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 corse 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 powerflush is carried out with minimal disturbance and disruption to the normal operation of the system, often without disconnecting the boiler or any radiators.

Ideal Boilers Recommended and Installed By Ability

Ability specialises in boiler installation and covers Kent, West and East Sussex.  We install many Ideal Boilers both Combi and System in the Orpington and Bromley area and we recommend these products.

Ideal Boilers were founded in 1906 so have over 100 years’ experience in designing and developing their Ideal Boilers.  All their products are manufactured in the UK.

Ideal Combi Boilers

Ideal Combi Boilers are economical to run as they heat the water as it is used and produces the heating for the home.  They are small so will fit in a cupboard making them perfect for the Petit home. They come with a 7 to 12 years warranty depending on the make and model purchased.  There are several models Ability have used in the Bromley and Orpington area and these include the Logic Max combi and the Vogue Max combi.  These Ideal boilers are light, quick to install and easy to service.  They have digital displays with clear to read pressure gauge.  They also have quality brass filters and frost protection.

Ideal System Boilers

Ideal Boilers also provided system boilers which Ability have installed in the Orpington and Bromley area.  These system boilers are fully pressurised and are filled via the mains cold water.  It then heats the water for the cylinder and heats the central heating system.  A heat pump then circulates the heat round making the radiators hot.  The Logic Max and the Vogue Max system both come with 10 to 12 years warranty.  Ability has found that they are easy to install and service.  They are both light and small enough to fit into a cupboard.

If you are thinking about replacing your boiler and live in the Kent, East and West Sussex area why not give Ability a call on 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com for a free no obligation quotation.

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Gas Safety Check and Certificate

Ability is members on the Gas Safe Register. We carry out gas safety checks for landlords in the Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks (Kent), East Grinstead, East Sussex and West Sussex areas.

A Gas Safety Certificate will be received when a registered engineer installs a gas appliance in your property or when a gas safety check is carried out. It should be received within 28 days of installation.

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The CP12 will contain details of the landlord and of the appliances tested and their results. The engineer will note down any gas safety issues identified that will need attention. The engineer will then sign and date the CP12 certificate.

The most common appliances include gas fires, gas boiler, gas fire water heater, flued cooking ranges and water air heaters. It is important that gas appliances are checked regularly as this will prevent gas leaks and stop carbon monoxide being released. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. Some of the signs of carbon monoxide escaping include increased levels of condensation in the room with the gas appliance, soft yellow flames, sooty stains or discolouration around the appliance and fumes or smoke. A carbon monoxide detector should be fitted as an indicator.

It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that gas safety checks are carried out on an annual basis as they have a duty of care to their tenant. The engineer carrying out the gas safety check must be a member of the Gas Safe Register. Failure to do this could lead to prosecution. A landlord has 30 days to have renewal inspection completed otherwise penalties can be applied and the landlord will then have to complete a new registration form.

If you require a gas safety check (cp12) in the Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex please give Ability a call on 01892 514495 or by email info@ability.uk.com

Boiler Servicing. Ability’s guide to an annual boiler service

What’s best practice for gas boiler servicing? Here, Ability Plumbing Heating and Electrical Engineers outline agreed industry best practice.

The first thing we recommend is to have the manufacturer’s instructions for the boiler to hand, regardless of experience, these are always important.

Does Your Boiler Need a Service?

Please do operate the boiler briefly to ensure it appears to work correctly. We recommend you isolate the boiler/heating system electrically and confirm this with suitable test equipment. When servicing the boiler we always check the fuse rating for the boiler/heating system is correct; most digital appliances will run on a 3amp fuse.

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A serviced happy boiler

We will remove the boiler case and visually inspect the appliance, internally and externally, for any signs of distress, such as corrosion or water leaks, checking all components.

If necessary, Ability will clean the boiler and its components, including the primary heat exchanger, main burner, and the condensate trap, always referring to the manufacturer’s instructions for boiler servicing.

It’s most essential to reinstate the electrical supply safely. Then to carry out a check of the boiler’s gas burner pressure, a gas-rate inspection (taken at the gas meter), or both, where possible, will determine the correct working pressures.

Next, our engineer will visually check the flame picture (where visible) and carry out a flue gas analysis test, this if the boiler is a high-efficiency product or requires this procedure.

It is critical to ensure any combustion analysis test points are correctly replaced, and any boiler case seals are forming an effective seal. Boilers must not run with incorrect seal.

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Three regular serviced boilers

An excellent visual check that any ventilation requirements for the boiler have been met. Sometimes may include taking measurements.

Boiler Servicing

If the appliance is an open flue ability will check the boiler chimney/flue throughout its length, including its point of termination. Carry out flue-flow and spillage tests; this is usually a smoke test.

It’s essential to check that any boiler safety devices operate correctly. Check there is no escape of gas from the boiler or connecting pipework to the boiler.

In the event of any safety defect(s) being noted, Ability will always advise the customer of the details, and either rectify them or act in accordance with the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP) Paperwork will be provided.

Where rectification is not possible, we will discuss with you, the customer if any remedial action is required, and give you all the options to correct the faults, the best way possible.

Finally, we will complete the Benchmark service record, and provide any additional work documentation while on-site or via email if you are not able to be present at the time of works.

Plumbing Throughout the Ages

Ability provides plumbing services in the Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and East Grinstead area. We are skilled specialists in the installation and maintenance of water systems. In order to become a plumber, a license from a trade or vocational school and a background in various aspects of the industry has to be obtained.

The Development of Plumbing Pipework

The Minoan Palace on Crete is the oldest known structure to have sewerage and water pipes. Plumbing goes back to Crete four thousand years ago. The ancient Romans created complexed systems that transported water in and out of cities via aqueducts and bridges.

The pipes were originally made from lead and this is where the name Plumber comes from, the Latin word Plumbum meaning lead.

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Images of water pipes

The Egyptians were the first to use copper piping as a safer and better alternative to lead.

Places like China used hollow bamboo reeds to carry fresh water and natural gas to and from the ancient salt mines.

In 1940 the War Production Board restricted the use of iron steel and copper. This meant that other materials such as cast iron and plastic had to be used in the manufacturing of plumbing materials. The use of lead piping decreased after World War II as people were becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of lead poisoning.

The Plumbing Inventions Of The Bathroom Appliances.

The first flushable toilet was designed in the Elizabethan era and was described in 1596 by Sir John Harington. Toilet paper was not invented until 1857 by an American man, Joseph Getty. In 1870 the first single piece ceramic flush toilet was manufactured and created by Thomas Twyford.

The first bathtub was made in 1883, it was a cast-iron horse trough with four feet added to the bottom and covered in an enamel finish. The creator was an American man called John Michael Kohler.

If you require a plumber in the Kent and West Sussex area please call Ability on 01892 514495 or alternatively email info@ability.uk.com

Water Softener Installation And The Benefits

The benefits of water softener installation in a home, especially in hard water areas can prevent the build-up of limescale in kitchen and bathroom appliances.  This can extend the appliances’ life span.  It is, however, an additional source of revenue and a good way to make plumbing jobs profitable.

The installation will be dependent on where the location of the incoming mains water stopcock is positioned, however it can be fitted in various places throughout the home.  It may be that there is existing cupboard space that will be an ideal place to install the water softener rather than beneath the sink itself.

Water Softener Installation Process

The installation of the water softener will take between three to four hours.  The first step is to turn the water off and drain down the system to complete all necessary pipework.  This enables the water to be turned back on as quickly as possible and minimise disruption.

The bypass set will need to be assembled and tightened before putting it into the correct position.

Alterations to the pipework may need to be carried out to accommodate the bypass set for the water softener.  This pipework will need to be prepared and fitted into place.

Whilst fitting the water softener many customers may choose to have a hard water feed incorporated alongside the bypass set for a drinking water supply.  When these works have been completed the mains can be turned back on.

The water softener unit can now be fitted. 

A hole for the overflow will need to be drilled from the outside in to avoid damage to brickwork and the hose cut down to the right size and fitted.

If the customer has decided to have a hard water feed incorporated alongside the water softener then a three-way tapwill need to replace the standard tap.

If the water softener system is not electric it will not require any further maintenance.  The customer should be advised that one salt block per household, per member, per month, will be required to ensure the water softener works efficiently and this will reduce the use of household products.

Please call Ability if you want to consider having a water softener system in your home.

Boiler Company Vaillant Celebrates 120 Years

Ability take a look at one of the Uk’s leading boiler company and manufacturers brands. This Easter, Vaillant will be celebrating its own iconic bunny as the company marks 120 years of its ‘hare in the egg’ logo.

boiler company

The Founder of the boiler company Vaillant, Johann Vaillant came across the image in a magazine which started it all on Easter Sunday, all the way back in 1899. He discovered a picture of a hare hatching from an egg, surrounded by dwarfs and animals, and this is when the boiler company acquired the copyright for his company’s trademark.

Over the years, the mark has been re-designed six times, adding the Vaillant name and inserting of  a box around the original egg, amongst many other changes. However, crucially it has never lost its central theme of the hare, which came to be known as Johann in honour of the founder, as it varied his name.

Where It All Began-For Vaillant Boiler Company

The hare even starred in its own comic in 1935, where the boiler company journeyed through history, at one point advising a monarch on the benefits of a hot bath, thus keeping the hot water industry piping hot!

The very familiar Vaillant boiler company colours also have their roots in history, drawing inspiration from the black, white and green traditionally incorporated into the exterior design of homes in Vaillant’s native Bergisches Land, Germany.

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New Vaillant System Boiler

Whilst the boiler company design has had many changes and improvements and evolved significantly from the picture which originally caught Johann Vaillant’s attention, the iconic hare and egg have remained throughout, and stood the test of time. The green which represents the origins of Vaillant, shows that the company is very proud of the history and it marks a real mile stone for the boiler company.

please call Ability if you have a Vaillant boiler or want to use a Vaillant.

Noisy Radiators, Sludge, Magnetitie Central Heating Systems

Noisy Radiators?

Bubbling noises from radiators are quite a common issue but dealing with this problem does not necessarily require any specialist technical expertise, and you may be able to stop the annoying noisy and bubbling in a few minutes with the right tools and the right advise, before having to us the experts in.

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Pets Warm at Home

So, if you have a noisy radiator and are hearing gurgling or bubbling noises, the following guidance could help you resolve the problem without calling us, Ability plumbers.

Sludge, Silt and Magnetite

central heating system-bleeding your radiators
Central heating Balancing

Most of the components that make up your central heating system are made from metal, and metal, as you probably already know, will expand and contract as it heats up and cools down. So, it may be that the sounds you hear your central heating make are just being caused by that natural process. Because pipework creaks and groans as it expands and contracts, it can be something that you get used to, but if your central heating is making strange noises, it’s best not to ignore it.

Loud Heating Systems

More serious causes of annoying and loud central heating should be thoroughly investigated and fixed by us at Ability plumbing, with the worst-case scenario being that you have to part with a little bit of money to get it sorted. But here at Ability, we like to give you any help and guidance as well as the right information to fix things for yourself, so this post is designed to help you identify the most common causes of noisy heating systems to help you to solve the problems without having to splash the cash on expensive repair bills. If its something simple and we can help, then we will.

Increase the water pressure

Sometimes, a central heating system needs an extra push to get air out of radiators. Make sure your circulation pumps are on, turn up the water pressure to around two bars, and then bleed the radiator again.

Check the pumping system

Is your pump working correctly? Is the vent on the pump’s suction side? Is your pump speed right or is it too high If the gurgling stops when you turn your pump off, then you may have isolated the problem – repairing it, however, could be a trickier task.

As always, do not attempt to repair your boiler or central heating system if you are unsure of what to do. If a repair involves taking a gas boiler cover off, then it is too complicated for a layperson and you need to get in touch with us here at Ability and we will send an engineer.

Bleed the radiators

A noisy radiator is likely to have air trapped inside it. An easy way to diagnose this problem is to feel the radiator when it is turned on – if it is hot at the bottom but cold at the top, then it needs bleeding.

It might seem obvious but bleeding your radiators could be all it takes to expel this air, stop the radiator noise and allow you to enjoy a near-silent central heating system once more. You simply need a radiator key to let the air out.

If you find yourself bleeding your radiators more regularly than you think is usual, then there is probably a leak in your central heating and plumbing system somewhere. You could add some anti-corrosion inhibitors into the central heating system when the leak has been repaired to ensure the problem does not repeat itself. To find out more about cleaning your radiators, please visit our Website or call us here at Ability.

Does your Central Heating need a Power Flush?

Does your Central Heating need a Power Flush? We know that 80% of central heating systems require a power flush. We can now test your water in the radiators or boiler to determine the content and what will need to be done.

ABOUT THE PROBLEM

When our customers are experiencing poor circulation in their homes, such as ineffective radiators, it could be caused by hydrogen in radiators, and so it is essential to accurately identify the cause of the issue to resolve it properly. This guide can help you to conduct checks which will lead to an accurate diagnosis of the circulation problem.

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The Ability Family

Identifying the Issue

  • Check if the boiler is operating correctly. Check the pressure of the burner. Does it remain alight?
  • Take a sample of radiator water. Examine it for suspended solids or discolouration which can indicate corrosion.
    • If there is a reddish tinge to the water, it indicates that iron oxide is present, suggesting active corrosion. The system may be drawing in air.
    • If there are black particles present in the water, these are most likely to be magnetite. As this is the final stage of corrosion, large deposits can be expected within the system.
    • If the water is clear water, it suggests that the system is free from active corrosion, but does not eliminate the possibility that corrosion has occurred in the past. It is possible that the circulation rate is not enough to keep debris in suspension. In this instance, you should check that the cold feed is not blocked.

Central Heating Cleaning and Power Flush Tips

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Some of our registered bodies
  • If you are dealing with an open system, check the feed and expansion cistern. Is it clean, with no signs of pumping over or sucking-in through the open vent?
  • Check the pump. Is it correctly orientated and performing satisfactorily? Open all radiator valves, and, if necessary, vent the radiators. Note if the problem appears to be localised or general.
  • See if increasing the speed of the pump improves circulation. It is highly important to identify if there any radiators which fail to heat at all. If this is the case, it indicates that the system is blocked. Check all valves for free operation. If none are sticking, they are not the cause of the blockage. If you have established this, draw a sample of water from a cold radiator to check for sludge build up.
  • Do the system radiators need frequent venting? If gas is accumulating in one or more radiators, it is important to determine whether the gas is hydrogen sulphide, hydrogen or air.

Cheapest Plumber? Local Cheap boiler Repair?

It’s not always a great idea to look for the cheapest plumber. When you’re looking for a local cheap boiler repair, be careful who you call.

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Domestic hot water tank

The are some rouge plumbers out there. We always advise you look for a well established, reputable and fully qualified plumber.

We all like a bargain in life. Where we can save on cost, we will, however, this should not be at the compromise of quality. So do be careful when you see an advert for the cheapest plumber or a local cheap boiler repair.

Gas Safe to stay with Capita.

The Health and Safety Executive has announced that Capita Plc will continue to operate the Gas Safe Register, the official register of engineers licensed to undertake gas work, until March 2024.

local cheap boiler-cheap boiler repair
Wireless temperature heating

As the preferred bidder determined by a public procurement process, Capita Gas Registration and Ancillary Services (CGRAS) – a division of Capita Plc – will deliver the five-year contract starting 1 April 2019. The renewed contract is expected to be worth £93 million over the five-year term.

Having operated the Register since 2009, CGRAS will continue its provision of the service, but with several enhancements. As part of the new contract, it will deliver a new digital platform, providing an electronic register, enhanced contact centre, website and mobile application. It will also increase inspections of gas installations and drive broader consumer awareness about gas safety.

Philip White, HSE’s Director of Regulation, says: “The bid from Capita / CGRAS was the strongest on cost and quality and we are confident they will continue to raise the standards of gas safety and provide a gas safe home for everyone.”

HSE said that in addition to the strength of Capita’s bid for the next concession, it felt assured by the way CGRAS had managed GSR services over the last nine years.

So don’t always call the cheapest plumber first. Be wary of the local cheap boiler repair. Call Ability and our team will endeavour to help. With a clear transparent and upfront cost, no hidden charges and reasonable cost. We are not your cheapest plumber or a company offering a local cheap boiler repair, but we will give you the best price and the service you deserve.