How much does it cost to repair a boiler?
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Boiler Repair Cost Guide
Updated: August 19, 2022
If you use hot water or steam to heat your home, then you rely heavily on your boiler each winter to keep that system working. Like any appliance, they break down from time to time. Parts become worn, or issues arise that cause your unit to stop working properly. When this happens, it is important to have your unit repaired as soon as possible to ensure it keeps heating your home and prevent bigger, more expensive problems down the road. There are many types of systems and numerous things that can go wrong with a wide range of associated expenses.
The national average price to fix a boiler is between $500 and $1,800, with most people spending around $900 to fix the circulator pump and related parts and valves. On the low end of the spectrum, some spend as little as $240 on a noisy radiator repair. At the high end, you could spend as much as $2,500 for a full tune-up and replacement of several parts.
Cost to Fix Boiler
|Boiler Repair Cost
|National average cost
Boiler Repair Hourly Rate
You can expect a range of hourly rates for repair of $50 to $200 an hour, depending on how many people are needed and the job complexity. Most HVAC professionals who work on boilers charge for their repairs in one of two ways - a flat fee for a specific problem or an hourly rate plus the price of materials and parts. This second way is more transparent, so many companies present you with an itemized bill at the end of the job so that you see where your money went. Keep in mind that repairs charged by the hour are sometimes more expensive than a flat rate.
Boiler Repair Cost by Boiler Type
The average price to fix a unit is $240 to $1,800 depending on the type. Several factors are involved here, including the various components of the unit that may be involved in repairing it and their associated expenses. Each type of system has different parts, common repairs, maintenance needs, and prices associated with each of these. Therefore, it will be helpful to know what type of system you’re repairing to get an accurate quote. In the table and subsections below, we’ll go over the most common types of units, the average prices to fix them, and what the process entails.
|Repair Cost (Labor Included)
|$240 - $500
|$240 - $600
|$250 - $600
|$300 - $1,200
|$500 - $1,800
Wood Boiler Repair
A wood unit is one of the most affordable to repair, priced between $240 and $500. Wood options may require replacing the valves and lines that feed the main system. Since it is fueled by wood, the major issues will be much less expensive to fix in most cases. Some issues get expensive, such as if your entire system needs to be flushed and restored, which could be priced upwards of $1,200 or more, but these are much less common.
Gas Boiler Repair
Gas unit repairs typically run $240 to $600, depending on exactly what’s going on. Although more expensive things can break that could be priced upwards of $1,000, those issues are rarer. The average process to fix a gas unit involves cleaning or repairing valves and lines. When done by an HVAC professional, it doesn’t have to be expensive. It may also be done as a part of routine maintenance, which will incur its own price.
Oil Burner Repair
An oil-burning system is priced between $250 and $600 to repair, depending on exactly what’s wrong. If some valves or lines are leaking, rusted, or have buildup and need to be cleaned, this is usually a simple and less expensive repair. However, if there are major system problems or if the pump needs to be replaced, for example, you may end up spending much more on this job.
Propane Boiler Repair
Fixing a propane unit could set you back anywhere from $300 to $1,200 to fix, depending on the issues that you are having. If the ignitor is burned out, it could be a relatively inexpensive fix. On the other hand, if there is a leak in the propane lines or a more serious part that needs to be fixed or replaced, you could spend two or three times as much on this repair. Make sure that you choose an HVAC professional with experience fixing propane systems.
Fix Electric Boiler
It is priced between $500 and $1,800 to fix an electric unit. You could have a faulty ignitor or a fan that has gone bad. There may also be issues with the valves or the pump if your system runs on a pump. Tankless systems may also experience the need for a coil fix or replacement, which can be more expensive because they are difficult to access and repair. These are the most expensive options to fix because of the complexity of the work and the price of parts.
Boiler Repair Cost by Replacement Part
If you have to replace a part of the unit, it could be priced anywhere from $100 to $1,800. In some instances, you may be able to flush the system or thaw frozen lines, but it’s generally more likely that a part needs to be replaced when the unit stops working in one way or another. So, there is a good chance that you must pay for a replacement part at the time of a repair. Below is a list of the most common parts that need replacement, along with common causes of problems and their average pricing.
|Replacement Cost (Labor Included)
|$100 - $300
|$100 - $300
|$125 - $275
|$165 - $475
|$225 - $635
|$250 - $500
|$500 - $1,000
|$500 - $1,800
Zone Valve Replacement
Zone valves and drain valves are priced between $100 and $300 to replace. They are a common source of leaks and can rust easier than other parts. They may also be more likely to need replacing with additional repairs rather than on their own. One or more valves may need to be replaced. However, they are easy to access, so the labor expenses are typically lower when dealing with this type of repair, even if multiple replacements need to be made.
Boiler Gas Valve Replacement
If you need a new gas valve, it will be priced $100 to $300, on average. This is another common part for rusting and sticking and often needs replacing along with other parts. For example, you may need to replace valves and the pipes running through the system, or they could be replaced along with the pump and fan when there’s a serious system failure, which will incur an additional price. It will be important to identify and replace the right valve, as each system offers multiple types.
Ignition Switch Replacement
It is priced from $125 to $275 to replace the ignition switch on a unit if it fails. The ignition switch is a module that is priced between $75 and $225, while the labor expenses are around $50 because this is a fairly simple fix. The ignition switch is an electrical component and can fail due to a short or even wear out due to age. If it does not work, the unit will not ignite, and the system will not function until the switch is replaced.
Replacing the ignitor ranges from $165 to $475, depending on the size of your unit and the brand. If your pilot light keeps going out, then you need to replace the ignitor. The ignitor is responsible for firing up the system on a gas or propane system. Some electric systems also have electronic ignitors, which will have a premium price for fixing or replacing them because of the more expensive parts and complex repairs.
Boiler Expansion Tank Replacement
It is priced between $225 and $635 to replace the expansion tank on your system, depending on the size and model. The price of replacing the expansion vessel on a combi unit is about the same. Your expansion tank is one of the most important parts of the unit. If it or the diaphragm inside fails, you need to replace the entire thing to keep your system working. If you think your tank may need to be replaced, consult with an HVAC professional to get an accurate diagnosis.
Boiler Fan Replacement
Depending on the model, it is priced between $250 and $500 to replace the fan. Your fan is an important part of the system, helping to keep combustion going so that the unit heats the water. If the fan fails, the system could overheat, or the combustion process could fail, resulting in the system not working at all until the part is repaired or replaced. The fan may be priced more on some newer models or those that have energy-efficient features.
Tankless Coil Replacement
It is priced between $500 and $1,000 for most models that need a tankless coil replacement. If you have a tankless coil heating system instead of a tank, be prepared for a higher replacement price. This coil is difficult to reach and expensive to purchase, making it a premium part with premium labor expenses. Replacing this coil resolves issues with the unit not heating properly or at all. It may also be replaced along with other parts or repairs, which could increase the total price, or it may be performed as a singular replacement.
Boiler Pump Replacement
The price to replace a circulator pump is $500 to $1,800. Your circulator pump keeps water moving through the system to your radiator or your radiant heat flooring. If it fails, the water cannot get to where it needs to heat your home. Several types of systems use a circulator pump. Each has its own brand and size requirements, impacting the price. Typically, labor costs are similar regardless of the model because the pump replacement process is similar in all styles of systems.
Boiler Repair Costs by Problem
The average price range of fixing a unit is $240 to $1,800 depending on the problem. Your system is made up of many different parts and components. The faulty part(s) have their own associated expenses with fixing and replacing them. Sometimes, a specific issue is easy to pinpoint. Other times, the problem has multiple causes, and the only way to tell the price of your repair is to have a technician identify the problem. Below are some of the common issues along with the average price range to repair them.
|Repair Cost (Labor Included)
|$240 - $450
|Radiator Not Heating
|$240 - $450
|Keeps Turning off
|$250 - $635
|$250 - $1,800
|Does not Turn on
|$265 - $1,800
|$300 - $635
Radiator Making Noise
The average flush price is $240 to $450, depending on the size of your system, which should resolve any noise issues. It is very common for these systems to make noise when they start up. If you continue to hear noise after it gets going, there may be a problem. If you have a radiator, attempt to bleed off any air in the system at the radiator by turning the valve and waiting until water comes to the surface before shutting it again. If you do not have a radiator or bleeding it does not fix the problem, you likely have kettling or limescale buildup or mineral deposits in the pipes. In this case, flush the system.
Radiator not Heating
The most common solution for uneven heating is to flush the unit at $240 to $450. If your unit appears to be working, but your radiators do not get hot or are warm at the bottom but cold at the top, there may be several problems causing this. It might be air in the system, mineral deposits in the line, or rust in the line. Be sure that your units are opened properly. If there is still uneven heat, consult a professional about a flush or other repairs.
Boiler Keeps Turning off
If your unit keeps turning off right after turning it on, fixing it is priced between $250 and $635. This may be caused by many issues, including low pressure, a broken thermostat, or faulty pipes, valves, or the circulator pump. Your HVAC technician may need to examine multiple areas to find the problem, so the time and labor pricing could add up if the issue is more difficult to diagnose. The solution will be to replace the thermostat, mend or replace faulty pipes and valves, or mend or replace the pump on the unit.
No Water Pressure in Boiler
If you are dealing with low or no pressure in your system, repairs could range from $250 to $1,800, depending on exactly what’s wrong. Your unit has a pressure gauge on it showing the tank pressure. It needs pressure to push the water or steam through the system. If you have no or low pressure, your unit gives you a warning and may not work. This is caused by a water leak or faulty pipes, valves, or circulator pump. The solution involves fixing or replacing pipes or valves that are leaking or replacing or repairing the circulator pump. Because there are so many potential causes, labor and finding the issue may set you back more, too.
Boiler Does not Turn on
If your unit does not turn on at all, you can expect to spend between $265 and $1,800. if you have to pay someone to fix it. This problem also has several causes, including a broken thermostat, low pressure, a clogged or broken fuel line, or a frozen condensate pipe. The last cause is fixable at home by pouring boiling water on it to thaw it. Then, try the unit again. If it still does not turn on or continues to act faulty, you should contact a professional right away.
Leaking Water Boiler
If you see water around your unit, you may spend between $300 and $635 to have it repaired. The range is wide because this problem also has several causes, ranging from a broken expansion tank to a frozen condensate line. You may also have faulty valves, pipes, seals or a valve stuck in the on position. Finding a leak can be a pesky problem, but fortunately, it’s easier on a unit than most appliances. If the leak is obvious and easy to fix, it will set you back less to fix. Small leaks may be patched or repaired, but larger leaks could require full replacement of pipes, valves, and other components.
Labor Cost to Repair Boiler
Of the average $500 to $1,800 to fix a unit, approximately $100 to $1,000, or about 15% to 60% of the total price is labor. The other 40 to 85 percent goes to materials, depending on the exact materials and the work involved. Some HVAC professionals will charge by the hour, while others will charge by the project. If they charge by the project, it will typically be a percentage of the total repair price based on how complex (or simple) the work may be. Sometimes, hourly rates cost more than flat rates and vice versa. You may want to compare your options to ensure that you’re getting the best labor quote regardless of how it is charged.
The mending process typically starts with an inspection of the system. , For this service, some contractors may charge separately at a rate of $90 to $200 per service call, along with any required work. Some waive the service charge if you have them perform the repairs, but this is not always the case. Once the inspection is complete, the right parts will be identified and repaired or replaced accordingly. If a system flush is required, that will be performed, as well.
Boilers are like many appliances, and when they break, the issue could be caused by many things, some of them serious and others easily fixed by the homeowner. This is why many HVAC companies that fix them have a service call fee. With this pricing structure, if they arrive and discover that the problem is a minor fix done in minutes, they still charge the service call fee. If the problem is more extensive and you agree to the work or a replacement, they generally waive the fee.
Boiler Service Cost
Service prices for maintenance range from $250 to $500 a visit, depending on what is done. A full-service tune-up, which includes the replacement of many worn valves and parts, with prices up to $2,500. This often restores units to like-new conditions, providing many more years of use. It is recommended that you have your unit serviced at least once a year. Doing so catches problems before they start so that your unit does not suddenly stop working one day.
Boiler Inspection Cost
Inspections are priced from $100 to $300, depending on the length of the inspection and unit type. Service calls usually include an inspection for free. However, you may also call a technician to inspect your unit if you suspect a potential issue. Whether or not you pay for the inspection and the amount you pay depends on who does the work, what type of system you have, and what type of inspection is being done.
Boiler Replacement Cost
While a new unit is priced at $8,362, repairs can typically be done for less than $900. If this is the case, repairing often makes the most sense. Generally, it is recommended to replace your unit if you need more than $3,000 in repairs or if you need extensive work done and it is over ten years old. Remember that older units are not as efficient as newer models. Older units of 20 years or more might use twice as much fuel as newer units, so replacing them saves you money in your energy bills. Otherwise, repairing your unit gets several years of use before replacement is necessary.
Signs Your Boiler Needs Repairs
Generally, your unit lets you know if it needs repairs. You may hear noise, experience uneven heating, have to turn it back on again and again, or notice a big increase in your heating bills without turning the thermostat any higher. You may also notice condensation on the exterior, leaks, water around the bottom of the unit, or rust or corrosion on the exterior. These are all signs that your unit needs servicing, along with anything else that seems unusual or out of the ordinary.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Replacing Parts With More Energy-efficient Options
The price of this service is usually around $2,500 to $3,000 if it is a possibility. This is not always possible, but getting a full tune-up and replacing some parts with newer energy-efficient options make your unit more efficient, costing less each month. This may be a good alternative to a full replacement depending on the work that needs to be done or a good way to improve your home’s while performing already necessary repairs.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Old units. If your unit is over 10 years old, you may want to consider replacement rather than regular repairs.
- Insurance. Insurance is a good idea if you are unable to make lump sum payments for needed repairs. Check with your HVAC technician for more information.
- Repair time. The time required to fix a unit varies from an hour to two days, depending on the repair complexity. This influences the project price.
- Consultations. Many HVAC specialists offer a consultation to find the problem and are priced so that you can weigh your options for repair and replacement.
- Access issues. If your unit is in a difficult-to-reach location, such as under the house, the price of your repair may be 10% to 15% higher.
- Permits. Most repairs do not require permits, but if you make major changes to your system, you may need one. Check with your HVAC technician for more information.
- How much does boiler repair cost?
The average price to repair a unit $900. Most people in the U.S. spend between $500 and $1,800 on the job, depending on what needs to be fixed.
- Is it worth repairing a boiler?
Generally speaking, professionals advise that if the repair price is more than $3,000, you should consider replacing the unit with a newer model. For repairs less than that amount, investing in the repair increases the longevity of the system and avoids a full replacement.
- Can a boiler be repaired?
In several instances, a unit can be repaired, or small parts can be replaced to get the unit back in working order so that you do not have to pay for a full replacement.
- How often should you have your boiler serviced?
They should ideally be serviced yearly.
- How long does it take for a boiler to be serviced?
If it is in good condition, about 1 to 2 hours. For units in poor condition, it could take up to 2 days.
- Should I repair or replace my boiler?
This depends on the unit's age and the extent of the repair. Many units over 10 years old should be replaced.
- How long do boilers last for?
They last 15 to 25 years on average.
- Should I replace my 20-year-old boiler?
Units this old are likely using much more fuel and energy to heat your home. Replacement nearly pays for itself quickly with lower fuel expenses.