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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to assist
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help.
Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance throughout the South East of England. Purchasing the right boiler is quite an investment and when considering to upgrade it is important that you find the best one that works for you.
Right boiler System Boilers
System boilers directly heat the central heating system taking water from the mains and heating it through a storage cylinder. They could be the right boiler for you if you have a property with two or more bathrooms and showers. System boilers deliver great water flow even if the water is being run from more than one place at a time.
System boilers do require a tank so if you think this is the right boiler for you there must be space within the house to accommodate it. If your property has poor incoming water pressure then a System boiler will not rectify this and a pump or mains boost tanks may also need to be installed.
Combi boilers are a compact unit that provides both heating and hot water. It may be the right boiler for you if your home lacks space to house a hot water cylinder and a cold water tank in the loft. The combi works by heating water straight from the mains when a hot water tap is turned on.
Combi boilers may not be the right boiler for you if you have poor incoming water pressure. Unlike with other systems, you will no longer have a separate immersion heater to provide hot water as back up if your combi does go wrong.
Back boilers were traditionally placed within the chimney of a property and would have a gas fire attached to the front of it. It provides heating and hot water throughout the property.
Although back boilers are still being used they are being frequently replaced with combi boilers. Back boilers are more expensive to run and let off more toxins than the combi boiler and this should be considered when deciding if the Back boiler is the right boiler for you.
If you would like a free no-obligation quotation or a service on your boiler whether it be gas, oil or lpg please give Ability a call on 01892 514495 or email email@example.com
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 ofevents 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 boilermanufacturers 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.
Looking for an engineer to undertake gas work? It’s tempting
to pick the first name on the list – but you might want to investigate further
before you do.
Gas Safe registration is a legal requirement for anyone carrying out gas work, but there are many different types of gas work a business may offer. All engineers need to hold a ‘core’ element to their qualifications – once they have this they can then add in any additional types of work they wish to offer.
For more information on the different categories that engineers will hold to carry out work on certain appliances and a glossary of terms commonly used to refer to gas work, you can consult Gas Safe who are the best to be your guide.
Not sure about the qualifications or right company for you? Domestic
work categories Commercial work categories
If you’re unsure what would be classified as domestic and commercial work then Gas Safe gives the definitions below, that may help…
Gas Safe Domestic
Relates to those gas appliances that are designed for use in a domestic property, as well as gas pipework up to 35mm in diameter, again in a domestic property.
Note: There may be instances in larger domestic properties where non-domestic appliances and larger pipework maybe required. In these cases, appropriate non-domestic work categories may be necessary.
Gas Safe Commercial
In the context of work categories and competence, this refers to the size of pipework, appliance type/gas consumption in addition to the property type. However, the property type is not the sole criteria. For example, a ‘domestic’ gas boiler installed in a church may in certain circumstances still be considered a ‘domestic’ appliance regardless of being installed in a ‘non- domestic’ property.
Often appropriate competence can only be determined on a
case by case basis. If in doubt, contact us to check.
Here at Ability, we hold qualifications in both Domestic and Commercial. Commercial catering as well as mobile catering. We hold certification in LPG and have many years of experience as well as a vast knowledge of the industry. So don’t hesitate to call when it’s gas safety you need.
Ability provides Heating, Plumbing and Electrical assistance, for a free no-obligation quotation please call 01892 514495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
With the colder weather approaching and the nights drawing in, we will start to put the heating on. Why go home to a cold house, when with the Hive Home Heating control, you can put the heating on in readiness of your return home.
The Hive Home heating system is a small wall-mounted device which communicates to a sensor placed on the boiler. It allows you to turn your heating on and off or alter the temperature of the thermostat from your smartphone wherever you are.
The Advantages of The Hive Home Heating Control
Always go home to a warm home
If you forget to turn the heating off you can do this from your smartphone
Savings on your energy bills
You are able to set up to 6-time slots to fit around your daily routine and can easily change them using the Hive app.
The Hive thermostat with geolocation will know when you have left the house and if you have left the heating on it will send an alert text so you can turn the heating off. It will also enable you to set a timer to turn it back on when you are due home.
The Hive Home works with the majority of the UK gas and LPG central heating systems.
There is no hard wiring required as it is battery operated unlike the Nest
The Hive Home is not compatible with storage heaters or individual plug-in electric room heaters. Although it works with most heating systems an engineer would need to come and check your specific boiler.
Ability has engineers who work on both Gas and Oil systems. The engineers are Gas Safe and Oftec registered and are more than qualified to confirm whether the Hive Home would be compatible with your heating system.
Ability covers most of the South East in particular, Kent, East and West Sussex so if you would like a free no-obligation quotation please call 01892 514495 or email email@example.com
Abilityplumbing, heating and AGA engineers cover a wide area of the South East from Maidstone to Orpington and Bromley in Kent to Crowborough and East Grinstead in East and West Sussex.
The AGA cooker was invented in 1922 by a Swedish physicist, Gustaf Dalen. He was forced to stay at home after losing his sight in an explosion and saw how his wife struggled with the cooking. He then decided to invent a new way of cooking which has since been the heart of many homes for decades.
AGA cookers are made from cast iron which retains heat and transfers it from the core to the oven and hot plates. They are available in 2,3,4 and 5 oven models, with a boiling and simmering plate. It will not only warm the kitchen but can be used to heat the whole house.
AGA in the past has been slated for using large amounts of energy and being bad for the environment. However, developments to accommodate our change in lifestyle mean they are now much more environmentally friendly. AGAs have thermostatic controls and cook using radiant heat which is gentle on food and locks in moisture, flavour and goodness.
AGA has to adhere to the latest environmental standards and is subject to rigorous controls. Advances in their technology now mean that they have, switch on/off hotplates to reduce running costs. Their latest models ‘Total Control‘ and ‘City60’ have independently controllable ovens meaning they can be turned off when not needed.
The AGA is also almost entirely recyclable.
Here at Ability we can install, service or repair your AGA. We have qualified and experienced engineers trained especially in the maintenance of this classic, quality appliance. If you would like assistance, please call us on 01892 514495 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
We have been carrying out an assessment of the new and available digital room thermostatic controls here at Ability.
Traditional thermostats are pretty much a fumble to use. It feels like it takes a million button presses to set or program anything and forget adjusting the temperature if you’re not at home or in the correct room. If you’d rather adjust your thermostat from your phone, with your voice, or if that isn’t futuristic enough, let it adjust itself automatically, you’ll want a smart thermostat like one of these new models that we have on offer here at Ability.
Google Thermostatic Control
Google’s Nest is the biggest name in smart thermostats, and with good reason. Originally designed by Tony Fadell, the father of the iPod, the Nest series use a click-wheel interface for turning the temperature up and down that feels incredibly intuitive. The Nest’s biggest feature, though, is its ability to learn your habits and adapt its temperature schedule accordingly, negating the need for you to futz with it.
Nest Thermostatic Control
The Nest Learning Thermostat is probably what you think of when you picture the Nest, but it isn’t actually my top recommendation for most people. The Nest Thermostat E, in our opinion, is a better buy. It’s cheaper but contains almost all the same features, and its clean white housing is more likely to blend into the walls of your home.
The Nest Thermostat E’s display isn’t quite as nice, but that’s a small downside considering the savings. It does, however, lack compatibility with some HVAC systems – so check Nest’s compatibility tool to see if it’ll work with your home, and keep in mind that if you don’t have a C-Wire, it may not be advisable to use the Nest at all (even though it will technically work). You can read more about C-wires on-line.
Honeywell Thermostatic Control
If you’re on a stricter budget, the Honeywell T5+ gets you the most important smart features in a great package. It’s not exactly “cheap”, and it isn’t as attractive as the other options on this list, but it’ll get the job done, you can control it from your phone or with your voice using Alexa and Google, and use its geofencing features to automate energy savings when you aren’t home.
But that discount has to cut corners somewhere: it doesn’t integrate with SmartThings, doesn’t support room sensors, and doesn’t learn your habits the way Nest does, but if you want basic smart home integration at a more affordable price, the T5+ will do the job.
Canadian company ecobee is the other big name in the smart thermostat space, and their latest offering is known simply as the ecobee SmartThermostat. It has a decidedly more techy look, with a black touch screen that’s easy to navigate and adjust, along with sensors for different rooms just like the T9. the ecobee sensors are slightly less powerful as the T9’s, since they don’t detect humidity, but they’re still quite useful. Like other thermostats, you can control it from your phone, set schedules, and automate energy savings when you leave the house. You can check compatibility with your home’s HVAC system here.
If your not sure which thermostatic control is for you then please give us a call here at Ability 01892 514495 and we can discuss the best option for your needs.