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.

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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

Rental Property Boiler Installation

Ability is a family-owned business that provides heating, plumbing, and electrical services in areas such as Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough, East Grinstead, Paddock Wood, and all surrounding areas. Our engineers are gas safe registered and gold accredited Worcester Bosch installers. We regularly carry out gas safety checks on rental properties.

Plumber replacing bath taps
Boiler Engineer-Repair to gas boiler

Landlords are responsible for the servicing and safety checks on their rental property. There are strict guidelines that they must adhere to and all boilers have to have a minimum of 92% efficiency in accordance with the Boiler Plus legislation.

When boilers are old and start to go wrong they are not always viable for repair. Tenants cannot be left without heating and hot water for long periods of time as this could lead to health implications. There are many makes and models of boilers and going with the cheapest option for a rental property is not always the best option. The Worcester 2000 model from Worcester Bosch offers the same high-quality but without any extras so keeps the costs relatively low. When considering a new boiler it is always important to consider the aftercare. The tenant will also be given the reassurance they have a good quality boiler.

Winter Warmth

A good quality boiler could also increase the interest in the rental property and in the longterm save the landlord money.

Heating companies are always in high demand in the winter months due to boiler breakdowns. When considering to replace a boiler a big saving can be made if the installation is carried out in the summer months. Therefore if a lot of maintenance is needed on the boiler it’s always best to replace the boiler in the summer months before it breaks down completely in the winter especially if you own more than one rental property.

If you would like a free quotation for a boiler installation please do not hesitate to call Ability on 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.

Environmental Change And The Future of Gas Fires

Ability’s engineers are Gas safe Registered and provided the installation and maintenance of gas fires throughout the Kent, East and West Sussex areas.  The Government’s target is to reach 80% reduced emissions by 2050 to help tackle environmental change.  There will be no gas central heating in new builds from 2025.

Gas Fire

With this in mind, it has been suggested that heating our homes will no longer be provided by gas but will be provided by all-electric instead to help the environmental change.  For a household to switch from gas to electric it would cost on average £12,000 as each home would have to replace their boiler, pipes and whole heating system.  The UK would have to spend millions of investment in nuclear reactors and solar energy sources to facilitate this change. Many of us not only heat our homes with gas central heating but also with gas fires and developments need to be made to make them environmentally friendly.

Over the past few years, gas fires have become significantly more environmentally friendly with them producing the same heat but using far less gas.

Currently gas supplies 85% of homes throughout the UK and we have used gas to heat our homes for over 200 years, as a result currently a gas boiler is sold every 15 seconds.  Rather than converting all households to electric to meet the environmental targets, it would be cost-effective to use green gas instead.

Green gas is produced from the breakdown of grass.  Grass regrows so unlike fossil fuels which have become exhausted overtime grass can be replenished.  Gas mills are being developed to mass-produce green gas and it is hoped that eventually enough will be produced to supply the UK.  The focus on environmental change will not only have a positive impact on the future of the planet but also have a positive impact on the reduction of energy bills too.

Ability provides heating, plumbing and electrical assistance please call us on 01892 514495 or email info@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

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

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 that 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

Which Smart Thermostat Is Right For You?

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

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.

Ecobee Thermostatic Control

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.

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.