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

Pressure Dropping In The Heating System

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance in Kent, East and West Sussex.  As the temperatures start to drop we receive an increased volume of calls from customers saying that the pressure on their boiler has dropped.

Boiler Pressure Gauge

The power to the system must be turned off before starting to re-pressurise the boiler.  It’s something the homeowner can do themselves but if the pressure continues to drop then a heating engineer will be required.  Modern boilers work best usually around 1.5 bar.  The boiler will have a pressure gauge which shows the minimum and maximum operating pressure.

There are 3 main reasons why the pressure could drop.

Bleeding Radiators Low Pressure

When bleeding radiators air is being let out of the system and can cause the pressure to drop.  This can be easily rectified by letting more cold water back into the system.  This is simple to do however each boiler is different so you will need to refer back to the boiler manual or the manufacturer’s website for direction.

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Pets Warm at Home

Water Leak

If there is a leak in the system the pressure will continue to drop even if you have added more cold water into the system.  It can be very hard to locate a leak but the best place to check first is the radiator valves. Wipe the valves with kitchen roll and place a tray beneath it to collect any dripping water.  If you are unable to locate the leak then an engineer may be needed to locate and fix it because the leak could be behind a bath panel or floorboard.

Boiler Fault

It is important to have your boiler serviced annually as this helps to keep your boiler running efficiently.  Any fault will be detected earlier and can be fixed before further problems develop.  If the pressure in the system keeps dropping after cold water has been added, it could be the expansion valve has failed or limescale could have built up in the boiler.  A certified engineer will be needed to check this out.

If you need any assistance with the above please give Ability a call on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com.

Gas Safety Week Awareness For Homeowners

Gas Safety Week is one of the biggest events in the plumbing and gas calendars, raising awareness of the perils of poorly installed and maintained gas appliances in the UK. Daniel Moon explains why Ability Plumbing Heating Electrical is throwing its full support behind this industry initiative.

The annual Gas Safety Week – running 16-22 September 2019 – encourages property owners, businesses and installers to promote best practice to assure gas appliances function as safely as possible.

Here at Ability, we fully support Gas Safety Week and are fully committed supporters of best practice throughout the year. If gas appliances, including cookers and boilers, are not maintained or installed correctly they can be dangerous to human health, causing all major incidents including gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning and even explosions, much attention is needed and this Gas Safety week is important for that.

Therefore, in raising the profile of events such as Gas Safety Week make significant differences where it matters most. As well as calling for best practices across the industry, it also brings companies like us at Ability, within the plumbing and heating community together to participate in a broader conversation on what needs to be improved. This helps to give them reassurance that their boiler has been installed competently while also offering long term peace of mind.

Statistics show 1 in 10 people do not have their gas appliances serviced regularly, which suggests homeowners are probably unaware of whether the appliances they use every day are safe or not.

At Ability our Installers are in the best position to fly the flag of best practise and advise homeowners on gas safety week, however, that’s not to say the responsibility lays solely at their door. It is essential that manufacturers join the fight in educating end-users as well. There are many good boiler manufacturers behind the scheme too.

Events such as Gas Safety Week do well to inform homeowners on the importance of boiler servicing and using properly qualified engineers for any work on gas appliances. So here at Ability, we can be proud to get behind Gas Safety Week and show the public how to remain safe.

Combi boilers Manufactured By Worcester Bosch

Combi boilers are the most popular type of boiler in the UK and as Ability is a Gold accredited installer for Worcester Bosch we thought we would share information about them.

Worcester Bosch combi boilers are compatible with all fuel types (gas, oil and lpg) and come with up to a 10-year guarantee. They are smaller in size and more economical than other boiler types

A combi (or combination) boiler is an ingenious space-saving idea, and an increasingly popular choice in UK homes. In fact, combis now account for well over half of all the new domestic boilers installed in Britain every year.

Worcester Bosch offers a full range of Combi Boilers to suit your needs. All of their Greenstar gas and oil boilers have been awarded Which? Best Buy status and come with a 10 year guarantee.

Deciding which boiler will make an efficient and practical fit with your home and lifestyle can be confusing.

If your new boiler is going to be fitted onto your existing system, please consider the cleanliness of your existing pipework and radiators as this could cause damage to your new combi boiler. For more information about system cleanliness, you can view the Worcester Bosch website here.

A combination or ‘combi’ boiler is both a high efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in a single compact unit. Combi boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn on a tap, so you won’t need a hot water storage cylinder or a cold water storage tank in the roof space.

They are also very cost-effective and energy-efficient as water is heated instantly rather than being heated and then stored in a cylinder. An added benefit is that hot water is delivered at mains pressure, which means that you could get a powerful shower without the need for a separate pump.

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Gas boiler in Cupboard

Compact sizes make combi boilers perfect for smaller properties Ideal where there is little or no loft space No need for a hot water cylinder allows increased living space No cold water storage tank frees up a loft for conversion No risk of loft pipework freezing Less pipework in the home makes installation typically cheaper.

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance throughout the Kent, East and West Sussex Area within the South East.

Want to upgrade your boiler call Ability on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

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,

In Aid Of Child Safety Week (3rd – 9th June), We Talk USB Integrated Sockets Safety.

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical services in the Kent, East and West Sussex area. We are a family run business and understand how important it is to ensure our families are kept safe when installing USB integrated sockets.

Daniel Moon, Director here at Ability comments: “Mobile devices are a given in almost every household in the UK and are particularly popular with children and young people. In fact, 93% of 15-year olds in the UK now own a smartphone.  This has led to an increase in sales of USB integrated sockets which contains both the traditional 13A three-pin switch socket and a USB charging point.

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Child safety comes first

There are many aspects to consider when converting your traditional sockets to include USB integrated sockets to ensure safety within the home.

Integrated Socket safety features to eliminate system overload and house fires

Advance safety features come as standard with high-quality USB integrated sockets, this protects against overload and the wiring device must have the ability to prevent such hazards.

It is best to purchase USB integrated sockets that include Dynamic Device Recognition (DDR) technology.  This technology ensures that each device is charged using the required power level as the manufacturer would intend if using the original plug.  This will stop potential damage to the device and more importantly eliminate the dangers of a house fire.

The USB integrated sockets should have built-in, three-pin child resistant shutter systems.  This means that unless the correct three pin plug is inserted into the socket there will be no access to the electricity supply.  As we all know small children do not see danger and there is the temptation to poke little fingers or toys into any small hole they come across.  There is a risk of fire if parents revert to using the plastic socket protectors as used with the traditional three-pin sockets, as they may override the USB sockets’ safety system

If you live in Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, East Grinstead, Bromley or the surrounding areas, and require electrical, plumbing or heating assistance please give us a call on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

Gas Boilers To Be Banned In New Homes By 2025

It has been recommended to the government by the Committee on Climate Change to make a blanket ban on gas boilers being installed in new homes from 2025 to help tackle climate change.  The Chancellor has announced that it will be illegal for gas boilers to be installed into new build homes from 2025. They predict that non-fossil fuel boilers will, of course, be better for the environment but will also be cheaper to run. These drastic measures are being taken because the UK will not meet their targets to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050 as anticipated.

It has been recommended that low carbon energy should be used as an alternative to the gas we currently use. The use of methane gas, which releases carbon needs to be phased out and replace with low or zero carbon gas such as biomethane or hydrogen.

Green gas compatible boilers

What Is The Alternative To Gas Boilers In The Future

It is suggested that green gas compatible boilers should be installed into new homes to enable the transaction from normal gas to green to happen seamlessly. The technology has been tested but further investment needs to be made for green gas to be implemented into our homes. With 90% of our homes using the gas foundation already it is essential that these investments are made. Currently, one-fifth of greenhouse emissions are being created from our homes and a high percentage of that is due to us burning fossil fuels for heating and hot water.

heating alternatives in the home

The alternative to using green fuel would be to return to electric heating which is very expensive to run and a step back in our progression to become as energy efficient as possible.

Ability have carried out boiler installations and repairs to gas boilers in the Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, East Grinstead, Heathfield and Crowborough areas for many years, so if you require any assistance one our friendly engineers will be happy to assist.

Coal Effect Gas Fire and the Emergency Call

We received a call yesterday evening from a regular customer of ours, who lives in East Sussex, in a panic.  She was an elderly lady with an open inglenook fireplace and a coal effect gas fire, supplied, fitted and maintained by Ability over the years.  A bird had come down the chimney and was flying around in her lounge. 

The coal effect gas fire was not in use at the time and so the bird was able to fly into the lounge and was frantically flapping about, of course very disorientated and wanting to get back into the open air. When our engineer arrived, our customer was in a bit of a panic and so it was suggested she remain in the kitchen, while our gas engineer isolated the fire and remove the bird and release it back into its natural environment.

coal effect gas fire

The bird was quite distressed, so our engineer opened the French patio doors to the outside garden, after making the coal effect gas fire safe.  The bird seemed to calm down once human life was no longer present and the engineer took control of the situation.

The Free Bird and the Coal Effect Gas Fire

Ability’s engineer found a cane in the garden and gently enticed the bird onto the stick, with a gentle conversation and spiritual chant. Once a zoo keeper’s assistant, our engineer had a general knowledge of animals as well as qualifications in working with the coal effect gas fire.

The bird once free from the stress and upset of its experience gave a little look of gratitude and flew off back to its nest with minor upset and no harm done.

coal effect gas fire

The coal effect gas fire has now been reinstated and the chimney checked and tested for safety of performance and efficiency.  A new bird guard cowl has been fitted at the terminal of the chimney pot. Our customer is happy and safe in the knowledge that the fire is now back in use and the situation has been resolved.

If you live in the Kent, and Sussex area and would like plumbing or heating or any other gas work then please call Ability today……

Ideal Boilers Recommended and Installed By Ability

Ability specialises in boiler installation and covers Kent, West and East Sussex.  We install many Ideal Boilers both Combi and System in the Orpington and Bromley area and we recommend these products.

Ideal Boilers were founded in 1906 so have over 100 years’ experience in designing and developing their Ideal Boilers.  All their products are manufactured in the UK.

Ideal Combi Boilers

Ideal Combi Boilers are economical to run as they heat the water as it is used and produces the heating for the home.  They are small so will fit in a cupboard making them perfect for the Petit home. They come with a 7 to 12 years warranty depending on the make and model purchased.  There are several models Ability have used in the Bromley and Orpington area and these include the Logic Max combi and the Vogue Max combi.  These Ideal boilers are light, quick to install and easy to service.  They have digital displays with clear to read pressure gauge.  They also have quality brass filters and frost protection.

Ideal System Boilers

Ideal Boilers also provided system boilers which Ability have installed in the Orpington and Bromley area.  These system boilers are fully pressurised and are filled via the mains cold water.  It then heats the water for the cylinder and heats the central heating system.  A heat pump then circulates the heat round making the radiators hot.  The Logic Max and the Vogue Max system both come with 10 to 12 years warranty.  Ability has found that they are easy to install and service.  They are both light and small enough to fit into a cupboard.

If you are thinking about replacing your boiler and live in the Kent, East and West Sussex area why not give Ability a call on 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com for a free no obligation quotation.

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Boiler Company Vaillant Celebrates 120 Years

Ability take a look at one of the Uk’s leading boiler company and manufacturers brands. This Easter, Vaillant will be celebrating its own iconic bunny as the company marks 120 years of its ‘hare in the egg’ logo.

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The Founder of the boiler company Vaillant, Johann Vaillant came across the image in a magazine which started it all on Easter Sunday, all the way back in 1899. He discovered a picture of a hare hatching from an egg, surrounded by dwarfs and animals, and this is when the boiler company acquired the copyright for his company’s trademark.

Over the years, the mark has been re-designed six times, adding the Vaillant name and inserting of a box around the original egg, amongst many other changes. However, crucially it has never lost its central theme of the hare, which came to be known as Johann in honour of the founder, as it varied his name.

Where It All Began-For Vaillant Boiler Company

The hare even starred in its own comic in 1935, where the boiler company journeyed through history, at one point advising a monarch on the benefits of a hot bath, thus keeping the hot water industry piping hot!

The very familiar Vaillant boiler company colours also have their roots in history, drawing inspiration from the black, white and green traditionally incorporated into the exterior design of homes in Vaillant’s native Bergisches Land, Germany.

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New Vaillant System Boiler

Whilst the boiler company design has had many changes and improvements and evolved significantly from the picture which originally caught Johann Vaillant’s attention, the iconic hare and egg have remained throughout, and stood the test of time. The green which represents the origins of Vaillant, shows that the company is very proud of the history and it marks a real milestone for the boiler company.

please call Ability if you have a Vaillant boiler or want to use a Vaillant.