FAQ

FAQ

Are you Corgi registered?

Corgi (The Council of Registered Gas Installers) was the official trade and legal body of the gas industry for many years but has now been replaced by The Gas Safe Register. We were members of Corgi and are now members of Gas Safe. This means we are trained, skilled and legally allowed to work on domestic gas installations and appliances. Don’t worry, you’re in the right hands!

 

Do you have a call-out charge?

No we don’t. If we don’t do any work, we don’t charge. Quotes are free. We will charge for exploratory or investigative work where it is a necessary part of the process of locating or fixing the problem. This can often be the most important part of the job. We define “work”, as mentioned above, as progressing the job in any positive fashion, whether this be giving professional advice and solutions to the problems presented or by physically fixing such a problem.

 

Do you offer flexible payment terms?

Yes we do. We can offer tailored repayment plans to spread the cost of any expensive work.

 

Why are my heating pipes noisy?

When the heating is turned on pipework and radiators expand. Where pipes cross joists or radiators are held captive upon their brackets you may hear a series of clicks and metallic pinging as the pipes move in very small but incremental steps. This noise is normal and will cease once the system has reached full working temperature.

If you are able to hear the water flowing through the pipes this is often a sign of air in the system that needs to be released or can be caused by “velocity noise”; water flowing through a restriction, most commonly a radiator valve.

Chattering noises are normally related to failing thermostatic radiator valves.

Loudly knocking or banging pipework is often heard when the heating pipework, or boiler heat exchanger is blocked and must be investigated quickly before damage occurs.

 

Do you need a gas safety inspection

Though recommended, there is no mandatory requirement to service a boiler. A service is designed to extend the life of the boiler. It will ensure that the appliance is maintained to the highest possible standard and therefore lessen the likely hood of it breaking down.

 

A Landlord Gas Safety Inspection (LGSI), often referred to as an “Annual Gas Check” is a mandatory requirement placed upon landlords via the “Gas Installation and Use Regulations 1998” to have their gas installations checked for safety every 12 months, or under some circumstances, when a new tenant moves in.

 

The document we issue is a “Landlord Gas Safety Record” (LGSR) not a “certificate”. The record is used to show that we have checked or inspected a number of important safety devices or elements of the installation, typically this will include, testing for gas escapes, checking that appliances “fail safe”, ensuring that there is enough ventilation to facilitate safe combustion and using a gas analyser to determine that gas is being burnt efficiently.

 

What is water hammer?

Water hammer is velocity noise caused by water flowing quickly through a restriction like a ball, or float operated valve. These valves are fitted to cold water storage, toilet and heating cisterns (tanks). The noise is caused as the ball-valve closes, any wave motion present in the tank will cause the float to bounce and the pipes to bang where the bounce is less pronounced the noise often manifests as a humming or whistling noise. The most effective cure is to renew the valve, although some success can be achieved by slowing the flow of water through the valve.

 

The heating engineer wants my my boiler manual; doesn’t he know how to fix it?

The manual provides the engineer detailed fitting and maintenance information that is specific to your boiler. It may have a table of translated fault codes, show minimum safe clearances from parts of your home that could adversely affect the performance of the appliance. It will contain limited fault finding guidance and a comprehensive list of the part numbers. This manual is very important; you should keep it in a safe place, close to the boiler. The engineer isn’t incompetent. Access to this document will ensure that your boiler is restored to full working order quickly and minimise your inconvenience.

 

What does the small tank in my loft do?

The small tank in the loft is called the “feed and expansion cistern”(F&E) it is filled via a ball valve and keeps the heating system full of water, as water is heated it expands and the volume of water in the tank will increase. The water in this tank should be cold and clean. Hot water in this tank or orange/brown sludge are signs of a problem and if left unaddressed could result in costly repairs.

 

Do I need a service or a gas safety inspection?

Though recommended, there is no mandatory requirement to service a boiler. A service is designed to extend the life of the boiler. It will ensure that the appliance is maintained to the highest possible standard and therefore lessen the likely hood of it breaking down.

 

A Landlord Gas Safety Inspection (LGSI), often referred to as an “Annual Gas Check” is a mandatory requirement placed upon landlords via the “Gas Installation and Use Regulations 1998” to have their gas installations checked for safety every 12 months, or under some circumstances, when a new tenant moves in.

 

The document we issue is a “Landlord Gas Safety Record” (LGSR) not a “certificate”. The record is used to show that we have checked or inspected a number of important safety devices or elements of the installation, typically this will include, testing for gas escapes, checking that appliances “fail safe”, ensuring that there is enough ventilation to facilitate safe combustion and using a gas analyser to determine that gas is being burnt efficiently.

 

The task of carrying out a Landlord Gas Safety Inspection includes no repairs or preventative maintenance. The Record we issue is for the property and all the permanent appliances installed within it. We assess the worthiness of parts of the building that may one day accommodate a gas appliance. For example, we would check a brick built chimney to see if it is obstructed even if no fire is fitted or ensure that a cooker stability chain is present even if there were no cooker.

 

Servicing is undertaken to improve reliability. During the service tweaks, adjustments and preventative maintenance is carried out to improve performance and reliability. We service appliances and any document generated relates to it/them not the property.

 

When servicing sometimes we identify broken or failing parts and will seek your permission to renew them. When undertaking a gas safety inspection we occasionally suggest improvements to the installation that will enhance safety.

 

More information relating to Landlord responsibility can be found by following the links below to Gas Safe and the HSE.

 

http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm

http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/advice/renting_a_property/for_landlords.aspx.

 

Short, fat, thin or long radiator?

Aesthetics, the height of window cills, room type, the length of available wall space and the quality of wall fixing all influence the design of the radiator we recommend. Radiators normally are available in three different designs made up of a combination of panels (the water carrying part of the radiator) and convector’s (the wavy steel backing behind the panel).

 

By adding a convector to a panel radiator the surface area and heat output are significantly increased, add another panel for even more, and so on. By adding panels and convector’s we can make the radiator smaller and still achieve the heat output the room needs, however, all these layers add depth so can cause the radiator to extend too far into the room or space.

 

What size radiators should I fit?

When sizing replacement or additional radiators a number of factors need to be considered. The number and construction of outside walls, the ceiling height, dimensions of the room, the area and type of glazing and whether or not there are heated rooms above or below. Armed with this information and some clever software we can calculate the amount of heat needed to keep the room warm. It is the amount of heat required that determines the size of the radiator.

 

My radiator worked last winter but doesn’t now?

Some older or budget thermostatic radiator valves are prone to seizing when left in the closed position for extended periods of time. As with all valves it is good to open and close them every few months this will ensure that when you next operate the valve that it will work and allow heated water to circulate through the radiator.

 

Thermostatic Radiator Valves, do I need them?

Thermostatic radiator valves (TRV’s) measure the air temperature in the room and close automatically when the desired temperature is reached, this stops water from passing through the radiator, the radiator cools, the room temperature falls and the valve re-opens.

TRV’s allow you to set different room temperatures in each room where they are fitted. You may wish bedrooms to be less warm than the living room. TRV’s save energy and as such are a requirement of the Building Regulations.

 

How do I top up my heating system?

Some heating systems fill automatically via the small tank in the loft(this is the feed and expansion tank or F&E), others need to be filled manually. We normally refer to systems of this type as “sealed”. Sealed heating systems will have a pressure gauge in a prominent location (on the front of the boiler or in the airing cupboard normally).

 

The piece of equipment used for filling the heating system is called the “filling loop”. Its design varies but typically it is two valves sited within a few inches of each other joined by a short piece of silver coloured braided steel hose.

 

Most boilers work at pressures of between 0.5 and 1.5 Bar. By opening both valves simultaneously we introduce more water into the system. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge and stop filling at about 1 bar. Don’t worry if you put too much water in, the boiler is fitted with a device that will automatically lower the pressure should it rise too high. Once happy with the pressure vent the air from any radiators and be prepared to add a little more water. When all radiators are full and the pressure set to about 1 bar, press the “reset button” or turn the knob on the boiler to the position marked “reset”. All being well, the boiler should work now.

 

My boiler stopped working when I vented air from my radiator, why?

Some boilers require a minimum pressure of water to work properly. When we vent radiators or reinstate them after decorating for example, we reduce the volume of water in the heating system and lower the pressure. The boiler measures this loss and shuts down to protect itself.

 

What should I do if I smell gas?

If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak, or are worried that fumes containing carbon monoxide are escaping from a gas appliance you should immediately call 0800 111 999 (This is a free, national, 24 hour emergency line).

  • Turn off the gas at the meter
  • Open all doors and windows to ventilate the property
  • Do not turn on/off electrical switches
  • Extinguish all naked flames, do not smoke, strike matches or do anything, which could cause ignition
  • If there are any electrical security entry phones/locks, please open door manually

 

National Gas Emergency Services will dispatch an engineer to make safe, there is no charge for this service but will normally result in the supply of gas being temporarily disconnected. You should then give us a call. One of our Gas Safe registered engineer’s will visit, complete a range of tests or repairs to enable the supply of gas to be restored and the appliance reinstated.

 

My boiler works, why do I need a service?

Frequent servicing of the boiler will extend its life, any guarantee and flag up problems before they occur. The engineer will carry out checks that will establish if the boiler is working safely, efficiently and if the gas pipework is “sound”. Unlike some companies we will not just take combustion analyser readings, we remove covers and undertake a thorough inspection / clean of the internal components. We will bring to your attention any fault and afford you the opportunity to discuss any concerns. Whilst servicing cannot prevent your boiler from failing when you need it most, it can reduce the risk.

Servicing of gas appliances must only be carried out by suitably qualified and Gas Safe registered engineers. Always ask to see the engineers Gas Safe card.

 

Do unvented cylinders need servicing?

Yes. Unvented cylinders are fitted with a series of safety devices and these need to be checked to ensure that they are working correctly, filters need to be cleaned, air gaps replenished or expansion vessels recharged. There is no legal requirement to service these cylinders but it’s good practice to have them checked each year.

 

What is a Megaflo?

Megaflo is a trade name often applied as a generic term for “unvented hot water storage cylinder”. These cylinders allow hot water to be stored at mains pressure and provide hot water at very high flow rates. Typically cylinders of this type are constructed of stainless steel and benefit from a 25 year transferable guarantee, many are compatible with solar panel supplementary heating of hot water. Before commonly available, the only way to increase water pressure was to install pumps. Pumps are noisy in operation, can empty the contents of storage tanks very quickly and can be unreliable.

 

When should I fit a new boiler?

As a rule of thumb boilers are considered to have a lifespan of 15 years. In reality though, cheap boilers tend to have a much shorter lifespan. Consider the energy savings that a new “high efficiency” gas boiler could present? Cost savings of up to £237 per annum are achievable in an average home.

Points to consider:

If your boiler is beyond the point where it’s cost-efficient to repair it.

If your boiler stands upon the floor rather than hangs from the wall, it is likely to be older and much less energy-efficient.

If your boiler is G-rated for energy efficiency it’s a good idea to replace it. You can find out the energy efficiency rating of your boiler at www.boilers.org.uk.

If you want to sell your house or you’re renovating your home a new boiler could add to its value.

If your boiler has a continuous pilot light (this is the flame you can see burning through a small window on the front of some boilers.) This is a common feature on older boilers and it’s a real waste of gas.

 

Cleaning stubborn lime-scale from pans.

Spirits of salt or hydrochloric acid is very effective and available from most good hardware stores. Flush the pan then use a rubber plunger to push all the water from the “U-bend” or use a sponge to bail the water into a bucket. Open windows, the acid gives off nasty fumes. Wear a pair of gloves and some eye protection then pour the spirits of salt over the surface of the scale. Leave the room now and wait 3 minutes, use a paint brush or similar to gently agitate the chemical, do not use metallic objects to scrape away scale this will mark the pan. Wait a further 3 minutes and flush. Hey presto! Nice bright, white pan. Never use spirits of salt on copper or chrome-plated fittings it will irreparably damage the finish.

 

Do WPJ clear blocked wastes and drains?

Yes! We offer a full range of reactive and preventative drainage maintenance solutions. We have high pressure water jetting drain clearing and camera survey equipment. We can clear blockages in waste and drain pipes ranging from 1.25 to 8 inch diameters, prepare detailed drawings, photos and reports, renew collapsed drains, re build inspection chambers, clear blocked guttering and rainwater down pipes. Please call for details.

 

Blocked pan, what can I do?

A rubber plunger is the best tool for this job. Lift and thrust the plunger through the water-line as deeply as possible, 5 or 6 times in quick succession. This will normally work. If you don’t have a plunger, try placing a mop in a plastic bag.

 

Water leak, what should I do?

Try to familiarise yourself with the plumbing in your own home. Know where your stopcocks and gate valves are. Once every six months give them a turn, when fully opened always turn the head back half a turn, this prevents valves from seizing.

In the event of an emergency turn the mains stopcock off (turn it fully clockwise) first, this valve will most likely be situated beneath the kitchen sink, in the basement or just inside the front door of the property, beneath the floor, this will stem the flow of drinking water and stop any tanks from filling. If you can’t find an internal stopcock, then it will be on the pavement outside the property.

Then go to the airing cupboard, any valves closed in here could save you from draining the large tank in the loft. Open the cold tap at the kitchen sink and the hot and cold taps to the bath to relieve pressure. You’ve done about as much as you can now, water may continue to flow but will stop eventually. It is now time to lay down some towels and call us. We’ll send a skilled engineer to make safe and carry out permanent repair.

 

What happens if my property fails a Gas Safety Inspection? What does “Not to current standards” on the report mean?

If we find any faults we will inform you of these straight away and explain to you what needs doing and what the costs would be to get it all sorted out. Any dangerous situations will be made safe immediately.

Many reports may flag up a particular aspect of the property’s gas installation as being “not to current standards”(NCS). This will mean that everything would’ve been fine at the time of installation but that new regulations which have since come into force potentially make some remedial work advisable. It won’t result in failure of the inspection, and we will brief you on what updates are applicable.

 

How often do I require a Landlords Gas Safety Inspection?

If you have a tenanted property, it is a legal requirement that you have the premises and the appliances tested and certified every year. We can organise this for you and send out reminders for when it’s due.

 

What are condensing boilers? Why do I get confused about all these different types of boilers? Which do I need?

Well it can be confusing and we’re here to guide you through it. All boilers now are condensing, this means they are energy efficient and conform to government regulations on gas consumption. Beyond this you have combination boilers, system boilers and conventional/ regular boilers. The type you will need depends on the size of your property and the hot water demands of its occupants. Give us a call and we can talk you through the options relevant to you. Of interest also may be the following link.

http://www.worcester-bosch.co.uk/installer/boilers/gas-boilers.