Powerflushing The Benefits To Your System

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance in West Kent, East, and West Sussex. Powerflushing is a popular method of cleaning and maintaining a central heating system. A Kamco machine is used to send high pressured water through the system to dislodge and remove debris, limescale and sludge build-up.

Over time sludge and debris build up in the central heating system and tend to gather in radiators, pipework and heat exchangers. This sludge is a mixture of dust, dirt, and rust in the water. When debris is left radiators can become cold, valves can become damaged and if left untreated could result in a boiler breakdown.

Powerflushing will allow the debris to be removed and heat dispensed evenly throughout the system. Household bills will be reduced due to the increased efficiency of the central heating system. Also by keeping the system clean the lifespan of the boiler will hopefully be increased. However, homeowners should be made aware that once highly corroded areas have been treated this can sometimes result in leaks on the system that will need to be repaired.

Powerflushing machine

After the first stage of the powerflushing has been completed a high-quality inhibitor should be pumped through the system. This will remove any existing iron oxide or calcium deposits that could be left in the system. After around 10-15 minutes a test should be carried out to make sure all deposits have been removed. If, not the process should be repeated.

Many boiler manufacturers now make the warranty dependant on keeping the system clean in line with the Compliance Guide to Part L of the UK Building Regulations

Should you feel your central heating system would benefit from powerflushing call Ability on 01892 514495 or email info@ability.uk.com for a free no-obligation quotation. Our engineers will be happy to do an assessment and identify any high sludged and corroded areas within the central heating system.

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

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.

Burner

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

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

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

Bringing The Right Plumbing or Heating Engineer Into Your Home

Contacting a plumbing or heating engineer to repair leaking or burst pipes, service your boiler or gas fire in your home or office is a necessary exercise, and choosing the right company needn’t be costly. Make sure that you are hiring the right company, like Ability, for the job.

Hiring a plumber requires plenty of trust, after all, you’re allowing a complete stranger to enter your home.

Ability, a plumbing and heating company based in the heart of Kent, offers a checklist of the most important factors that all plumbers should comply to

1. Certification

It is extremely important to hire an accredited and registered plumber and heating engineer, even better if the plumber is registered with CIPHE or the heating engineer with Gas Safe, these are just two of the many governing bodies we are registered with here at Ability. Many people claim to be plumbers, but are in fact ‘jacks of all trades’ or ‘handymen’.

Avoid them where possible because they may not possess the quality workmanship, experience and knowledge or skills needed to comply with the plumbing standards issued by CIPE and Gas Safe and may also be uninsured.  More often than not, people who use uncertified plumbers are left with larger and more costly messes after the so-called ‘plumber’ has left. We see this time and time again, it gives the industry a bad name and pains us.

When hiring a CIPHE registered plumbing company, or Gas Safe engineer you can feel confident that they possess the skills and expertise to deal with any plumbing or heating problem you may encounter, be it major or minor. Also, only CIPHE registered plumbers and Gas Safe engineers are authorised to sign and release a certificate of compliance, which is needed when a house is sold, or as a guarantee of a plumbing and heating job done well.

2. Work Experience

Work experience is important in all careers, and it’s equally important in plumbing and heating. Most plumbers should have at least ten years’ of plumbing experience, with additional knowledge and experience in construction and renovations. Here at Ability, our plumbers and heating engineers have over 15 years’ experience each and the company being established now for 40 years this year, our knowledge of the industry is second to none.

3. A Business Bank Account

It’s very important for a plumbing company to have a registered business bank account. Not only is it professional, but it also makes you feel more confident that you’re dealing with a legitimately registered business and not a ‘fly-by-night’ who might disappear with your deposit without starting (or finishing) the job.

Rather spend your hard-earned cash on hiring a CIPHE registered plumber and gas engineer who has a registered business that can be tracked. Our bank details are available on our invoice and quotations and upon request when calling us up by telephone.

4. Well-maintained vehicles with visible branding

All our vehicles are clean, well-maintained and branded with our company logo.  We believe that the vehicles our plumbers and heating engineers drive are an extension of who we are and reflects the pride we have in our work and business.

Plumbing repair the sink waste

5. Neat and clean presentation

Hiring a plumber or heating engineer requires plenty of trust, after all, you’re allowing a complete stranger to enter your home. It is important to us that we make a good first impression and all our employees will always look neat and presentable.

6. Able To Do Physical Labour

It is necessary for plumbers and heating engineers to maintain their ideal fitness levels, as they are often required to exert themselves physically. They climb into small and tight spaces, lift themselves over walls, and lift heavy objects and equipment. Plumbers and heating engineers who are unfit could possibly struggle to perform their tasks optimally.

7. Punctuality

Our plumbers and heating engineers take pride in themselves, our business and work is always punctual. Being punctual is associated with a positive work attitude, which our plumbing and heating engineers pride themselves on, they can be relied upon to get the job done on the time agreed. A plumber who is late reflects a disinterest in customer service and in performing to the best of their abilities.

8. Communication skills

It’s important for our plumbers and heating engineers to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. This includes the manner and tone in which they communicate with customers and their colleagues.  Hiring a plumber or heating engineer that shouts over the phone, is unapproachable and disrespectful will more than likely result in a poor relationship. Trustworthy plumbers and heating engineers are normally polite, approachable and easily contacted.

9. Reachability

Don’t hire plumbers and heating engineers who are difficult to reach and who doesn’t answer your calls, emails or WhatsApp messages. Although plumbers and heating engineers have families of their own and are also tired in the evenings after a long and hard day at work, it’s reassuring to hire a plumber or heating engineer who cares about their work and customers enough to take the time to discuss matters with them and who will also respond in the case of an emergency.

10. Willingness To Correct Problems

Even qualified and experienced plumbers and heating engineers can make mistakes under pressure. If you notice what appears to be a mistake in your plumber’s or heating engineer’s work and you discuss it with them, they should be willing to fix the mistake or be willing to take time to explain why it appears to be a mistake, but actually isn’t one.  If there is a problem with the job we always return and we guarantee our work.

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.

Power Flush and Magnetic filters

Power Flush and Magnetic filters work in helping the efficiency of your heating system. Here at Ability, we look at the idea behind these devices. Once a magnetic filter is installed, the idea is that corrosion within a sealed wet central-heating system produces sludge – which can block up boiler heat-exchangers, pumps and radiators – and that because this sludge is ferrous in its nature  (in that, it sometimes results from iron or steel corrosion), it can be trapped by a powerful magnet and this is what the filter does. Our team recently carried out tests on systems in Orpington, Kent and East Grinstead in West Sussex.

This theory is very much true. But sludge can also result from the corrosion of copper, zinc or aluminium components as well as existing debris or chemicals. This is nonferrous, and will not be caught by a magnet. So this is why a power flush is recommended.

Ideally, your central-heating system should not contain any sludge anyway, because it should be dosed with corrosion inhibitor from the beginning after its installation unless of course, it is an old system that was installed before the introduction of these chemicals and procedures or a previous installer did not correctly carry out the work. We have come across this in the last 3 months in Crowborough Near East Sussex and Dunton Green in Sevenoaks Kent.

This is easy to do, but some heating engineers do not routinely install inhibitor or even check for its presence, preferring to sell magnetic filters to their customers instead. This is why adult Ability we always carry inhibitors and regularly introduce them into your system.

This is of a concern to us at Ability, because we know that some boiler manufacturers, when called out on warranty visits to your home or claims, will sometimes carry out testing to the system water for inhibitor, and they may decide that if the inhibitor concentration is not adequate, then this invalidates your  warranty on the boiler. At Ability, we are sure to see that this is not the case for you, our customer.

Power Flush

The central heating Power Flush procedure is completed by one of our Heating Engineers connecting our special Power flush machine to your central heating system

The Power flush machine pumps high velocity/low-pressure water around the system to remove loose debris from the system causing blockages and restricting flow.

The introduction of high strength chemicals further aids the Power flush process, dislodging and removing dirt, rust and harmful corrosive deposits from the system.

Each radiator is then isolated and flushed individually to ensure the system is left completely clean and blockage free allowing your system to run smoothly.

The whole process of the power flush is carried out with minimal disturbance and disruption to the normal operation of the system, often without disconnecting the boiler or any radiators.

New Electric Showers And What To Consider

When choosing a new electric shower, you need to consider whether it’s readily available and whether it has a good warranty. This gives assurance that if the shower was to go wrong a good aftercare package is in place.

When installing a new electric shower you must take into account the kilowatt of the shower currently in situ.  If the intention is to replace a 9.5kW electric shower with a 10.8k the MCB current rating must be checked.  The relevant wiring regulations must be adhered to and the circuit must be able to cope with the higher load as this could lead to overheating.

New electric showers should never be sealed to the wall as they need ventilation around the side and back of the shower module.  Without adequate ventilation, the module is likely to overheat or be prone to condensation which will cause damage to the internal components.  The water and electric supplies that come in from behind the unit must be sealed.

In accordance with the current wiring regulations, a new electric shower installation must have a 30 mA Residual Current Device incorporated into the electrical supply. A separate permanently connected

Typically, a minimum pressure of between 0.7 and 1 bar is required for new electric shower.  For a gravity pumped shower the minimum head required would be between 0.008 to a maximum of 1 bar.  This allows for running pressure.

New Complete Bathroom Install

If a replacement electric shower is being fitted it is recommended that a 30MA RCD is installed if it is not already in place.

On average a 10-minute shower will cost around 30p however, this is, of course, dependent on your electrical supplier.

Please call Ability on 01892 514495 if you require a shower installation.