New Boiler And What To Consider When Purchasing One

Ability are gold accredited, Worcester Bosch installers. We have years of experience when it comes to installing both gas and oil new boilers and provide services in the Kent, West and East Sussex areas.

the team ability
Feet up, coffee and fire.

At this time of year, we are extremely busy with boiler repairs and unfortunately, it is not always possible to keep nursing them along. With the Winter in full swing, the boilers are working extremely hard to keep our homes warm the added pressure on an old boiler can sometimes be too much and a new boiler is the only solution. The cost of replacing a boiler at any time of year can be a drain on the funds but with Christmas, just around the corner it is important that the best price for the best quality of work is obtained.

When it comes to getting quotations traditionally it has always been recommended that 3 quotations are obtained for a good comparison. However, when a boiler breaks down many of us want to source a new boiler as quickly as possible and getting multiple quotations takes time. Homeowners should make sure that the installer is Gas Safe and/or Oftec registered. When comparing quotations make sure they are like for like. The boilers should be of the same quality or make and offer the same number of years guarantee or warranty.

A powerflush may be required to thoroughly clean away any debris that could be blocking the pipes and radiators. This could be an additional cost to the new boiler installation so make sure the quotation has a clear and upfront pricing schedule to avoid any nasty hidden surprises further down the line.

Ability not only carries out boiler installation it also offers plumbing and electrical assistance so if you require a free no-obligation quote for any of the above please call us on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

PowerFlush, The Advantages Your Central Heating System

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance. In the last week, we have carried out a powerflush in the Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and East Grinstead areas. It is so important especially this time of year that our central heating system is working efficiently as possible.

Kamco powerflush machine

Cleaning a central heating system is integral to its health and powerflushing is a popular cleaning method due to the rapid but comprehensive clean it delivers. The benefits of a clean heating system are well-documented:

more even heat distribution throughout the property

improved overall energy savings

lower household bills

increased system reliability

extended system life

So how do you know if a system needs a powerflush? Here are some symptoms to look out for.

Are certain rooms much colder than others?

Does it take a long time for system to warm up?

Are one or more radiators cold at the bottom?

Do radiators need frequent bleeding?

Is the boiler noisy?

It’s important to keep your radiators working properly, so they can keep you warm through the winter. If you’re having problems with your heating, your radiators might need a powerflush.

There are several symptoms that show you might need a powerflush. If your radiators are cold at the bottom and hot at the top, you could have sludge blocking your radiators or pipes.

Sludge might also be to blame if some radiators aren’t warming up while others work properly.

You’ll find information below about the causes of sludge in your central heating system. We’ll also explain the powerflushing process.

Sludge in pipe

Why is there sludge in the radiator?

The older your central heating system is, the more likely it is you have sludge in your radiators and need a powerflush.

Blocked radiators make your bills higher, as your heating has to work harder to warm your home. Sludge can also damage your boiler, heat pump and valves.

If you need a powerflush, the engineer will connect a machine to your system. This will push a powerful, low-pressure flow of liquid through your system. This dislodges sludge and rust, removing it from your radiators and boiler.

It can take several hours to flush out your radiator system. It can take even longer if you have a larger system or there’s a lot of sludge.

Your central heating system will contain fresh, clean water after the power flush. The engineer will probably add an inhibitor solution. This liquid chemical will stop sludge building up again.

If you would like a no-obligation quotation for a powerflush or indeed any of the other services that we provide please call Ability on 01892 514495 or 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

Firebird Oil Boilers And Their Products By Ability

Ability recently fitted a Firebird Oil boiler in Sevenoaks, Kent below is information regarding their products and aftercare which is so important when choosing a boiler.

Firebird Oil Boiler

Firebird have produced a new cylinder brochure which gives detailed product information on their comprehensive range of dedicated hot water storage solutions. Specifically designed for use with Firebirds’ air source heat pump and solar thermal product ranges, the Envirocyl hot water cylinders feature purpose-designed coils to allow maximum heat transfer of renewable energy into the stored water. With single coil, twin coil, pre-plumbed and pre-wired options, the Envirocyl range provide a highly efficient way of providing space heating and domestic hot water. the cylinders are available in capacities of 180-300 litres and include factory-fitted 3 kw electric immersion as standard. Manufactured from premium quality stainless steel for superior corrosion resistance, the inner vessel is covered by a 10 or 25-year manufacturer’s warranty.

When used in conjunction with an Enviroair air source heat pump, the Envirocyl heat pump cylinder range is capable of providing up to 100% of a home’s hot water demand. As well as a standard cylinder, Firebird offers a pre-plumbed option, which includes pre-fabricated pipework, wiring and an integrated 50-litre buffer. If space happens to be a problem, Firebird have also developed an ‘Easy-Fit Unit’ which can be situated in a garage or utility room. With a premium-quality, white case finish, the cylinder unit is fully pre-plumbed and pre-wired to considerably reduce installation time.

LPG-oil-oil heating
Warm and cosy by the fire

For heating systems where solar thermal is used to complement another heat source, twin coil options are available for use with Firebird’s Enviroair source heat pumps or a traditional boiler. Not only does the Envirocyl cylinder range provide mains pressure hot water and high flow rates for powerful showers and fast filling baths, but the optimised design of the heating coil ensures that water reheats quickly. Fully insulated to minimise any heat loss, the cylinders are efficient to run, require minimal maintenance and include all the components required to complete installation.

If you would like a free quotation for a new oil or gas boiler please call Ability 0n 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com

A Plumber Solving An Issue Can Cost Less Than You Think

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

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

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

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

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

Thermostatic Mixing Valves Are Recommended To Be Compulsory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Climate Change UK Targets Threatened By Home Gas Boilers

To combat climate change the government has pledged that by 2050 they will reduce emissions by 80%.  However, with the majority of our homes still fuelled by gas and oil this is significantly reducing the probability of the UK meeting these targets.

plumbing-heating electrical
Central Heating Home

New regulation are coming in to force in 2025 to help with climate change, meaning that all new homes, will have to use green gas or alternative, to heat water and their homes, money needs to be invested into new products.  Currently, 14% of UK greenhouse gases come from our homes and although all new homes built in 2025 will use greener energy it is just a drop in the ocean as the vast majority of UK homes will not.

20,000 homes a week need to convert to low carbon energy source by 2050 for the UK 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.

What Needs To Be Done To Combat Climate Change

Biogas reduces carbon emissions by 90% and could be used to fuel up to two million off-grid homes as well as businesses such as mobile caterers throughout the UK to help with climate change.  Smart control systems, when used to their full potential, will also reduce the amount of energy each household uses.

Money needs to be invested for home insulation schemes as currently these costs are having to be met by homeowners and they do not always have the money to invest to facilitate these changes.  Heat accounts for more than a third of our current carbon emissions.  Innovative technology is needed to reduce this figure to assist with climate change.

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance throughout Kent, East and West Sussex. If you would like a free no-obligation quotation for a new boiler or smart controls please contact us on 01892 514495 or alternatively 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.

LPG-propane gas boiler-calor gas repair-lpg boiler breakdown-boiler gas emergency
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.

bleeding your radiators-central heating system
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.

Carbon Monoxide Safety In Your Home

Our engineers at Ability are Gas Safe registered, and we want to raise awareness of the importance of having a carbon monoxide detector in the home. With our busy lives, it is something that is easily overlooked but could be life-saving.

Unsafe gas appliances can produce carbon monoxide which is highly poisonous. It is produced when natural gas or liquified petroleum gas fails to be completely burned.  Poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide builds up in the bloodstream.

carbon monoxide

Nearly half of homes in the UK do not currently have a CO alarm in their home which means that more than 12 million householders are at risk of CO poisoning.

Carbon Monoxide is an odourless and colourless substance meaning it can remain undetected without a CO alarm.  Ability is always happy to assist with any queries regarding CO alarms, only last week in Sevenoaks we assisted with the fitting of one.  The engineer left knowing that the family would now be kept safe and alerted should there be a leak.

Here at Ability, our installers are trained to educate about CO safety.  Just because a customer has a new boiler or gas appliance fitted and they have these appliances regularly serviced, does not eliminate the danger of carbon monoxide escaping.

carbon monoxide

Although this will reduce the risk, it does not eliminate it as boilers can break down or the flues become blocked at any time between service dates. So while customers may feel they don’t need a CO alarm – ultimately they’ve just had a brand new boiler installed so nothing should go wrong –  installers must help householders prepare for every eventuality.

Ability provides plumbing, heating and electrical assistance throughout Kent, West and East Sussex, please give us a call on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com if we can help.