Repairing condemned boilers in Bromley and south east London is virtually always possible so except in really rare cases,
they don't have to be replaced. The term sounds rather ominous, but it's not the end of the world. In essence, it means there is something that makes the situation
potentially unsafe and because of that, the heating engineer that checked or worked on the system, has turned it off. It doesn't necessarily mean your house is about to
explode, or somebody escaped a certain death. What it does mean, is that your safety can not be guaranteed.
There is a wide variety of reasons for condemning a boiler, but the bottom line is always that it is not safe to use, at the moment of the test. This is virtually identical to a car failing the MOT. It can be something silly as a one pound light bulb that needs replacing, right down to the structural integrity of the car being completely shot. More common, is something like a worn tyre or thin brake pads or disks. It can be dangerous, and should not be used until new brakes have been fitted, but there is no reason to scrap the car. The same goes for your central heating.
Cons and rip offs with condemned boilers
If you live in Bromley or south east London and you have a problem like this just call:
The most common reasons for condemning boilers in Bromley that I have repaired after that were:
There are still a large number of open flued boilers in this area, and those need adequate amounts of air for combustion as well as cooling. Insufficient cooling is considered unsafe, and over cautious engineers have been known to to disable systems for this reason. Obviously, this is a typical case where you don't need to fork out thousands for a new one. Simply increasing the air flow is all you need to do.
When a boiler produces too much carbon monoxide, it can be considered potentially dangerous. The Unsafe Situations Procedure dictates that it should be turned off until the problem is solved. Excess Carbon Monoxide can be caused by a number of reasons, and most are easy to fix.
Undersized gas supplies.
When the inlet pressure on any gas appliance falls below a certain value, the USP also dictates it should be turned off. All it takes is to replace the gas pipe, or sometimes only a part of it, with a larger bore. Again, no need whatsoever for a new boiler.
When the boiler has been connected with too few or too small screws, it may become unstable and in danger of falling off the wall. This is obviously dangerous, but anyone can see it is not a reason to renew it. Removing and remounting with larger plugs and screws is all that is needed. This must be done by a registered gas installer; it is certainly not a diy job, even though it seems simple.
Boiler flue problems.
Flue damage due to a variety of reasons is a very common cause of the boiler becoming unsafe. In most cases, the remedial work is very simple if you know how to do it. Mechanical damage is often seen on lower level terminals. Chemical damage from acidic flue gasses, and corrosion are also not unheard off. Seals perishing or getting dislodged, are also common occurrences.
Cracked joints and failing valves are just two of the many reasons that are found for gas leaks. For obvious reasons, these faults can not be left as they are, and often the the gasmeter needs to be disconnected until the repairs are done. Quite often, this can be done relatively fast, after which all is fine.
Lack of servicing.
Neglected central heating systems can develop a range of faults that make them unsafe. Some of the more common symptoms of lack of boiler servicing are dirty burners, blocked heat exchangers, and clogged up lint filters. Each of these can lead to the carbon monoxide rates exceeding permitted levels, which means compulsory shut down until remedied.
An obvious reason for condemning a boiler, is when it needs a safety device repair. A worn out thermocouple is something that happens a lot. Even thought it is quick and
inexpensive to solve, it can render the boiler too dangerous to use if it is not functioning properly, and it would be capped and labelled until the part is replaced.
Condemned boilers show up in in all types of houses in Bromley.
Home owners now find themselves in a peculiar situation. You have a maintenance contract or a boiler insurance, and in stead of the company sending somebody to repair it when it has packed up, they send somebody to turn it off when it was working perfectly. And what is more, the repair is usually not covered under you boiler insurance or maintenance contract, so they leave you without heating. It is not surprising that more and more people say goodbye to the big (and expensive) national companies, and find themselves a good local heating engineer.
Why are there so many more condemned boilers in Bromley now, then there used to be?
The number one reason without a doubt, is that the Government have recently tightened up the safety criteria. Leaving out the jargon, what used to be considered as "not quite what it should be, but it will do" has been changed to: "not acceptable".
The result of this is that many people who had their boiler serviced or checked every year on a contract, always had it approved year after year. Engineers working for companies like BG or what people still call the gas board, now have no choice but to condemn the boiler, even if it has worked fine for 20 years.
There are other reasons why you can suddenly find the boiler that has always been fine has now suddenly been labelled dangerous. deterioration of the casing of the boiler, or the flue not being sealed properly any more are also common. Usually, this can be repaired safely. Sometimes, this is not possible any more unfortunately. Whether or not condemned boilers can be repaired, depends on the situation. The only way to find out is for the heating engineer to inspect and test that particular boiler. Although there are defects that are more common in Bromley, and others that occur more in other areas like Kent or Surrey due to the different styles of building, there is no way to predict what the reason was for turning the appliance off. This means that it is impossible to give you an estimate of the cost over the phone, let alone a quote.
In the majority of cases it will be clear what the best line of action is. Usually it is a modest amount of work that will get everything back to working perfectly. When it turns out the system can't be fixed because the boiler is so old that the parts that are needed can't be found any more (rare but it does happen) it is also an easy decision.
The real challenge comes when the parts are still available, but extremely expensive, and a large amount of money for a lot of labour on top of that. This is a situation
where the engineer can't really advice you. He could tell you what he would do, but it is your house, your money, and therefore it should be your decision what happens when
your boiler is condemned.
You may want to bookmark this page for future use when somebody gives you the old spiel starting with the sharp intake of breath, followed by: "Ooooohh, sorry guv, but you need a new one". When that happens and you want it to be made safe again in stead of spending over a thousand pounds on a new one that you don't need, call ....
The important thing to do, if you are one of the hundreds of people with a condemned boiler in Bromley, is to call this number before
you waste hundreds if not thousands of pounds on a new install that you don't need. Contrary to a lot of companies that promise the world, but actually deliver a lot less,
I put my money where my mouth is. If I come out and can not find the problem, I do not charge. It's here in black and white: no billing for failure.
If all this is too technical or too complicated for you to really get all the finer details, don't worry, and just remember one thing. Of all the condemned boilers in Bromley and south east London this year alone, 90% do/did NOT have to be replaced.
Typical example of a corroded flue leading to a condemned boiler that can easily be repaired.
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