Boiler servicing is as important as having the boiler installed correctly but are you actually getting a boiler service? With the increasing warranty lengths on boilers and servicing being a stipulation to uphold your warranty you want to know that it is been doing correctly, In a worse case scenario you could end up with the warranty voided and having to pay for an expensive repair.
So how do you know if you getting a boiler service? Well firstly there is a misconception by many people, some of whom are gas safe engineers there selves, to what a boiler service actually compromises of. Firstly there is something called a Safety Check which when complete you will get a CP12 form, this will solely check the safety of the gas boiler or appliance. A gas safety check MUST be done by a landlord every 12 months by law to prove the safety or the appliance(s) and identify any faults. This will compromise of a visual check, a burner pressure or gas rate, a combustion check (if possible), visual and testing of the flue/chimney (if required), that ventilation is correct (if required) and safe operation of the safety devices. It does not require that the gas pipework is tested for tightness, why this is I don’t know, I have raised the issue many times with Gas Safe, although we do carry this out many don’t, I would stress that if you are having a gas safety check that you stress the gas pipework is tested for tightness. The above IS Not a boiler service and is just a basic check to prove the appliance is safe. To compare it to something your are more familiar with is a car MOT (safety check) and a car service (service) one is a check to see if it’s roadworthy (safe) and one delves into making sure it’s in good health, running how it should and replacement of parts at certain times. Firstly a boiler service will vary depending on the manufacturer but consists of the same fundamentals. The engineer should always follow the manufacturers instructions on how to service it, have a copy of your manual ready for him when he arrives. Some manufacturers will ask that seals or parts are replaced at certain times depending on the age or condition of the boiler, some will ask that the heat exchanger is cleaned annually where as some will say only clean it if certain checks show that it should be cleaned. The engineer will inform you if seals or parts are required, this is where it pays off to find an engineer you trust and use him annually, he will then know the history of the boiler and can let you know prior to the next service if anything extra is needed. Whereas the above points will differ there are some things that won’t. The expansion vessel should be check every service and primed if the pressure has dropped (A flat vessel is one of the main causes of problems in boilers) the condensate trap should be removed and cleaned, if you have a filter fitted this should be checked and cleaned, the burner should be checked and cleaned, electrodes and ionisation probes should be checked and cleaned if needed, insulation pads should be checked, seals and gaskets will be checked, system pressure will be checked, as well this you will also get the checks that are part of the safety check above done. There is one addition that has been added recently due to a change in British Standards and that is too include a check of the heating system water to show that inhibitor is present and at the correct level, manufacturers will be checking this under warranty calls and it may void your warranty if not correct. Also as I stated above with the safety check it may not include a gas tightness test so make sure you ask for this to be done, some engineers will do it as standard but some won’t so make sure you know what you are getting. Once completed you will get a service sheet stating what has been done and if there are any issues, they should also fill the service sheet in, in the back of the manual, the manufacturer will want to see this if you place a warranty call. Lastly always ask for the engineers Gas Safe card and check his credentials, if in doubt you can check them out on the Gas Safe Register website, you can also find local engineers on here if you don’t have one.