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Do Gas Engineers need to be Gas Safe Registered?

When it comes to gas services in the UK, it’s now extended beyond just fixing gas kitchen appliances. In addition to gas kitchen appliance repair work, some gas engineers today may undertake central heating installation and repair. Central heating work is highest specialised and gas engineers must have a Gas Safe Registration. Gas Safe Registration is an official stamp for gas safety. By law a gas engineer must be on the Gas Safe Register to carry out any work on gas appliances and gas installation across the United Kingdom. This was introduced in April 2009 regarding supplant CORGI registration. CORGI registration is no longer valid, so you can’t legally work without Gas Safe Registration in situations today.

It is designed to protect property owners from unsafe work situation which may occur. To become Gas Safe Registered, an engineer needs to approve capability in gas related assignments in the UK’s recognised assessment centres. The aim of the registration is to maintain records of experienced gas engineers, as many gas heating professionals in the UK offer gas heating services, so it’s important that they should be Gas Safe certified. Only Gas Safe certified engineers are permitted to undertake gas work.

Before hiring a gas engineer for your gas work, you must check what work they are qualified for, you can do this by asking them questions about their qualifications. This can also be verified by a registration, they’ll have been given an ID number, all authentic Gas Safe Registered engineers will carry ID cards. The main points of an authentic Gas Safe car include…

  • Security hologram
  • Full contact details
  • Issue and expiry date
  • The services provided
  • Updated qualifications
  • Areas of work that they are qualified in

The point of this certification is all about your safety, if an unprofessional Gas Safe registered engineer does your gas job, you could be risking the safety of you and your property. Gas leakage can cause irreparable damage to property and lives. If by any chance a gas leakage occurs in a building, only Gas Safe registered engineers can fix the problem. So before hiring an engineer, make sure that they are on the Gas Safe Register. Even when it comes to regular servicing of your central heating radiators, a Gas Safe Engineer can save you money on energy bills.

For more info, simply call the team at Heat-Tec today.

5 Common Plumbing Problems

At Heat-Tec, we provide a range of services and we’re always working on different jobs and problems. Based on our experience, we’ve put together various popular issues that we usually get called out to. Take a look and see if any of your plumbing problems can be prevented.

Plumbing Problems

Over the years, our plumbing services across Bromley have involved us dealing with a number of clients who all require different services. From smaller issues such as a leaking tap, to a complete bathroom installation, at Heat-Tec we’re here to meet all your requirements. Plumbing is an important aspect of any household so no matter how small or urgent the issue is, we’re always on hand to help and make sure that your home is fixed and repaired as soon as possible. When it comes to our most common services, the most frequent jobs we work on include…

  • Leaking taps
  • Shower repairs
  • Troubles with boiler
  • Burst pipes
  • Bathroom installations

With plumbing in your house being vital, at Heat-Tec we take all your services seriously, anything from a small repair to a full installation, we can be there to make sure that your plumbing has been repaired. So should like to benefit from the services that we provide, we ask that you can get in touch today to discuss the next steps of the process.

Contact Heat-Tec for plumbing services

Heat-Tec have years of experience in dealing with clients across Bromley who are experiencing problems with their plumbing or heating. So if you’re looking for an experienced and knowledgeable plumber to come and attend your plumbing needs, Heat-Tec are at your call.

No matter if your require our services during an emergency or at a time that suits you, Heat-Tec will be there to help. Our services are second to none and we will always do our best to ensure that all of your need have been covered. No matter how complex the project may seem, nothing is off limits for Heat-Tec. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our team today to discuss your needs and find out more on the benefits of choosing , we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Types of boilers

Deciding which boiler will make an efficient and practical fit into your home and lifestyle can be confusing, so we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the right new boiler for you. There are three main types of boilers, this includes combi boilers, system boilers and regular boilers, they each have a range of their own advantages and what homes they work best in.

Should your new boiler be fitted into your existing system, then it’s important to consider the cleanliness of your existing pipework and radiators as this could cause damage to your new boiler.

Combi boilers

A combination of ‘combi’ boiler is both a high efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in a single compact unit, combi boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn a tap on, so you won’t need a hot water storage cylinder or a cold water storage tank in the roof space.

These type of boilers are very cost effective and energy efficient as the water is heated instantly rather than being heated and then stored in a cylinder. An extra benefit is that hot water is delivered by mains pressure, meaning you can have a power shower with no need for a separate pump.

The benefits of combi boiler installations include…

  • Compact in size, making combi boilers great for smaller properties
  • Ideal where there is little loft space
  • No need to have a hot water cylinder, meaning an increase in living space
  • No cold water tank storage meaning more loft space
  • No risk of pipework freezing
  • Less pipework in the home, meaning the installation cost is cheaper

System boilers

These type of boilers need a cylinder for storing hot water, however, the major heating and hot water system components are built into the boiler themselves, making it quicker and easier to install. There’s also no need for a tank in the loft, so it’s an option in a home with little or no loft space or where the space is earmarked for a conversion.

System boilers are compatible with solar water heating systems which deliver environmental benefits as well as lower energy bills.

The benefits of system boilers…

  • Great for homes with more than one bathroom
  • Constant supplies of hot water to a number of taps at the same time
  • No need for a loft tank, creating more space and less time worrying about leaks or frost damage
  • Economical to run
  • Built-in components make installation quicker and neater

Regular boilers

Regular boilers, these can also be known as traditional or conventional or heat only boilers, they’re ideally suited to homes that already have a traditional heating and hot water system which is linked to a separate hot water cylinder as well as a tank that maintains the water level of the central heating system.

Regular boilers may be the best option when it comes to replacing an existing boiler if the property has an older radiator system, it may not be able to cope with the higher water pressure that is delivered by system or combi boilers.

The benefits of regular boilers…

  • Perfect for homes where a lot of hot water is used at the same time
  • Ideal for properties with more than one bathroom
  • A good choice when it comes to water pressure being low
  • Compatible with solar water heating systems for a lower carbon footprint and lower energy costs

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.

Tips to keep your central heating running efficiently and effectively

A well cared for and looked after central heating system helps to keep homes warm and cosy. Looking after one isn’t difficult at all, so take a look at these 6 ways to ensure your central heating runs efficiently and effectively.

Check your radiators

Issues tend to occur when cold air gets trapped in the radiators and air pockets prevent the heated water circulating and makes your home feel cold. By checking your radiators for cold patches, you can test them and bleed them if necessary. Keys to bleed the radiator can easily be found from most DIY shops which sell them for around £1.

Keeping an eye on the boiler pressure

To keep your boiler running at maximum efficiency, the pressure bar needs to be right, it’s easy to do, simply check your boiler and make sure it’s set between 1 and 1.5 bar.

Pipe lagging keeps the heat flowing

When temperatures drop, pipes can freeze, not only does this effect your central heating and how it works, it may mean that you need to replace burst pipes. Ready-made pipe lagging is available to buy, it is easy to use and provides years of protection.

Check the pilot light

If you have a gas boiler, it’s important to keep an eye on the colour of your pilot light, when everything is operating well, the light should be a strong blue colour. A yellow flame could mean that the boiler needs servicing as it could potentially be releasing carbon monoxide. Annual boiler services will ensure you get the best performance out of your boiler and make sure that you always call a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.

Ensure your safety

Smoke and carbon monoxide are lethal and silent, it’s vital that you put both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home, these can be bought as separate or combined alarms at around £20 to £25, a small price to pay.

Setting your boiler to suit you

Help your boiler run more efficiently by setting it to fit in with your daily routine, heat and hot water in the morning and evening, then have your system turned off when you’re out. Using a timer thermostat on your boiler to set heat and water to come on and off at different times and different temperatures, you’ll cut your energy bills and usage.

My toilet won’t flush

Should you be experiencing the common problem, your toilet won’t flush, we understand that trying to work out what has happened can be frustrating. There’s no need to worry though, take a look at these popular reasons it could be happening and why and how you can fix them.

Clogged toilet

Sometimes, using too much toilet paper, or attempting to flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet can clog the pipe and make further flushing impossible.

Using a toilet plunger or toilet auger to push the waste through and allow the toilet to flush, or even using a plunger to create suction that will help dislodge the blocking and the flushing action will then move it down the pipe. Should you be experiencing this problem frequently, you may decide to consider using a thinner type of toilet paper, particularly if yourself or others of your household use a lot in one sitting.

The water level in the tank is to low

The water level in a toilet’s tank should be approximately one inch below the top of the tank’s overflow tube. Should the water in the tank be too low, simply check the water valve, as it may have accidentally have been turned off. If the water valve is turned off, then turn it on and monitor the water level in the tank to ensure it’s refilling to the correct level, then flush the toilet to make sure it’s flushing properly again.

The flapper is bent

Remove the toilet tank lid and inspect the rubber flapper, this is designed to release water when the toilet is flushed and then close the water intake hole afterwards so that the amount of water remains in the tank.

The chain isn’t working

Sometimes lift the chain, this attaches the flapper to the flushing handle on the outside of the toilet, it can have too much slack and make the handle unable to raise the flapper and flush the toilet.

This problem can be solved by adjusting the length of the chain to shorten it so that the chain can provide pull sufficient to raise the flapper off the flush tube and allow water to flow when the handle is pulled.

Should none of these tips rectify the problem, there’s no need to worry, simply call our friendly team today who will be more than happy to help.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

With winter well and truly setting in, have you started to feel the chill yet? With the weather getting colder and December fast approaching, now is a good time to think about your pipes and how you can protect them from freezing or even bursting during the winters. As plumbers we have compiled together a few things that you can do to prevent your pipes freezing this winter.

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes

Take Care Of Your Outside Pipes

Outside pipes can regularly freeze in the cold weather, if you can isolate the water supply to the outside tap with an internal shut off valve, then this will help to prevent problems from occurring.

Use Insulated Foam Sleeving

Pipes in lofts, basements or outside are the most likely pipes to freeze as these areas aren’t heated. They also tend to lack insulation, but you can change this by insulating them with foam based sleeves. The thinner the pipe is, the thicker the insulation will need to be, as thinner pipes are more likely to freeze than thicker ones. It’s important to make sure that there are no gaps at valves or bends.

Don’t Insulate Underneath Your Tank

This is important if your tank is in the loft. Your loft will be even colder if its floor is insulated, as this will be blocking the heat that normally rises from the room below. If you can avoid it, don’t insulate the underneath of your tank – but do insulate the top and sides to prevent the heat from escaping.

Fix Dripping Taps

If a dripping tap freezes over, the water in the pipe can also freeze, which creates a blockage. Make sure to replace washers on taps regularly to avoid them from dripping; a plumber should be able to carry this out for you.

Get Your Boiler Services

If you haven’t already serviced your boiler ready for winter, there’s no time like the present. Having your boiler looked at by a professional plumber is the best way to protect it against breakdowns.

Leave Your Heating On

If you’re lucky enough to be escaping to somewhere a little warmer this winter and leaving your house to fend for itself, consider leaving the heating on at a low temperature. While turning it off completely will save you money, you could end up regretting it if a pipe bursts and causes expensive damage to your home. While you’re away, leaving your loft hatch open is also a good idea as it allows heat to circulate around your tank and pipes. If your home is going to be unoccupied for a long time, consider turning off the water at the stopcock and draining down the system so there is no water left in the pipes. You may also want to ask a friend to check the house regularly.

Find Your Stopcock

The most important thing to know this winter is where your stopcock is, so if the worst does happen then at least you can turn your water off.

Hard and Soft Water Explained

Many people hear the term hard and soft water and dimply don’t understand what it means or what the difference is between them. As a professional plumber, we have compiled together a handy list of answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

What’s The Difference Between Hard And Soft Water?

Hard water contains high amounts of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. This is absorbed when the water comes into contact with rock such as chalk or limestone. Water takes a long journey to get to our homes, so it often picks up minerals along the way. Soft water on the other hand, contains fewer minerals, which the water remaining more in its natural state.

What Does This Mean For Everyday Water Usage?

When hard water is heated, limescale and deposits can build up in your pipes and appliances. This means things like your shower may need to be cleaned more often. Regularly build in pipes can recue the water flow. Hard water also make soaps and conditioners, less effective when they’re used.

Home appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, usually need to work harder when there used in areas that suffer from hard water. If not maintained correctly, your appliance might end up with shorter lifespans. Improving things like the salt in dishwashers can help negate the effect of hardwater.

Soft water is generally preferable when it comes to cleaning as it can help things like glassware end up cleaner, and reduces the amount of build up and scum in appliances and showers. People in areas that have soft water, generally use less detergent and less energy, when using cleaning appliances. Soft water can also be quite resistant to chlorine, which isn’t great new if you’re lucky enough to own a swimming pool.

What Is Healthier?

Both hard water and soft water are perfectly safe to use, although hard water often tastes better, it can be less effective when used in appliances. Soft water is great for washing hair and a range of other uses, but be resistance to chemicals that are added to the water.

Limescale can easily build up in kettles and create a brown scum on your tea or coffee, this isn’t harmful, but it just doesn’t like too pleasant. Regularly cleaning your appliances and using anti limescale tablets can help breakdown limescale and keep your appliances working for longer.

Can You Make Hard Water Soft?

There are some ways that you can make hard water soft, one of these ways is by adding salt to the hard water. A professional plumber we believe in helping our customers who suffer from hard water improve the quality of their water and the performance of their appliances. An alternative is to use a conditioner or scale inhibitor. Rather than removing the minerals and replacing them with something else, this alters the water so that minerals pass through the system. This prevents the build-up of limescale and your water is still safe to drink.

Signs Your Boiler Isn’t Working Properly

Sluggish boilers are inefficient, boilers that are maintained and regularly serviced can improve the efficiency of how your hot water and heating run. Although it’s hard to understand if your boiler is running correctly or how it should be there are a few key points, which should ensure your boiler and central heating system run better.

By choosing boiler a boiler expert who specialises in boiler repairs can help to ensure that your boiler is working how it should be. If you identify the signs that your boiler isn’t working correctly, then it’s time to call out a heating engineer. We’ve compiled together a few questions to ask yourself, to see if your boiler is running to optimal efficiency.

Questions To Ask Yourself

Is your boiler using more gas than it should be?

If you find yourself with constantly high energy bills that don’t seem to reflect your true usage, then it could be the signs of something being wrong with your boiler. Even though peoples energy bills fluctuate all year around, if you suddenly notice a sharp rise in the amount of gas your using in your property, then it could be a sign that something simply isn’t right.

Can your hear strange clunking sounds?

If your boiler, pipes or radiators are starting to make strange clunking sounds, or noises they don’t usually make, then it could be time to get it checked. Most strange noises that occur usually tend to need a power flushing, to clean out the systems and pipe work to get it running back how it should be. Although it could be a different issue which may require a boiler repair being carried out.

Are you getting hot water and heating?

Although it might seem like a strange questions, most boilers that aren’t correctly maintained simply don’t produce the right amount of heat from radiators or hot water pressure, that they’re capable of. Keeping using both your hot water and heating throughout the year, can help to ensure the temperatures you receive are the same all year around, if you notice a temperature change, then it could be sign of something being wrong with your boiler.

Do you have cold spots in your property?

Cold spots are an indicator of a poorly functioning boiler or a blocked central heating system. If you have cold spots occurring on your central heating system and radiators, then it’s important to get a heating engineer out to check them. Although most cold spot problems are simple to repair, it’s better to get it checked to make sure it’s not something more serious.

Is your pressure kept regulated?

If the pressure in your boiler keeps dropping or always goes to high, then this can cause your hot water and heating pressures to fluctuate. It’s recommended to keep your pressure levels somewhere over and one and below a three, to operate within best parameters. If your boiler suffers irregular temperature pressures then it’s important to get it checked by a trained and gas safe registered engineer, to ensure the boiler is kept running smoothly.

Keep Your Boiler Running Over Winter

We aren’t expecting to get a white Christmas but we could end up with some in January? We can’t be sure, but the last thing you want is to be without central heating and a boiler when this happens. In the past many homeowners across the UK have been caught out when the cold snap appears, and are literally left in the cold.

Christmas is expensive enough without needing to call out a gas safe registered engineer to carry out a boiler repair. Maintaining your boiler correctly over the winter can help to reduce the need for boiler repairs and central heating repairs.

Top Tips for Boiler Maintenance

Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

In freezing temperatures even the best-maintained boiler will struggle to function if its pipes condensate and then freeze. To prevent pipes from freezing it’s important to make sure you insulate the pipe by wrapping it in some old towels or rags immediately to prevent it from freezing. This usually comes in a variety of sizes so bear in mind to measure it before you buy it. When measured and cut, wrap the condensation pipe in the insulation and this should help prevent the pipe from freezing.

Keep You Boiler Running

As a temporary measure it may also help to keep your central heating on a constant setting, having it go offer regularly throughout the day. We certainly recommend this as an ongoing solution, as it goes against the idea of having an energy efficient boiler, but as a temporary fix, it’s worth doing.

Undertake Boiler Servicing

If at any time you need your boiler to be working to optimal efficiency, it’s during the winter months. In most cases boiler breakdown problems occur because of common faults and usually because it hasn’t been serviced for some time. Like a car, your boiler needs to be serviced on a regular basis. Getting your boiler serviced before it gets too cold would be advisable before problems start occurring.

Power Flushing

If you’ve got an older central heating system over time this can become inefficient because of blocked pipes, preventing radiators from heating up correctly. A black sludge can build up in your central heating system and can cause your radiators to get cold spots. Getting rid of these cold spots is fairly easy with an effective technique called Power Flushing. Water and cleaning chemicals are pumped through your radiators at high pressure which flushes out any build-up of dirt, often a back sludge that is causing a blockage. By Power Flushing all your radiators, you will be making your central heating system more efficient which will save you money on your heating bills and potential money spent on central heating repairs. Power flushing helps to improve the overall efficiency of boilers and heating systems, helping to improve the lifespan of your boiler.

Running Smoothly Throughout Winter

By undertaking some simple boiler and central heating tips, or having a heating engineer, carry out services can help to maintain and keep your boiler running smoothly throughout the winter. A correctly maintained boiler will ensure your boiler runs smoothly all year around, not just through the winter.

Guide To Buying A New Boiler

Although buying a new boiler will never be as exciting as buying a new car or landing the latest video games console, but buying a new boiler is arguably one of the most significant and important purchases that you will ever make. There are many considerations to take into account before you go dipping your hand into your pocket to buy a new boiler; ranging from which one is best for your home, how much it will cost to install, if there are any grants or financial help available, as well as the location of the boiler and what kind of thermostatic controls you intend to use.

What Boiler Should You Buy

A new boiler is a big investment and you should be prepared to go for the best quality boiler available, albeit within your budget. Although they have a slightly higher initial outlay than other boilers, embracing this new technology and accepting the cost of it will pay dividends in the end, as you will re-coup your money over the lifespan of your new boiler through lower heating bills.

Questions To Ask Yourself?

  • Where will it be installed?
  • What do you need to use it for?
  • is it a residential or commercial premises?
  • How much have you got to spend?
  • Is the engineer Gas Safe Registered?
  • Is it covered by warranty?
  • What brand of boiler should I choose?

Call in The Professionals

Rather than just jumping in and buying a new boiler, it’s important to work with a professional heating company to ensure you get the best boiler to meet your requirements and budget. A heating engineer can ensure that your boiler is installed correctly and that it’s safe to use.

Professional heating engineers are fully qualified to carry out boiler installations, ensuring they are correctly installed and safe to use once they have been fitted in your property. Using accredited and recommended installers will help to ensure that a quality boiler has been installed to professional standards.

Support

As important as the installation itself (if not more so) it is essential that you are aware of the after sales service and support that the installer is offering and even if they offer it at all. It is all well and good being the best at specifying and installing new systems but you must make sure that you are using someone that is capable of repairing them should the need arise.

Rather surprisingly, not all installation specialists have the requisite knowledge to find faults or diagnose problems with all types of condensing boilers, so make sure to check the skills and credentials of the firm you intend on using; keeping in mind that it is probably best to use a firm that is qualified by the manufacturer to install the particular make of boiler that you intend on having installed. Most new boiler installations come with warranties that cover your boiler for parts and labor, so if any problems should happen to occur you’ll be covered.