With winter just around the corner now is a good time to arrange the annual boiler maintenance. There is nothing worst than finding yourself with no heating and hot water on the coldest day of the year, this is always the day the boiler decides to stop working, and you and you’re left in the cold.
What could happen to my boiler?
Most gas boilers today are condensing boilers and are more susceptible to the cold weather than the earlier models, I know that sounds strange but it’s true. This is why it is imperative the annual boiler maintenance carried out.
Condensing boilers maintenance
Condensing boilers are around 35% more efficient than previous models but need a lot more attention. The combustion ratio has to be checked regularly to keep it working in efficiency mode, it’s a little like the boiler having an annual tune-up.
The condense water trap which is normally located internally has to be check for leakage and cleaned out. Should the trap have any form of leakage it could become dangerous as it is part of the boiler flue system.
Frozen condense pipe
If the condense drain pipe discharges on the outside of the property, it needs to inspected for leakage as well as checking it is well insulated against the cold weather.
One of the most common boiler breakdowns in cold weather is the condense pipe becomes frozen and blocked, once this happens the boiler goes to lockout.
The boiler pressure needs to be checked and should read around 1,2bar when the system is cold. If the pressure has been a little erratic over the last couple of months, it’s a sign that the expansion vessel may need to be reset. The vessel should always be checked annually as part of the annual boiler maintenance.
The Boiler Flue
This is a must, the boiler flue needs to be inspected for safety reasons. The route of the flue has to be followed. If it passes through any voids it needs to be inspected. Any joints on the flue pipe must be visible and inspected for any form of leakage.
The condensed water produced from the boiler is acidic and if one of the flue joints is showing signs of leakage, then it has to be repaired straight away as it could leak carbon monoxide into the room.
I don’t need annual boiler maintenance
I have a 7 years warranty on my boiler so don’t need annual maintenance, if it breaks down I am covered. Wrong.
Boiler manufactures will void any boiler warranty if a boiler has not had its annual boiler maintenance carried out. Each boiler has a book called benchmark. This book is a maintenance history and every year it needs to be filled in, signed and dated to confirm the boiler has been inspected.
When you arrange for someone to carry out the annual boiler maintenance, you must only use someone who is Gas Safe Registered to work on boilers.
It’s no good using joe blogs from next door because he does his own. Whoever carries out the maintenance has to be registered, it’s the law.
Don’t be cold this winter
I hope you find this advice helpful in keeping warm this winter. The days of missing the annual boiler maintenance have long gone. These condensing boilers need a lot more loving care, look after your boiler and your boiler should look after you.