A Guide to Choosing the Right Combi Boiler

A Guide to Choosing the Right Combi Boiler

Combi is an abbreviation of combination boiler. Essentially, it is a combination of a central heating boiler and a water heat within one compact unit.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive guide to Combi boilers and everything you need to know about them. From prices and free installation to manufacturers and types, we will help you find the best Combi boiler at the best price without the headache, and reducing the need for any future boiler repair.

What is a Combi Boiler and How Do They Work?

There are three different types of Combi boilers: Combi, System, and Regular. While conventional regular boilers are supplied with cold water from a large expansion tank found in the attic, a Combi boiler is fed a direct water supply from the central water system in your home.

This delivers a stronger water pressure, a feature that is found in a System boiler as well. While both Regular and System boilers need a hot water cylinder, a Combi boiler can heat water on its own.

In the UK, the vast majority of new boiler installations are Combi boilers. This is due to their convenience, high energy efficiency, and space-saving size.

What is a Condensing Combi Boiler?

Most of the new Regular, System and Combi boilers manufactured now are condensing boilers. The difference between a condensing boiler and a non-condensing boiler is the Flue Gas Heat Recovery System. All boilers produce waste flue gases, and in older models, this gas is wasted without this feature.

A Flue Gas Recovery System takes the heat and recycles it, preheating new, cold water as it is fed into the boiler from the mains. This means that the boiler isn’t working as hard to heat up the water and uses less energy overall. Condensing boilers use a condensing pipe that allows vapor to drain while the boiler is on.

Different Types of Combi Boilers

Gas Combi Boilers

Gas Combi boilers are the most popular type of Combi boiler to be installed in the UK. If your house is already connected to a gas network, then this is the best option in terms of economy.

Oil Combi Boilers

If your home isn’t connected to a gas network, your second choice is an oil Combi boiler. These models need a tanker of oil to be kept in the home which will need to be refilled by the supplier.

LPG Combi Boilers

LPG is short for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, and it is a combination of natural gas and oil. This is a similar set-up to an oil boiler, which means it will need to be refilled by the supplier.

Electric Combi Boilers

An electric boiler is different from other models because it doesn’t burn fuel to keep the water heated. Instead, the water is heated by an electric element. This is a viable alternative if your home isn’t connected to a gas network.

They can only heat a limited amount of water, and because the electricity used to heat the water can be expensive, they aren’t recommended for larger homes.

Combi Boilers: Advantages

Energy Efficient

Any Combi boilers installed in the UK after 2018 are required to be 92% energy efficient. This is the highest level of energy efficiency available, and it could significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your home. It could also reduce your heating bills.

Reduced Energy Bills

Because Combi boilers are energy efficient, you can save on your heating bill. In fact, you could save up to 300 pounds a year just by replacing your old Combi boiler with a newer model.

Space Saving

Imagine being able to replace that bulky storage cylinder that takes up precious attic space. Because Combi boilers are a single combined unit, they don’t need a separate water tank or cylinder. They can often fit into a kitchen cupboard, which is great if you live in a flat or smaller home.

Easy Installation

Because of their compact size, the boiler installation is easy as they don’t come with any accessories. Easy installation means less installation time, which means a cheaper installation overall. Remember, because a Combi boiler doesn’t need to be fitted to a hot water cylinder, it can be stored anywhere in the home.

Combi Boilers: Disadvantages

Not Recommended for Bigger Homes

If you’ve got a larger home, you may want to consider a conventional boiler. This is because a Combi boiler takes its water supply directly from the mains. If you have a larger home that requires more hot water, it won’t be able to split the water it heats efficiently.

Not Recommended for a Weak Mains Pressure

It’s important to have a good supply of water that comes from the mains. If you don’t, the pressure will be weak, and you run the risk of needing to call an engineer for boiler repair.

Doesn’t Work Well with Old Pipework

If your old heating system was compatible with weaker water pressure, then your existing pipes may not cope with the upgraded water pressure. If the installation of a Combi boiler means your pipes also need to be replaced, this is going to add to the overall cost. It’s also important to consider the ease and cost of boiler servicing in the future.

Online Booking

Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

Want to talk to someone?

Contact Us!

Need to speak to someone about an existing job? Give our customer care team a call!

Head Office: Plumbingforce, Bourne House, 475 Godstone RD, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0BL

Plumbingforce engineers in your area

London   East Anglia   North West   Midlands   South East   South West   Wales

What To Do If Your Boiler Pressure Is Too Low

What To Do If Your Boiler Pressure Is Too Low

New gas boilers are environmentally friendly, economical, and can be relied on for consistency. However, like any appliance or piece of equipment in your home, every now and then they’re going to need some servicing or attention to keep them running at their best.

One of the biggest issues with boilers is low pressure, however, this is usually a quick and easy fix, and sometimes you don’t even need a professional to help you. In this article, we talk about the correct pressure of a boiler, and what to do if your boiler pressure is too high or too low.

What Is Boiler Water Pressure?

Boiler pressure is the hot water pressure that travels through the central heating system in your home, whereas the water pressure is what they call the pressure of the water that runs through your kitchen and bathroom. Boiler pressure is incredibly important because it helps to keep the water in your home warm.
If the pressure on your boiler is too low, then your central heating may not work, and if it’s too high, then it will be under too much strain and could also be prevented from working.

What is the Right Pressure for a Boiler?

To find the boiler pressure and to work out whether it’s at the correct setting, locate the in-built pressure gauge that you can find on the exterior of your boiler. It should be sitting at the one bar mark, especially if you’re not currently using the hot water in the house. This is the standard pressure setting for home boilers, and this is a good indication that things are working as they should.

Why is The Boiler Pressure Too Low or High?

Once you’ve installed your boiler, it starts to warm up your water, the water is going to expand and cause the pressure gauge to go up. With the in-built relief valve, boilers are prepared to deal with these fast leaps in pressure so if don’t need to be concerned if the boiler is showing a higher pressure than you had anticipated when you are using both the hot water and the central heating at the same time.

Once you have finished using the hot water and the central heating, however, the pressure should decrease back to a safe level straight away. If you find that the pressure of your boiler is too low, then the gauge is going to be sitting below the one bar mark. If this is the case, then the next thing you need to do is try to get it above the one bar mark.

What Do I Do If It’s Too Low or High?

To lower the pressure of your boiler, you can try a couple of things:

Check the Pressure Relief Valve:

It’s vital that the pressure relief valve is closed tightly, so if your boiler pressure is too high this is one of the first things that you need to check. When you re-pressurize your boiler, you’ll need to turn the valve so that it can pump water back into the boiler, and it can be easy to forget to close this again.

However, if you haven’t done this recently, there’s also the possibility that you accidentally knocked it or the valve may have become loosened over time.

Bleed the Radiators:

It’s advised that you bleed your radiators in order to reduce the pressure in your boiler as well as your heating system overall. It’s important to keep draining the radiator until you have been able to reduce the boiler pressure back to safe levels as can be seen by the gauge.

If neither of these work, then there may be something else going on. You may need to re-pressurize the expansion vessel, or you could even have an issue with the filling loop. However, with these types of issues, you’re not going to be able to fix them yourself, so at this point, it’s advised that you call in a professional.

While your water pressure may still be a little bit sporadic, the relief valve itself should be able to help prevent the boiler from building too much pressure, so you will still be safe even while you’re waiting for help to arrive. Just make sure that you can’t hear any loud or unusual noises coming from your boiler.

If you’re wanting to lift the pressure of your boiler above the one bar mark, then you need to make sure you’ve turned off the boiler entirely and that it’s hard enough time to get cool before you try to fix it. You will need to find where the filling loop is located in order to fix the pressure – this is going to look a bit like a hose and will have a small valve attached to each end. It should be on the bottom of the boiler. You need to make sure that each end of the hose is connect to its respective valves.

Use a screwdriver to open the valves, which will allow cold water to fill up the system from the mains. The pressure is going to begin increasing at this point, so it’s vital that you keep a close eye on what the pressure gauge is doing until it goes above the one bar mark.

Once it’s above this, you can close the valves back off one at a time. You can now switch your boiler back on again and reset it to standard settings.

The Risks of Low Boiler Pressure

Thankfully, low boiler pressure is nothing to get too worried about and is not likely to cause any significant damage to your boiler. In saying this, however, it can potentially have a significant impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of your central heating system overall, making it challenging to keep your house consistently warm and ultimately costing you more in heating bills. As a result of this it’s certainly a possibility of needing to get your boiler repaired.

If you are committed to keeping warm and keeping your bills within budget, then it’s definitely a good idea to do something about low boiler pressure. As always, it’s recommended that you consult a professional if you’re not sure what the issue is. They will be able to correctly diagnose the problem and hopefully fix it as well.

Online Booking

Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

Want to talk to someone?

Contact Us!

Need to speak to someone about an existing job? Give our customer care team a call!

Head Office: Plumbingforce, Bourne House, 475 Godstone RD, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0BL

Plumbingforce engineers in your area

London   East Anglia   North West   Midlands   South East   South West   Wales

Types of Central Heating Systems

Types of Central Heating Systems

There are lots of important things to think about when working out how to heat your home. When thinking about the right boiler size, you need to consider hot water usage as well as the number of radiators in your home. If you live in a small flat, a smaller boiler system is going to be preferable, but if you live in a large family home, you’re going to need a much bigger model.

If you live somewhere in the middle, there are a number of options that are worth considering. It’s also important to remember that there can be a difference in price when comparing different methods of heating your home. Let’s take a look at what options are out there.

Electric

While gas has been the number one choice for a long time now, electric is slowly taking over as people realise that it’s slightly more efficient. While you may prefer gas if you live in a smaller home, if you live in a bigger house electric could be your preferred choice. This is because when it comes to heating larger homes, electric is more efficient and runs at 100% efficiency, compared to 90% efficiency of gas.

Electric boilers, however, are still relatively new to the central heating market, which means you would typically only find them in rural areas that don’t have access to gas connections. It’s worth noting here that it can cost a bit to switch over to electric from gas.

Advantages

We recommend electric if you don’t have easy access to the gas connection in your location. Plus, electric can be an affordable alternative as well. This is because electric heating systems have on-demand heat, which means that if you’re looking for convenience this is the option to go for.

You’ll also find that you’ll have to service your electric heating system and service your boiler a lot less. Not to mention that electrical heating systems are 100% efficient.

Disadvantages

If you’re not already on an electric heating system, it can end up costing quite a bit to switch over.

Gas

It’s not often that you’re going to be caught thinking about the central heating system that you have in your house. This is because in this day and age it’s easy to take our central heating for granted, especially when it’s a cold winter morning and you’re reluctant to go outside. If you are thinking about the central heating, you may be wondering whether electric or gas is better, and which one is going to cost your less in the long run?

A gas boiler can help to save you a lot of money. In fact, some people think that you can save up to $250 per year when you use gas compared to other methods of running a central heating system. Some gas systems are so efficient that they can convert 90% of the fuel they consume into heat. They also produce a lot less carbon dioxide, which means not as much heat is going to be lost as a result.

Advantages

Gas can be a great way to heat your home, because it’s incredibly efficient and easy on the wallet. What’s more, you don’t have to find anywhere to store the fuel for the gas, which means that it’s a great option if you’re limited on space. It’s also nice and easy to replace a boiler that uses gas when you compare it with other options out there.

Disadvantages

The price of gas is pretty high right now and is showing no signs of slowing down. Because gas produces carbon dioxide when used, it’s also not seen as the cleanest way to heat your house regarding energy use. They also need to be serviced every year by a gas safe engineer who has a safety certificate to make sure they are running efficiently and safely. It may also cost a bit to connect your home to a gas network if it’s not already connected.

Popular Central Heating Systems

We’ve covered the two main ways to heat your home – now, let’s take a look at the four most popular central heating systems.

Combi Boiler

This is easily the most popular central heating system in use today. A combi boiler doesn’t require a feed tank or a hot water cylinder because they only heat the water when it’s needed. This also means that they need a lot less space in your home, making them incredibly economical.

A combi boiler is also known for convenience as well because it allows you to control the system from a distance – you don’t need to access the boiler to adjust the settings, a modern convenience that many people are partial to. When it comes to a couple of factors like shower heating and space saving, a combi boiler is a great choice.

Wall Mounted Boiler

A wall mounted boiler is intended to be more compact and lighter. The heat exchangers are used with stainless steel, aluminum, copper or cast iron.

Free Standing Boiler

A free standing water boiler is intended to fit nicely within a kitchen unit just like other kitchen appliances can. Freestanding boilers can be installed in many other locations around the home as well, making them adaptable. This was a popular choice roughly 40 or 50 years ago and are still a great option if you don’t have the wall space to mount your boiler.

Free Standing Boiler

This type of boiler comes with a heat exchanger that allows heat to be re-used and re-circulated, making it incredibly energy efficient. This is the type of boiler you want if you’re on a budget and don’t want your heating bills to be too high. Pluming can be a problem with this type of boiler, however, which is when water droplets form as a result of the flue terminal. While it’s not dangerous, it can be frustrating for some.

Online Booking

Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

Want to talk to someone?

Contact Us!

Need to speak to someone about an existing job? Give our customer care team a call!

Head Office: Plumbingforce, Bourne House, 475 Godstone RD, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0BL

Plumbingforce engineers in your area

London   East Anglia   North West   Midlands   South East   South West   Wales

Radiator Valves: A Guide

RADIATOR VALVES: A GUIDE

A new radiator can work wonders for the comfort and energy efficiency of your home and your heating system, but it all depends on the type of radiator you get.

Because every home life is unique, it requires a unique radiator valve – they’re not a one size fits all kind of part. Let’s take a look at what a radiator valve is and figure out which one is best for your home.

Different Types of Radiator Valves

Let’s take a look at different types of radiator valves:

Thermostatic Valves

These type of valves can give you more control over the temperature in your house because they are slightly more sophisticated and advanced than their manual counterparts. They can be set to the temperature that you prefer.

The liquid inside the valve can sense how warm or cold the room is, and when it has reached the temperature you set, it will shut off the water flow. This means that for the most part the radiator can control itself and you also won’t be spending money on extra, unnecessary heating.

Manual Valves

One of the most popular valves out there is the manual valve. This obviously means that you are in control of turning the valves up or down, which means you get to decide what the temperature of the room is. When you turn the radiator valves, this changes the volume of water coming into the radiator, which is going to determine how much heat your radiator can give off.

This type of valve is easy to operate and also are usually a bit smaller than thermostatic valves. The downside, however, is that you have to monitor them regularly and even remember to turn them off unless you want to waste money and energy.

What do Radiator Valves Do?

All of the radiators in your house are going to have two valves attached that act like the taps in your sink. In this way they help to keep track of how much heat the radiator is releasing. One valve is in charge of the amount of warm water coming into the radiator, while the other is in charge of how much heat leaves it.

This latter valve is called the lockshield valve, and it’s usually protected by a plastic covering. It is responsible for controlling how much water goes in and out of the radiator. Typically, it’s set so that you can’t turn it easily, and the professional who installed it would have set it for an even flow of water.

What do Radiator Numbers Mean?

Radiators valves come with symbols or numbers that represent how much heat the radiator emits. This is scored on levels from 1-6. Typically, if you have the radiator set on 3, the temperature of your room should be approximately 20 degrees.

This number system is used in lieu of precise temperatures as the radiator cannot guarantee the temperature of the room as there are external factors that also contribute to this, including how insulated your home is.

It’s essential that you keep track of what temperature your radiators are set to because you may want to have different temperatures around the house, depending on what room you’re in. If you’re happy to keep the temperature a little cooler, this could end up saving you a lot of money when it comes to heating and energy bills.

Once you’re sure that you’ve turned off the main water supply completely, you can now work on removing the cold water pipe. This is going to take a bit of unscrewing, but it should come away pretty easily. There may be some residual water sitting in the pipe, which is why it’s good to have a bucket handy.

There will be another hose coming out of the back of your old washing machine. This is the hose that gets rid of the water after your washing machine has used it to wash your clothes. You won’t need to unscrew this to take it off – simply give it a tug.

When you’ve done all of this, you’ll be able to move your old washing machine away, allowing room for the new one.

How to Change a Radiator Valve

If you feel confident enough to change the radiator valves on your own, here’s a step by step process on how to do so:

Shut off Water: before you change any valves on your radiator, you’ll need to make sure no water is flowing through. It’s important to shut off your heating system and the water, and it’s also recommended that you turn all electronics off just to be safe.

Find the Drain Off: you’ll need to find the drain off in your home – this is usually located at the lowest point in your home. You’ll also need a hose that you can connect to the drain off which is going to run the water from the radiator into an external drain or soil.

Remove the Old Valve: to take off the old valves, release the top and bottom nut which will let you take the valves off altogether. This may be the kind of job for a wrench depending on how tightly screwed the nuts are. You’ll also want to remove the chrome tail that connects the radiator and the valve.

Put Your New Valves in Place: place your new chrome tail where the old one sat and place the olive and nut onto this. Find the water pipe and attach the other olive and nut. Take the body of your radiator and connect this to the water pipe as well. Once you’ve got everything in place, you can tighten the nuts. Once they’re snug, take the protective cap away from the valve and connect the valve to the valve body. Tighten the nut up again, but not too tight.

Once everything is in place and tight so that there aren’t any leaks, you can turn your water mains back on. While you’re refilling the system, keep an eye out for any leaks around your new joints. You can even open up the radiator valve at this point to allow water to come through.

Once you’re confident that your radiator isn’t leaking anywhere, drain the valve so that any air inside the radiator can be released. Any air inside is going to stop the radiator from filling up with water. Open your lockshield valve and remember how many turns it took to get the water flowing. Connect the power back to your boiler and run the heat for an hour or so before checking everything one more time.

Which Radiator Valve Should I Buy?

There are a number of things to think about when considering which radiator valves to purchase. From the type of radiator you already have to the piping that goes into your home, there are a few things that are going to decide the type and size of the valves you buy. The last thing you want is to get radiator valves that don’t fit with the radiator model you already have.

We recommend consulting with a professional, either a plumber or a gas safe registered engineer with a gas safe certificate who can help you choose the right radiator valves for your radiator size and home heating system.

Online Booking

Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

Want to talk to someone?

Contact Us!

Need to speak to someone about an existing job? Give our customer care team a call!

Head Office: Plumbingforce, Bourne House, 475 Godstone RD, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0BL

Plumbingforce engineers in your area

London   East Anglia   North West   Midlands   South East   South West   Wales

10 Most Common Boiler Problems

10 MOST COMMON BOILER PROBLEMS

As Murphy’s law would have it, the majority of issues with water boilers occur during winter. This is actually due to the water boiler having been inactive for so long: when it’s forced back to life, considerable pressure is put on it to perform, which can result in issues and the need to repair the boiler.

While there are some boiler issues that can be quickly addressed, others require the help of a qualified professional. Remember, it’s always good to seek help from a professional gas engineer if you are having any doubts about the nature of the issue and make sure that from the start you’re boiler is installed correctly.

Dripping and Leaking

If your boiler is dripping or leaking, you could be looking at one of many issues with your boiler. This is mainly going to depend on where the leak is. The first and most common issue is going to be a broken part inside. This could be a broken pump seal or a broken pressure valve.

If your pressure valve is leaking, then the pressure may be sitting too high. If the water is coming from the seal, then it may need replacing. Your boiler could be leaking around the tank area as well, which could be the result of corrosion.

Low Pressure

It’s easy to check the pressure of your boiler – all you need to do is find the gauge that will be on the side and check it for the pressure. If it’s reading low pressure, then your boiler may be faulty. This could be anything from bled radiators to leaking water and even a fault in the pressure relief valve.

The first thing to do is to check for a leak anywhere, and if you find one, it’s crucial that you call a professional. You could try re-pressurizing your system if you don’t see a leak, but again it’s recommended that you get a professional to do this.

Gurgling and Whistling Noises

If you listen out for your boiler and it seems to be making strange noises, this could be trapped air it system. Another reason for this is low water pressure. You could even be dealing with a faulty pump, which is quite a common problem, particular in older models.

You may be able to work out the cause of the noise based on what the noise is. Remember, if it sounds like a kettle boiling, it’s going to be ‘kettling.’

Radiator is Faulty

There are two main reasons why your radiator isn’t heating up: unwanted air or buildup. If your radiator is warm at the bottom, then it may have built-up pressure, which you’ll need to drain out of it or bleed. Radiators typically need a good balance now and then, which includes adjusting the valves so that the other radiators in your house are getting enough water.

If you try balancing or bleeding your radiator and it’s not fixing the problem, then we recommend contacting a professional. They can help remove any buildup that’s causing the problem.

Boiler Turns Itself Off

If your boiler is turning itself off now and then, this could be the result of low water pressure, a lack of water flowing through or even a faulty thermostat. Refer to the above points for the solution to each of these issues, but if none of these work, it’s essential to contact a professional who can correctly diagnose the problem.

Frozen Pipes

Boilers need a condensate pipe so that they can get rid of any water that’s become acidic because of the gas. This pipe usually runs into a drain located outside, and in the winter when it’s cold enough it can freeze over.

If the pipe has frozen over, then you may receive a warning signal. You can thaw out a frozen pipe using a heat pack or a hot water bottle. You can even pour boiling water over it. You may need to reset your boiler once you’ve thawed it out.

Thermostat is Faulty

When a thermostat is faulty, it’s going to turn off and on randomly like the pilot light, which we’ll talk about later. This could be a sign that it needs to be replaced. Before you do anything rash, however, it’s important to get to the bottom of the problem so that you don’t end up replacing a pat like the thermostat for no reason. To do this, make sure that the thermostat is on and sitting on the correct settings.

Another thing to consider here is that your home may be warm, which means the thermostat won’t let the boiler heat your house higher than the temperature you’ve set it at. If this is what’s happening, you can try increasing the temperature gradually until you hit the right one for you and your family.

Kettling

Kettling is when buildup or substances like sludge or lime affect the flow of the water within your boiler. If this is the case, then your boiler is going to sound like a kettle boiling. If the water flow has been restricted by this issue, then it could cause the boiler to work overtime and overheat as a result.

If your boiler is kettling, this means that it’s working harder than it needs to be. This means a bigger bill for you – and it’s also going to wear the boiler out faster. At this point it’s best to get a professional in who can remove any buildup so that your boiler can last longer and not have issues like kettling.

Pilot Light

You may know what a pilot light looks like if you’ve had a heater that requires one to warm up. This is the flame that’s responsible for keeping the burner lit. If it’s always burning out, then you may have an issue with the thermocouple. In this scenario, the thermocouple could be stopping the gas from keeping the pilot light lit. There could also be some buildup around the pilot light as well.

Before you try to relight your pilot light, it’s essential that you make sure there aren’t any issues with the gas that’s supplying it.

Lack of Hot Water or Heat

Potential causes of this common problem could be broken airlocks or diaphragms, as well as issues with the water levels and/or the thermostat. The best place to begin with this kind of issue is figuring out whether the issue is with the thermostat or the pressure of the boiler.

If you think the diaphragm is broken, then you may need to replace it altogether. If it gets to this, then you’ll have to call out a professional who can correctly diagnose the problem and order the right part.

Online Booking

Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

Want to talk to someone?

Contact Us!

Need to speak to someone about an existing job? Give our customer care team a call!

Head Office: Plumbingforce, Bourne House, 475 Godstone RD, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0BL

Plumbingforce engineers in your area

London   East Anglia   North West   Midlands   South East   South West   Wales

How Often Should I Get My Boiler Serviced?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET MY BOILER SERVICED?

We’re willing to wager that checking your boiler for issues is probably the last thing on your mind – you’re more likely to check up on your car regularly, especially when you know that it’s time to get it serviced again. Afterall, it’s easy to forget about general upkeep around the home when you’ve got so many other things on your mind. 

However, checking up on your boiler and making sure it’s running as it should is vital to preventing issues from happening – and you can even prevent them from becoming much larger problems. In this article, we talk about some of the biggest reasons why it’s important that you regularly check your boiler for any inconsistencies.

Keeping You Safe

Not only will checking your boiler regularly ensure that it’s running as it should, but it’s also going to make sure that it’s not endangering you and your family but being faulty. In fact, having a boiler that’s faulty can end up being pretty dangerous, especially if it has something to do with the carbon monoxide. If there’s a leak and your boiler is letting carbon monoxide into your home, you and your family could become sick very quickly. 

When you get your boiler serviced by a professional, they will make sure that there aren’t any leaks anywhere, as well as check your boiler for general issues. This is going to be important in making sure your family has a safe place to live. 

Finding Issues Prematurely

As we mentioned earlier, you could end up saving yourself time and money if you check your boiler regularly, because you may be able to pick up on issues before they’ve become a real problem. By making sure that your boiler is doing what it needs to do, you can save both time and money getting it repaired further down the track. If you get a professional in to do the check, they can fix any issues that come up before they get bigger so you can avoid having to pay more down the line. 

It Could Save You Money

Of course, anything that you get serviced around the home, whether it’s another appliance or your car, is going to mean you have to spend money. However, if you get your boiler serviced at the right time and at the right frequency, you could end up saving money. If you get a professional in to do a check early and they make sure that your boiler is running as well as it could, this means it’s going to run a lot more efficiently, saving you money in the long run. Of course, the efficiency of your boiler is going to be determined by a number of different factors, including what model you have and how old it is.

It’s a Legal Requirement If You Own a Property

If you own your property or you’re renting one out, you’re legally required to get a professional in to check anything that’s run with gas in the house, including boilers. By law, this must be done at least once every year, so if you’re someone who is renting, you need to make sure that your landlord is aware of this.

It Won’t Take Long

While the sound of servicing a boiler may sound long and arduous, you’d be surprised at how little time it actually takes. If you call out a professional to get the job done, they will start by checking out the switches and controls of the boiler so that they can confirm it’s functioning properly. They’re also going to make sure that there aren’t any leaks anywhere, and they are also going to make sure there’s no corrosion occurring on the exterior. If there aren’t any leaks, then the pressure of the gas should be at a good level. They’re also going to need access to the flue so that they can guarantee your boiler isn’t giving off dangerous substances like carbon monoxide. When this is all complete, your professional will give you a checklist so that you know what to look out for should you wish to check the boiler at any time yourself. This is going to be necessary so that you know what to look out for and when to call in someone to check it again.

When Should I Service My Boiler and How Often?

If you’ve got your boiler covered by home insurance, they’re going to want you to check it regularly so that they know it’s functioning correctly and doesn’t come with any underlying issues. When it comes to insurance policies, checking your boiler once a year should be enough, however, it’s important to check with your insurance company so that you’re both on the same page.

When thinking about what time of year to service your boiler and to get a professional in to look at it, we recommend doing it during the summer months. This is because you’re not going to want to deal with boiler issues over winter, so making sure it’s good to go in the summer months will help you avoid issues when you don’t want them. Additionally, professionals that check boilers and service them tend to have more time spare in the warmer months.

Whenever you choose to get your boiler serviced by a professional, make sure to take note of the date so that you can get it done again around the same time the following year. This is going to ensure that the service is consistent and will give your boiler a good chance of functioning efficiently throughout the colder months. If you’re at all concerned about how your boiler is functioning, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get a professional to come out and check it. You don’t want to be stuck with a steep repair bill and a boiler that may even need to be replaced, so the more often you check it, the more likely it will continue to run smoothly. 

Online Booking

Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

Want to talk to someone?

Contact Us!

Need to speak to someone about an existing job? Give our customer care team a call!

Head Office: Plumbingforce, Bourne House, 475 Godstone RD, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0BL

Plumbingforce engineers in your area

London   East Anglia   North West   Midlands   South East   South West   Wales

Gas Cookers Vs. Electric Cookers

GAS COOKERS VS ELECTRIC COOKERS

You may have decided recently to upgrade your cooker, but you’re not quite sure which direction to take. Perhaps your old model was a gas cooker, and you’re thinking about switching to electric, or vice versa. Of course, both types of cookers come with their advantages and disadvantages, which is why it’s helpful to do your research and work out which one is going to suit your lifestyle best.

In this article, we look at gas cookers vs. electric cookers what the benefits and drawbacks are for both. We want you to be properly informed so you can find the perfect cooker that’s going to fit into your budget and your kitchen.

Which is Cheaper?

One of the first questions on a lot of people’s minds, when they are thinking about upgrading their cooker in the kitchen, is: which is going to cost me less to run? Let’s think about this for a second.

First, an electric cooker. If you use an electric cooker, you’re going to use less energy when it comes to how many units you use. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to end up being cheaper, though, because each unit is actually more expensive than the price of a unit of gas, so ultimately, you’re going to end up spending more.

Let’s break this down in a way that everyone can understand. Say, for example, that you spend an average of five hours per week cooking and using your cooker. If your stove is gas, this is going to cost you just 17 pounds every year. However, if your cooker is electric, the cost runs up a bit and ends up being as much as 40 pounds. This is quite a difference in cost and something to consider.

So, what about the upfront cost of each model, then? All in all, while there is a slight variation depending on the model that you’re looking at, it’s going to cost you less to purchase a gas cooker vs. an electric cooker upfront as well. 

Gas Cookers: Advantages and Disadvantages

Of course, you’ve got to consider more than just the price tag when doing your research on which cooker to buy. As we mentioned earlier, both gas and electric cookers come with their upsides and their downsides. Let’s take a look at what these are.

ADVANTAGES TO GAS COOKERS

  • Heat is Easier to Control: generally speaking, it’s going to be more efficient to heat your pots and pans when you cook with a gas cooker. You’re also going to be able to have more control over the heat as well, and whether it’s turned all the way up or a bit lower. The heat itself also tends to be a bit more evenly spread, so that the cooking process overall is going to be a bit more efficient.
  • Costs Less to Run: as we mentioned, gas in general costs less than electricity, so you’re going to end up saving money just by having gas alone. 

DISADVANTAGES TO GAS COOKERS

  • Issues with Heating in Oven: while spreading the heat evenly on the stovetop is a breeze with gas, it struggles to do the same in the oven itself. This is because gas ovens don’t have fans that can distribute the heat evenly, so be prepared for meals that may cook quicker at one end. Generally speaking, a gas oven is going to be warmer at the top than at the bottom, which some people aren’t bothered by.
  • Stovetop Can Be Slow: while gas is more efficient on the top, when it comes to a big pot of food, it could end up being slower than its electric counterpart.
  • More Difficult to Keep Clean: because gas stovetops have raised burners, you may have more trouble cleaning them than the typical ceramic stovetops that come with electric cookers.
  • Installing Can Be Tricky: because a gas cooker needs to be connected to the gas supply, whether it’s located inside or outside the house, this usually requires a professional to come in. With an electric cooker, all you need to do is make sure it’s plugged into the wall. 

Electric Cookers: Advantages and Disadvantages

ADVANTAGES TO ELECTRIC COOKERS

  • Oven Temperature: you’re more likely to get an even distribution of heat with an electric oven because the vast majority of electric ovens come with a fan that blows the heat throughout the oven evenly. Of course, this means that your food is going to get cooked more evenly, which is excellent if you have a larger family and cook lots of food in one go.
  • More Functions: a lot of the time, electric cookers come with ovens that have many different functions. This also means that you’re going to be able to use different heating options together, making electric stoves more diverse than gas cookers. For example, with an electric cooker, you can usually put the grill on at the same time as the fan.
  • Effortless Clean: because of the flatness of the cooker surface and the fact that it’s usually made of ceramic, you’re going to have a much easier time cleaning an electric cooker than a gas one.
  • Induction Cooking: this means that typically it will take less time to cook things on the stovetop because the burners take less time to get hot. Additionally, a lot of the time, electric stovetops are better at allowing your food to simmer.
  • More Advanced Grilling: generally speaking, electric cookers are more proficient at grilling food than gas cookers. While not every model is going to do such a great job, in general, they have proven to be better at this task.

DISADVANTAGES TO ELECTRIC COOKERS

  • Costs More to Run: electric cookers are going to cost you more to run on a daily basis, and as you saw before on an annual basis as well. This means that your monthly energy bill could end up being more than if you had a gas cooker.
  • Stovetop Can Stay Warm: the stovetop of an electric cooker usually stays warm for a while after you’ve turned it off. This means that if you don’t move your pot off the burner, it could end up cooking more or even getting burnt on the bottom. 

Make Sure the New One Fits

This may seem pretty obvious, but it’s going to be vital that you measure the dimensions of the space where your new washing machine is going to go before you decide on which one you’re going to purchase.

Even if you measure the height and width of your old washing machine and feel pretty confident that you know the space, when it comes to the depth washing machine models can be pretty different from one another. This is why it’s important to allow for more room than you need – it’s much better to have too much room for your new washing machine than not enough.

How to Find the Right Cooker

Once you know which cooker you prefer, it’s going to be important to base your decision on the features that come with it. If you’re happy to pay a little bit more in energy bills each year, then you may prefer the benefits of a gas cooker. However, if you want to stick to a budget, an electric cooker could be the right choice for you.

Online Booking

Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

Want to talk to someone?

Contact Us!

Need to speak to someone about an existing job? Give our customer care team a call!

Head Office: Plumbingforce, Bourne House, 475 Godstone RD, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0BL

Plumbingforce engineers in your area

London   East Anglia   North West   Midlands   South East   South West   Wales

What is a Gas Safety Record?

WHAT IS A GAS SAFETY RECORD?

What exactly is a gas safety record? A gas safety record is a piece of paper that a professional engineer is going to leave with you once they’ve either performed a safety check, serviced or even fitted an appliance in your home. Of course, the information that is on your gas safety record is going to depend on the kind of work that was done and what the purpose of the work was.

When it comes to the law, if you own a property and have people rent it out, then you will be required to supply them with a gas safety record that implies you have had the home checked at least once a year to make sure that it’s safe to live in. This is incredibly important if any appliances in the home are run by gas, to help prevent leaks and other issues that can arise. A professional is required to execute this type of safety check so that the details written on the safety form can be officially recorded and verified as correct.

What Should Your Gas Safety Record Contain?

What does your gas safety record need to contain, then?

  • A verification that a professional has carried out the appropriate safety checks and the results of the checks are true and correct
  • If any issue was found or detected, it needs to be recorded on the record, as well as any protocol regarding how the professional has decided to deal with it
  • Details of the landlord, including the address and full name. Their agent may write down their details if they manage the property directly
  • The full address of the property that has been checked for issues and safety
  • The date that the safety check was executed
  • Name, company, signature and registration number of the professional who executed the safety check
  • A detailed description of all the appliances that were checked, as well as a description of where they’re located in the home

As well as making sure that gas appliances are running correctly, landlords also need to make sure that all pipework is doing well. This may include requesting an integrity test from the professional engineer checking the safety of the gas appliances.

Gas Safety Records If You’re Not a Landlord

What do you need to check for on the gas safety record if you’re not a landlord, then? Before a professional does any work in your home or checks any of your appliances, it’s important that you can confirm with them what they’ll be doing and what type of documentation you’ll be receiving. This is mostly because if you’re not a landlord, then a professional engineer doesn’t legally have to provide you with any type of record, so if you want to receive one for your own peace of mind, you need to let them know before the job gets done.

Of course, the level of detail that goes into the form once the work has been done is going to vary based on the work and what was checked, so if you’re hoping to have a record of something specific it’s important to communicate this before any work has begun.

Online Booking

Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

Want to talk to someone?

Contact Us!

Need to speak to someone about an existing job? Give our customer care team a call!

Head Office: Plumbingforce, Bourne House, 475 Godstone RD, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0BL

Plumbingforce engineers in your area

London   East Anglia   North West   Midlands   South East   South West   Wales

How to Install a Washing Machine

How to Install a Washing Machine

Before you get too excited, please note that installing your washing machine by yourself isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you can lift heavy objects with ease and want to save on the installation fee, then read on! In this article, we cover everything you need to know about installing your own washing machine.

Connecting a Washing Machine

First, let’s go through the simple steps of connecting a washing machine:

  1. Make sure that there’s nothing in your original washing machine
    Turn it off completely and take the plug out of the wall
  2. Make sure you’ve disconnected the cold water supply so that there isn’t any leakage
    Now that the cold water supply is off, you can take the pipe away completely
    Get rid of the used water hose as well
  3. Remove any connecting bolts that came with your new washing machine
    Connect your cold water hose
  4. Turn the cold water back on again
    Connect your used water hose to your new washing machine
  5. Make sure that your machine is nice and level
  6. To install a washing machine successfully, you’ll typically need a wrench, a leveller and a bucket.

What Do I Save By Doing it Myself?

How much it’s going to cost to get your washing machine installed is going to depend on the company that you bought it from. It’s important to make sure that the installation is included in the price of the washing machine before you purchase it if you want to save a bit of money. While some companies work this way, not all of them do so you’ll need to find out how much they’re going to charge to install it for you before you commit to anything.

The Washing Machine that Costs More

How could there be a washing machine out there that costs more to install than another of the same model? The answer is if it’s integrated. This means that the washing machine is going to be built into your kitchen or washroom, which means you’re going to need a cabinet maker to help with the kickboard and the doors. Of course, this is going to cost you more to install, but it’s worth the installation price to get it done correctly. You could attempt to install your integrated washing machine yourself, but it’s probably going to be more effort than it’s worth.

Make Sure the New One Fits

This may seem pretty obvious, but it’s going to be vital that you measure the dimensions of the space where your new washing machine is going to go before you decide on which one you’re going to purchase.

Even if you measure the height and width of your old washing machine and feel pretty confident that you know the space, when it comes to the depth washing machine models can be pretty different from one another. This is why it’s important to allow for more room than you need – it’s much better to have too much room for your new washing machine than not enough.

Getting Rid of Your Old Washing Machine

As we mentioned in our step by step list earlier, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that you haven’t left anything in your old washing machine that you’re going to need. Once you’ve done this, you can turn off the water supply and unplug it from the wall.

Once you’re sure that you’ve turned off the main water supply completely, you can now work on removing the cold water pipe. This is going to take a bit of unscrewing, but it should come away pretty easily. There may be some residual water sitting in the pipe, which is why it’s good to have a bucket handy.

There will be another hose coming out of the back of your old washing machine. This is the hose that gets rid of the water after your washing machine has used it to wash your clothes. You won’t need to unscrew this to take it off – simply give it a tug.

When you’ve done all of this, you’ll be able to move your old washing machine away, allowing room for the new one.

Installing Your New Washing Machine

  • Refer to the Manual: if you’re planning on embarking on the installation journey of your washing machine by yourself, it’s important that you keep the user manual close by so that you can refer to it frequently. It’s going to help you through the process and make things a lot less complicated.
  • Remove the Packaging: your washing machine should have arrived packaged in polystyrene. There are going to be blocks of this packaging on the top and bottom of your washing machine. If the model is particularly heavy, you may have trouble getting the bottom pieces off, but typically all you’ll need to do is lift one side of the machine at a time until you’ve removed them all.
  • Remove Carriage Bolts: when your washing machine is transported from the factory, bolts are set in place, so the drum inside doesn’t move around too much and get damaged. However, for you to start using your washing machine and install the right hoses in the back, you’ll need to remove these. All you’ll need to go is unscrew them, and they should come away easily.

Once you’ve done these things, you can attach the cold water and wastewater hoses at the back of your washing machine and connect the other ends to your washing machine taps and sink, as mentioned above. Once the hoses are connected in the right places and you’ve checked to make sure it doesn’t leak, you’ll be ready to level your washing machine.

A Tip on Leveling Your Washing Machine

There’s more to levelling your washing machine than just making sure it looks straight standing on the floor. When you use your washing machine, it’s going to be spinning at high speeds. If it’s not levelled correctly, the drum inside could vibrate against the outer shell and cause unwanted damage. To make sure your washing machine is level you can use a leveller, by placing it on top of the lid. If you don’t have one of these, you can see if it’s level by placing a hand at each corner and gently moving it to see if it rocks or stays still.

Online Booking

Please complete the enquiry form below, and send your details to our customer service team. Once you have completed this form, one of our advisors will contact you to discuss your requirements further and to arrange a suitable appointment.

Want to talk to someone?

Contact Us!

Need to speak to someone about an existing job? Give our customer care team a call!

Head Office: Plumbingforce, Bourne House, 475 Godstone RD, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0BL

Plumbingforce engineers in your area

London   East Anglia   North West   Midlands   South East   South West   Wales