Gas Safe Engineer Shares Top Boiler Advice For Landlords
Nearly one in three tenants have experienced trouble with a heating boiler, according to surveys by heating engineer trades bodies. And that means being in the awful situation of having both no hot water and heating. A situation none of us wants to be in, let’s face it.
That’s because it’s awful for tenants and a real hassle for landlords. So how do you ensure you keep your boiler in tip top condition? We get an expert plumber and Gas Safe heating engineer to tell us how, right here:
Look Out for Leaks
Probably the most common fault with boilers, leaks can often only be found if the pressure is dropping. That’s because many leaks are under the floorboards.
There is an understandable tendency amongst homeowners to simply top up the boiler but constantly doing this can cause a lot of damage. It’s best to find out where the leak is in the first place. So, look along the pipework, at the radiator valves and scrutinise towel rails.
When you do find the leak, make sure it’s bone dry before running the heating, then return and check. Sometimes even just tightening up radiator valves can help stop a leak.
Knowing What Causes Limescale
If there is one substance that will really knacker your boiler over time, it’s limescale. Unfortunately for some householders it’s difficult to avoid – especially if you live along the east coast of England. That’s because the water here is described as ‘hard’ and which, in turn, means it contains limescale. Over time it results in a build-up of limescale and which can block pipes and parts of the heating system itself.
Don’t despair though, if this is your property. You can install a scale reducer to help prevent the limescale build up.
Stop the Sludge
A boiler inhibitor helps break down materials and sludge in your heating system, but it needs somewhere to go. Having a magnetic system filer built in during – and after – the boiler installation can help.
Engineers will usually recommend a power flush for a sluggish heating system. But this can actually do more harm than good – especially if your radiators are old. That’s because the joints will have become weak over the years (and decades). Power flushing the system with strong chemicals can loosen these even further and cause leaks.
Then again, the pipework may not be correctly routed – in which case a power flush simply won’t work when attempting to unblock that sluggish system since it doesn’t real all the radiators in the property.
Power flushing isn’t cheap either. I can actually cost anything from £350 to £650 depending on how many radiators you have. The first price is the average quote for six radiators and the latter for 16 radiators. If you do decide to go down the power flushing route then examine the engineering report (or get a plumber pal to do it) so that you can make sure you are spending money wisely.
Release the Old Radiators
By ‘release’ we mean send those old radiators to the scrap heap. Instead, invest in some more efficient versions. Heating engineers say new radiators can be up to 50% more efficient than the ones they are replacing. Considering the cost of power flushing can be around 40% of the cost of installing new radiators (with parts) it’s a bit of a No Brainer really.
But when is a radiator an old radiator? Well, after 10 years any radiator is going to start going downhill a bit. Really, it’s at that point you want to be shopping around for replacements.
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