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The Almost Impartial Guide to Boiler Replacement

Gas Boiler Maintenance

A central heating boiler is like a car, it needs regular maintenance to keep it running to its maximum efficiency. This kind of care should return the favour with the boiler being more fuel-efficient and less prone to break down.

What should I expect from a service?

Different companies have different programmes. Beware those offering schemes such as an annual check, or a safety check. These can just add up to a cursory glance and a process which tests gasses emitted from the flue.

Ask around and see who your neighbours choose and if that company carries out a thorough service.

Tell the service engineer of any problems you have had with the boiler.

Checks should include pipework and ventilation clearances, together with cleaning parts and testing all the boiler functions.

But why should I bother with a service?

A thorough service should not only leave the boiler cleaner and more efficient it should also help the engineer to alert you of any potential problems.

Would you know if the device that turns the gas off if the pilot light blows out is working? It could be a little too late to discover such a malfunction when gas is leaking into your home.

So perhaps the most important thing is that when a through service is carried out by a competent engineer, it will leave you with a safe boiler and heating installation.

How often should the boiler be serviced?

The usual recommended period for boiler maintenance is annually. But look at what the manufacturer suggests and just bear in mind that as the boiler ages, it might appreciate more regular attention.

Other factors might need considering such as the type of boiler. Those with an open flue (see manufacturers instructions) need an annual service, a problem in the flue could lead to leakage of combustion products into the home.

Boilers which fall into the category of balanced flue (the flue goes horizontally through a wall) are less likely to cause this kind of problem as they draw in fresh air from outside. And because of this they aren’t picking up the kind of air-born rubbish (pet hairs, fibres) that open flue systems do, so they present fewer problems.

What should a service engineer do while carrying out a service?

Again this can vary according to the type of boiler being serviced but some of the more essential steps include:

• Asking the customer if there have been any problems (it could be worth noting down any concerns so that you don’t forget when the engineer is there)
• Check for damage
• Check electrical wiring for compliance to national safety standards
• Check pipework for correct installation and damage
• Check that room has sufficient ventilation
• Check, dismantle, clean and adjust pilot flame assembly
• Check and clean gas injectors
• Clean heat exchanger
• Test all seals and check boiler casing
• Test that any parts dismantled work correctly
• Measure and adjust (if necessary) gas pressure and flow rate
• Inspect and test flue.

Expect an engineer to spend at least an hour on carrying out the service and any problems or potential problems should be reported in writing.



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