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

Riello Gas and Oil Burners And Their Functions

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance in Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, East Grinstead, Crowborough, Heathfield, Paddock Wood, and surrounding areas. Riello burners are comprehensive products that we have used on many occasions.

Boiler burners are the functional component of boilers that provide heat by combustion of fossil fuels via a heat exchanger.

Riello Oil burner

An oil burner pumps oil at high pressure from a holding tank through a fuel line. Hot gases travel through the boiler in metal tubes heating them in the process.

A gas burner is a hollow metal disk with holes punctured through its perimeters. The burner produces a controlled flame by mixing gas with an oxidizer which allows ignition and combustion within the boiler.

Boilers should be serviced annually carbon builds up on the burner and over time if not cleaned the damage will become unrepairable and a replacement burner will be needed

Riello was formed in Italy in 1920 they were the first company to adapt domestic light oil burners for use in bakers ovens. They manufacture gas, oil and dual fuel burners for both residential and commercial use from 10kw to 30kw.


Riello is durable, lightweight and compact. They have an integrated electronic control box with interrupted ignition. The burners have an automatic air shutter that eliminates heat loss to provide enhanced efficiency.

One of the advantages of a Riello burner is that it has a selector burner tool that matches the individual boiler requirements. They offer very good aftercare and technical support. They are members of the government Investors In People Scheme. Investment in training and development means technicians are experts in their field and technological innovation is second to none.

If you require assistance with your boiler or would like an upgrade please contact us for a no-obligation quotation on 01892 514495 or email infor@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

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.

Wednesday Mains Water Hammer requires our Plumbers attention

Plumber Tom is off to repair mains water issue

A beautiful Wednesday mornings weather isn’t always a so bright, and its not the case for Mrs Moore in Crowborough East Sussex on this sunny day as she has called to explain the noise from her mains water water when the toilet is flushed is continuous loud vibrating sound. After listening to the sound at the other end of the phone we were able to establish the sound as mains water hammer. Ability Plumbing and Heating have been able to book this in today for our engineer Tom who has confirmed he can attend later this morning. So what is mains water hammer? Well here is a short paragraph below to explain the basics.

Mains Water Hammer

When a pipe is suddenly closed at the outlet (downstream), the mass of water before the closure is still moving, thereby building up high pressure and a resulting shock wave. In domestic plumbing this is experienced as a loud banging resembling a hammering noise. Water hammer can cause pipelines to break if the pressure is high enough. Air traps or stand pipes (open at the top) are sometimes added as dampers to water systems to absorb the potentially damaging forces caused by the moving water.

In hydroelectric generating stations, the water travelling along the tunnel or pipeline may be prevented from entering a turbine by closing a valve. For example, if there is 14 km of tunnel of 7.7 m diameter full of water travelling at 3.75 m/s,[21] that represents approximately 8000 megajoules of kinetic energy that must be arrested. This arresting is frequently achieved by a surge shaft[22] open at the top, into which the water flows. As the water rises up the shaft its kinetic energy is converted into potential energy, which causes the water in the tunnel to decelerate. At some HEP stations,[examples needed] what looks like a water tower is actually one of these devices, known in these cases as a surge drum.

In the home a water hammer may occur when a dishwasher, washing machine or toilet shuts off water flow. The result may be heard as a loud bang, repetitive banging (as the shock wave travels back and forth in the plumbing system), or as some shuddering.

On the other hand, when an upstream valve in a pipe closes, water downstream of the valve attempts to continue flowing creating a vacuum that may cause the pipe to collapse or implode. This problem can be particularly acute if the pipe is on a downhill slope. To prevent this, air and vacuum relief valves or air vents are installed just downstream of the valve to allow air to enter the line to prevent this vacuum from occurring.

Other causes of water hammer are pump failure and check valve slam (due to sudden deceleration, a check valve may slam shut rapidly, depending on the dynamic characteristic of the check valve and the mass of the water between a check valve and tank).

mains water, noisy toilet, cistern,plumbing
Customers toilet cistern with high pressure water main and mains water hammer




Thursdays warm weather means Swimming pool boilers are top of our repair list

As the weather warms up our Gas engineer Tom is busy with repairs to boilers and plumbing repairs today. He is working in the Sevenoaks area first this morning on an outside tap and then he’s off to East Grinstead to look at two boilers and a toilet that’s not flushing.https://www.ability.uk.com/contact/

Max is continuing on a boiler installation in Reigate today and we are happy that all works that’s scheduled is on time and all going to plan. We have Terry on Servicing of Oil boilers. This is all booked around the Tunbridge Wells area so if you need anything looked at we have engineers working in and around all the local areas we cover that are near to you.https://www.ability.uk.com/plumbing-services/

Daniel has gas cookers to repair and install in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks. With plenty of plumbing stock we can be on hand today for all your heating requirements and that brings us to the swimming pool boilers. We looked at two swimming pool boilers this week in Tunbridge Wells and both are now working efficiently and safely and are in use for today and this weekend.

We cover all aspects of repairs, cleaning, maintenance and installation of every type of swimming pool boiler. We have regular customers that we have visited this week, booked for today today and booked in for next week. With the weather like this we can appreciate that you might want to have a new outside tap fitted for the watering of your garden or an existing one serviced or rewashered. We are looking forward to five new installation quotes that have been accepted and two bathroom installations.

Finally we are on hand today or tomorrow to discuss any plumbing needs in any of our local areas so if you require any help at all than please give our office a call.




Old vintage faucet on bathtub decoration in bathroom interior – Light Vintage Filter


Gas Boiler Installation-Commercial work in Sevenoaks

Yesterday two of our heating engineers completed a Keston Heat 55 A rated regular gas boiler installation in a basement which included upgrading the system controls and pipework to meet Part L Building Regulations.  The existing boiler was obsolete and the customer now has an efficient and reliable new gas boiler with easy to read boiler controls.  All gas boiler installations by Ability South UK Ltd are quoted individually and based on a site visit to ensure that  customer requirements are taken into consideration and where appropriate alternative options are given.

Existing obsolete boiler floor standing boiler before it was de-installed from alcove in the basement
Existing obsolete floor standing boiler before it was de-installed from alcove in the basement

The existing old boiler has been removed from alcove in basement
The old boiler has been removed from the alcove in the basement

Keston Heat 55 gas boiler installation complete with magnetic filter in new position in basement
Keston Heat 55 gas boiler installation complete with magnetic filter in new position in basement

New copper pipe work and controls for gas boiler installlation in basement
New copper pipe work and controls for gas boiler installation in basement

New copper pipework for new gas boiler installation where the old boiler was located in the alcove
New copper pipework for new gas boiler installation where the old boiler was located in the alcove





On Call-Deciding on Which Boiler and Start of the Weekend.

Deciding on which boiler

Deciding on which boiler? So as today pulls to a close The Plumbers on call here are off home. All Gas Work Complete, all Central Heating and Gas Fires repaired. So all Customers in Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells are Happy. We have Repaired Boilers, Cookers and Fires this Week and Today We fixed Toilets, Taps and Sinks. The Weekend has Two Engineers on Call and So if your Worcester Bosch Boiler or Ideal Radiators need attention please do not hesitate to call.deciding on which boiler-on call

At Ability, we will continue to grow, in order to provide a professional service to our customers. Customer satisfaction is our priority today and we will endeavour to ensure our work meets the great standards laid down by our peers.

On Call and Learning a bit about boilers

Deciding on which boiler will make an efficient and practical fit for your home and lifestyle can be confusing. The images below show the main system types, how they work, their advantages and what kind of homes they work best in.

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 boiler. For more information about system cleanliness, view our helpful free boiler guide.

boiler repair, on call, gas engineer, fault finding, diagnostic-deciding on which boiler-on call
boiler repair, on call, gas engineer, fault finding, diagnostics

So if you need help deciding on which boiler to have or you would like a visit today, we have someone on call for your needs. At Ability, we pride ourselves on being at the end of the phone for your plumbing requirements 24/7. As a small local family run business, we are small enough to care and big enough to provide you with the service that shines. Call today for your free quotation, were on call to help you with deciding on which boiler to have.