The most common cons to do with boiler and central heating repairs in southeast London
and Bromley apply irrespective of whether you have a combi, or a
system boiler with a tank and a cylinder.
It also makes no difference whether it is a fairly new high-efficiency model (also known as a condensing boiler, or incorrectly: condenser) or a floor-standing open flue model.
Although these various boiler repairs have significant differences, the scam stays the same because the "central heating engineer" just tries to baffle you with science. If you live in southeast London or Bromley and doubt whether if somebody is trying to con you, call me for an alternative and keep your boiler.
The most common con these days is a very old one; you've heard
a variation of it.
Plumber: "Let's have a look at that boiler of yours."
When you show him the failing heating appliance, he has a look. Turns a few screws, takes something off, and turns around. He has a worried expression on his face.
Next is the sharp intake of breath followed by the dreaded: "Ooooh, that's a bad one mate; lucky I'm here." Followed by "the such and such is broken, and the whachamacallit is leaking. I'm afraid you can't get them for this model. Obsolete now. You're looking at replacement."
Although some boilers have indeed parts that are obsolete, it is quite rare. If we leave out the very old ones, and old for a boiler is 20 to 30 years or sometimes more, there are precious few with spares problems.
More than 99% of the boilers that are currently in use, still have all the parts available; in other words: the chances that you really need a new boiler for that reason are less than 100 to 1.
It is possible that your boiler is old, suffers from various problems, and rather than to keep repairing, it would be cheaper in the long run to replace it now.
The big difference is: you don't NEED a new boiler, and it is YOUR choice to replace it or have it repaired.
Another quite popular scam is to claim the existing boiler is too
old. Followed by a claim you need a new "approved high-efficiency
boiler" because these are not allowed any more due to CO2 output, carbon footprint, or gas use.
Total nonsense. Any boiler that was approved for use on mains gas (also called sea-gas or natural gas) and properly installed at any point in the past, can legally be repaired as long as the safe working can be assured. No central heating gas appliance has to be replaced simply because it is old or outdated.
Flue Gas Analyser use in southeast London
Some basics about the use of combustion analysers for boiler repairs.
One method of creating work out of thin air, in Bromley as well as in southeast London that is possibly gaining in frequency more than any other, is to condemn the boiler, in stead of repairing it.
A condemned boiler is comparable to a car that failed the MOT. It could be that the car is falling apart at the seams, and really should be scrapped. Far more often it is something like a little hole in the exhaust, a tyre with less than the minimum amount of profile, or something as silly as a duff lamp or not enough water in the wiper reservoir.
A condemned boiler is the same: in itself, it just means that the
boiler does not meet the required standard at that moment.
Sometimes all it needs is a good clean out. Sometimes it is no more than a simple gas safety device that is prone to wear and tear, and therefore has to be replaced periodically.
A very common boiler repair in Bromley is a replacement of the "thermo couple" also known as "flame failure device" or "oxygen depletion device". The problem is found less in southeast London, probably due to the fact that the housing boom has lead more houses turned into flats and the old system was replaced.
As we all know, the exception proves the rule, and it is something that is true for boilers and central heating too. The fact remains however that is far more likely that you can repair the boiler if you choose to do so, provided the boiler is:
1.) Supplied by a bona fide plumbers merchant.
2.) Designed for the U.K. Market.
3.) Installed by a qualified and registered gas-engineer.
4.) Maintained to a reasonable and safe standard.
What is a bona fide plumbers' merchant in this context?
A company that specialises in supplying central heating equipment like boilers, cylinders and sometimes boiler spares to the trade, or at least do this as a significant part of their business. The majority of these will have a shop floor or trade counter where you can go to and see what you get. They do NOT have to be registered to work on gas.
There are companies these days that exclusively or mainly trade by mailorder or internet, which in itself can be a perfectly legitimate way of selling. The problem is that most of us can't afford the time to go there, nor can we usually verify easily who the company is really run by, where they get there stock, and other essential factors. This can be an advantage for criminals to work their scams without being actually seen.
Why does the boiler have to be designed/approved for use in the
U.K., are boilers not the same for all of Europe these days?
The primary reason that a boiler has to be approved for use in the U.K. is that it is a legal requirement. There are also technical reasons like the variation in gas composition in different countries, as well as the pressure under which the gas is used.
What is the importance of the installation by a Registered Gas Installer?
When a boiler is installed by a central heating engineer who was registered at the time of installation, and signed off by him, the installer assumes responsibility for the safety of the installation. This means that the chances that it is all installed correctly are vastly greater than when it is done by "the chap who knows something about it from the pub", or the "Polish plumber". They may be cheap, but very few of them are actually officially registered. This is not something that happens specifically in Bromley or southeast London; it happens all over the country.
What does maintained to a reasonable standard mean?
Boilers operate in an environment of heat, water, electricity, and to complete it, moving parts. They will need repairing more often if they are not adequately cleaned internally, have the settings checked and corrected if needed, and worn, damaged or corroded parts replaced. There is no set time for this, it all depends on the circumstances. Some boiler manufacturers state every year. Some prescribe a test, and if the readings are inside given tolerances, no further action has to be taken. As long as all is done correctly,
boiler and central heating repair does not have to be a headache if you live in southeast London or Bromley
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