Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a magnetic filter do and why should I buy one?
Firstly let's just address what a magnetic system filter does. A magnetic filter is typically installed on the return pipe of the central heating and is designed to pick up any magnetic debris in the system. In doing this it stops the magnetic debris from entering the heat exchanger of the boiler which would eventually cause damage. Magnetic filters are not a solution to all dirty systems as there is plenty of debris that is not magnetic which can also cause damage. However, a magnetic filter added to a system that has been properly flushed and cleaned, something we do on all of our boiler installations, is worth its weight in gold! If you can, definitely get one of these added to your central heating system or new boiler installation.
Why should you buy one? Well for one, recently some manufacturers including Worcester Bosch and Ideal are offering longer warranties on their boilers if you have their own branded magnetic filter installed, taking some warranties from 8 to 12 years! There's also peace of mind that your boiler is fully protected, hopefully ensuring that it will live well beyond its warranty period.
What does a boiler warranty cover?
All new central heating boilers now come with a manufacturers warranty and the length of these can vary wildly. From as little as one year up to a mammoth 15 years, the manufacturer of your boiler will cover all parts and labour required during the full length of the warranty. Please note you must have your boiler serviced annually to keep your warranty valid, something we currently offer for a very reasonable price, check our boiler servicing page for more info. Also note that manufacturers do have terms and conditions in place for their warranties, take a look at their websites for more info.
Do I need a boiler service?
If you have a boiler that is under manufacturer warranty yes you will have to get your boiler serviced annually. This is required by the manufacturer to keep your warranty valid. Should you miss a service you can contact the manufacturer to reinstate your warranty (charges will apply).
If your boiler is out of warranty it is recommended that you have your boiler serviced every year. Primarily to ensure that your boiler is safe but also to check that it is running efficiently.
Should I focus on Brand, Recommendations or Warranty when choosing a boiler?
Warranty, Warranty and once more WARRANTY! Is in our opinion the only thing we would be seriously looking at when choosing a boiler. The reason we believe a long warranty is the most important is simple, a long warranty means the manufacturer is more than happy to cover all parts and labour for that amount of time so it must be a pretty good boiler! So, for example, you find two boilers, Boiler A is a well-known brand that has been recommended to you by a family member and it costs £2000 fully fitted with a 7-year warranty. Boiler B you haven’t heard of but it has similar stats as boiler A and comes in at £1700 with a 10-year warranty. The manufacturer of boiler B is willing to cover that boiler fully for an extra 3 years plus you'll have an extra £300 in your pocket for that summer holiday, no brainer right?
Should I get my boiler repaired or buy a new one?
There are a lot of things that can change the answer here so I'll go through this as best I can. If your combination boiler is over 8 years old id advise not to repair if the repair cost is going to be more than £200. The reason for this is that your average combination boiler has a lifespan of between 8 and 12 years so making repairs to a machine that old isn’t worth the potential near future expenses. The boilers parts are all on their way out so replacing one only solves the problem until the next bit goes, and it will.
If your boiler is under 8 years old and you’ve looked after it all these years with regular servicing then more thought goes into this but let's face it most people who don’t need to keep a warranty valid don’t get it serviced. If I had a well looked after 8-year-old boiler I would be more than happy pumping two to three hundred into keeping the old girl going but any more than that and id have to be seriously thinking about upgrading.
If you can't afford £1300 plus right now for a new boiler installation then a minor repair may be possible to keep your boiler chugging along for a little while, giving you the time to source some moolah. Head over to our repairs page for more info or book us in for a visit here.
My radiators are cold at the top, why?
If you find that one or more of your radiators are cold at the top there's no need to panic, they simply need bleeding. To bleed a radiator you need only one tool and its a cheap one called a radiator bleed key and you can get one from any hardware store for around £1.
Once you have a radiator bleed key you can start bleeding the radiators following the below steps;
- Check your boiler pressure if you have a pressurised system (combi boiler) and ensure your pressure is between 1 and 2, add pressure using the filling loop if needed. If you have a system boiler you can go straight to step 2.
- Using your bleed key and a bit of tissue, open up each radiator bleed which will be either the top left or top right of each radiator downstairs in turn until water squirts out. Don't worry if water squirts out straight away that just means it was already full.
- Check the boiler pressure again as some or all pressure will have been lost and top up if necessary.
- Move on to the same process upstairs until all radiators squirt water.
- Finally, go back to your boiler and top the pressure back up to between 1 and 2 on the pressure gauge. You won't have a pressure gauge if you have an open vent system with tanks in the loft, they will refill themselves.
Your system is now full and the cold spots will have disappeared. If they return within a few weeks or months you could have a leak on your system or require a system flush to clean your system water.
Do I need a gas fitter, gas engineer, corgi engineer or gas safe engineer?
The role that we play for each customer is always slightly different and as such we get called many different titles. The older generation may use the terms gas fitter and Corgi engineer while the younger generation generally uses the term gas engineer. Whilst none of these terms are incorrect one is outdated and can show that a company is not legitimate if they are still using it. That title is Corgi engineer and Corgi was replaced by the Gas safe registration as the official body that governs all gas engineers in 2009. So please make sure anyone who you get in touch with for any work related to gas is gas safe registered. You can look up local gas safe registered companies here on their official site www.gassaferegister.co.uk
Do I need new radiators when my boiler is replaced?
A common question we get asked is, do I need new radiators when my boiler is replaced?. The answer isn’t clear cut for everyone but as a general rule, as long as all your radiators get nice and warm, or used to when your boiler was working, you do not have to replace your old radiators when installing a new combination boiler. However, it is advised if you have old radiators without fins or undersized radiators for your properties individual rooms that you replace those when financially possible. Please note that with most boiler installation companies it is usually cheaper to get new radiators fitted during your boiler replacement rather than afterwards as the system will have to be drained down on another visit, taking more time.