So, most of us know that annually we need to get our boiler serviced to keep the manufacturer’s warranty, right?
What does this actually mean? This means that your boiler or appliance must be serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. If this is not adhered to this will most probably void your warranty should your boiler break down.
Therefore, it is important to know exactly what type of service you will be receiving from the company or engineer undertaking your works.
This is where the industry becomes a grey area. A lot of companies or engineers use the word ‘service’ incorrectly. They are saying we will service your boiler where a lot of the time they only do a safety check which in some instances does not cover all the requirements in the manufacturer’s instructions.
There are primarily two types of service:
This is the basic requirement within the industry which covers regulation 26.9 of The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
This regulation advises the minimum requirement which must be adhered to when checking a gas appliance.
This regulation covers:
Flue: Checking that the combustion analysis readings are inline with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Air: The right amount of air is being drawn into the appliance to allow for correct combustion.
Gas: The appliance is burning the correct amount of gas in a specific time.
Safety: That should there be an issue with the appliance this will go to fault mode.
Now if the above is being concluded legally the company or engineer is checking that your appliance is safe, hence the terminology “Safety Check” however this is not a service, nor does this cover the requirements in most manufacturer’s instructions to guarantee your warranty with them.
If your installation is within the period of the warranty of the boiler it is advisable not to have only a safety check as this could void your warranty with the manufacturer should you need to call them out. If your appliance is outside the warranty period, the safety check is sufficient if you do not want a full service. You engineer should advise you should he feel that the appliance is in need of a full service once their checks have been concluded.
Things to look out for:
Average cost of a safety check: £50.00 – £100.00
Full strip down service
This is where your engineer will give your boiler a compressive check. All of the checks in line with regulation 26.9 of The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 will be concluded, along with a thorough inspection and cleaning process of other components within the boiler.
Here are some of the of the checks the company or engineer will take:
Condense trap: If this becomes blocked through not being cleaned this will cause the boiler to lockout requiring a visit from your engineer.
Primary heat exchanger: If this is not cleaned this will make your appliance work harder, thus using more gas. If your heat exchanger is heavily blocked this can also cause them to split which will require a new boiler. Most boilers require that the seal is changed when the heat exchanger has been opened.
Electrodes: These can wear away over time and also get carbon build up which can make your boiler have an explosive ignition. In most cases these can be cleaned, however they may also need replacing.
Expansion vessel: If you are on a combi or system boiler your expansion vessel is a key component as this is where your water will expand when heated up. If this is flat there is nowhere for this expansion to go so discharges through your PRV. If your boiler keeps losing pressure this could be a sign that your expansion vessel is flat.
Magnetic filter: Most boilers have magnetic filters installed these days to give your appliance on going protection from magnetite. This should be checked annually and cleaned.
Here is a link on the benefits of a clean system https://warnersinnovations.co.uk/how-to-combat-rising-gas-prices/
Water quality: It is important that the water quality within your system is clean and ideally concentrated with inhibitor. This gives your system ongoing protection from corrosion.
This is just some of the check undertaken, and some boilers do vary as additional checks and parts will be cleaned such as injectors and the venturi.
If all the above is being concluded you can bet that your boiler is having a thorough service, this should be easy to tell as components need to be removed.
Your engineer will usually be there between 1-2 hours to undertake the service.
Average cost of a full strip down service: £100.00 – £200.00 plus any parts that may be required.
Here are some pictures of the burner seal being changed, injector cleaned and condense trap being cleaned.
Other checks that should be taken if your engineer of company go above and beyond are:
CO Alarms: A simple check to see if they are in date and the battery of working shows they care.
Tightness test: We at Warner’s Innovations feel this is a big one. While it is not a legal requirement to conclude this test, we feel that your gas pipe should be tested for tightness when they are checking your safety.
Top tip if your engineer does not go to your gas meter, they are certainly not checking the tightness of your pipework.
Paperwork: For your warranty it is important that this is in order. This means that the manufacturers instructors have been filled in by your engineer and that you have been issued a safety certificate.
What to do if you can smell gas: You should be advised how to isolate your ECV (Emergency Control Valve) which is located at the gas meter with the emergency contact number 0800 111 99. You should also open all windows, doors, do not operate light switches or smoke.
It is always advisable to ask prior to booking a company or gas engineer as to what quality of service you will be receiving. Most of the bigger companies who have customers on monthly service plans only conclude safety checks.
This is usually not down to the engineer undertaking the works (so don’t have the firing squad ready), this is usually down to the company paying subcontractors poor margins or giving them specific time periods to which the check will need to be concluded.
At Warner’s Innovations we offer our clients the choice of either service. If you would like any further information about safety checks or a service, contact a dedicated member of our team who would be willing to advise.