Water Heater, Should it Be Turned Off When Going On Holiday?

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance throughout West Kent, East And West Sussex. Providing repairs and installations of water heater, oil, and gas boilers.

We always assume when going on vacation it’s more cost-effective to turn water heaters off but this is not always the case in the long run. Dependant of age, efficiency and how long it will be shut off for are all factors that must be considered. An older water heater is likely to go wrong if turned off for a long period of time. The change in temperature from hot to cold can lead to leaks or component failure.

Water Heater Tonbridge
Water Heater fitted in Tonbridge

A relatively new water heater is unlikely to go wrong if turned off for a week or two however, some models do have a vacation mode. This turns the temperature down and just keeps it ticking over.

The only disadvantage of this is that hot water in the tank whilst above 108F kills any bacteria that may be lying around in the tank. As soon as the water is cooled the bacteria will multiply at an alarming rate. Warm water is the ideal environment for bacteria such as legionella to breed. The most important thing to remember that if the water heater is turned off or down, it must not be used until the water has heated back up to a high temperature for several hours. Hot water needs to be run through the pipes to flush any harmful bacteria away.

There are a few simple things that can save money throughout the year when using a water heater includes; adding an insulation jacket if your water heater is older and insulating any exposed pipework with inexpensive foam lagging. This will actually make a larger saving through the year than turning your water heater off when going on holiday.

Please contact Ability for a free no-obligation quotation if you would like a water heater installed by telephone on 01892 514495 for alternatively by email info@ability.uk.com

Plumbers Warn Clean Hacks Could Cost Consumers Money

Ability provides plumbing, heating, and electrical services in the Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Crowborough, and East Grinstead and surrounding areas. Keeping bathrooms, kitchens, and appliances clean can help with the durability however care always needs to be taken that cleaning hacks or products won’t do more harm than good.

Fast Local Plumbers and Reliable Heating Engineers in Tonbridge

A mum recently went viral after sharing a simple trick for keeping her toilet clean and smelling fresh, but experts are warning against it

If you love keeping up with all the latest cleaning tips and tricks, you might recently have seen one doing the rounds involving toilets.

A mum went viral on Facebook after sharing her “little secret” for making her toilet look fresh and smell clean every time someone flushed it.

The woman explained in the group, Mums Who Clean, that she’d been using this trick for the last 14 years.

She wrote: “[Put] Dishwashing liquid in the toilet tank compartment and every flush is fresh clean smelly bubbles and toilet always looks clean.”

Many people thought it was a great idea and vowed to try it for themselves, while others weren’t so sure about it.

If you were wondering whether or not to give it a go, it seems an expert now has the answer for you.

Daniel our plumber explained why you shouldn’t try it at home

We have advised people against using products that were not designed for use in a toilet system.

He said: “Ability plumbers advise that it’s safest to use cleaning products specifically designed for flush toilets. People living outside built-up areas who use septic tanks should ensure the product used is compatible with septic systems.”

He added that customers should always think about the environment when choosing cleaning products.

If you’re now looking for a more eco-friendly way to make your toilet crystal clean, you might want to consider using a pumice stone.

A woman recently posted in the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook group to say she’d purchased a pumice stone from her local pharmacy and used it to remove grime from the toilet bowl.

She explained: “Since moving into my new house a year and half ago the toilets in the house have always annoyed me.

“I’m guessing the people before didn’t clean the toilets much! I had tried everything, scrubbing, bleach. So for months, I’ve had those loo things that coloured the water, but I could still see it.

If you would like a free quotation please call 01892514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

Government Carbon Emissions Target To Eliminate Boilers

Ability provides heating, plumbing, and electrical assistance in Kent and East and West Sussex. As always we are interested in Government development on cutting carbon emissions.

plumber,tunbridge,wells,gas,engineers
Border sign between Langton and tunbridge Wells

Tunbridge Wells one of our primary sites for work, officially known as Royal Tunbridge Wells, it’s one of a few towns and boroughs in England to officially be given a royal title. It came from King Edward VII in 1909, partly to commemorate the fact that his mother, Queen Victoria, had loved the town so much. Tunbridge Wells has a direct train line to London and with idyllic countryside not far from the town, along with attractions such as the Pantiles, it is no surprise that increasingly people wish to live here.

New property developments are expanding the population of Tunbridge Wells and of course, when purchasing a property the new Government regulations on carbon emissions should be considered.

Government regulators for Gas in the UK plan to replace or upgrade all household boilers by 2050. With the Government pledging to decrease UK emissions by 80 percent by 205 drastic change has to be made.

Currently, only 5% of homes are heated using a low carbon source. As from 2025 all-new builds will need to be supplied by a low carbon source as all gas boilers and gas appliances will be banned in a bit to significantly reduce carbon emissions created from residential dwellings.

plumbing heating and electrical-plumbing heating and electrical engineers
Smart Technology

The Government has come up with many ideas on how to reduce carbon emissions. The front runner is for all households to be fuelled by electricity. Hot water and heat will be pumped through pipes via an electrical pump. Storage heaters could be used rather than radiators however, this would be very costly for homeowners to implement.

Another option is for current gas boilers to be upgraded and adapted to run on decarbonised gas to lower carbon emissions rather than natural gas.

For a free no-obligation quotation for heating, plumbing or electrical works please call 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com

Safety Checks Commonly Identify An Electrical Fault

Ability provides electrical, heating and plumbing assistance in the Kent, East and West Sussex Areas and prides ourselves on providing a good quality of service. We are finding increasingly that customers have electrical faults on appliances within their homes and are unaware of the dangers if these are not addressed.

Electrical Assistance

Nationwide gas engineers have found over 25,000 unsafe electrical faults during their calls. With the increasing number of electrical products that are used, homeowners need to look out for signs of wear and tear to ensure their homes remain safe. It has been stated that every household has at least one faulty electrical appliance or gadget within their home and alarmingly many would continue to use it.

Some of the common causes of electrical faults are poor wiring or defective electrical wires, cracked insulation, overheated wiring and damaged electrical appliances.

Extension cords should not be used as a permanent substitute for an additional power socket and power points should not be situated near a water source.

Although, when asked homeowners are actively worried about electrical safety within their homes many of these faults found had previously been undetected. These electrical faults were found by engineers when carrying out gas safety checks and electrical inspections however there are a huge amount of homeowners that would not think to have one of these carried out meaning faults could remain undetected.

One way of detecting an electrical fault is by using a smart meter, it will identify any changes in energy usage in the household. Faulty appliances commonly turn on and off or use more electricity than usual.

If you think you may have an electrical fault or would like gas or electrical inspection carried out please call Ability on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com and we would be more than happy to help.

Hydrogen Boiler, Revealed By Worcester Bosch

Ability, are Worcester Bosch gold accredited installers. We were very excited to hear that they have revealed their new hydrogen boiler.

Gas central heating boilers highly contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases. In order for the government targets of net-zero carbon emissions to be met in 2050, the heating industry has been waiting for technological advances in boilers. Up until now removing carbon has proved difficult. With the suggestion of the UK using electricity as a substitute for gas.

Worcester Bosch was originally founded in 1962 and since then it has strived to manufacture products of the highest quality. They are committed to developing new products in the aid to combat climate change and the hydrogen boiler is a testament to that.

The boiler runs solely on hydrogen alone which means that the only by-product is water and which makes it a carbon-free fuel source.

The hydrogen boiler will mean that homeowners will not have to replace their whole heating system as previously suggested but only the boiler itself. Saving the UK household millions

The research team at Worcester Bosch has spent the past three years trying to find a feasible solution to decarbonising UK heating and the hydrogen boiler does just that.

Worcester Bosch is at the forefront of this new technology and will set a president for many more to follow. As opposed to natural gas, when hydrogen combusts all it makes is water, meaning carbon is not released into the atmosphere. It can also be manufactured with very few greenhouse gas emissions by electrolysing water using renewable energy. Finally, the heating industry has a solution!

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance covering Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Bromley and Orpington, Crowborough, East Grinstead, Paddock Wood, and all surrounding areas. If you would like a free no-obligation quotation please call 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.

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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