Just like any fine piece of engineering, you need to service a boiler, so it can maintain optimum performance and remain safe to use.
As handyman professionals, at Bob’s, we know that servicing is not just carried out when an issue arises with your boiler. Servicing is a preventative measure to reduce the chances of something going wrong in the future.
Certain boiler components are prone to wear and tear and just like anything over time become dirty. This can cause reductions in efficiency, overall performance and even result in safety issues.
Maintaining your boiler can also help catch minor issues early on, before they develop into a much bigger problem, helping you to keep your boiler in operation for longer.
Many of the leading boiler brands now offer a very long 10-year warranty. This means that they will offer to diagnose any issues should they arise within that period.
But did you know having a regular boiler service is one of the main requirements to ensure your warranty remains valid? Without one, you may be throwing your warranty away.
So, How Often Should You Service Your Boiler?
Typically, your first boiler servicing should be carried out 12 months after they installed it in your home, but always check your boiler manufacturers terms and conditions. It requires this to keep your warranty valid. From then on, annual servicing is the usual route.
Keeping your warranty valid should not be your main concern though. A well-serviced boiler is also essential to ensure it is safe to use. Gas leaks can arise and when they do need to be fixed, hence why it is so important to have a qualified Gas Safe engineer carry out an annual check on your boiler.
This is also why it is essential to have a carbon monoxide detector installed, as it can detect dangerous CO leaks and sound and alarm.
If, for some reason, you miss your service, it is might not be too late to save your warranty. It is certainly worth contacting your boiler manufacturer’s customer service department as they may offer some flexibility and a path to keep your warranty valid.
What Does a Boiler Service Involve?
If you are looking to book your first boiler service, you are probably wondering what is included as part of the process? Here we detail some main parts of a typical boiler service.
Inspection of the Boiler
The very first thing a registered Gas Safe engineer will do is carry out a visual inspection of the boiler and surrounding pipework. The engineer will check for any cracks or obvious signs of damage.
Next, the engineer tests the boiler controls, ensuring that they are all in proper working order. They will then take off the boiler’s external case to look inside, again checking for any signs of damage.
You must never remove the boiler’s case yourself. The boiler should only ever be tampered with by a qualified and registered Gas Safe engineer.
Inspection of the Flue & Pressure
Once the boiler itself has been checked thoroughly and determined as safe, they will next check the other fundamentals of a safe and optimally performing boiler.
According to valve & piping experts, the heating system’s pressure is fundamental to it functioning correctly and an incorrect pressure may indicate a leak or hole somewhere in the pipework.
Since a boiler produces heats via combustion i.e. by burning natural gas, an inherent consequence of this is the production of hot and toxic exhaust fumes. The flues purpose is to contain and direct these fumes out of the property.
Therefore, the engineer will be checking that the flue isn’t damaged or blocked, they will also check the combination of gas and air the boiler is burning, it’s burning too much gas you may be overpaying on your heating bill.
Cleaning Essential Components
Dirt naturally builds up over time and it can impact the function of key components, for example disrupting the connections between electrodes and diodes.
Therefore, a key part of the servicing process is a thorough clean of the major internal boiler components including the heat exchanger, combustion chamber, electrodes, and the condensate siphon.
Inspection of the Expansion Vessel
One of the main functions of an oil boiler is to heat water, however, water expands when heated, so can result in an accumulation of excess pressure. This is the purpose of the expansion vessel; it provides a place for the excess water to be stored.
However, over time, air can be lost from the storage chamber and instead become replaced with water. Many vessels have a drainage valve, where excess water can easily be drained. Engineers will take care of this as part of standard service and if necessary, add pressure into the chamber using an air pump.
Final Safety Checks and Paperwork Completion
Once the engineer has completed a thorough inspection, he will restart the boiler and check for any signs of issues e.g. error codes on the interface or suspicious noises.
Once finished, the engineer should complete any paperwork before they leave, this is usually an essential part of meeting the requirements of your boiler manufacturers warranty and without it, it will not be valid.
If your boiler is old and is no longer covered by a warranty, you may want to consider getting a new one installed (grants for new boilers are available). It may cost you less in the long run, since modern A-rated boilers are much more efficient, and a brand-new warranty will help you avoid any expensive repair costs.
This is also an ideal time to ask any questions you may have about your heating.
And there you have it; your annual service is complete and should keep your boiler in good working order until next year and should anything occur you will be covered by your warranty.
For help, the handyman team is expanding to areas outside Greater London. We are now covering the following NWK areas: