Gas boiler

Survey Reveals scary statistics on carbon monoxide poisoning

A Honeywell Carbon Monoxide Alarm. These should be fitted in every room with a fuel burning appliance e.g. boiler, woodburner, open fire etc.

A Honeywell Carbon Monoxide Alarm. These should be fitted in every room with a fuel burning appliance e.g. boiler, woodburner, open fire etc.

Experts are warning homeowners to be more vigilant for carbon monoxide poisoning after a survey shows that 2/3 of homes do not have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted, suggesting people are not taking the threat seriously enough.

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills more than 50 people and hospitalises more 40,000 each year, so as part of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month, Oftec are promoting the installation of Co alarms in people’s homes.

CO is produced when carbon fuels don't burn properly and any type of heating system where combustion takes place can potentially give off the odourless, colourless gas. CO poisoning can result in severe long-term health problems, or even death, with younger and older people most at risk. Key symptoms to watch out for are tiredness, dizziness and headaches.

In support of the campaign, Abbey Boilers is promoting the simple ABC safety checklist which advises households of the key steps they should take to reduce the risk:

  • Alarm – purchase a CO alarm (usually around £20) for every room which has a fuel burning appliance e.g. boiler, woodburner, open fire etc. It is mandatory for private landlords to provide an alarm in rented properties with a solid fuel appliance

  • Batteries – regularly ensure all the alarms are functional by holding the 'test' button

  • Check – have your boiler serviced at least one a year by an OFTEC (for oil or solid fuel) or GasSafe (for mains gas) registered technician to check it is working correctly. Abbey Boilers has both Gas Safe and OFTEC registered engineers.


If the event of a CO alarm going off, the advice is to open the windows and leave the room immediately. You should then contact OFTEC or GasSafe and, if you experience any symptoms of CO poisoning, call 999.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC said: "Carbon monoxide poisoning can have a devastating impact on the lives of the people it affects so the lack of awareness is particularly worrying with many households still oblivious to the dangers. We wouldn't think twice about having smoke alarms installed and we should take the same approach with CO alarms.”


Get in touch with us at Abbey Boilers on 01403 275512 to ensure you and your family are safe and your heating system is running correctly.

What is a Powerflush?

 

A Powerflush is a cleansing process which aims to remove deposits of sludge, rust and any other debris from your central heating system.

 

These contaminants, if left, can seriously affect the efficiency of a heating system and, in severe cases, a powerflush could be the only option available. Over time the water in your pipes, boiler and radiators deposits unwanted byproducts like rust. This rust (plus other dirt and debris) becomes an unpleasant, mud-like substance that professionals affectionately refer to as ‘sludge’.

Sludge in your heating system can cause to blockages and corrosion which will lead to both inefficiency and / or breakdown. In extreme cases it can be so damaging that a complete boiler replacement is needed.

When do you need a Powerflush?

If you carry out regular servicing and maintenance (professional servicing is recommended annually) then a preventative Powerflush should only be necessary every 5-6 years to clear debris and prevent significant blockages from taking hold.

However, this will vary depending on the system you have. For example, some boilers use copper heat exchangers rather than stainless steel which will corrode quicker.

IMPORTANT: If you are planning to replace your boiler it’s important that the engineer performs a Powerflush before the installation. Otherwise, you risk contaminating the new boiler with damaging sludge and debris that’s hanging around in the old pipework.

Get quote for a poweflush from Abbey Boilers here.

Signs you need a Powerflush

There are signs to look out for that suggest that all is not well in your central heating system.

  • Cold areas on radiators e.g. at the bottom
  • Excessive noise from the boiler or the heating system pump
  • Discoloured water when you bleed the radiators
  • Heating is slow to warm up
  • Cloudy tap water (limescale in system)
  • Some radiators struggle to heat up as well as others
  • Radiators cold but pipes are hot
  • Boiler regularly shuts down and needs restarting
  • No water escapes when you bleed a radiator
  • Noisy radiators and or / boiler
  • Small leaks in radiators.

If any of these problems sound familiar to you, it’s time to contact a professional engineer. While a Powerflush may be all that is required to get your heating back on track, unfortunately, it is not always that simple. A system may be so damaged that it is actually cheaper to replace rather than repair. If that’s the case you will need to consult with at least two professionals to make sure you’re getting the right solution at the best price.

What are the benefits of a Powerflush?

It’s not all doom and gloom; there are lots of positive reasons to get a Powerflush carried out too.

  • Radiators will heat up quicker
  • Radiators will get hotter
  • Quieter radiators / boiler
  • More energy efficient system = cheaper energy bills
  • Higher hot water temperatures
  • More reliable i.e. less chance of breakdown
  • Increase the life of your heating system.

How does a Powerflush work?

An engineer will connect a pump to your central heating system. If it’s a Combi it will be connected at the pump head but if it’s a system boiler it will be connected at the circulation pump. This pump will push special chemicals through the pipes, boiler and radiators.

This includes a chemical that will remove sludge and rust, a descaler to remove limescale and corrosion inhibitor to help prevent future rust from forming. The engineer will collect and dispose of any contaminated water, debris or particles that they remove from the system.

The engineer may also use special tools on the exterior of the radiator to dislodge stubborn blockages. They should be able to measure the temperature of your radiators before they have started work and then show you the improvement after the Powerflush.

The whole process can last anything from 6 – 10 hours depending on the number of radiators in your home, the age of the system and the severity of the sludge in the system. The engineer may find more problems than originally anticipated such as needing new parts to replace those that have been damaged beyond repair. Most Powerflush jobs can be completed in one day but some of the more severe cases may require longer.

A qualified engineer will be able to perform repairs, replacements and carry out a Powerflush.

Who should carry out a Powerflush?

Not all companies will perform a Powerflush to the same standard. There are a range of chemicals and equipment on the market and, as with all industries, there are providers with varying levels of expertise and attention to detail. Always check independent review sites and request customer recommendations. We recommend sourcing at least two quotes from professionals so you can compare costs.

Boiler Guide has a network of 5,000 reputable engineers across the UK and can provide you with up to 3 free of charge, no obligation, competitive quotes.

Can you perform a Powerflush without a professional?

Put simply, not really.

While there are Powerflushing kits for hire and instructional videos available on the internet, it’s a risky and complicated job. A professional will make a Powerflush look easy, clean and safe but the reality is it’s a job that has the potential to get very messy. Specialist chemicals and equipment should only be handled by those trained to do so.

It’s also possible that carrying out the work on your heating system by yourself may invalidate any manufacturer’s warranty you have. A professional engineer will provide you with a certificate to prove that the Powerflush has been carried out. This is crucial if you need to evidence to a manufacturer or insurance provider that you have had all work carried out by a professional. Get quotes.

Finally, if the work is completed incorrectly it could cause more damage than you had to begin with.

NOTE: Installing a magnetic filter will not deliver the same benefits as a Powerflush procedure, but it can protect a system (that is still working well) from future sludge blockages.

How much will a Powerflush cost?

There are lots of factors that will affect the price of a Powerflush such as size and complexity of the heating system, not to mention any incidental troubleshooting that crops up. A Powerflush can cost anything between £300 to £1000+ but will also vary from engineer to engineer. Sometimes there will be additional costs like extra descaler chemicals or replacing the TRVs.

It is important that your central heating system is as efficient as it can be at all times and, although a Powerflush can be an expensive process, it can also save a lot of money over time in reduced heating bills.

Is a Powerflush always the solution?

In some particularly severe cases you may find it is actually more cost effective to replace the system than carry out a Powerflush. A Powerflush will not fix broken parts. If a blockage has caused a part to break that will add time and cost to the job to get the system back to optimum performance. A professional will be able to advise you if this is the case.

2018 is Baxi's year of Success.

Baxi is smashing it in 2018 so far. Baxi's spare parts business, Baxi Genuine Parts, have won four customer service awards from the Top 50 Companies awards. They have also gained a spot amongst the top ten companies for customer service. 

Baxi won; best in sector for customer service, first place for customer service on calls, second place for customer service on emails, and fourth place for customer service on live chat, fighting off fierce competition from 350 other businesses from a cross-section of industries. 

The scrutinous and lengthy judging process, the judging panel impose ensure that these awards are highly regarded and respected. Real customers are used as mystery shoppers over a period of several months, and the company's customer service is measured over four facets: calls, social media, live chat and emails. 

The awards are an endorsement of the Baxi Genuine Parts' customer service team. They advise customers on spare parts and promote the benefits of using genuine, approved Baxi products.  

7 reasons an annual boiler service is a good idea.

Is there any point? Is it necessary? Is it worth the money? These are all common questions people ask themselves when considering getting a boiler service.  Getting your boiler serviced is just one of those chores that people often put off or neglect and as a result, your boiler doesn’t get the attention it needs. But your boiler shouldn’t get overlooked and here are 7 reasons why.

1.    Save money on your energy bills.

Part of a boiler service will include checking the boiler is running efficiently, which, in turn, can save you money over time.

Naturally, the model and age of a boiler are factors in its energy efficiency. However, maintaining a healthy boiler system, you are putting your boiler under less stress and so are using less energy to run, which reduces fuel costs.

2.    You can catch your boiler problems early.

The adage, prevention is better, and cheaper, than cure can be applied to your boiler. Your boiler is in constant use all year round, not just in the winter. It is your boiler that allows you to have those nice warm showers. However, most people only notice a problem with their boiler in the winter when they are using it more frequently. By this time, the problem has often escalated to a more severe, and thus, more expensive problem.

3.    A service is cheaper than replacing a boiler.

A service probably costs less than you think. At Abbey Boilers a service costs as little as £65.45, whereas a new boiler can run into the thousands. A boiler service is intended to keep your boiler running properly and to pick up on any minor issues. They ensure these small problems are picked up quickly before they grow into problems big enough to require a new boiler.

A well-maintained boiler should last longer than one that is not regularly services, so you are limiting the risk of prematurely needing a new boiler.

4.    You can rest easy knowing your boiler is safe.

Getting a boiler service means checking your boiler is running safely. Around 4,000 people go to A&E for Carbon Monoxide poisoning every year because of leaking boilers. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is so dangerous because the symptoms are like those of common illness, including dizziness, headaches, and fatigue, so It can be hard to distinguish between the two.

Having your boiler serviced means you can relax knowing you and your family are safe from harmful fumes.

5.    Keeping your warranty valid.

Most boilers only remain under their warranty if they are serviced annually. Most warranties and maintenance agreements require your boiler to be serviced every year for the above reasons. Failure to do so can result in your warranty being negated. This means that if your boiler does break down you won’t be covered, costing you a lot more money.

6.    It can cut your carbon footprint.

Just like getting your boiler serviced can save you money, it can also help reduce your carbon footprint. Depending on its age, a serviced boiler will run at its optimum energy efficiency because it isn’t overcompensating for any problems the boiler may have. When a boiler is running at its peak efficiency it means it requires less energy, thus less fuel, saving both the planet and your bank balance.

7.    For landlords and businesses, it is compulsory.

Every tenanted property and business must receive a gas safety certificate that needs to be renewed every year. The only way to receive the certificate is to have all the gas appliances on the property serviced properly by a gas safe engineer. This includes boilers but also other gas appliances such as gas stoves and fires. Abbey boilers offer Gas safety checks from just £65.45.

Has your boiler been serviced in the last 12 months?

Abbey boilers services Oil, Gas and LPG boilers and AGA cookers. Click here to see our other services.

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