Gas Safety Check and Certificate

Ability is members on the Gas Safe Register. We carry out gas safety checks for landlords in the Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks (Kent), East Grinstead, East Sussex and West Sussex areas.

A Gas Safety Certificate will be received when a registered engineer installs a gas appliance in your property or when a gas safety check is carried out. It should be received within 28 days of installation.

gas combination boiler-gas safe-worcester bosch boilers

The CP12 will contain details of the landlord and of the appliances tested and their results. The engineer will note down any gas safety issues identified that will need attention. The engineer will then sign and date the CP12 certificate.

The most common appliances include gas fires, gas boiler, gas fire water heater, flued cooking ranges and water air heaters. It is important that gas appliances are checked regularly as this will prevent gas leaks and stop carbon monoxide being released. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. Some of the signs of carbon monoxide escaping include increased levels of condensation in the room with the gas appliance, soft yellow flames, sooty stains or discolouration around the appliance and fumes or smoke. A carbon monoxide detector should be fitted as an indicator.

It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that gas safety checks are carried out on an annual basis as they have a duty of care to their tenant. The engineer carrying out the gas safety check must be a member of the Gas Safe Register. Failure to do this could lead to prosecution. A landlord has 30 days to have renewal inspection completed otherwise penalties can be applied and the landlord will then have to complete a new registration form.

If you require a gas safety check (cp12) in the Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex please give Ability a call on 01892 514495 or by email info@ability.uk.com

Noisy Radiators, Sludge, Magnetitie Central Heating Systems

Noisy Radiators?

Bubbling noises from radiators are quite a common issue but dealing with this problem does not necessarily require any specialist technical expertise, and you may be able to stop the annoying noisy and bubbling in a few minutes with the right tools and the right advise, before having to us the experts in.

bleeding your radiators-central heating system
Pets Warm at Home

So, if you have a noisy radiator and are hearing gurgling or bubbling noises, the following guidance could help you resolve the problem without calling us, Ability plumbers.

Sludge, Silt and Magnetite

central heating system-bleeding your radiators
Central heating Balancing

Most of the components that make up your central heating system are made from metal, and metal, as you probably already know, will expand and contract as it heats up and cools down. So, it may be that the sounds you hear your central heating make are just being caused by that natural process. Because pipework creaks and groans as it expands and contracts, it can be something that you get used to, but if your central heating is making strange noises, it’s best not to ignore it.

Loud Heating Systems

More serious causes of annoying and loud central heating should be thoroughly investigated and fixed by us at Ability plumbing, with the worst-case scenario being that you have to part with a little bit of money to get it sorted. But here at Ability, we like to give you any help and guidance as well as the right information to fix things for yourself, so this post is designed to help you identify the most common causes of noisy heating systems to help you to solve the problems without having to splash the cash on expensive repair bills. If its something simple and we can help, then we will.

Increase the water pressure

Sometimes, a central heating system needs an extra push to get air out of radiators. Make sure your circulation pumps are on, turn up the water pressure to around two bars, and then bleed the radiator again.

Check the pumping system

Is your pump working correctly? Is the vent on the pump’s suction side? Is your pump speed right or is it too high If the gurgling stops when you turn your pump off, then you may have isolated the problem – repairing it, however, could be a trickier task.

As always, do not attempt to repair your boiler or central heating system if you are unsure of what to do. If a repair involves taking a gas boiler cover off, then it is too complicated for a layperson and you need to get in touch with us here at Ability and we will send an engineer.

Bleed the radiators

A noisy radiator is likely to have air trapped inside it. An easy way to diagnose this problem is to feel the radiator when it is turned on – if it is hot at the bottom but cold at the top, then it needs bleeding.

It might seem obvious but bleeding your radiators could be all it takes to expel this air, stop the radiator noise and allow you to enjoy a near-silent central heating system once more. You simply need a radiator key to let the air out.

If you find yourself bleeding your radiators more regularly than you think is usual, then there is probably a leak in your central heating and plumbing system somewhere. You could add some anti-corrosion inhibitors into the central heating system when the leak has been repaired to ensure the problem does not repeat itself. To find out more about cleaning your radiators, please visit our Website or call us here at Ability.

Does your Central Heating need a Power Flush?

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.

central heating-power flush
The Ability Family

Identifying the Issue

  • Check if the boiler is operating correctly. Check the pressure of the burner. Does it remain alight?
  • Take a sample of radiator water. Examine it for suspended solids or discolouration which can indicate corrosion.
    • 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

central heating-power flush
Some of our registered bodies
  • 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.

Trusted Local Plumbers of Kent and Heating Service in East Sussex.

Are we trusted local plumbers of Kent? Do you like the heating service we provide in East Sussex? After another successful week with the team here at Ability, we ask you the customer for feedback. It’s our priority to see that you have positive words for the service provided.

heating service in east sussex-trusted local plumbers of kent
New Boiler and Cylinder

“The heating service in East Sussex is consistent,” says Mrs Bigg’s of Crowborough in East Sussex. “Ability plumbing, heating and electrical are trusted plumbers of Kent.”

Providing an opportunity for a review from every customer is essential. We have a link to our Checkatrade page and Google page as well as cards for those customers who are not computer friendly.

It’s about understanding the customer’s needs. “Here at Ability we are ready to listen to the voice of the public,” says Matthew, a director of the company. If we take on board what is said and implement any changes that may be necessary then we can move forward with confidence that we are serving our clients well.

heating service in east sussex-trusted local plumbers of kent
Natural Gas Commercial Cooking Appliance

When someone needs trusted plumbers of Kent, we want to be that company that’s called first. If a home requires a good heating service in East Sussex, let Ability be the recommendation that’s made. Let Ability be the team for you.

Heating Service and Trusted Local Plumbers

The company has over 100 years of experience in the plumbing and heating industry. The team at Ability are well equipt to handle any problem you might have. We pride ourselves on being a family run business spanning three generations. Two are still working together.

So if you need a trusted local plumber of Kent or heating service in East Sussex then give us a call. we are here to help you today and one call is all it takes. Our Plumbing Heating and Electrical engineers are friendly, experieanced and competant.

The number to call is 0800 889015 .

Weekend Plumbing,Heating Faults and Electric Shower

This Friday night started with an emergency plumber call at 8 pm in Tonbridge, Kent after a burst water mains pipe in a loft had flooded the lounge and brought down a ceiling. So off to a late start for the weekend plumbing.

electric shower-heating fault-weekend plumbing
Contemporary Modern kitchen sink

Early Saturday morning a regular customer called from Sevenoaks in Kent with a heating fault. Heating faults are our speciality, and with an engineer on site within one hour the customer was impressed.

Then the electric shower installation took place mid-morning in Tunbridge Wells Kent, as proposed. This meant all engineers were on time and all the customers were happy.

electric shower-heating fault-weekend plumbing
Chef preparing food

The electric shower, weekend plumbing and heating faults are just three of the many different household items and repairs that we can attend to here at Ability. So our three lads were out busy while the office remained open and able to take calls for emergency works including, gas, oil, LPG, electrical and water pipes.

An electric shower replacement is relatively straight forward for us with the years of experience and qualified, killed and trusted tradespeople here at Ability.

While we have an engineer on call all of our weekend plumbing, we do try to keep busy with the van and store stock or exercise. the heating faults diagnosis can be done on our testing bay at our store in the Southborough, Tunbridge Wells area.

In Tonbridge Kent today our team have a boiler installation and a system upgrade. With new radiators to fit and system power-flushing to complete, the engineers have a busy task ahead.

So with no more weekend plumbing and the heating faults all repaired we have made good progress. The electric shower has been completed and is working well.

If you need a plumber or electrician, please do not hesitate to call. One of our gas engineers, heating specialists or boiler technicians will always be happy to help.

Electric Heater or Gas Heating?

There are a number of different types of electric heaters that you can purchase, including halogen heaters, fan heaters, oil-filled heaters and convector heaters. Ability provide all options.

looking to heat a room
Keeping people warm

Ability use Fan heaters, and they are a popular choice but may be noisy and are often not as powerful as other types of heater. The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) said a fan heater would be the preferable radiator when looking to heat a room for a short amount of time.

However, it said convector heaters will heat a room more thoroughly and these will be the best option if you are looking to heat a room for a couple of hours or more. Here at Ability we can supply these heaters while waiting for the boiler parts.

Oil-filled heaters are one of the more reliable of the varieties. Even though they tend to take slightly longer to heat up than other models, they will stay warmer for longer – even after they have been turned off. Again, here at Ability, we can supply oil heaters on a temporary basis and free of charge.

Looking to heat a room
Warm and Dry

Halogen heaters are another option, likely to be most well known for keeping punters warm in pub gardens, but they work quickly and are relatively cheap to run.

The different forms of portable heater also come with different heat outputs, for example, the most common outputs are 1.2 kilowatt (kW), 2 kW and 3kW. The higher the kilowatt, the more powerful the radiator is but it will also be more expensive. Equaliy can provide a good heat.

Information from the CSE shows the cost of running a 1.2kW halogen heater, on average, is 17p on a standard meter, which is generally cheaper compared to other models. 

However, this has less heat output than a 2kW fan heater that costs 28p per hour – a massive 11p more to run per hour. 

Whilst convector heaters may be a more expensive radiator to run, they will keep the room warmer for longer – and are a better option in the long term than a fan radiator. 

However, to accurately determine whether an electric radiator would save you more money than central heating, a number of factors would need to analysed.

This includes how many windows the room you are looking to heat has, what size they are, how well your house is insulated and the style of house i.e. is it old, new, leaky or modern.

There are also two different types of central heating – gas and electric – which come with pros and cons.  If youd like to know more please do not heasitiate to call us heare at Ability and one of the team will happily assist.

Another Cold Spell With More Snow To Come? Call The Team Ability.

The team Ability is sure to see you are prepared for whatever the weather is to come. Most of England and Wales will start the day cloudy, with some hill fog, before brightening up during the day. So there is a positive outlook after the morning rush.

the team ability
Feet up, coffee and fire.

It was on the news this morning, that Met Office meteorologists have commented: “It’s a cloudy, wet and mild start across southern parts first thing, but in South East England, we do have some snow, and the reason for this weather is a cold front draped across the country from north to south”.

“Here is where we have the snow first thing and a risk of ice!” Here at the team Ability, we think there may be another Beast from the East!

The Met Office on its website said: “Any showers in the west dying out this evening. Otherwise dry with clear skies leading to a widespread sharp frost, severe over snow cover.

The Team Ability

“Some freezing fog patches likely too. Minimum temperature -8 °C. Ekk! This could prove a cold morning so give us here at the team Ability a call!

the team ability
Working hard since 1979

The forecasters predict: “Some roads and railways are likely to be affected with longer journey times by road, bus and train services.

“Some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces.” We we hope its not the case.

Here at the team Ability, the team are always at the ready whatever the weather. So do not hesitate to call whatever the time of day or night.

Its all about being there at the end of the phone, seeing that we can get to you when you call and then making sure we can do the job that needs doing and do it right. Thats the team Ability trait.

Oil or Lpg? Commercial and Domestic Plumbing-Heating-Electrical

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

Do you have Oil or LPG? We cater for commercial and domestic plumbing, heating and electrical in the local areas of Kent, Sussex and Surrey.

Today we look at the options for those without mains natural gas piped to their home or office. If you happen to live in a fairly remote part of the country, your options for heating and hot water maybe somewhat limited.

The use of renewable energy is a great option for society today and we must all look to save energy and meet efficiency guidelines wherever we can. However, no one wants to run out of heating or hot water and there are good local sources of fuel for use if the renewable energy isn’t quite sufficient to rely on totally.

Here at Ability, we have many customers that use both Oil (kerosene) or LPG (Calor gas) to heat their home, office, school or church. So having qualified and experienced Oil and LPG engineers on call for servicing and repairs or installation and maintenance is key for us.

Covering the remote parts of the South East countryside from all around Ashdown Forest near East Grinstead to the beautiful parts of Hever Castle near Penshurst, Tonbidge and Sevenoaks. We can install and service, repair or maintain your oil heating or gas hot water appliances.

LPG-oil-oil heating
Plumbing-Heating-Electrical

Oil heating is popular in those remote villages around us that have larger detached properties with the space and grounds to site or position an oil heating tank.

Electrical immersion heaters and boiler are common in our industry and we have a good qualified electrician to carry out installation, repairs, servicing and maintenance for electrical appliances too.

For some smaller properties LPG bottles are suitable, however Calor do offer a free quotation to install a Calor LPG bulk tank at your property and this can be buried below ground or situated ground level.

So for your LPG or Oil needs, oil heating, gas cooking or electrical hot water, here at Ability we can help you. Installation, Servicing, Repairs or Maintainance, give us a call today.

LEAD WATER PIPES-WE SUGGEST YOU CHECK FOR LEAD IN PIPES

WATER SAFE-WE SUGGEST YOU CHECK FOR LEAD PIPES  AND LEAD WATER PIPES

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.

Lead water pipes-lead pipes
Images of water pipes

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.

Lead water pipes-lead pipes
Diagram of water main layout

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.”

Lead Pipes.

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

How much does it cost to buy a new boiler?

How much does it cost to buy a new boiler?

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.

new boiler
New Boiler

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.

New Boiler

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.

new boiler
New Boiler

At Ability, we aim to match or beat any like for like boiler quotation that you are willing to compare with us, and our quotation. So if you liked our approach and our presentation or quotation was your prefered option, then we would suggest you give us the chance to look at the competitive quotations you have and offer you a better deal for the same work.