Boilers and Plumbing

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Having your boiler serviced is a sound safety measure and will determine if it is working efficiently.

Rental property requires a landlord's gas safety certificate.

I do not offer maintainance contracts. They cost more than what you would pay a competent heating plumber over the lifetime of your boiler.

Technical Advice

What is a Boiler Service?

It involves a number of observations and tests to determine safe and efficient operation. Here are a few of them: Analysis of the flue gases using an electronic flue gas analyser will show whether the boiler is burning gas safely and economically. A visual inspection for any signs of distress such as soot marks by the boiler casing (very important in the case of gas fires too). Soot is a sign of incomplete combustion which produces carbon monoxide.

The testing of all safety devices such as thermocouples on a gas hob (where you have to keep the gas knob pressed for a few seconds after ignition). If the flame is blown out, the gas will be switched off automatically. Another safety device is boiler rectification. Flames contain ions which are charged particles capable of carrying an electrical current. Provided there is a flame at the burner, d.c. current flows from an electrode through the flame to a coil in a relay on the circuit board which remains energised and the gas valve stays open. If the flame fails, the magnetic field in the coil collapses and the gas valve closes preventing a dangerous gas escape.

Boiler Insurance Schemes.

They generally work out a lot more expensive than an honest and competent heating engineer when you need one. Insurance companies are corporate entities who make their money by charging you more than it costs them to provide the service.

Ventilation check.

Safe combustion requires sufficient air. Modern boilers are generally room sealed so the flue draws fresh air from outside as well as discharging the combustion gases. That's why the location of the flue terminal is very important. In a restricted space, like an alcove, the exhaust will be drawn back into the boiler resulting in poor combustion and carbon monoxide.

A gas hob does not have a flue. Combustion gas builds up in your kitchen. This is absolutely fine provided the gas burns efficiently. The name given to perfect combustion is “Stoichiometric” and results in zero carbon monoxide. In reality this is rarely achieved, but if you have plenty of fresh air available the gas should burn safely. So never cover purpose ventilation like air bricks and plastic grills.

For the Landlord Gas Safety Certificate, a number of checks and tests are done to ensure safe function of all the gas appliances and the safety of the occupants of the property.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors.

These can save lives provided they are functioning correctly and in the right location. Follow instructions carefully. As with fire detectors, the sensor has a limited life span, sometimes six years. Please replace smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors before the expiry date.