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Gas Boiler annual service


Graham*

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I have my boiler serviced once a year as part of a maintenance program with my fuel company. It took a few phone calls to get an appointment this year, new company taken over to do the contract had lost all the records, apparently.

When the man came, he 1)measured a pressure and 2)held a gas tester in the exhaust fumes. That was it. Total time 10 minutes.

I've now seen an ad for another company who offer new clients a free boiler service worth £99.99. I hope theirs takes longer than mine did.

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Fruit Bat /\0/\

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My old Potterton was condemned at the beginning of the year after needing its usual thermocouple replacement.

I have lived in the house 25yrs don't know how long the boiler was fitted before that used to strip and blow out the burners every couple of years and only failures were thermocouples need changing every two years or so and would fail either at the Christmas holiday or when I was working away from home for a week.

I used to keep a spare thermocouple ready, last failure I was away and wife had to call in a plumber to renew (during cold period this Jan) he said he should really condemn it there and then but as it was so cold did the thermocouple replacement.

I changed it for a new Worcester Bosch Combi on recommendation that a new boiler would need a new tank in a few months. Moved pipework for one radiator and replaced all but two which were only done a couple of years ago.

Old boiler was in kitchen I put the new one in the airing cupboard - mistake was kitchen is now cold.

Rads warm up quickly and get very hot (not ten layers of paint on the new ones) then seem to switch off for rest of the night but that's probably because the house has full insulation - walls and loft.

Managed to get 7 years warranty on the boiler as fitted before July 31st even though didn't register it until August.

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lotvic

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FE, 'switch thingy that sits on top of 3way valve' yes that's it the valve actuator It's name had just escaped me at moment of typing post. I know what it does but didn't know the finer points so was pleased to read your clear info on that. Yes that's what seems to be happening and it makes perfect sense now so thank you for your post on Page 2 Today at 12:42PM

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BT

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...3way valve...

I had problems with the 3 way valve on my system a couple of years ago and the plumber who came to do the servicing and repairs re-jigged the pipework and replaced it with 2 x 2 way valves. He said that this was the preferred way to do it these days, and so far it seems to be working OK

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sunnystaines

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we use brit gas they did yearly check yesterday, took boiler apart hovered up dust etc, checked flue readings, took gas fire apart hovered out dust etc, checked fume flow, and checked radiators.

was happy with that, they no longer go up into the loft not sure what they did up there anyway.

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Forum Editor

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BT

A couple of two-port valves will indeed do the same job. That layout has the advantage of being less likely to cause the temperature in the primary heating circuit to the radiators falling when the cylinder stat calls for heat.

Combi boilers are designed to give priority to demand from the Domestic Hot Water side, so the situation is different - those boilers modulate the burner to cope with the additional demand, so there's no need for motorised valves in a straightforward installation. They would only be used for zoning purposes.

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BT

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Forum Editor

Certainly seems to work as you say. Combined with resiting the thermostat to a more sensible position than it was in when we bought the place, the temperature in the bungalow certainly seems to be much more even and stable.

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al's left peg

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I don't bother with annual services now to be honest. I have a combi in the garage (Vokera) about 12 years old the longer it lasts, the happier I am. I am friendly with a BG engineer and if it goes wrong he fixes it for me. He has said when it last went belly up 2 years ago it was starting to get hard to get parts for.

I think the whole annual service thing is a bit of a rip off in most cases. As mine is in a draughty garage, I don't worry about it poisoning me, and I am very sceptical about the practice of annual servicing. I used to get it done off a local company who inevitably found some fault during the service that needed repairing at a wallet busting cost. Even after it was 5 years old I was being told to replace it for a more efficient model and all the usual drivel they dish out.

If it was a more honest procedure I would agree with it, but even the service plans that have been mentioned on here exclude a lot of parts in the agreement. Valves, heat exchangers and even burners on some, which are the first parts to fail are excluded in the agreement. You end up paying £20.00 a month for god knows how long, then when it breaks down the part you think is covered, is not so you have to fork out for that. If and when it's a part that is covered, there's a 70% chance that part is obsolete so it's time for a new boiler. It's a form of legalised theft in my eyes.

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Woolwell

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al's left peg - Every gas installation should be checked annually for safety. Regrettably for home owners this is should and not must. A gas safety check is just that, it isn't a service and should not include recommendations for parts unless there is a safety issue.

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al's left peg

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Woolwell, they are two different things. A safety check has to be carried out by a landlord I believe, because of the number of poor students killed by carbon monoxide due to cost saving measures carried out by these so called landlords.

An Annual service as the thread here we are contributing to is to ensure that the boiler is operating in an efficient manner, and for the cynical amongst us ( me included) to see who much cash can be taken from you by getting the Henry Vacuum out and cleaning the carbon dust out from the burner and flue area. Then spotting a possible fault that can be used as emotional blackmail on the customer to get them to empty their wallet.

Like I mentioned earlier, most modern combi boilers, when they go wrong, go wrong badly. In other words they stop working and the parts that fail are normally in this order. Heat exchanger, 3 way valve, burner plate then the circuit board. Out of them 4 items the 3 way valve will probably be covered by an annual service agreement if you are lucky. The other 3 items are normally not covered so you have paid for a cover that really does not exist and after all the money you have paid out, you then find that you have to pay more to get your boiler up and running again. They are a rip off with a capital R. In my eyes you are better off saving a bit of money each month to put away, for when the boiler inevitably goes wrong.

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Woolwell

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al's left peg - I actually stated in my post that a gas safety check isn't a service. I am well aware of the different types and had to get a landlord's certificate every year. I would have a gas safety check every year on my own home. This is something that you do not seem to regard as necessary. As always with any service or service plan you need to read their terms and conditions. If you have reputable company (as I use) then you do not get your problems.

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