Safety Gas isolation valve for your gas appliance

Any home appliance that uses natural gas or liquid propane (LP) gas carries a potential fire hazard. Water heaters, furnaces, space heaters, stoves, ovens, and cooker ranges can all be powered by gas, so it’s a good idea to know where the gas isolation valve is located on any of these appliances. Shutting off the gas to the stove yourself is safe only if the gas odour is faint and is clearly coming from the area of the cooker or oven.

If You Smell Gas

If a gas smell permeates the entire house, or you detect a strong smell when you walk inside your home, locate the gas isolation valve and isolate the supply at the gas meter open all windows and leave the house immediately and call 0800111999 from your mobile or a neighbour’s house or from another phone well away from your house.

gas isolation valve

Gas isolation valve

If the gas smell in your home is very strong, it is best to leave the house immediately and let the utility company (SGN) come in and check out the problem. Understanding the danger of gas leaks, SGN make this emergency inspection quickly and for free, using special sensing equipment to pinpoint the leak. The danger of explosion is very real in a house where the gas smell has filled one or more rooms, and so you should leave immediately.

If the odour of gas is faint and is contained in a small area, you can shut off the gas yourself before calling the utility or SGN. In many instances, the location of the gas smell will give you a strong hint about what appliance is malfunctioning or where the bad connection is located. If you smell gas in the kitchen, for example, it’s quite likely that the problem lies with the stove, cooker or range oven. When the smell of gas is localised in this way, it is usually safe to act quickly to turn off the gas supply to the appliance itself, but always use your best judgment, and err on the side of safety.

Instructions for safety in gas isolation valve

Use the gas isolation valve at the gas meter or connected to the appliance’s flexible supply line to turn off the gas. Building regulations now require the gas isolation valve to be located within two meters of the appliance and in the same room, so if you find an improper situation, it is a good idea to have a service person install a proper gas isolation valve. Isolation valves for standard (freestanding) gas stoves or ranges typically are located behind the appliance.

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

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

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

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.

LPG-oil-oil heating
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