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What should you do with an old boiler?

While buying a new boiler may be relatively simple, disposing of your existing unit can sometimes be a trickier affair. Usually, it’s not just a case if taking it to your local council tip as there are environmental concerns to consider, as well as the complications that come along with technical appliances.

How to remove your old boiler

While an annual boiler service and adequate boiler cover can help to extend the life of your heating system, the time will inevitably come when you need a boiler replacement.

How long your boiler will last will depend on what type it is, a combi, a system, or a regular boiler. However, the average boiler will last anywhere between 10-15 years.

When the time does come to buy a new boiler, you will of course first need to remove the existing unit.

Given the complicated nature of modern boilers, it is important that you do not try to remove it yourself and that you contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to complete the job themselves as part of the new installation.

The engineer will need to disconnect the gas and power supply in order to remove the unit. However, you shouldn’t be left without heat and hot water for too long as it should only take a day for the engineer to remove the old boiler and fit the new one.

Why is it important to get rid of your old boiler responsibly?

Having an old boiler cluttering up your home can be a bit of a conundrum. As they aren’t classed as normal domestic rubbish, you can’t simply wait for the bin lorry to come and pick it up. In fact, they are classed as commercial waste and need to be given extra consideration due to the threat they pose to the environment.

They can contain dangerous substances, including asbestos if they are really old, which means they must be disposed of in a way that doesn’t pose a danger to the public and the environment.


Can I take my old boiler to the local tip?

The simple answer is no. It’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to simply drive your old unit to your local household waste recycling centre, also known as the council tip.

As well as the risk of spilt chemicals, they are also complicated appliances that contain a range of different materials that most centres do not have the capability to handle.

How to dispose of your old boiler

There are a number of ways to dispose of your old boiler, with the easiest being to ask the engineer who installs your new appliance to take it away with them.

If this service isn’t available to you, you can contact your local council to ask if they can take it away as part of their bulky waste collection service. Prices differ depending on where you live, with some local authorities even allowing residents a set number of free large item pick-ups per year.

It’s a simple service, whereby you just leave the unit on the boundary of your property for the council to come and pick up at the agreed time. Just visit your local authority website where you should be able to book a pick-up as well as find a list of the items that qualify.

Can I sell my old boiler?

Back in 2010 homeowners could claim back some of the value of their old boiler through the UK Government’s boiler scrappage scheme, encouraging people to replace their inefficient boilers and made upgrading to a new one more affordable. Unfortunately, this incentive came to an end in 2011.

While the introduction of flexible payment plans has made buying a new boiler much more affordable, homeowners can raise additional money by selling their old model to a scrap yard for recycling.

Prices are based on market value, but you could get around an extra £50 for your old unit. While this may seem like a nominal amount, if you also have old radiators, water tanks, pipes and taps to sell, you could come away with a more substantial amount.