Servicing your boiler
13th October 2019

Why is it so important to be Servicing your boiler every year?

Too many people believe that Servicing your boiler can be a waste of time or money. Also many people believe that it is ok to do it every few years. A boiler service may pick up issues with the boiler and also any issues with the gas coming into the property. Furthermore Servicing your boiler can also identify any degradation of the flue or boiler. During a boiler service your gas engineer can also check the boiler for the right mixture of gas and air. They will also check the condition of the seals between the products of combustion and your family. Therefore we suggest booking a boiler service every year by a gas safe registered engineer.

Servicing your boiler

What is involved in Servicing your boiler?

This is one of the most popular questions our customers asks us. A boiler service will involve:

  • Checking for the right air/gas mixture
  • Inspecting the flue for any damage or loose connections
  • Testing the gas coming into the property is correct.
  • Checking the boiler has the correct pressure coming in along with the correct sized pipe from the meter to the boiler.
  • inspecting for leaks.
  • Checking the boiler is burning the correct amount of gas.
  • Testing any safety devices.
  • Inspection of the boiler and flue.
  • Checking of the condition of the appliance including the effectiveness of any seals, gaskets, the cleanliness of heat exchangers etc. and checking for any signs of heat or other distress .

As a result, the boiler service is an essential part of looking after your heating and hot water system in your home. For this reason we ensure your boiler gets the love and attention it deserves.

My Gas engineer was only here for 30 minutes, is this normal?

A basic Boiler service usually takes around 30 minutes. However a full service will take longer. Why not ask your Gas safe registered engineer to find out if your boiler requires a full service.

What is the difference between a full and basic service?

With all condensing boilers there are 2 levels of boiler service. A full service should be completed every 2-5 years (Manufacturer dependent.)

  • A basic boiler service includes all the above checks
  • Full boiler service includes all the same checks as basic service but we also clean out the heat exchanger and burner. As a result we may also replace electrodes and any seals required.

Contact your local gas engineer to find out if your boiler is due a full service. It may help to provide the make and model of the boiler before you book.

What is an Appliance Safety Check?

An appliance safety check at a minimum includes all the tests to ensure the appliance is safe to operate:

  • Testing the air and gas mixture is correct.
  • It is of a type suitable for the room in which it is located.
  • The casing is physically stable and securely fitted
  • There is an adequate and permanent air supply suitable for the appliance type installed.
  • Any flues or chimneys are operating correctly
  • All safety devices function correctly.
carbon monoxide alarm

Do I need to get my boiler servicing done every year?

The answer to this is always yes. Servicing your boiler is a requirement to keep the warranty valid. More importantly boilers have regulators on them and these are mechanical. Mechanical parts often break down and require regular testing and inspection. So if you haven’t had your boiler serviced recently, why not call your local gas safe engineer today?

My gas engineer came and serviced my boiler and a week later it broke down. Why didn’t they pick it up on the service?

You may of noticed in the above boiler servicing list that we dont check the water components. This is because we are not checking the correct operation of any water components. If we were to check all components, we would spend around 2 hours on the service. This would increase the price quite dramatically. Furthermore, a test would still not guarantee the component condition and would not prevent the boiler breaking down.

How long should my boiler last?

A boiler does not have a specific life span and every boiler is different. There are a few items that you can do to prolong the life of your boiler.

  1. Keep your heating system topped up with inhibitor. You cannot over inhibit your heating system but you can under inhibit your heating system.
  2. Getting a power flush on your heating can reduce the amount your boiler has to work and increase its life span.
  3. Installing a magnetic filter installed on the return to the boiler to prevent sludge entering the boiler.
  4. You can also turn your boiler down. Turning your boiler down can be more economical in the short and long term. Setting your boiler to around 3/4 power can prolong the life of your boiler.
  5. Servicing your boiler can pick up on faults before they damage the boiler beyond economical repair.

Consequently we recommend looking after your boiler each year to help reduce unexpected bills. Above all, make sure you give your boiler the love and care it deserves. After all it looks after you 365 days a year.

Gas engineer

Whats the difference between Corgi and Gas Safe?

Corgi was the previous awarding body, which has now closed down. Gas safe took over in 2009 as the awarding body. Any gas engineer that visits your property must be Gas Safe registered. Checking this is as simple as asking to see their gas safe card. Ensure you ask to see the back to check they are qualified to do the work required.

Here at J and S Plumbing and Heating we can help with servicing your boiler . Why not Click here to find out more? If you enjoyed reading it please can you share on your social media so others can enjoy it too?

Gas Safety Week 2019
5th September 2019

Gas safety super heroes

What is Gas safety week?

Gas safety week is a week where gas engineers and gas related businesses try to spread the word about gas safety in the UK. The week is a great opportunity for all involved to increase awareness and improve standards within our industry.

Why do we need a gas safety week?

Gas Safety Week sees organisations from across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning

Does Gas safety week make a difference?

We certainly hope so. The aim of gas safety week is to improve standards and teach consumers the dangers of using non registered engineers, it also highlights the warning signs of dangerous appliances and helps consumers know when something isnt right, which in turn will save lives.

Cooking on gas safety week

What can I do to help spread the word about Gas safety week?

One of the easiest things you can do to spread the word is follow @JASPlumbing on social media and share any posts to spread the word on gas safety. You never know, you could save someones life. Feel free to contact us to find out other great ways to get involved.

So what Can I do to make sure I am gas safe?

By taking care of your gas appliances properly you are taking care of your home and your loved ones. Follow these few simple checks to keep you and your family safe.

  • Check your gas appliances every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Tenants – make sure your landlord arranges this. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at StayGasSafe.co.uk.
  • Look out for friends and relatives. Some people may be unable to arrange their own gas safety check or may be unaware of what they need to do to keep safe. Help your loved ones by ensuring that they have their appliances checked and serviced regularly.
  • Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find or check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
  • Check your engineer is qualified for the type of gas work you need doing e.g. natural gas, domestic boiler. You can find this information on the back of their Gas Safe ID card and on the Gas Safe Register website.
  • Check for warning signs that could indicate your (or others) appliances are not working correctly. Signs may include lazy yellow /orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance, a pilot light that keeps going out and too much condensation in the room.
  • Know the six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm and make sure your friends and relatives have one too. Check they are marked EN50291 and display the British Standards’ Kitemark.

For gas safety advice and to find or check an engineer visit the Gas Safe Register website at GasSafeRegister.co.uk. Alternatively call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500.

test your carbon monoxide alarm this gas safety week

How do I check my gas engineer is qualified?

Check the ID card Only an engineer on the Gas Safe Register should fit, fix or service gas appliances. It is important to check the identity of the gas engineer when they arrive to carry out gas work. All Gas Safe registered engineers carry a Gas Safe ID card; you may prefer to check this card for the person that you care for. All gas work is different, and the back of the ID card tells you if they’re registered for the specific job you need them to do

Gas safe cardGas safe card back

I am a landlord, are the rules different?

Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of their tenants. Landlords must make sure maintenance and annual safety checks on gas appliances are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. 

If you’re a landlord, you are legally obliged to make sure:

  • Gas pipework, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition.
  • All gas appliances and flues provided for tenants’ use have an annual safety check. Your tenants can report you to the HSE if you don’t provide one, so it’s important to remember! You can set a free email and/or text reminder so you don’t forget, visit StayGasSafe.co.uk.
  • A Gas Safety Record is provided to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in.
  • You keep a copy of the Gas Safety Record until two further checks have taken place.
  • Maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • All gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting.

I am a tenant, can I just leave it all to my Landlord?

By taking care of your gas appliances properly you are taking care of your home and your loved ones. Follow these few simple checks to keep you and your family safe.

  • Check your Landlord’s Gas Safety Record. By law, your landlord must keep gas pipework, appliances and flues supplied for you to use in good condition. They must arrange a gas safety check of the appliances and flues every year and give you a record of the check. If your landlord refuses to provide you with one, you can report their details to the HSE: bit.ly/LGSRReport
  • Check any gas appliances you own every year. Your landlordis not responsible for gas appliances that you own, so you should arrange for these to be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at StayGasSafe.co.uk.
  • Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find or check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500, or ask to see their Gas Safe ID card when they arrive.
  • Check your engineer is qualified for the type of gas work you need doing e.g. natural gas, domestic boiler. You can find this information on the back of their Gas Safe ID card and the Gas Safe Register website.
  • Check for warning signs that could indicate your (or others) appliances are not working correctly. Signs may include lazy yellow /orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance, a pilot light that keeps going out and too much condensation in the room.
  • Know the six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm and make sure your friends and relatives have one too. Check they are marked EN50291 and display the British Standards’ Kitemark.

Thank you for taking the time to read our post, if you found it useful, please share on social media, You might save someones life.

Choosing a trade and how to get value for money.
15th August 2019

It can be a daunting task. Choosing a trade person to complete work for you from the initial phone call to the moment they leave. We have broken it down here at J & S Plumbing and Heating.

1.Choosing a trade person.

The first and most important part is to choosing a trade person to quote for the job. Having the wrong trades person quoting can make a job seem impossible. This may put you off getting the work done.

We strongly recommend asking friends/ family for recommendations, if this isn’t possible then check online for a reputable company. You can find lots of business are now on different review websites. We always recommend making sure you get at least 3 quotes for each job. Don’t be afraid of wasting an engineers time. Trades need to put the effort in to win the work. If you do not feel comfortable with any of the trades then keep looking. After all they are in your home, your kingdom.

Calling Your trades Person

2. Asking for quotes.

The biggest complaint we have is that the cheapest person did a bad job. We do not recommend going with the cheapest or the most expensive trades when choosing a trade. Our advice is to write down the jobs required and hand this to the engineer during the quoting process. Now you can then concentrate on the engineer. Key points to look at may be- do they take shoes off/ cover shoes? Do they know what they are talking about? Are you able to communicate with the engineer? is he understanding your vision? will he complete the work how you want it completed?

Remember the key to get a good job done is to stick to specific trades. Multi-trades may be cheaper and faster but will not provide good quality work. A trades person has learnt the ins and outs of their trade. Trades person has spent several years at college learning the trade and knows all the tricks of their trade. A fully qualified trades person will ensure that every part of their job is completed to a high standard.

3. Check the business before choosing.

This is by far the most important part of hiring a trades person. If you have got the trades number from a friend then go to your friends house and see the work. Ask them how comfortable they felt with the trades in the house. Ask about their reliability and tidiness. If you got the number from a directory or online then check online reviews, check a few different websites. If you can not find anything online then ask the trades for testimonials from previous customers.

The job is for a large amount of money then you may want to hire the business for a small job first. Maybe a boiler service or a kitchen tap change etc. This will help you judge the workmanship, reliability and tidiness of the trades person. Check any awarding bodies like Gas Safe, Oftec, Ciphe, Federation of Masterbuilders, NICEIC etc when choosing a trade. If it is a large job then we also recommend asking for their insurance documents.

choosing a trade Oftec registered business

4. Choosing a trade person

The next step is to confirm that you want to hire the trades person. A clear email or text will usually suffice for this. “Thank you for your email, I am pleased to confirm that I would like to accept the quote”. At this point you have a 14 day cancellation period to get all the information together. This includes making sure you have an itemised list of what is going to be done. If your quote is rather vague, ask for a detailed list of works to be done.

A common issue we hear is that customers want an itemised list of materials to be used. Most trades person will not provide this as this may change once work has started. A much better idea is to get an itemised list of work to be done. This stops any argument on completion as any work that is done additional to this can not be charged for. It is also worth checking any terms and conditions that the trades person may have. Ensure you are happy with these and check the payment term. Finally check the deposit amount, what does it cover and what happens if you cancel. If possible, we recommend to pay the deposit via credit card to protect yourself.

5. Check any requirements after choosing a trade person

Firstly ensure all terms and conditions have been agreed and a date set. Then ask the trades if there are any site requirements. Will there be a skip on the drive? does the airing cupboard/ kitchen cupboards need emptying? Do they need access to all radiators? Do they require the mains stop cock? gas meter? fuse board? Will they provide their own dust sheets? Take a look at our blog Getting to know your system to find see more.

6. Trades Person visit.

Everyone is different on how they feel about trades being at their home. Obviously the trades prefer to be left alone to get on with the work. Its good to make sure you are available should any issues arise. Try not to stand right behind the trades, this can put them off or prevent them from doing their job. If you don’t feel comfortable with someone in your home then try to stay at a safe distance. Make conversation with the trades person. Try to avoid continually asking how the job is going. Remember trades may feel just as nervous about being in your home as you are about them being there.

While it is not a requirement, making somebody a drink can give them the opportunity to get themselves sorted. This may also help both parties feel relaxed. On completion of the job, ask as many questions as you can think of. Make sure you understand how to use everything and ensure you check the work. Most trades will be going to another job straight after and any amendments would be better done immediately. If the trade needs to return you may be waiting for the next available slot.

7. Payment

While we always recommend paying the trades person as soon as possible. We do also recommend ensuring you are happy with a job before making payment. If you are away during the work then ensure you see the work before making payment. If there are any issues then contact the trades person at the first opportunity. Avoid using sentences like “I will withhold payment until this is fixed”. Most trades person will happily come back and fix any issues if this means they will learn for future jobs. Remember you have got paperwork to protect you from any issues. Avoid getting aggressive as this will only get the trades back up and cause tension during the return visit.

Reviews

Remembering step 1, the most important part of choosing a trade person is finding reviews. So please dont forget to ask the trades if you can leave a review for them. The next person will want to know how your job went. Remember to be honest as well so the next person looking for this trades person can make an informed decision.

Check reviews

F.A.Q’s

My plumber charges £50 per hour, is this normal?

Most areas of the UK have different prices depending on the area and type of work being undertaken. We recommend paying what you feel happy paying for a job. Getting 3 quotes will also help you judge the correct amount to pay for a job.

I phoned 7 plumbers and none of them have come to quote, Is my job too small?

This is one of the biggest complaints we hear about other trades. Here at J & S Plumbing and heating we take on all jobs, big and small. However some other businesses prefer to take on contract work and do not like to take on domestic work. To get a good success rate for plumbers coming to quote is to ask if they do domestic work. Remember that not all trades are qualified in all aspects of their trade. A gas engineer may not do water plumbing. An oil boiler engineer may not do gas work and an electrician may not do air conditioning.

I waited in all day for a plumber and they never turned up?

Make sure you get an estimated time for your trades person appointment. There is nothing worse then running out of milk when you are expecting a trades person to visit. You can guarantee they will turn up as soon as you pop to the shop. An estimated time is much better then some time between 8 am and 6 pm. Here at J and S plumbing and heating we have an online diary. This means we never double book and our customers get a time. While some jobs can over run, we ensure we let our customers know if we will be late. You can find our online booking system at: jasplumbingandheating.co.uk/book-now/

I paid a plumber for some work, there is now a problem and the plumber wont come back. What can i do?

While the above guide is provided for your reference, unfortunately there are bad trades people out there. Remember you have the terms and conditions and a breakdown of work along with any receipts for any money paid. We now recommend following the complaints procedure in the terms and conditions. Always makes sure you have tried everything you can try to resolve the issue. Try not to be threatening or abusive towards the trades and give them numerous opportunities to resolve the issue. Hopefully this will resolve the issue. As a last resort we recommend you consult a solicitor to take legal action against the trades person.

Hopefully you found this post helpful. I would really love it if you could share it on your social media. If you have any further questions, please feel free to get in contact.

Incgen 5 star Awards Winner
25th November 2017

We are so proud to have won the Incgen 5 star awards. We won the award for our great website which allows customers to book a plumber online. This is extremely rare on Plumbers websites and is a completely unique part of our business.
I would like to say a massive Thank You to Incgen and radio for all their hard work on the night, my lovely wife Sarah-Jane Andrews for her support over the last 7 years and of course Alcom Computing for producing the great website which won us the award. Thank you everyone.

Incgen 5 star Awards
17th October 2017

JAS Plumbing and Heating has been shortlisted for a 5 star award from Incgen in partnership with district council and radio.

The shortlisting is to recognise JAS Plumbing and Heating as “online business of the year”, this celebrates our innovative new website which allows our customers to book online, allowing complete freedom to book a slot that suits them.

One of the biggest complaints we hear every day is that tradesmen dont turn up, dont let customers know they are running late or they double book temselves.

In the last couple years we have been working hard to make our customers life a whole lot simpler and help our customers gain confidence back in tradesmen.

It is our aspiration that all tradesmen use this service to prevent no shows, late arrivals and double bookings, building confidence in tradesmen once again.

Why choose us?

Thank you for doing such a fantastic job on replacing the downstairs toilet today,

everything was done so efficiently, clean and neatly, I’m really pleased with your work

Chris, Lincoln

Just thought that I’d drop you a line to say that the hot water tank is now quiet! So thank you for a job well done, very much appreciated. Please feel free to pass on my details to any future customer, I will certainly recommend you to them…

Andy, Ermine