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News, Tips and Advice

Boiler Servicing - What is it and why...

Think of a  service as an MOT for your Boiler. It helps to make sure that your boiler is running correctly, safely and highlights any issues that could turn into problems later.
A proper boiler service has eight steps:
1. A visual inspection which checks that the boiler, the way that it is installed and its position all comply with the current regulations. These include Gas regulations, Water regulations, Building regulations and the manufacturer's instructions amongst others.
2. An operational check. We'll turn on the boiler, check it's firing correctly and responding to the controls and identify any obvious faults. If you have had problems with the boiler then this would be a good time to let us know. We'll also carry out certain safety checks such as testing for gas tightness and carrying out a combustion analysis
3. Internal inspection. We'll then remove the boiler casing and look for any damage to the main components of the boiler, the burner, the heat exchanger, the ignition, the fan, the gas valve, the pump (if its a combi or system boiler)  and the seals. We'll also check the internal pipework for signs of leaks and check the condensate drain. This also gives us a chance to see if any of the electrical components are showing signs of overheating. We'll then give the inside a good clean out to remove any dirt and debris that may cause problems in the future (including dead spiders!!)
4. Flue inspection. This involves checking the flue joints and the flue terminal for any problems. This is crucial to make sure that the re are no issues with Carbon Monoxide.
5. Reassemble the boiler and re-test the operation and the gas tightness.
6. If any of the tests show a fault or a problem that is likely to become a problem we will let you know the cost of repairs. We only use the manufacturer's recommended parts obtained from reputable merchants.
7. The service will take between half an hour and an hour depending on the manufacturer's requirements, the combustion analysis and the accesibility of the boiler.
8. We will then provide you with a service report ( We use electronic reports so we can either email you or print and post a copy). This report should be kept in a safe place for your records. If your boiler is still under warranty then the manufacturer will require evidence that regular servicing has been carried out before they will make any repairs.

Once we've serviced your boiler we'll put you on our database and send you a reminder for the next time.

Homeowners Gas Safety Checks

Ok, you have your boiler serviced regularly,. But what about the other gas appliances that you have in your home. A cooker, a hob or a gas fire. How do you know that these are safe to use?

We can carry out a Gas safety Inspection on all the appliances in your home.

For a gas safety check essential safety checks are done to make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use. These checks include
Checking the flue or chimney to make sure the products of combustion ( fumes) are being safely removed to outside.
Checking there is an adequate supply of fresh air so the gas burns properly.
Checking the appliance is burning gas properly.
Checking all safety devices are working and shutting off if a fault occurs.
If there are any problems with an appliance we can discuss how serious it is with you and agree any parts or remedial work that is required. We will also provide you with a gas safety record sheet to file.

Unvented Cylinder Servicing


Unvented cylinders must be serviced on an annual basis. The water in your cylinder is hot and under pressure, two things that are fine if controlled but not happy if it goes wrong. Have a look at this video. There are seven safety devices on your unvented cylinder and this is what could happen if they go wrong...better not to risk it ..


Gas safety inspections

If you�re a landlord then the annual gas safety check is probably just one of those things that annoy you, shelling out good money for another piece of paper to comply with another bit of �health and safety gone mad!!� every year. So why not look around for the cheapest possible price (and I�ve seen guys advertising CP12s on the internet for �30)�but hang on a minute.

I remember reading that Neil Armstrong said that his last thought during the countdown of the Apollo launch that was about to take him to the moon was that he was sitting in a tin box on one million gallons of fuel and that this whole thing had been built by the contractor that had tendered the lowest possible price. He wanted to get off but then the countdown finished, the engines started and all he could do was sit tight close his eyes and hope�..
Now a gas safety inspection may not seem in the same league as space travel but we are talking about lives. Not just your tenants but your own as well. Get something wrong and you could be looking at a fine or even a charge of manslaughter!

A gas safety inspection is not just having a quick look around to see if everything looks ok, there are a lot of tests that must be carried out to ensure that the appliance is safe:  flue gas analysis, working and standing pressure tests, checking the safety devices, checking that the flue is doing its job as well as several others along with checking that no new regulations have come into force that need to be addressed (see flues in voids)

About 30 people die every year in the UK through poorly installed or badly maintained gas appliances and flues resulting in deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
Residential landlords or their agents are responsible for the safety of tenants and the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 enforced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). They deal with the duties of landlords to ensure that gas installations, appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe.

Severe penalties for non-compliance can be imposed and deaths could result in manslaughter charges for landlords and agents. Non-compliance is a criminal offence and courts can impose unlimited fines and custodial sentences. This may also invalidate your property insurance and could subsequently lead to claims for civil damages - awards in these cases have proved to be very high indeed.

At Zap Services we are experts in Gas Safety inspections. The records we give you are your proof of due diligence should anything go wrong. Our booking system provides evidence of all attempts made to gain access to your rented property if you have awkward or forgetful tenants. We can provide advice and help in all cases BUT we will always carry out the inspection properly. If an appliance is not safe we will shut it down for your tenants safety and for your own protection ( and ours�.if we get something wrong  we could be charged with manslaughter too..)

We�ve costed everything out very carefully and believe that the price we charge reflects the care that has to be taken in doing the job and acquiring the knowledge that�s needed

So with all this hanging over you are you sure you want to give the job to the cheapest guy you can find online�..c�mon, it�s not exactly rocket science.

Flues in voids

If your boiler is situated away from the outside wall of your house or flat you need to read this�

Some properties have been built with boiler flues which cannot be inspected because they are hidden behind walls, ceilings or boxing. The boiler flues that this information relates to are connected to room-sealed fan assisted boilers. If you live in one of these homes then please read on for more information so you know what to do.
As Gas Safe registered engineers we need to be able to see the flue − which take fumes away from the boiler − as part of essential safety checks whenever the boiler is worked on. A flue in poor condition, combined with a boiler that is not working properly, could put you and your family in danger from carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause death or serious injury.

If your boiler is situated on an outside wall, it is unlikely you have this type of flue. Alternatively, if we can see all of the flue, you will not need to take any further action in relation to this matter.

If you do have a boiler where all, or part of, the flue cannot be seen, you, or your landlord, will need to arrange for inspection hatches to be fitted. This does not mean that your flue system is suddenly unsafe. As long as the boiler passes a series of safety checks − including having audible carbon monoxide alarms fitted − it can be used normally for the time being.

Carbon monoxide alarms are not an alternative to being able to see the flue and you will still need to have inspection hatches fitted. You have until 31 December 2012 for this work to be completed. It is recommended that inspection hatches are fitted as soon as you are able to do so. From 1 January 2013, any Gas Safe registered engineer will turn the boiler off, with your permission and formally advise you not to use it until inspection hatches have been fitted in appropriate places.

Although most of the affected boiler and flue systems are relatively new (installed since 2000), the risk of faults leading to the release of carbon monoxide increases as the system gets older, especially if it is not serviced regularly. It is important that you have your gas appliances serviced annually.

Zap Services supply and fit inspection panels that comply with building regulations so call us now to arrange a free survey.
Follow this link for more advice  


Dealing with frozen condensate pipes: Check out our video here

Filling a combi boiler: Check it out here

Venting a radiator: here