Boiler and gas safety checks
Hopefully this will help landlords gain an insight into boiler operation and gas safety checks and importantly what to watch for, this should help ensure you get safety and value for money.
1) Advise the tenants to run the CH once a week throughout the year (on a very low heat). Just as they wouldnt expect their car to behave if it had been left standing for 7 months the same applies to boilers
2) A gas safety check (GSC) is NOT a service. We check the installation and landlord's gas appliances. We do not need to open the boiler. The readings for Gas tightness, pressure readings and gas rates (the amount of gas used) are generally taken at the meter. The fancy (and expensive) electronic device is a flue gas analyser which measures the proportions of oxygen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the flue exhaust gasses to ensure safe combustion. A sevice (if within warranty this is required annually) involves cleaning the heat exchanger, replacing seals measuring system ph and adding chemicals etc. - it is designed to ensure the efficient operation of the boiler (a bit like a tune up).
3) Gas Safe engineers do not particularly like GSC on gas fires. To do these properly the fire must be removed from the wall the chimney inspected, the void cleaned and then smoke bombed, the full run of the chimney must be inspected for any smoke escape, including bedrooms, loft and also externally. The fire is then replaced, gas tape used to reseal the closure plate and then spillage testing is carried out followed by pressure test and gas rating - done properly it's an involved process with lots of opportunity for things to not go as planned.
4) Gas hobs - check flame picture, check flame supevision devise (FSD), gas rate at the meter, check pipework to the hob is rigid fix (some rare exemptions) this usually involves removing the electric oven to look
5) Gas cookers, flame picture, check FSD, check oven thermostat, check safety chain or stability bracket, Gas rate, check CO concentrations at start up and while running.
6) I would strongly reccommend fitting a magnetic filter (Magnaclean or equivalent) on the return pipe of your CH system. Radiators are steel and will rust if the ph of the water changes. Adding a chemical such as Sentinel x100 or Fernox F1 will help bring the water ph back to 7 (neutral). The magnetic filter will protect your delicate boiler by hoovering up any magnetic particles and also breaking large sludge bits which may otherwise block you heat exchanger, it also gives you an easy dosing point for chemicals and improves the longevity and efficiency of your boiler and radiators.
I trust that this has been useful
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