APHC Pledges it’s support for Gas Safety Week

The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) pledges its support for Gas Safety Week (15-21 September), now in its fourth year. John Thompson, APHC CEO, is highlighting potential measures which could improve safety and reduce cases of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The fourth annual Gas Safety Week will see the whole industry coming together to bring gas safety to the forefront of people’s minds. Dangerous gas work can kill, so it is vital that gas appliances are safety checked at least once a year. If left unchecked, poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In the last year alone, 343 people were injured and 10 people died as a result of gas related incidents.

John Thompson, Chief Executive at APHC said, “APHC is proposing some solutions to reduce incidents of faulty gas appliances and fatalities. A primary measure would be a mandatory annual MOT style check-up to make sure appliances are properly maintained, with potential faults detected prior to them becoming a silent killer.

“Secondly, it should be a mandatory requirement to have a CO detector installed when replacing a boiler in England and Wales. This requirement is already in place for solid fuels, and we recommend for it to be extended to cover all fuel types. These measures should also apply to all types of combustion appliances to reduce dangers to consumers across the board.

“APHC, along with other leading industry colleagues and led by Plumb Center, are lobbying for CO detectors to become mandatory wherever a carbon-burning appliance is installed. You can join the petition at www.no-to-co.co.uk. Only around 15% of UK homes have CO alarms, yet every year over 4,000 people are admitted to hospital with CO poisoning”.

Installers can get involved with Gas Safe week and help spread the message of Gas Safety; you can help by reminding customers that to stay gas safe they should:

Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home.

Get your gas appliances safety checked at least once a year and serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Check the front and back of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card, making sure they are qualified to do the specific type of gas work you require.

Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm which will alert you if dangerous levels are present in your home.

Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctly, such as lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.

People can also sign up to a free reminder service at www.StayGasSafe.co.uk where they can also see how many and what type of unsafe gas appliance has been found near to them on an interactive UK map.


Why is a gas safety check important?

gas-safeEvery landlord has to provide a Gas safety certificate to their tenants by law annually. At Allserve Heating & Plumbing, we perform these gas safety checks for hundreds of landlords and letting agents every year. Gas safety Inspections are essential to make sure that all gas appliances within a property are safe and conform to national safety standards. If a landlord does not comply with this requirement, and a fault leads to death from carbon monoxide poisoning through a faulty appliance, the landlord can be charged with manslaughter. Failure to produce a safety certificate (CP 12) can result in prosecution, a fine, invalidation of property insurance and even in extreme cases, loss of life.

A landlord’s gas safety certificate must be given to a tenant within 28 days of issue, and the tenant should keep their copy for two years from the date of testing.

Gas safety inspections consist of the checking of the following appliances:

  • Gas fired boilers
  • Central heating systems
  • Gas fires
  • Cookers
  • Ovens

Our engineers are Gas Safe registered and fully qualified in working on gas appliances

Allserve engineers will attend your property and fully test of the appliances using the latest technology. Our instruments can detect even minor fluctuations in carbon monoxide levels so that you can be sure your property is safe.

As part of your gas safety check, our engineers will test the following:

  • gas safety checkCheck for gas leaks on your central heating system
  • Perform a ‘tightness test’ on your gas meter to make sure there are no leaks
  • Check Co2 (carbon monoxide) levels on your boiler flue
  • Check that your flue location is correct and conforms to British Standards
  • Check your gas hob location and clearances conform to British Standards
  • Make sure your gas hob and/or oven is functioning correctly
  • Check your gas fire to make sure it is lighting properly and that there are no leaks
  • Check your chimney with a ‘smoke test’ to make sure there is adequate ventilation for your gas fire
  • Check to make sure the space around your boiler is properly ventilated
  • Check the working pressures on your system

Upon successful completion of the gas safety check, you will be provided with a complete and professional certificate containing the property address, engineer’s name, gas safe number and details of the inspection. This will be sent to you via email or in the post immediately providing that there are no issues that need to be remedied. If there are any problems, we will endeavour to correct these immediately, either whilst on site or by arrangement.

email us at info@ahpltd.com or call us on 01923 254173 to arrange a gas safety check or to arrange remedial works on a failed gas appliance.


Should I use drain cleaner in my blocked sink?

Drain cleanerIf you have a blocked sink or toilet, it is always tempting to go to your local shop, pick out the most powerful drain cleaner you can find, and throw it down the affected plug hole.

This is extremely risky and can be dangerous. Firstly, powerful drain cleaners are made of sulphuric acid and can actually destroy the drain itself. We often find waste systems warped and with holes because the customer decided to use an acid based drain cleaner.

Secondly, the fumes given off by these drain cleaners are extremely powerful and harmful. Chemicals like sulphuric acid react with other chemical such as bleach and bathroom cleaner. Mixing them can create a chemical reaction that can kill. If you have a blocked sink, you should immediately call a plumber who will be able to explore the problem and safely remedy the situation. Do not take unnecessary risks. Contact us today to fix the problem safely and quickly.


Do I need a combination boiler?

which-boilerThis completely depends on your needs. Just like buying a car, it is a personal choice that greatly depends on your usage, the size of your property, and your individual needs.

Below is a list of requirements that might help you make a more informed choice. If you still can’t make up your mind, one of our gas safe registered installers is on hand to help you. Simply call us on 01923 254173 or email us.

Requirements Type of boiler
Do you need to heat a loft conversion or small space? Combination Boiler
Do you live in a property that has little or no loft space? Combination Boiler
Do you have poor mains pressure? Regular boiler or system boiler
Does your house have more than 2 bathrooms? Regular boiler or system boiler
Do you want instantaneous hot water without waiting times? Combination Boiler
Do you live in a very large property with 3+ floors? Regular boiler or system boiler
Do you simply want to upgrade your current system? Regular, system or combination boiler

If you would like more information on Combination boilers and/or information on how to choose the right boiler for you. Please contact us and we will be happy to explore the different options with you.


What is a combination boiler?

A Combination BoilerA combination boiler differs from a standard boiler in that it heats the water (directly from the main supply) that goes to your hot water outlets only when they are turned on, thus saving energy and money.

A standard hot water system uses several elements that a mains fed system does not, such as a cold water storage cistern and a hot water cylinder. In a traditional system, the boiler heats a coil within the cylinder, which then in turn, heats the water around it inside the cylinder. This water is then stored for use and reheated when it drops below a certain temperature.

A combination boiler does not need any of these things. The water is heated as it passes through the boiler and goes directly to your hot water outlets. This can be excellent for smaller properties where a large supply of constant hot water is not required. There is also the benefit of mains pressure water, which you would not get from a traditional system unless you used a shower pump. There can however also be disadvantages to this type of system depending on the size of the property and the amount of people using the hot water.

If you would like to know more about which boiler would be best for your property, contact Allserve Heating & Plumbing.


What is a condensing boiler?

imageA condensing boiler is a boiler that re-uses its waste heat that is produced when burning fuel (latent heat) to heat the cold water before it enters the boiler. Using this type of energy recycling, condensing boilers are far more efficient than their predecessors, the non-condensing boilers.

The reason for the name “condensing” is that as the water leaves the boiler through the flue is starts off as water vapour. The vapour then travels upwards along the flue until it cools and drips back down the flue into a condense trap. This waste water then leaves the boiler into a drain via a condense pipe.

Whereas older non-condensing boilers have a flue that projects at a downward angle, condensing boilers project slightly upwards so the water re-enters the boiler.

All new boilers are condensing to keep inline with SEDBUK (Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK) which states that a boiler should operate at 90% efficiency or above. Previously, non-condensing boilers were operating at around 70-80% efficiency.

If you would like to speak to Allserve Heating & Plumbing about upgrading to a condensing boiler or have a question, please call us on 01923 254173 or email us.


How do I know if I have a carbon monoxide leak?

Carbon-Monoxide-DetectorDo I have a carbon monoxide leak?

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It has no taste or smell and is invisible, which makes it incredibly difficult to detect by your natural senses alone.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are a little like flu. This makes most people suffering with carbon monoxide poisoning think they have just caught a bug and they often don’t seek help.

Carbon monoxide is everywhere. It is expelled from you car exhaust, your boiler, your refrigerator and your gas fire just for starters. These fumes are usually harmlessly expelled by adequate ventilation, and dispersal systems such as chimneys and the flue on your boiler. However, when these malfunction fumes can escape into your home and have potentially fatal results.

The symptoms

If you start to experience flu-like symptoms that come and go or worsen at different times of the day, call us on 01923 254173 to come and inspect your home immediately. We would also recommend installing a CO detector in your home as a matter of course.


Welcome to the Allserve knowledge base

boilerWelcome to the Allserve Heating & Plumbing knowledge base. In here we post articles that will guide you through the sometimes confusing world of plumbing, heating and gas. We will be posting articles on how to know if you have a carbon monoxide leak, the difference between a combination boiler and a standard boiler and many more things you will need to know.

Please feel free to call us on 01923 254173 or email info@ahpltd.com If you would like to submit an article and we will include it in the archives.