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

Government Legislation Could Make Your Boiler Extinct

Ability carries out the installation of gas and oil boilers in areas such as Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Paddock Wood, Crowborough, East Grinstead, Bromley and Orpington.  We watch with interest in the decisions and developments regarding green energy being suggested by the Government.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced that by 2025 there is to be no gas central heating in new build homes. This is to help tackle climate change and reach the Government 2050 target of 80% reduced emissions.

With the lack of a definitive replacement, it is yet to be decided how these new houses will be heated.  There have been suggestions that low-carbon heat pumps could be used or biofuel.  However, boiler providers such as Worcester Bosch are calling for the Government to allow experts to advise and make decisions on an individual basis.  These decisions can then be incorporated into the building regulations for new builds. 

The Government will need to invest in technology and manufacturing to enable these new forms of heating to be both affordable and efficient.  It will become counterproductive if the homeowner’s energy bills rocket. 

20,000 homes a week need to convert to low carbon energy source by 2050 for the Government to meet the climate change targets.  Gas central heating boilers are contributing highly to bringing the UK above their clean air goals in large towns and cities they are one of the main sources of nitrogen dioxide emissions as well as cars.

It is yet to be seen what impact these Government decisions will have on the heating industry and although there currently no mention of eliminating other gas appliances such as hobs and cookers this could be something that will be implemented in the future.

If you require a no-obligation quotation for heating, plumbing or electrical works please call Ability on 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com

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

Appliance Safety For the Vulnerable Living Alone

Ability provides assistance throughout Kent, East and West Sussex areas including with gas appliances, as well as heating, plumbing and electrics.

With an increase in the elderly and disabled choosing to live independently at home, with support from carers and families, greater care needs to be taken to make sure all appliances are working effectively. Carers have a duty of care to those they look after and one of their main priorities is to keep these vulnerable people safe within their homes. Research, however, has shown that many people are at risk due to unsafe gas appliances.

It has been alarmingly reported that 1 in 5 people have unsafe boilers, fires and cookers in their homes. When asked in a recent survey, carers said they did not know the key signs of a gas appliance being faulty and could not say whether the people they looked after had a C02 alarm and whether it was working efficiently.

Ability has previously mentioned in other posts the importance of having a C02 alarm in every household to eliminate carbon monoxide poisoning when an appliance goes wrong and we can’t reiterate this point enough.

Carers and families looking after loved ones should check their appliances regularly and look out for signs and symptoms of faults and get these rectified immediately.

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Bright blue flame

Some of the main signs are; increased condensation inside windows, the pilot light on the boiler going out and regularly being relit, floppy yellow or orange flames on gas appliances when they should be bright blue and black sooty marks around the gas appliance.

If you would like Ability to carry out a repair, service or check a gas appliance is safe please call 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com and we would be happy to assist

The Hive Home Heating System Always Keeping You Warm

With the colder weather approaching and the nights drawing in, we will start to put the heating on.  Why go home to a cold house, when with the Hive Home Heating control, you can put the heating on in readiness of your return home.

Hive Heating Systems

The Hive Home heating system is a small wall-mounted device that communicates to a sensor placed on the boiler.  It allows you to turn your heating on and off or alter the temperature of the thermostat from your smartphone wherever you are.

The Advantages of The Hive Home Heating Control

  • Always go home to a warm home
  • If you forget to turn the heating off you can do this from your smartphone
  • Savings on your energy bills
  • You are able to set up to 6-time slots to fit around your daily routine and can easily change them using the Hive app.
  • The Hive thermostat with geolocation will know when you have left the house and if you have left the heating on it will send an alert text so you can turn the heating off.  It will also enable you to set a timer to turn it back on when you are due home.
  • The Hive Home works with the majority of the UK gas and LPG central heating systems.
  • There is no hard wiring required as it is battery operated unlike the Nest

The Hive Home is not compatible with storage heaters or individual plug-in electric room heaters. Although it works with most heating systems an engineer would need to come and check your specific boiler.

Ability has engineers who work on both Gas and Oil systems. The engineers are Gas Safe and Oftec registered and are more than qualified to confirm whether the Hive Home would be compatible with your heating system.

Ability covers most of the South East in particular, Kent, East and West Sussex so if you would like a free no-obligation quotation please call 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

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

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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.

Which Smart Thermostat Is Right For You?

We have been carrying out an assessment of the new and available digital room thermostatic controls here at Ability.

Traditional thermostats are pretty much a fumble to use. It feels like it takes a million button presses to set or program anything and forget adjusting the temperature if you’re not at home or in the correct room. If you’d rather adjust your thermostat from your phone, with your voice, or if that isn’t futuristic enough, let it adjust itself automatically, you’ll want a smart thermostat like one of these new models that we have on offer here at Ability.

Google Thermostatic Control

Google’s Nest is the biggest name in smart thermostats, and with good reason. Originally designed by Tony Fadell, the father of the iPod, the Nest series use a click-wheel interface for turning the temperature up and down that feels incredibly intuitive. The Nest’s biggest feature, though, is its ability to learn your habits and adapt its temperature schedule accordingly, negating the need for you to futz with it.

Nest Thermostatic Control

Nest Thermostatic Control

The Nest Learning Thermostat is probably what you think of when you picture the Nest, but it isn’t actually my top recommendation for most people. The Nest Thermostat E, in our opinion, is a better buy. It’s cheaper but contains almost all the same features, and its clean white housing is more likely to blend into the walls of your home.

The Nest Thermostat E’s display isn’t quite as nice, but that’s a small downside considering the savings. It does, however, lack compatibility with some HVAC systems – so check Nest’s compatibility tool to see if it’ll work with your home, and keep in mind that if you don’t have a C-Wire, it may not be advisable to use the Nest at all (even though it will technically work). You can read more about C-wires on-line.

Honeywell Thermostatic Control

If you’re on a stricter budget, the Honeywell T5+ gets you the most important smart features in a great package. It’s not exactly “cheap”, and it isn’t as attractive as the other options on this list, but it’ll get the job done, you can control it from your phone or with your voice using Alexa and Google, and use its geofencing features to automate energy savings when you aren’t home.

But that discount has to cut corners somewhere: it doesn’t integrate with SmartThings, doesn’t support room sensors, and doesn’t learn your habits the way Nest does, but if you want basic smart home integration at a more affordable price, the T5+ will do the job.

Ecobee Thermostatic Control

Canadian company ecobee is the other big name in the smart thermostat space, and their latest offering is known simply as the ecobee SmartThermostat. It has a decidedly more techy look, with a black touch screen that’s easy to navigate and adjust, along with sensors for different rooms just like the T9. the ecobee sensors are slightly less powerful as the T9’s, since they don’t detect humidity, but they’re still quite useful. Like other thermostats, you can control it from your phone, set schedules, and automate energy savings when you leave the house. You can check compatibility with your home’s HVAC system here.

If your not sure which thermostatic control is for you then please give us a call here at Ability 01892 514495 and we can discuss the best option for your needs.

Bringing The Right Plumbing or Heating Engineer Into Your Home

Contacting a plumbing or heating engineer to repair leaking or burst pipes, service your boiler or gas fire in your home or office is a necessary exercise, and choosing the right company needn’t be costly. Make sure that you are hiring the right company, like Ability, for the job.

Hiring a plumber requires plenty of trust, after all, you’re allowing a complete stranger to enter your home.

Ability, a plumbing and heating company based in the heart of Kent, offers a checklist of the most important factors that all plumbers should comply to

1. Certification

It is extremely important to hire an accredited and registered plumber and heating engineer, even better if the plumber is registered with CIPHE or the heating engineer with Gas Safe, these are just two of the many governing bodies we are registered with here at Ability. Many people claim to be plumbers, but are in fact ‘jacks of all trades’ or ‘handymen’.

Avoid them where possible because they may not possess the quality workmanship, experience and knowledge or skills needed to comply with the plumbing standards issued by CIPE and Gas Safe and may also be uninsured.  More often than not, people who use uncertified plumbers are left with larger and more costly messes after the so-called ‘plumber’ has left. We see this time and time again, it gives the industry a bad name and pains us.

When hiring a CIPHE registered plumbing company, or Gas Safe engineer you can feel confident that they possess the skills and expertise to deal with any plumbing or heating problem you may encounter, be it major or minor. Also, only CIPHE registered plumbers and Gas Safe engineers are authorised to sign and release a certificate of compliance, which is needed when a house is sold, or as a guarantee of a plumbing and heating job done well.

2. Work Experience

Work experience is important in all careers, and it’s equally important in plumbing and heating. Most plumbers should have at least ten years’ of plumbing experience, with additional knowledge and experience in construction and renovations. Here at Ability, our plumbers and heating engineers have over 15 years’ experience each and the company being established now for 40 years this year, our knowledge of the industry is second to none.

3. A Business Bank Account

It’s very important for a plumbing company to have a registered business bank account. Not only is it professional, but it also makes you feel more confident that you’re dealing with a legitimately registered business and not a ‘fly-by-night’ who might disappear with your deposit without starting (or finishing) the job.

Rather spend your hard-earned cash on hiring a CIPHE registered plumber and gas engineer who has a registered business that can be tracked. Our bank details are available on our invoice and quotations and upon request when calling us up by telephone.

4. Well-maintained vehicles with visible branding

All our vehicles are clean, well-maintained and branded with our company logo.  We believe that the vehicles our plumbers and heating engineers drive are an extension of who we are and reflects the pride we have in our work and business.

Plumbing repair the sink waste

5. Neat and clean presentation

Hiring a plumber or heating engineer requires plenty of trust, after all, you’re allowing a complete stranger to enter your home. It is important to us that we make a good first impression and all our employees will always look neat and presentable.

6. Able To Do Physical Labour

It is necessary for plumbers and heating engineers to maintain their ideal fitness levels, as they are often required to exert themselves physically. They climb into small and tight spaces, lift themselves over walls, and lift heavy objects and equipment. Plumbers and heating engineers who are unfit could possibly struggle to perform their tasks optimally.

7. Punctuality

Our plumbers and heating engineers take pride in themselves, our business and work is always punctual. Being punctual is associated with a positive work attitude, which our plumbing and heating engineers pride themselves on, they can be relied upon to get the job done on the time agreed. A plumber who is late reflects a disinterest in customer service and in performing to the best of their abilities.

8. Communication skills

It’s important for our plumbers and heating engineers to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. This includes the manner and tone in which they communicate with customers and their colleagues.  Hiring a plumber or heating engineer that shouts over the phone, is unapproachable and disrespectful will more than likely result in a poor relationship. Trustworthy plumbers and heating engineers are normally polite, approachable and easily contacted.

9. Reachability

Don’t hire plumbers and heating engineers who are difficult to reach and who doesn’t answer your calls, emails or WhatsApp messages. Although plumbers and heating engineers have families of their own and are also tired in the evenings after a long and hard day at work, it’s reassuring to hire a plumber or heating engineer who cares about their work and customers enough to take the time to discuss matters with them and who will also respond in the case of an emergency.

10. Willingness To Correct Problems

Even qualified and experienced plumbers and heating engineers can make mistakes under pressure. If you notice what appears to be a mistake in your plumber’s or heating engineer’s work and you discuss it with them, they should be willing to fix the mistake or be willing to take time to explain why it appears to be a mistake, but actually isn’t one.  If there is a problem with the job we always return and we guarantee our work.

Gas Safe Register Identity Verification Is Not Frequently Used

Ability cover the Kent, West and East Sussex area.  We are Gas Safe registered and always carry our identification cards, we were shocked to learn this week that, a third of UK adults (33 per cent) admit they’ve not checked on the Gas Safe Register to see if the engineer working on their home’s gas appliances is doing so legally, according to the Register’s latest research findings.

The findings come as Gas Safe Register – the Government’s official gas registration body – nears completing 2,000 illegal gas work investigations in three years. More than two-thirds of these (69 per cent) found to be unsafe, meaning the people living in the properties were in potential danger from unsafe gas work.

Alarmingly, many customers assumed the companies were Gas Safe registered just because they noticed a logo on the engineer’s website or uniform (28 per cent), or by asking the engineer (13 per cent).  These customers did not think to ask for the registration number and actually verify this with Gas Safe directly.

When asked why they hadn’t thought to check if their engineer was working on their home’s gas appliances legally, the research found a lack of understanding and an assumption that all engineers are registered among 40 per cent, with 29 per cent saying they did not realise they had to check.

Some of those who failed to check an engineer’s registration information blamed being in a rush (15 per cent) or forgetting to ask (18 per cent). Some 14 per cent of respondents claimed they were ‘too embarrassed to ask’ if the engineer was on the register.

Ability encourages that when an engineer visits their property to carry out work that they verify their Gas Safe identification.  This is so important to ensure safety within your home.

If you live in the Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Crowborough, East Grinstead, Paddock Wood, Orpington and Bromley or surrounding areas and require plumbing, heating or electrical work please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01892 514495 or by email at info@ability.uk.co,

Plumbing-Heating-Electrical

As we approach the end of another successful year in the plumbing, heating and electrical industry, we are humbled by the good comments from our customers. We are grateful for all the business we have been given and all the hard work we have managed to get through.

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Central Heating Home

Its been an interesting year in the plumbing, heating and electrical world with a rollercoaster of a year regards the weather. Remembering the “Beast from the East” to the longh and hot summer, it can be said it was extreme in the year of 201h8.

The Future is Bright

The natural growth of Ability in the plumbing, heating and electrical world has seen us grow in numbers and area coverage. With a full-time electrician on board now and a new apprentice. Just two of the new editions here at Ability.

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Electrical Testing

So we can confidently say its been a successful year for all and as we spring into the new year with ambition and confidence, we can be comfortable and relaxed in the plumbing, heating and electrical world-safe in the knowledge that our customers, both existing and new will be kept warm and safe in their homes, schools, office and workplace. With a varied team of engineers, we cover all aspects of plumbing, heating and electrical both domestic and commercial.

If you have a problem with your plumbing, heating or electrical appliance in your home, then please do not hesitate to call our office. We have engineers on standby for your phone call over Christmas and the New Year

We wish you all a fun and festive time. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all here at Ability.

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Plumber Installing Taps

Please see some interesting articles found this year on the news this week. If you require any advice or help we are always happy to help in the plumbing, heating or electrical world.

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/property/1062567/boiler-what-pressure-should-it-be-at/amp

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/property/1061740/Boiler-breakdowns-Christmas-how-to-keep-your-home-warm