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Add Value to Your Property with a Downstairs Toilet

Why not make the most of your unused space by getting a toilet installed downstairs? It can improve the quality of your home life as well as add value to your property, without costing too much. Find out more about cloakroom suites here and don’t hesitate to reap the benefits!

Cloakroom Toilets

There are two main styles of cloakroom suites, first one being a traditional toilet design and the other being a contemporary style. Whatever you desire, you can be assured that there are a wide variety of bathroom units for you to choose from.

Depending on what work you want done, a cloakroom suite could cost you from £1000 to £3000. Depending on the current state of your home, you may need to either get new walls fitted or

Other factors that you may wish to consider are whether you want the tank hidden and if you need heating running into the room. This could be done with an electrical heater or towel rail, or you could simply add a radiator into your current central heating set up.

Your new toilet will need to comply with building regulations, although you should not need planning permission for it unless you home is a listed building. The main concerns under building regulations are correct drainage and proper installation of any new electrical fittings and circuits. You will also need an electric ventilation fan if you do not have a window in your new WC. But your tradesman should be happy to advise you on which model you require, as well as dealing with any other building regulations issues. The easiest way to get a precise cost for installing a new toilet is to post a job for free and receive up to 3 quotes from bathroom specialists in your area.

Things you’ll need

There are many different types bathroom amenities for you to choose from, that are ideal for having a bathroom in a smaller area. There are some things that you need to consider when it comes to having a downstairs toilet, in a cloakroom or under the stairs. These include:

Toilet – there are specific cloakroom toilets available, which are designed to make the most out of our space. From wall-hung pans to corner toilets, there are many different toilets that are used to fit toilets into smaller spaces.

Sink – There are also many different cloakroom sinks that are space saving and so can fit in small areas. There are also new toilet designs that have a sink implemented within the design of the toilet.

Radiator – there are also smaller wall radiators that take up little space within a cloakroom toilets.

Other Things to consider

Obviously, the kind of job you have done and what you spend will influence how much a new toilet can add to the value of your home. The location and desirability of homes in your area is also a factor. But there is little doubt that the addition of that extra loo will make your home a more attractive prospect when it comes to selling. Making sure that any downstairs toilet is wheelchair accessible or disability-friendly will also increase the contribution it makes to its selling power.

Bringing down bills by tackling energy efficiency

As the cost of energy rises, more and more homeowners are considering carrying out home improvement projects, this will make their house more energy efficient as well as environmentally friendly.

There’s a number of options available should you be looking to lower your gas and electricity bills, ranging from simply steps like fitting insulation and draught excluding any gaps around windows or doors, to big changes like installing a new heating system. Bigger changes that are much more costly, may seem like a big financial project, but will be worth so much more in the long term, especially if the current boiler and radiators are old and inefficient.

When it comes to targets and regulations, they’ve been introduced by the government in a big to encourage energy efficiency, this includes bringing down efficient carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 in order to create the opportunity for new advanced in technologies.

Efficient heating has played a key role in helping the public sector developers comply with the official standards and will continue to do so in the future. When it comes to fuel poverty, some households are spending more than 10% of their income on gas and electricity bills, spurring on housing developers to provide solutions that are both eco-conscious and cost reducing.
New technology has shown new heating systems being developed which require less electricity to run, these systems are making revolutionary changes when it comes to heating and energy efficiency.

Bathroom fixtures and fittings can be very water-inefficient, especially if they were installed many years ago, fitting water saving products can be a wise investment. Duel flush toilets can also result in significant water saving, the majority of water wastage comes from unnecessary flushing.

As well as lowering water bills for the household, an efficient bathroom will also make the property much more attractive when the time comes to selling and moving on. Buyers are now starting to become increasingly eco conscious and looking for properties that have energy efficient fittings. So investing in a water-saving bathroom could pay off in both the short and long term.

Boiler Services Sevenoaks

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What to do if your boiler breaks down…

Should there be some odd noises coming from your boiler, don’t worry, these are simply problems that can be fixed quickly and won’t require an engineer call out. If it’s more serious then you may require more expertise.
Boilers have an annoying habit of breaking down, just when you need them something happen and they break down. Then there’s always the night mare of getting an engineer round before you freeze to death, or worse a family row may be sparked.
Here’s what you should do to ensure that you recognise the signs that your boiler is about to breakdown and cost you a packet.

Is your boiler making gurgling kettle sounds

Hearing this when your boiler fires may mean that your radiators will not be heated properly, the noises may be caused by air in the system, a blockage or sediment at the bottom of the boiler may need to be flushed out by a professional.
Frozen condensate pipes may also be to blame, if a frozen pipe is the cause then this may need to be thawed by using hot water bottles and heat wraps, but only if the pipe is accessible at ground level.

What does the ignition lockout mean?

This mostly happens to older boilers but can also happen to new ones as well, boiler manufacturers will install the lockout feature which may cause a shutdown as certain features are not working which affects the safety. Not all shutdown features stem from something seriously wrong, this could just be a simple glitch like a power cut or just low pressure. Normally there’s a reset button on the front of your boiler, your instruction manual will tell you to press this to rest the boiler and stop the lockout.

Why does the heating stop when I turn the hot water on?

If the diverter valve in your boiler is faulty then this may cause the heating to switch off whenever you turn the hot water on.
The issue could cause frustration when the radiator won’t warm up, when actually it could be the heating that’s flipped off by someone taking a hot shower.
Diverter valves are used in combination boilers, this will divert the flow of plasma between the domestic hot water heat exchanger and radiator.
Resolving this issue may require a new part and an installation job, which could be provided by a plumber unless you have the expert knowledge.

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The Boiler Guide

Take a look at our handy advice guide to help answer all of your boiler questions.

Types of Boilers

People tend to have different heating requirements, based on their requirements and preferences, so if you require a new boiler in your home, take a look at Heat-Tec’s guide on the different types available to you.
Boiler types…

    • Combi Boiler
    • Regular (Conventional) Boilers
    • System Boiler

Combi boiler

Combination boilers, known as combi boilers, combine the dual functionality of heating your property and producing hot water from one boiler system.

Combi boilers are popular in homes across the UK, this is for a number of reasons, over half of domestic boilers which are installed in Britain are combi boilers. Combi boilers work as part of a closed hot water system, they heat water up as it flows past a heating component in the boiler. The water will then be distributed to your showers and taps through the mains water supply and pressure.

These boilers will provide hot water on demand and the performance levels are very efficient unless a situation where multiple outputs are used at the same time. One of the main things to look out for when buying a new combi boiler includes the central heating output, this dictates the amount of energy that the boiler generates to keep hot. Hot water flow rates depend on the level of power that the water can distribute in the home. Heating Engineers can provide advice and advise you on the necessary boiler specification you should invest in.

Unlike regular and system boilers, with combi boilers, no additional equipment is required, so there’s no need to worry about extra space being taken up. There’s also no need for a hot water cylinder or cold water cistern, the process of installing the boiler will also be a lot quicker, which will also reduce your costs. If you choose to have a combi boiler installed, then you’ll need a flue, this is to take the waste gases outside of your home. You may want to consider a set of heating controls to get your heating working how you wish.

Regular boiler

Regular boilers are known as conventional or heat only boilers, they’re known as being traditional, especially when it comes to older peoples’ properties, you’ll often find these types of boilers in their homes. They’re known for taking up space, this is due to the use of the hot water cylinder or cold water cistern.

Regular boilers generate heat from the central heating system directly, the hot water that’s produced from this will be stored in a hot water cylinder until it’s required. Stored supply of hot water is drawn through when it’s needed in the water outlets, such as your kitchen or bathrooms.

Regular boilers include a boiler, heating controls, a hot water cylinder and an expansion cistern. Heating Engineers are able to recommend the exact items you’ll need if you are replacing and upgrading your boiler system.

System boiler

System boilers can be considered as similar to regular boilers, they provide the heat for your central heating system as well as producing hot water that’s stored in a hot water cylinder until it’s required. System boilers were designed to make boiler installations a quicker and more streamlined process. This is down to the fact that the components require efficient heating and hot water which is built into the boiler itself.

A feed and expansion cistern isn’t required with system boilers as hot water will be pumped directly from the system boiler to the radiators and hot water cylinder. It supports the process to make it more efficient and financially beneficial.

System boilers can work as part of open-vented and un-vented hot water setups, a Heating Engineer will be able to explain this and address any questions you may have.

Contact the experts

Should you require any further advice regarding heating in your home, feel free to contact our professional heating engineers. All of our heating specialists are fully qualified and gas safe registered so you know you’re in safe hands no matter what your underfloor heating needs are.

Give the heating experts at Heat-tec of West Wickham a call on 020 8212 7824 or e-mail sales@heat-tec.com

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5 Reasons Plumbers are called out

At Heat-Tec 2000 Ltd, our team of professionals are always getting called out on different jobs for various problems. To help see which jobs are most used, we’ve come up with 5 common reasons why plumbers are called out.

Plumbing Problems

Over the years we have provided our plumbing services across the country and have dealt with a number of customers who’ve experienced a range of plumbing problems. From a leaking tap to a complete part replacement, Heat-Tec 2000 Ltd can assist with a number of issues.
Plumbing is a very important aspect of most households, no matter how urgent or small the issue seems, plumbers can always be on hand to help make sure that the problem is fixed and your household is back as it should be. For our most common services, Heat-Tec believe that our top 5 problems are:

  • Leaking
  • Burst pipes
  • Shower repairs
  • Boiler issues
  • Shower part replacements

Plumbing in your property is very important, especially when considering your home, there’s lots of plumbing services available out there to take care of your plumbing. From a small tap problem to a full shower replacement, emergency plumbers can be on hand to make sure that your home is safe and that your plumbing is back up and running.

A local plumber can help!

When it comes to solving these plumbing problems, choose a plumbing company who have years of experience when it comes to dealing with clients across your local area. Choosing an experienced and knowledgeable plumber to attend to your requirements guarantees that your plumbing will be back up and running smoothly.
There are also emergency plumbing services available, so whatever time of day or night it is, plumbers can be on hand to help. The team at Heat-Tec can be on hand to assist, simply give us a call and we can help come up with a solution to your plumbing problems.

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Bathroom & Toilet Adaptations

There are a lot of things that are taken for granted in life; having a table to eat on, a bed to sleep in, a shower to clean ourselves and a toilet to… you know, do your business. If you stop to imagine that these things are taken away or made difficult to access for some reason and things become a lot more difficult.

For thousands of elderly and disabled people in the UK, this is a reality every day. For some of these people, just getting to the toilet can be a real struggle without the help of someone else.

Let’s stop for a second and think about the fact that, as people, we go the toilet around 8 times a day on average. Now amplify this even further by putting yourself in the scenario of someone needing to help you to the toilet 8 times a day and it’s easy to see how difficult some people have it.

But this doesn’t have to be the case. Bathroom and toilet adaptations are available to help people go to the loo without the need for assistance in and out each time.

Problems going to the loo?

Going to the toilet is a real problem for some people with disabilities or elderly people that require serious care.

Using functional rooms, such as the bathroom/going to the toilet, is the second biggest problem faced by families with a severely disabled child.

Combine this with the fact that bladder and bowl issues are the second most common reason why someone enters residential care and the problems going to the toilet faced by some people are clearer to see.

Of the 40,000 or so home adaptations undertaken under Disabled Facilities Grants on an annual basis, bathroom adaptations are indeed the most common – and that doesn’t include simple adaptations like handrails or toilet seat changes.

Would you benefit from a bathroom or toilet adaptation?

Answering a couple of simple questions straight away will help you to determine whether you would benefit from a toilet adaptation:

  • Is it difficult for you to get on and off the toilet?
  • Do you currently use a riser recliner chair?
  • Do you struggle with any other day-to-day activities, such as peeling vegetables or turning the pages of a book?
  • Have you needed help getting on and off the toilet in the past?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any or all of the above, then a toiler adaptation might be the answer for you.

What adaptations are available for toilets?

A range of options are available for toilet adaptations, including:

  • Soft seat toilets
  • Grab rails
  • Bariatric seats
  • Bariatric benches
  • Horse shoe seats
  • Wash and dry toilets

Toilet adaptations can give you the independence you need to live life more freely and effectively, without the need of ongoing support each time you need the loo.

Other home and bathroom adaptations are available to assist those who struggle with other day-to-day activities, such as getting up and down the stairs or having a shower.

Further Information

Not only can these types of adaptations help you to use the loo in a more comfortable, less-humiliating fashion, they can help you to save money on home carer fees in the long-run. More independence and dignity undoubtedly mean a better quality of life for those that would usually rely on someone else for help.

To find out more information regarding toilet, bathroom or building adaptations, Trent Valley Plumbing & Building Ltd will be pleased to offer some guidance:

https://www.trentpb.com

5 home heating myths that could be pushing up your winter bills

With the winter well and truly here, it can be tempting to draw the curtains, turn up the thermostat and reminisce the sunnier and warmer times. Keeping warm inside a house away from the elements may sound easy but you’ll be surprised, most people have no idea how to keep warm.

Recent surveys have shown how the majority of Britons believe that they understand their heating controls, with half misusing the energy by turning up their thermostat. People also think that turning up the heating makes it hotter quicker and that the external temperature will make a difference and that hot water needs to be on constantly, which isn’t true!

So take a look at the below points, we sort your heating fact from fiction…

You should turn the heating up when it’s cold outside
Recent reports have shown that just over half of homeowners have turned up the thermostat when it’s cold outside, but homes shouldn’t need this as the thermostat is there to maintain the internal temperature, whatever the weather is like.

You should turn the thermostat up to heat the room quicker
Further research has shown that people have admitted to turning their room thermostat up when they want the room to heat up quicker. This doesn’t heat up a room quicker, it just heats the home up to a warmer temperature.

You should leave the heating on low constantly
It’s common for people to think that it’s more energy efficient to leave the heating turned on at a lower temperature constantly, rather than turning it off and on. This is wrong as it only means that these homes are heated when no-one is there to benefit and then the home is too cold.

Keep your hot water on all day so you don’t run out
If your hot water tank is properly insulated, water which has been heated for half an hour in the morning should stay warm until midday. It’s much better to set your water to come on for half an hour before you get up to shower.

Keep electric storage heaters on all time
Research has shown that few people with electric storage heaters fully understand how they work, meaning households with electric heating could be paying much higher prices by not taking advantage of cheaper night rate electricity.

Heating facts

Closing your curtains does save heat
Studies have shown that drawing your curtains can reduce heat loss from 15% to 17% whilst drawing the blinds reduces it by 13% to 14%.

Old boilers drain energy
A boiler of 15 years old or more may be wasting from 30 – 40 pence of every £1 spent on heating your home and water. Updating your heating system to an A-rated condensing boiler or oil-fired model could make your system up to 90% more efficient.

Bleeding your radiators does make a difference
It sounds like a hassle, but it’s essential if your home’s radiators aren’t as powerful as you’d like, the first thing to do is to bleed them. Radiators containing trapped air are hot at the bottom but cold further up, so they’re not giving off as much heat as they should. Bleeding them is easy, simply put a radiator key or a small screwdriver into the bleed valve on the radiator and open the valve to let out the air.

The arranging of your furniture
Ever wondered why people always seem to put sofas in front radiators, it’s a bit daft isn’t it? You don’t want a radiator pumping heat into the back of a sofa, so it’s best to make sure situations like this are avoided.

Should you require any further advice regarding heating in your home, feel free to contact our professional heating engineers. All of our heating specialists are fully qualified and gas safe registered so you know you’re in safe hands no matter what your underfloor heating needs are.

Give the heating experts at Heat-tec of West Wickham a call on 020 8212 7824 or e-mail sales@heat-tec.com

Central Heating

HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR HEATING

The winter months and the colder weather is here, the professionals at Heat-Tec have put together some advice on how to save money on your central heating. Our top tips will help you to prepare for the cold months and will also save you some money on your heating too.

As plumbing and heating experts, we frequently deal with problems on a daily basis when it comes to heating. Our heating tips can help you save you a few hours each day or week. So instead of coming in from work and turning the heating on, take a look at our useful information.

6 Things to do Before Turning the Heating On

Should you feel the cold really easily or you’re looking for ways to cut back on costs, why not start with your heating. There’s a number of ways that you can warm your house up, whether it’s little or no cost. To reduce bills and stay warm, here’s 6 things to do before turning the heating on..

    • Close the doors in your home and use draft excluders
    • Blankets, get snug and save money!
    • Wear a fleece or jumper
    • Use a hot water bottle
    • Eat warm meals and drink hot drinks
    • Leave the oven door open after baking

Keep your home warm is by taking a shower with the door open. If no one is in, or you’re comfortable to leave it half open, this is a great way to increase the heat across the house. Not only that, it will allow the steam to spread throughout your home instead of being closed off in one room.

Further Advice

For further advice and information on Heat-Tec’s plumbing and heating services, simply get in touch. Should you have any problems with your heating or require professional advice, our team are more than happy to help. Being experienced heating engineers means that we’re dedicated to helping all of our clients across West Wickham and the surrounding areas. Have one less thing to worry about and choose our team for all of your heating needs. Contact our team today.

Why do I need to get my boiler serviced?

When it comes to your boiler, getting it checked regularly is vital, especially in the winter months. Having your boiler serviced by a professional heating engineer, provides peace of mind as they’ll make sure that it’s working safely and efficiently, as well as detect any possible issues or potential problems that may stop it working properly. Boiler breakdowns can’t be anticipated, but by having an annual boiler service, you can rest assured that your boiler system is in working order.

For more information, take a look at our boiler service checklist.

Boiler checklist

Safety

One of the top requirements reasons when it comes to getting your boiler serviced is to make sure that it’s safe. Having a poorly maintained or faulty boilers could bring serious health risks to you and your family as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is extremely dangerous.

Efficient system

Boiler systems will go through a series of checks which will determine if the boiler is working to its maximum efficiency. A competent boiler system will run smoothly and the more efficient it runs, the better value for money system.

Save money

A lot of customers notice a decrease in their energy bills after having their boiler serviced. Well running boilers deter hidden costs which can occur from faults and deficiencies.

When’s the best time to book a boiler service?

At Solutions Plumbing and Heating we recommend that you book your boiler service in before the winter months. Having a boiler breakdown in the colder weather isn’t ideal and can be an big inconvenience for all the family, so we encourage you book in for your service as soon as possible!

What happens during the boiler service…

    • Our engineers will inspect your boiler and the controls, making sure they are working safely
    • We’ll also check for corrosion and leaks
    • The boiler casing will be removed and the system will be checked to see if the main components are functioning
    • The gas pressure will be checked to make sure that the boiler is operating at the correct gas pressure
    • A flue test will make sure that no unsafe emissions are being released from the boiler
    • The boiler’s parts will be cleaned as required
    • The boiler will be put back together and properly sealed
    • The engineer will leave a checklist with you which will include all of the relevant information needed about the safety of your system

How long will the boiler service take?

A boiler service can take from as little as 30 minutes to well over an hour, it all depends on the type of boiler system and whether any work needs to be carried out.

How much does a boiler service cost?

Should you choose Heat-Tec to carry out your boiler service, we currently have a range of brilliant special deals and offers. To book or for more information on our boiler services, simply contact our team today who will be more than happy to help!

What if I need a replacement boiler?

Not to worry, at Heat-Tec we provide a full boiler replacement service, our team of experts can install a brand new boiler system in your home. You can call a member of our team for a free new boiler quote. Another popular option is boiler financing, you can receive a brand new boiler, but spread the cost to make it more affordable for you.

For more information on our boiler servicing, contact our team today!

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Campaign Highlights the Damage Caused by Hard Water

The Campaign

In Kent (the area with some of the hardest tap water in the UK), a national campaign has been launched by Harvey Water Softeners to help raise awareness and highlight the damage hard water can cause.

The campaign will run across the area of Kent during the months of October and November, called the Stop Scale and Scum campaign and then it will embark on a yearlong tour of England to the areas who suffer with some of the worst hard water conditions. The purpose of the campaign is to draw attention to the damage hard water can cause. Harvey Water Softeners is highlighting to homeowners the massive impact their water could be having on their finances. With Kent having some of the largest hotspots of hard water in the UK due to the large geological formations largely made up of chalk.

Principal hydrogeochemist for the British Geological Survey, Pauline Smedley said, “Many of the water companies in the South East of England extract groundwater from chalk bedrock for their water supply, it’s our most significant aquifer in terms of the volumes extracted. Chalk groundwater is typically hard because chalk is composed almost entirely of calcium carbonate, which dissolves readily with the aid of carbon dioxide in the water. The dissolved calcium produced is responsible for the formation of hard water.”

Damage and Problems Caused by Hard Water

The high levels of calcium and magnesium that are in the hard water is a major cause of limescale build up inside home appliances such as boilers, kettles and washing machines. Water softening units can be plumbed into domestic or commercial properties in orders to remove the minerals from the main water supply helping to reduce the build-up of limescale. Drinking water taps that are fitted alongside still allow people to enjoy the taste of the hard water but protect the appliances in their home. Listed below is some of the damage and problems caused by hard water.

  • Build-up of limescale in appliances
  • Shorter appliance lifespans
  • Poor flowing pipes
  • Reduced efficiency of heating systems
  • Boiler overheating due to higher pressures
  • Personal care such as washing hair is more difficult
  • Blocked pipes
  • Up to a 75% loss of flow on showers

A Growing Problem

Demand for softened water is the Kent area has almost doubled in the last 12 months, according to Harvey Water Softeners. This is seen as a sign that the problem is getting worse as more housing developments are built across Kent.

Harvey Bowden, founder of Harvey Water Softeners aid, “I’ve worked in the area for 40 years but I’m always surprised to see just how quickly hard water can have an impact; in extreme cases, I’ve seen people go through brand new kettles in just 4 months or taps seize up all together. Soft water isn’t just good for people’s pockets, but it can also keep homes warmer as heating systems work better.

”Our message to the people of Kent and people in hard water areas is check your water hardness. Use our water hardness postcode checker and look inside your kettle or other appliances for any signs of limescale.”