.

Why does my boiler smell like burning?

A burning smell coming from a boiler can be various things, you should turn it off and call a gas-safe engineer immediately.

What does a faulty boiler smell like?

A faulty boiler will smell differently depending on what is causing the issue. Foul smells could indicate gas leaks or blockages and burning smells can be caused by overheating or faulty components. Turn the system off and call a professional immediately.

About Me

I’m Lee the Plumbing Wizard. I’ve been a plumber for over 40 years and have seen it all. People used to call me a magician because I could fix things so easily – hence the name Plumbing Wizard.
I’m always happy to help out a fellow tradesman or woman, so if you need any advice or just someone to talk plumbing with, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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