If Your Heating System Working To It’s Full Potential

Ability provides assistance with heating system, plumbing and electrical assistance in the Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, East Grinstead, Maidstone, Bromley, Orpington and surrounding areas in Kent, East and West Sussex areas.

Heating systems currently attract dirt and obtain air within them.  It is important to service regularly to remove these to ensure that all is working to its full potential.  If dirt and air are left untreated it will inevitably lead to problems and could, therefore, lead to system breakdowns, which usually happens at the most inappropriate times

Debris in the heating system

Ability has found that whilst technology has moved on and heating systems are far more advanced with smart controls etc we have also noticed that unfortunately, they are more sensitive to contamination from dirt particles and with airlocks.

Whilst many of us will have our boilers serviced regularly, we do not tend to think about the quality of water that is running throughout our heating systems.  An inhibitor to minimise corrosion should be applied particularly in hard water areas.  It is recommended that a heating system should be flushed every 5 to 6 years to ensure efficiency and stop limescale build-up and remove debris and rust.

Common Heating System Complains

Here at Ability we look at some of the most common system complaints to look out for, which suggest air and dirt which could jeopardise the performance of a light commercial or domestic heating system.  

Noisy System – if the system is becoming unusually noisy when in operation this is usually because there is air and build-up within the heating systems resulting in the radiators and pipework banging and clanging as the water tries to pass through.

Cold radiators – If radiators have cold spots or are cold at the bottom but warm at the top, this would suggest there is a build-up of debris within the systems and therefore a power flush may be required.

Corrosion within the system

Air – if there is increased air in the system, this will accumulate in the radiators and potentially clog up the pump, this will usually be noticeable by a noisy system and should be treated as soon as possible to prevent problems.

Replacement of Parts- if parts are being replaced faster than expected this could be due to contamination within the heating system.  When there are debris and air within the system the parts such as the pump are having to work harder to achieve the same output, leading to strain and excessive wear on parts.  Replacing parts can be very costly and can be avoided by keeping the boiler regularly services, water treated and radiators bleed.

If you require any assistance please contact 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

Raising Carbon Monoxide Safety Awareness at Festivals

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical services in the Kent, West and East Sussex areas. The majority of us are aware of carbon monoxide safety within our homes and many of us have detectors. Of course, if readings become high companies such as ourselves are called in to rectify the problem, however, this tends not to be the case when having a bbq or attending a festival.

Festival organisers are being encouraged to raise awareness of the risk of CO poisoning. The All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) have held discussions in parliament.

BBQ in open spaces

It is very easy to have a carefree attitude when attending festivals whilst the priority is to have fun, we do need to be aware of the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide.

BBQs should not be used in confined places such as tents. Manufacturers of BBQs will be asked to flag this warning on the packaging.

Staff working at the festivals should be trained to raise awareness of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and intervene if somebody is acting recklessly.

Some of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide are: dull headaches, vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, dizziness and loss of consciousness these can all, of course, be signs of someone being intoxicated so staff should be trained to be vigilant. CO poisoning is particularly dangerous therefore for people who are intoxicated or asleep as these symptoms could easily be mistaken for something else.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Awareness

It has also been suggested that awareness should be raised on social media, mobile phone advertising, festival apps, promotional material and bands playing at the festival. They have also suggested that leading representatives from festival organisers, carbon monoxide campaign groups and gas industry should also get involved.

If you require assistance from Ability please call on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

Baxi Products And The Future Develops For A Greener Future

Baxi has been manufacturing in the UK since 1866. It’s a leading competitor in the UK providing high quality, reliable and durable boilers and heating products.

Baxi currently manufactures products that use natural and LPG gas. However, with the new regulation coming in force in 2025, meaning that all new homes, will have to use green gas or alternative, to heat water and their homes, new products will have to be innovative to accommodate these changes.

Manufacturing in the uk since 1866

Baxi like most of us agrees that we need to cut down on greenhouse emissions and in order for the UK to meet the target of reducing these by 80%, by 2050 drastic measures need to be taken. Supporting research, incentives and funding do need to be provided.

The CEO, David Pinder of UK and Ireland Baxi Heating said, “I am proud to be part of a group that is championing the delivery of a more environmentally sustainable construction agenda, which is fundamental to the UK achieving its clean growth goals.

Here at Ability, we are very excited about the prospect of the UK becoming a zero carbon-free zone and cleaner environment. We look forward to seeing the advances in technology and the new products by Baxi and other manufacturers that will enable us to do this.

Carbon neutral gas is made predominately from organic sources eg farm waste and will hopefully replace the current LPG and gas we currently use. With the right technology, boilers will be easily converted to use the greener gas which will cut down the carbon footprint in our homes.

If you require boiler installation, heating repairs, plumbing or electrical assistance please do not hesitate to contact us on 01892 514495 or at info@ability.uk.com. We cover the Kent, West and East Sussex area.

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.

Maintaining Our Home Boilers Throughout The Summer

With the Summer hopefully on its way, it’s hard to think about the cold times ahead however at Ability, we find that when our customers come to use their home boilers again in the winter, problems occur and we are called in to fix problems that could sometimes have been avoided. 

Enjoying the Sunshine

Ability has heating engineers in the Bromley and Orpington area along with engineers in other areas of Kent and Sussex.  It costs on average between £150 – £400 to repair a broken home boiler and although unlike some, Ability does not charge a call out fee there are a few simple things that can be maintained throughout the year to keep your boiler in good working order.

Keeping your hot water at a low setting can actually be more cost effective than turning your home boiler completely off.  Home boilers can seize if they are not used regularly so by keeping the hot water on constant but at low temperature will ensure the boiler runs smoothly throughout the year.

Although it seems madness to turn the heating on when the temperatures are soaring outside, by doing so for just 10 minutes a week will help to keep the boiler healthy and avoid incurring costs when the winter comes.

Summer is always a good time to have a home boiler service carried out as plumbers and heating engineers are quieter during the Summer months. It is recommended that boilers are serviced annually to ensure they are working efficiently. If a fault is found during the service it will be less disruptive to have this fixed during the Summer as the household is less reliant on the heating and hot water.

Ability, has heating engineers in the East Grinstead, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Orpington and Bromley area so please feel free to give us a call on 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com to book a service in.

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.

plumber-bathroom-shower installation-toilet flush
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.

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 corse 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 powerflush is carried out with minimal disturbance and disruption to the normal operation of the system, often without disconnecting the boiler or any radiators.