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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org,
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.
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.
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.
Does your Central Heating need a Power Flush? We know that 80% of central heating systems require a power flush. We can now test your water in the radiators or boiler to determine the content and what will need to be done.
ABOUT THE PROBLEM
When our customers are experiencing poor circulation in their homes, such as ineffective radiators, it could be caused by hydrogen in radiators, and so it is essential to accurately identify the cause of the issue to resolve it properly. This guide can help you to conduct checks which will lead to an accurate diagnosis of the circulation problem.
Identifying the Issue
Check if the boiler is operating correctly. Check the pressure of the burner. Does it remain alight?
If there is a reddish tinge to the water, it indicates that iron oxide is present, suggesting active corrosion. The system may be drawing in air.
If there are black particles present in the water, these are most likely to be magnetite. As this is the final stage of corrosion, large deposits can be expected within the system.
If the water is clear water, it suggests that the system is free from active corrosion, but does not eliminate the possibility that corrosion has occurred in the past. It is possible that the circulation rate is not enough to keep debris in suspension. In this instance, you should check that the cold feed is not blocked.
Central Heating Cleaning and Power Flush Tips
If you are dealing with an open system, check the feed and expansion cistern. Is it clean, with no signs of pumping over or sucking-in through the open vent?
Check the pump. Is it correctly orientated and performing satisfactorily? Open all radiator valves, and, if necessary, vent the radiators. Note if the problem appears to be localised or general.
See if increasing the speed of the pump improves circulation. It is highly important to identify if there any radiators which fail to heat at all. If this is the case, it indicates that the system is blocked. Check all valves for free operation. If none are sticking, they are not the cause of the blockage. If you have established this, draw a sample of water from a cold radiator to check for sludge build up.
Do the system radiators need frequent venting? If gas is accumulating in one or more radiators, it is important to determine whether the gas is hydrogen sulphide, hydrogen or air.
Once the mains water and electric power had been isolated, our electrician was able to attend later that morning and check and test the safety of the electrics.
Our emergency plumber had managed to stop the leak with a new stopcock valve and make a repair to the pipe that connects to the electric shower.
The electric shower was 15 years old and the customer had reported signs of poor performance and asked if we could fit a new electric shower in its place.
So between our plumber and electrician, we were able to supply and fit a new electric shower. All done in one visit from each of our engineers to save on time and cost. Another happy customer here at Ability.
Electric showers work in much the same way as other electric appliances that get hot, including electric toasters and hair dryers. They send an electric current through a piece of metal called a heating element. This has a moderate resistance, so it gets really hot when electricity moves through it. Cold water flows past the element, picking up the heat and heading out through the nozzle where you’re standing. So a basic form of heating up something.
How do mixer showers work?
Here at Ability, we can explain a little about mixer showers. The simplest showers are called mixer showers and, as their name suggests, they work by mixing hot and cold water from separate pipes to make warm water whose temperature is somewhere in between. The basic form of mixer shower is a Y-shaped rubber pipe that you fit over the hot and water faucets (taps) on a bath-tub. By adjusting the faucets, you create a single stream of water at exactly the temperature you want. This can become irritating.
The trouble with mixer showers like this is that the temperature is hard to control. If someone switches on a cold faucet or flushes a toilet elsewhere in your home, the cold water supply is reduced. That means there’s proportionally more hot water coming through your shower and, if the water’s too hot, you could be scalded. The opposite will happen if someone switches on a hot faucet you’ll suddenly find the shower turning freezing cold, this is where we can help at Ability.
Mixer showers that are plumbed into the wall overcome this problem by using built-in thermostats. They constantly adjust the temperature of the mixed water to ensure you’re not boiled like a lobster or frozen like a penguin by water that’s alternately too hot or too cold. Most mixer showers also have safety cut-outs that prevent you from turning the water up to dangerously high levels, which is good news if they’re being used by the infirm, frail elderly people or young children.
With more than two-thirds of homeowners not knowing if their water is supplied through potentially harmful lead water pipes, WaterSafe, the UK register for approved plumbers, is urging everyone to take the scratch test on lead pipes and its something we are recommending here at Ability.
A recent survey of 2000 homeowners by WaterSafe revealed 68% don’t know if they have potentially harmful lead water pipes in their property. We recently have to remove a section of leaking lead water main for one of our customers in Sevenoaks.
Water used for drinking and cooking that has been supplied through lead pipes can lead to a build-up of lead in the body. This can be bad for health – especially for babies and children, whose development can be affected. So contact us here at Ability plumbing and heating and we will do everything in our knowledge and capabilities to help you with lead water pipes.
A further 53% of homeowners don’t know that it’s their responsibility to replace lead pipes they find in their home. Watersafe say they need to replace them with copper or plastic ones approved for tap water.
Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe, says: “We’re asking property owners to do one thing during Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (Oct 21-27) – check your homes and business premises for lead water pipes, especially if you have an older property. It’s quite simple – find the water pipe where it enters your home, which is usually in a kitchen cupboard or under the stairs. Lead pipes are normally dull grey and soft and if you scrape the surface gently with a coin you’ll see the shiny silver-coloured metal underneath. It’s quite distinct from copper or plastic. If the pipes are painted, just scrape the paint off too.”
At Ability, we are qualified in water regulations and unvented water safety. The use of lead in plumbing has been banned in the UK for more than 25 years, so it’s houses built before 1970 that are most likely to have lead pipes.
Homeowners who find they do have lead pipes should contact their water supplier, who can test the levels of lead in the drinking water and offer advice on replacing them. so call Ability and book an engineer to check your lead water pipes.
WaterSafe recommends employing an approved plumber from its UK register to replace pipes, as they are fully qualified in the water supply regulations and are promoted by water companies to keep drinking water safe in homes. Find local, approved plumbers using a postcode search at watersafe.org.uk
An experiment showed wildly different quotes for installing exactly the same boiler. An investigation has revealed a staggering difference in quotes for installing a new boiler. You turn on your ailing boiler on a cold winter’s morning and discover that it’s finally given up the ghost.
The tempting thing to do is to call out the first available boiler engineer. But that could turn out to be a very costly mistake, exclusive research reveals.
Its always best to get more than one quotation and we do not recommend you necessarily go for the cheapest. Shop around, however, be cautious.
The quotes in this experiment, received for the same type of boiler, being installed in the same location, varied by as much as £3,200. One quote came in at a suspiciously low £1,500, and another at an eye-watering £4,764.
The investigation suggests that you don’t necessarily need to pay more to get the very best boiler. The quotes in this experiment for three of the Best boiler brands were no higher than quotes for brands that get middling scores in our boiler brand reviews. If you need a new boiler, make sure you get one that will last by picking from one of the best boiler brands. How much is a new boiler? The median price of the ten quotes was £2,595, with one as low as £1,500 and one as high as £4,764.
This week saw a drop in temperature, and the weather change sees our local Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, East Grinstead and Edenbridge plumbers step up a gear.
The long summer may be drawing to a close but the heat is on for our local and friendly plumbers. Working hard for our customers here in West Kent, East Sussex and Surrey, our plumbers step up a gear.
The holiday period seems to be over and as families and business alike start to prepare for the changing of the seasons. The plumbers here at Ability start to knuckle down to some seriously hard work ensuring that your boilers, heating, plumbing and electrical appliances are serviced and maintained.
That’s why we are on hand 24/7 for your needs. When the colder days set in, we want to be ready to help. Make your call today, to us here at Ability and we will do our best to see that your needs are met as our plumbers step up a gear.
A customer that called on Thursday last week, via a recommendation from a church that Ability work for, provided a five-star review.
As trusted plumbers in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, we were able to come to the rescue of this elderly gentleman within 30 minutes and isolate his leaking stopcock. Trusted plumbers in Tunbridge Wells.
He was s impressed with our engineers work that he rewarded our plumber with some of his favourite homemade sponge cake. So another satisfied customer and a big pat on the back for one of the team here at Ability.
We always say, ask around, read all the information on the website carefully, check out the local phone numbers and make sure there is a local address.
We will remain your local plumbers recommend by others as its the small family business that we will keep going to maintain our quality reputation built over almost 40 years now.
Finally, the only sure way to know is by calling us up and talking with one of the family themselves. This we are always happy to do. So you can be safe in the knowledge that what you see really is what you get.
With a vast knowledge of the area, is based in the area since the company started we are not just local but friendly and always around. Just pick up the phone and call today for our Tonbridge central heating engineer or our Sevenoaks local plumbers. Your heating problems solved. Your Plumbing issues resolved and our happy customers mean our happy team here at Ability.