A boiler replacement can be costly and inconvenient for home and business owners, with the temptation to hurry the process along to get things back up and running as quickly as possible. To ensure you are getting a quality installation from a certified tradesperson that is right for your property and needs, we have provided the top questions you should ensure to ask your chosen Boiler Installer.
Vetting Your Chosen Tradesperson: Accreditations
- Proof of Gas Safe Registration. It is illegal for anybody to work on gas appliances and installations without being on the Gas Safe Register. You are within your right to ask to see an installers Gas Safe ID card. You can then check their ID picture, issue and expiry date. It is also important to check whether they are qualified to carry out certain types of gas work. You can find this information on the reverse of the card. Once the installation is complete, you should receive a building regulation compliance certificate direct from Gas Safe within around 4 weeks.
- Proof of OFTEC Registration (for oil boilers). OFTEC stands for Oil Firing and Technical Association. OFTEC registration demonstrates professional competency when working on oil boilers and appliances. OFTEC registered technicians can self-certify their own work, without the need to have it checked by local authority building control. To check an individual’s OFTEC registration, visit the OFTEC website.
The Technical Part …
- Will You Powerflush the System Before the Boiler is Installed? Powerflushing is a cleansing process used to remove debris, sludge and other damaging materials from your heating system. If a new boiler is installed without the system being powerflushed, the damaging material will remain in the system and can harm your new appliance. Some manufacturer’s instructions won’t state it, but they will invalidate your warranty if called out to an appliance and the failure is due to a blockage!
- Is our Gas Pipe the Correct Size for the New Boiler? If a combination boiler is recommended, then extra consideration is needed for this question as 9 times out of 10 the gas pipe is undersized!
- Where Will the Condense Waste Pipe Go? New energy efficient boilers are all condensing which means they produce a slightly acidic waste water which must run to a drain or soak-away.
- How/Where Will the Flue Be Installed, and will the Condensation Cloud be a Nuisance for us or our Neighbours? Should we Consider a Plume Kit to Redirect the Cloud to a More Convenient Area? Gas Safe regulations require flues to be a certain distance from openings, such as windows, air bricks and doors. This is usually a minimum of 300 mm; however, we would advise to check with the boiler manufacturer. Flues tend to create a mist of water vapor which can be problematic due to the increase in housing density.
- How Will my Installation Comply with the New Boiler Plus 2018 legislation? (relevant to Combination Boilers) All new combination boilers installed from the 6th April 2018 must have an additional energy efficiency measure installed. This could be weather compensation, load compensation, flue gas heat recovery or smart control with automation & optimisation.
- Will You Be Installing a Magnetic Filter? They may appear gimmicky, but they are actually an excellent invention. The inline filter & magnet attracts dirt and small metallic particles which would otherwise get caught up in the new boilers much smaller veined heat exchanger. The filter helps to keep your system clean & clear. If budget permits, then a deaerator should be installed on the flow, this removes microbubbles from your heating system which has been proven to be the biggest cause of corrosion in a system! A deaerator on the flow pipe & a dirt filter on the return pipe would give your boiler the best chance of running fault free for much longer.
- I have 2 bathrooms & a cloak room with 5 people living in our house. Should I fit a combi boiler? We would recommend against the combi boiler for this scenario. While the combi is great in the right situation, you will experience pressure loss or fluctuation when several outlets are being used at the same time. You will be driven crazy every time you have a shower and anyone else is in the house! There could also be a longer wait for hot water depending on the siting of the combi. We would recommend a system boiler & unvented cylinder or, if on a lower budget, a heat only boiler and insulated open vented cylinder.
- Would I Benefit from Installing TRV’s? The answer is almost always ‘YES!’. Individual thermostats on each radiator will locally control each area and in turn use a lot less energy. Without them, the boiler & radiator only know fully on or fully off which is a huge waste of fuel!
And Finally, Before They Go!
- Have You Completed the ‘Benchmark’ page? At the end of an installation you need to make sure your installer has completed the “Bench Mark” page. This is vital! You will find it at the centre or rear section of the manufacturer’s instructions book. This is essentially the boilers birth certificate and is used to record annual servicing. If this is left blank (which it often is!) then the manufacturer could invalidate your warranty when/if called upon. Another facility available through Gas Safe Register is nominating for your installation to be inspected free of charge by a Gas Safe Inspector. They will come along & check everything over for you while highlighting anything that they may deem as needs addressing.
Plumbing & Gas Solutions specialise in Commercial Gas, Plumbing & Heating serving Milton Keynes and the surrounding area. We provide a range of installation, servicing and repair solutions to any size organisation looking for a distinguished and reputable firm that deals only in Solutions Not Problems! With an extensive team of Commercial and Domestic Gas Engineers available, we offer no obligation quotations, alongside flexible payment terms. Get in touch today!
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