I have read in some of the trade press, that apparently "The Industry" is calling for boiler servicing standards, after a recent investigation by Which, Really!, since when have Which been anything to do with the heating industry, this sort of stuff really bugs me, people who know nothing of our industry trying to tell us what we should or should not be doing, also, who is this "The Industry" I don't know of any installers calling for this boiler servicing standard, but its time we as installers are heard.
I want to use this blog to get the opinion of fellow installers and service engineers on what WE, the real industry think should be the standard for boiler servicing, lets have the opinion of the real industry for once, it is time our input is what takes precedence.
I urge everyone to leave comments and suggestions on what they consider the standard of gas boiler servicing should be, hopefully the trade press will pick up on this and maybe even Gas Safe and for once our voice could heard.
I will give my opinion on how I personally see servicing and what i believe should be done, this is obviously just my own personal opinion and I don't expect for one minute that everyone should agree, in fact i'm depending on it, as installers and service engineers it is important that WE discuss these matters and that our opinions are listened too.
Firstly I don't think there can be a standardised servicing regime, as we have different boilers that require a different approach, I am also basing this on Gas boilers.
Visual inspection of the installation and visual inspection of the flue termination and in my opinion on completion of service, vent all radiators to clear any trapped air
Open Flue Boilers
In my opinion these boilers need to be stripped and cleaned each year, the fact that they are open means they draw in dirt, dust and lint which can affect performance, I don't see any other ways with these boilers.
Balanced Flue Boilers
Now these boilers, although not quite as bad as open flue boilers, still draw air direct onto the burner, so again the combustion chamber can become dirty quite quickly, so I would think an annual strip down would be the best way.
Modern Condensing Boilers
Now in my opinion this is where things change, these boilers are clean burning, air is drawn in and then pre-mixed before ignition, this method means there is much less chance of debris entering the combustion chamber, now I am influenced by a manufacture whose boilers I installed for many years and followed their servicing regime, with these I believe there is nothing wrong with an annual check with an analyser, if the performance is within tolerable figures compared to manufactures recommendations, then I feel no further action is required, but on every 4th service, burner and condense seals should be changed, along with ignition electrodes, as preventative maintenance obviously with condensing boilers the condense trap must be cleaned each service, if on checking with an analyser the readings are not within tolerable figures then further investigation will be required
Sealed Systems & System Boilers
On all sealed systems it is very important that the pre-charge pressure of the expansion vessel is checked annually and adjusted if required, incorrect expansion vessel pressure causes probably the most boiler problems and systems failing to operate
We have to balance between ensuring the boiler is functioning efficiently and safely, but also have to consider the cost of the service to the homeowner, if they have a new condensing boiler and on first service the engineer is stripping it down I feel this is a bit OTT and really not called for.
Well its now over to you guys, lets have some input and lets get some control back on our industry, these things should be based on what we feel needs to be done, not some pen pusher or a consumer magazine.