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.

Find The Right Boiler For Your Home

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 Boiler

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 Boiler

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 info@ability.uk.com

Gas Safe Check When Looking For A Registered Engineer

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 info@ability.uk.com

The Hive Home Heating System Always Keeping You Warm

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.

Hive Heating Systems

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 info@ability.uk.com

AGA Technological Advances For A Greener Future

Ability plumbing, 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.

AGAs make a wonderful feature in any kitchen

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.

Developments

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

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 info@ability.uk.com.

Combi boilers Manufactured By Worcester Bosch

Combi boilers are the most popular type of boiler in the UK and as Ability is a Gold accredited installer for Worcester Bosch we thought we would share information about them.

Worcester Bosch combi boilers are compatible with all fuel types (gas, oil and lpg) and come with up to a 10-year guarantee. They are smaller in size and more economical than other boiler types

A combi (or combination) boiler is an ingenious space-saving idea, and an increasingly popular choice in UK homes. In fact, combis now account for well over half of all the new domestic boilers installed in Britain every year.

Worcester Bosch offers a full range of Combi Boilers to suit your needs. All of their Greenstar gas and oil boilers have been awarded Which? Best Buy status and come with a 10 year guarantee.

Deciding which boiler will make an efficient and practical fit with your home and lifestyle can be confusing.

If your new boiler is going to be fitted onto your existing system, please consider the cleanliness of your existing pipework and radiators as this could cause damage to your new combi boiler. For more information about system cleanliness, you can view the Worcester Bosch website here.

A combination or ‘combi’ boiler is both a high efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler in a single compact unit. Combi boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn on a tap, so you won’t need a hot water storage cylinder or a cold water storage tank in the roof space.

They are also very cost-effective and energy-efficient as water is heated instantly rather than being heated and then stored in a cylinder. An added benefit is that hot water is delivered at mains pressure, which means that you could get a powerful shower without the need for a separate pump.

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Gas boiler in Cupboard

Compact sizes make combi boilers perfect for smaller properties Ideal where there is little or no loft space No need for a hot water cylinder allows increased living space No cold water storage tank frees up a loft for conversion No risk of loft pipework freezing Less pipework in the home makes installation typically cheaper.

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance throughout the Kent, East and West Sussex Area within the South East.

Want to upgrade your boiler call Ability 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

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.

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.