Safety Gas isolation valve for your gas appliance

Any home appliance that uses natural gas or liquid propane (LP) gas carries a potential fire hazard. Water heaters, furnaces, space heaters, stoves, ovens, and cooker ranges can all be powered by gas, so it’s a good idea to know where the gas isolation valve is located on any of these appliances. Shutting off the gas to the stove yourself is safe only if the gas odour is faint and is clearly coming from the area of the cooker or oven.

If You Smell Gas

If a gas smell permeates the entire house, or you detect a strong smell when you walk inside your home, locate the gas isolation valve and isolate the supply at the gas meter open all windows and leave the house immediately and call 0800111999 from your mobile or a neighbour’s house or from another phone well away from your house.

gas isolation valve

Gas isolation valve

If the gas smell in your home is very strong, it is best to leave the house immediately and let the utility company (SGN) come in and check out the problem. Understanding the danger of gas leaks, SGN make this emergency inspection quickly and for free, using special sensing equipment to pinpoint the leak. The danger of explosion is very real in a house where the gas smell has filled one or more rooms, and so you should leave immediately.

If the odour of gas is faint and is contained in a small area, you can shut off the gas yourself before calling the utility or SGN. In many instances, the location of the gas smell will give you a strong hint about what appliance is malfunctioning or where the bad connection is located. If you smell gas in the kitchen, for example, it’s quite likely that the problem lies with the stove, cooker or range oven. When the smell of gas is localised in this way, it is usually safe to act quickly to turn off the gas supply to the appliance itself, but always use your best judgment, and err on the side of safety.

Instructions for safety in gas isolation valve

Use the gas isolation valve at the gas meter or connected to the appliance’s flexible supply line to turn off the gas. Building regulations now require the gas isolation valve to be located within two meters of the appliance and in the same room, so if you find an improper situation, it is a good idea to have a service person install a proper gas isolation valve. Isolation valves for standard (freestanding) gas stoves or ranges typically are located behind the appliance.

Powerflushing The Benefits To Your System

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance in West Kent, East, and West Sussex. Powerflushing is a popular method of cleaning and maintaining a central heating system. A Kamco machine is used to send high pressured water through the system to dislodge and remove debris, limescale and sludge build-up.

Over time sludge and debris build up in the central heating system and tend to gather in radiators, pipework and heat exchangers. This sludge is a mixture of dust, dirt, and rust in the water. When debris is left radiators can become cold, valves can become damaged and if left untreated could result in a boiler breakdown.

Powerflushing will allow the debris to be removed and heat dispensed evenly throughout the system. Household bills will be reduced due to the increased efficiency of the central heating system. Also by keeping the system clean the lifespan of the boiler will hopefully be increased. However, homeowners should be made aware that once highly corroded areas have been treated this can sometimes result in leaks on the system that will need to be repaired.

Powerflushing machine

After the first stage of the powerflushing has been completed a high-quality inhibitor should be pumped through the system. This will remove any existing iron oxide or calcium deposits that could be left in the system. After around 10-15 minutes a test should be carried out to make sure all deposits have been removed. If, not the process should be repeated.

Many boiler manufacturers now make the warranty dependant on keeping the system clean in line with the Compliance Guide to Part L of the UK Building Regulations

Should you feel your central heating system would benefit from powerflushing call Ability on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com for a free no-obligation quotation. Our engineers will be happy to do an assessment and identify any high sludged and corroded areas within the central heating system.

Water Heater, Should it Be Turned Off When Going On Holiday?

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance throughout West Kent, East And West Sussex. Providing repairs and installations of water heater, oil, and gas boilers.

We always assume when going on vacation it’s more cost-effective to turn water heaters off but this is not always the case in the long run. Dependant of age, efficiency and how long it will be shut off for are all factors that must be considered. An older water heater is likely to go wrong if turned off for a long period of time. The change in temperature from hot to cold can lead to leaks or component failure.

Water Heater Tonbridge
Water Heater fitted in Tonbridge

A relatively new water heater is unlikely to go wrong if turned off for a week or two however, some models do have a vacation mode. This turns the temperature down and just keeps it ticking over.

The only disadvantage of this is that hot water in the tank whilst above 108F kills any bacteria that may be lying around in the tank. As soon as the water is cooled the bacteria will multiply at an alarming rate. Warm water is the ideal environment for bacteria such as legionella to breed. The most important thing to remember that if the water heater is turned off or down, it must not be used until the water has heated back up to a high temperature for several hours. Hot water needs to be run through the pipes to flush any harmful bacteria away.

There are a few simple things that can save money throughout the year when using a water heater includes; adding an insulation jacket if your water heater is older and insulating any exposed pipework with inexpensive foam lagging. This will actually make a larger saving through the year than turning your water heater off when going on holiday.

Please contact Ability for a free no-obligation quotation if you would like a water heater installed by telephone on 01892 514495 for alternatively by email info@ability.uk.com

Plumbers Warn Clean Hacks Could Cost Consumers Money

Ability provides plumbing, heating, and electrical services in the Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Crowborough, and East Grinstead and surrounding areas. Keeping bathrooms, kitchens, and appliances clean can help with the durability however care always needs to be taken that cleaning hacks or products won’t do more harm than good.

Fast Local Plumbers and Reliable Heating Engineers in Tonbridge

A mum recently went viral after sharing a simple trick for keeping her toilet clean and smelling fresh, but experts are warning against it

If you love keeping up with all the latest cleaning tips and tricks, you might recently have seen one doing the rounds involving toilets.

A mum went viral on Facebook after sharing her “little secret” for making her toilet look fresh and smell clean every time someone flushed it.

The woman explained in the group, Mums Who Clean, that she’d been using this trick for the last 14 years.

She wrote: “[Put] Dishwashing liquid in the toilet tank compartment and every flush is fresh clean smelly bubbles and toilet always looks clean.”

Many people thought it was a great idea and vowed to try it for themselves, while others weren’t so sure about it.

If you were wondering whether or not to give it a go, it seems an expert now has the answer for you.

Daniel our plumber explained why you shouldn’t try it at home

We have advised people against using products that were not designed for use in a toilet system.

He said: “Ability plumbers advise that it’s safest to use cleaning products specifically designed for flush toilets. People living outside built-up areas who use septic tanks should ensure the product used is compatible with septic systems.”

He added that customers should always think about the environment when choosing cleaning products.

If you’re now looking for a more eco-friendly way to make your toilet crystal clean, you might want to consider using a pumice stone.

A woman recently posted in the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook group to say she’d purchased a pumice stone from her local pharmacy and used it to remove grime from the toilet bowl.

She explained: “Since moving into my new house a year and half ago the toilets in the house have always annoyed me.

“I’m guessing the people before didn’t clean the toilets much! I had tried everything, scrubbing, bleach. So for months, I’ve had those loo things that coloured the water, but I could still see it.

If you would like a free quotation please call 01892514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

A Plumber Solving An Issue Can Cost Less Than You Think

It’s always an inconvenience when something goes wrong with plumbing in the home especially when its something we didn’t anticipate and can’t put right ourselves. Many of us will be reluctant to call a plumber and will leave a dripping tap or leaky toilet for days, weeks and sometimes even months. Millions of water is being wasted throughout the UK each day because of unnecessary leaks. If a tap is left dripping for a week it will waste approximately 168 litres of water. It is estimated that 10% of water wastage is from leaking toilets.

Common signs that a plumber may be required include, a slow gradual leak coming from pipework, pipes making a rattle or banging noise as water travels through them, continual running of water in the toiler, slow drainage in a sink/shower, low water pressure and an huge increase of the household water bill.

A big factor homeowner’s are worried about is the cost of a plumber however, the sooner a leak is fixed generally the lower the costs will be. How much a plumber charges mostly depends on the severity of the problem. If leaks are left further costs could incur with water damage repair. For smaller jobs such as fixing a leaky faucet or unblocking a toilet plumbers normally charge at their hourly rate but for larger jobs a quotation may be required

Ability provides plumbing, heating and electrical assistance throughout the Kent, West and East Sussex areas. We cover Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, East Grinstead, Crowborough, Paddock Wood, Orpington, Bromley and surrounding areas. All our charges are clearly transparent, set out on our website and no call out charges are applied.

If you require a plumber please give us a call on 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com and we be happy to help

Thermostatic Mixing Valves Are Recommended To Be Compulsory

Ability is a member of The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers and this week they are campaigning for thermostatic mixing valves to become compulsory.

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is talking tough on thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) as it renews its call for the government to change legislation surrounding the devices.

The latest hospital admission statistics from NHS Digital show that the most vulnerable people in society continue to be at a risk from household scalds and burns. Admission figures show that scalds from tap water remained a significant issue for young people and the elderly in 2018/19, with:

• 34 per cent of scalding admissions aged 9 years or under

• Nearly 19 per cent of scalding admissions aged 60 years or over.

“Hot bath water is responsible for the highest number of fatal and severe scalding injuries among young children,” says The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). “Around 500 children, mainly under-fives, are admitted to hospital and a further 2,000 attend A&E departments every year as a result of bath water scalds.” Many could be avoided if thermostatic mixing valves had been fitted

RoSPA figures also show that older people are five times more at risk of a fatal burn or scald. And it’s not just hot water causing problems: radiators, towel warmers and central heating pipes can reach temperatures that high enough to cause a burn. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of scalding because they often live alone, in older homes, that feature outdated plumbing.

CIPHE is keen to see the government extend current thermostatic mixing valve legislation to make their use compulsory in all homes. CEO Kevin Wellman says: “I find it unacceptable that so many innocent people are suffering scalds and burns. The majority of scalding incidents can be avoided – however, a lack of legislation and general knowledge continues to hinder efforts to eliminate these incidents.

If you are interested in having thermostatic mixing valves fitted please call Ability on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

AGA Technological Advances For A Greener Future

Ability plumbing, heating and AGA engineers cover a wide area of the South East from Maidstone to Orpington and Bromley in Kent to Crowborough and East Grinstead in East and West Sussex.

The AGA cooker was invented in 1922 by a Swedish physicist, Gustaf Dalen.  He was forced to stay at home after losing his sight in an explosion and saw how his wife struggled with the cooking.  He then decided to invent a new way of cooking which has since been the heart of many homes for decades.

AGAs make a wonderful feature in any kitchen

AGA cookers are made from cast iron which retains heat and transfers it from the core to the oven and hot plates.  They are available in 2,3,4 and 5 oven models, with a boiling and simmering plate.  It will not only warm the kitchen but can be used to heat the whole house.

Developments

AGA in the past has been slated for using large amounts of energy and being bad for the environment. However, developments to accommodate our change in lifestyle mean they are now much more environmentally friendly. AGAs have thermostatic controls and cook using radiant heat which is gentle on food and locks in moisture, flavor, and goodness.

AGA

AGA has to adhere to the latest environmental standards and is subject to rigorous controls. Advances in their technology now mean that they have, switch on/off hotplates to reduce running costs. Their latest models ‘Total Control‘ and ‘City60’ have independently controllable ovens meaning they can be turned off when not needed.

The AGA is also almost entirely recyclable.

Here at Ability, we can install, service or repair your AGA. We have qualified and experienced engineers trained specially in the maintenance of this classic, quality appliance.  If you would like assistance, please call us on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com.

Insurance For The Home, Are You Sufficiently Covered?

Ability provides plumbing, heating and electrical support in the South East.  Home Insurance if very important. We have received numerous calls from clients over the years where they have been away and unfortunately have come back to a leak or they have a fault with their boiler.

Keep your home covered
Keep that smile on everyone’s face with the correct home cover

Home Insurance

When making your final preparation to go on holiday or visit family and friends over the summer, as well as packing the suitcase, checking for passports, sun cream and that the sunglasses are at the ready you need to think is my home safe.  Have you checked all electrical sockets are turned off that can be, have you turned the water off and do I have appropriate home insurance?  It is very easy to forget the latter.

It is important to know what your home insurance policy covers for most eventualities as the last thing you need when returning from a nice break is a huge bill for an essential home repair because your home insurance is inadequate.

Home Insurance Claim

In our experience boilers seem to go wrong at the most inconvenient time, so check do I have emergency cover included in your home insurance.  Also, many companies now will only cover emergency call out claims for boilers up to the age of 15 and some only up to the age of 10.  Ability feels this is very unfair as 10 years is not exactly old with the quality of manufacturing these days, even if it’s a condensing boiler.

leak
water leak

One in five home insurance claims tend to be down to a water leak internally rather than externally and if this happens whilst you are away the damage could be catastrophic.  Therefore, it is so important that you have the right cover for you.  We all like to grab a bargain but the cheaper option is not always the best!  Check the excess, if this is high it becomes a false economy going with a cheaper premium option and look closely at what you are actually going to be covered for.

If you require an emergency plumber, heating engineer or electrician please call Ability on 01892 514495

Emergency Plumber in Maidstone Boiler Repair Near Me

Last night we were called for an emergency plumber in Maidstone, Kent. The customer has searched for Maidstone boiler repair near me, and Ability plumbers in Maidstone were to the rescue.

We can attend your home for your plumbing or heating problem within a 1-hour response. Our emergency plumber Tom arrived in 30 minutes of the phone call and had the water leak stopped within 15 minutes of arrival

Maidstone Boiler Repair Near Me

A Brief History of Maidstone

Maidstone is a large town situated in Kent in the South East and has a population of over 113,137 people.  It lies 32 miles east-south-east of London.  The River Medway runs through the centre of the town linking with Rochester and the Thames Estuary.  There is evidence of settlement dating back to the stone age.  The River Medway has been used for trade and the town is the centre of what is known as the Garden of England.

It has been suggested that the name Maidstone derives from stones set into the river to allow clothes to be rinsed in the cleaner water away from the banks.

During the English Civil War, the Battle of Maidstone took place in 1648, resulting in a victory for the Parliamentarian, Andrew Broughton, who was Mayor in 1649 (and also Clerk to the High Court of Justice) was responsible for declaring the death sentence on Charles I, and today a plaque in the Town Centre memorialises Broughton as ‘Mayor and Regicide’.

Paper mills, stone quarrying, brewing and the cloth industry have all flourished here. Today, residents are employed in the retail, administrative or service sectors; there are industrial estates around the town providing employment. Some of the workforce commute to other towns, including to London

Plumbers in Maidstone

plumber near me-recommended plumbers-plumber-plumbing and heating
Your local plumbers-our friendly team

Our engineers are Gas Safe registered and understand the importance of gas health and safety within your property.  For this reason, it is vital that you choose a trained Gas Safe professional to undertake any gas fire, cooker, boiler or appliance work, so call us for our Plumber in Maidstone today.

We serve areas in Maidstone and surrounding areas including, Allington, Alyesford, Barming, Staplehurst, Bearsted, Kings Hill, East Peckham, Kingshill, Wateringbury and Laddingford.

Power Flush and Magnetic filters

Power Flush and Magnetic filters work in helping the efficiency of your heating system. Here at Ability, we look at the idea behind these devices. Once a magnetic filter is installed, the idea is that corrosion within a sealed wet central-heating system produces sludge – which can block up boiler heat-exchangers, pumps and radiators – and that because this sludge is ferrous in its nature  (in that, it sometimes results from iron or steel corrosion), it can be trapped by a powerful magnet and this is what the filter does. Our team recently carried out tests on systems in Orpington, Kent and East Grinstead in West Sussex.

This theory is very much true. But sludge can also result from the corrosion of copper, zinc or aluminium components as well as existing debris or chemicals. This is nonferrous, and will not be caught by a magnet. So this is why a power flush is recommended.

Ideally, your central-heating system should not contain any sludge anyway, because it should be dosed with corrosion inhibitor from the beginning after its installation unless of course, it is an old system that was installed before the introduction of these chemicals and procedures or a previous installer did not correctly carry out the work. We have come across this in the last 3 months in Crowborough Near East Sussex and Dunton Green in Sevenoaks Kent.

This is easy to do, but some heating engineers do not routinely install inhibitor or even check for its presence, preferring to sell magnetic filters to their customers instead. This is why adult Ability we always carry inhibitors and regularly introduce them into your system.

This is of a concern to us at Ability, because we know that some boiler manufacturers, when called out on warranty visits to your home or claims, will sometimes carry out testing to the system water for inhibitor, and they may decide that if the inhibitor concentration is not adequate, then this invalidates your  warranty on the boiler. At Ability, we are sure to see that this is not the case for you, our customer.

Power Flush

The central heating Power Flush procedure is completed by one of our Heating Engineers connecting our special Power flush machine to your central heating system

The Power flush machine pumps high velocity/low-pressure water around the system to remove loose debris from the system causing blockages and restricting flow.

The introduction of high strength chemicals further aids the Power flush process, dislodging and removing dirt, rust and harmful corrosive deposits from the system.

Each radiator is then isolated and flushed individually to ensure the system is left completely clean and blockage free allowing your system to run smoothly.

The whole process of the power flush is carried out with minimal disturbance and disruption to the normal operation of the system, often without disconnecting the boiler or any radiators.