An annual boiler service should include more than just a cursory inspection of your boiler.
Aside from the regular checklist, there are additional aspects of a service which can make your life easier and operating your boiler more economical.
Boiler servicing is required by many insurers at least once a year. The checklist we’ve included separates an excellent service from one that’s just passable. Needless to say, you’re the paying client and deserve to feel assured that the best service guidelines are being met.
What is included in a boiler service?
First of all, there are some minimal criteria for boiler service.
Before you call the first technician your neighbour recommends, you should ensure that they carry out the following duties:
- A thorough visual inspection
- Meaningful Testing of the operation and controls
- Careful checks of the flue and combustion outlets
- Thorough cleaning of the major boiler components
- A sundry list of details that we’ll explore below
Immediate signs of stress on your boiler should be detected by your technician. These include damage caused by hard-working component parts and testing of the boiler’s functions. There are also less obvious issues that a cursory inspection by an engineer can uncover.
Since you probably aren’t versed in the boiler inspection training manual, you should capitalize on the experience and testimonies of others who have used boiler servicing companies. There is no better evidence of excellence than a firm with a good track record.
Operations and Controls
Part and parcel of a sound boiler inspection is recognizing whether all the functions of your boiler work the way they should. That means you should face no problems with regard to regulating the temperature as and when you need it. You should find that your boiler is a seamless part of your day-to-day life that doesn’t take up more than a few seconds to programme.
Another aspect of this is being able to ask your service engineer to change settings that aren’t suiting you at any given moment. If you are able to set your boiler to work during certain times of the day using the available digital or analogue timer, make use of this option.
Needless to say, a good service engineer will go the extra mile to help you with these aspects. In the following section, we will discuss the cleaning, disassembly, inspection and cleaning of component parts.
Checking and Cleaning Releases and Termination Points
Areas prone to carbon build-up should be thoroughly checked for any new defects. There should be no obstructions in the flue and it should also be safely fitted. Are any of these components lose or defective? Your service engineer should see and alert you to these problems immediately.
Cleaning the Major Boiler Components
Your service technician should carry out a disassembly of the main boiler components so that they are free of noticeable defects. This allows them to check the main boiler and flue ways, ignition pin and heat exchanger as well.
Thorough Sundry Checks
But that isn’t where inspections should end. In fact, checking other less noticeable areas is a vital part of boiler maintenance. There is a possibility that other factors have changed since their last visit. Your technician should advise you in these areas. These include:
- Advising you on the optimal position of your boiler for ventilation
- Advising you on removing combustible materials in the vicinity of the boiler
- Assessing and advising you on the effectiveness of your flue
- Optimizing heating controls to provide the best thermal efficiency
- Checking gas and water flow pressure
- A comprehensive check of all seals to prevent leakages
- Ensuring that flame devices work properly
You may keep the above list on hand and ask your technician to go through them in thorough detail. If they are extra diligent about their job, they will take the time to assure you that all these aspects are soundly squared away.
Keeping a Thorough Record
The service record is not only helpful to the service engineer; it can also be used to keep track of issues and their development over a long period of time. You should be able to ask your service engineer about aspects like boiler heat and pressure so that he or she can advise you of maintenance guidelines you need to follow long before they develop into serious issues.
Records also need to be meticulous because they are the go-to resource when future problems arise.
After the servicing of your boiler, you should find it just as convenient to use as ever, if not more so. Altered control settings should be returned back to your preferred ones and any concerns you experienced should have been:
– Dealt with
– Or at least discussed with forthcoming advice about how to proceed with dealing with them.
Do you Need an Immediate Service?
Are you concerned that your boiler might need a check-up, tune-up or some form of spot maintenance? Here are some common signs that your boiler is in need of repairs or at least a thorough servicing:
– You are experiencing drops in water pressure
– You haven’t serviced your boiler within the last 12 months
– There have been occurrences of overheating or overfilling
– Tarnishing, burn or smoke marks have appeared on nearby surfaces
– An erratic or malfunctioning pilot light
– Your boiler’s flame is yellow rather than blue
Still, Need Some Motivation?
If you’re not easily convinced about the importance of boiler maintenance, here are the 5 main reasons you should consider calling in for a service:
Although your gas boiler is a fire-powered device, a far more likely danger than fire is carbon monoxide poisoning. This underlines the existence of potential dangers which are not always in plain sight. Carbon monoxide is an odourless gas and might cause you to feel sleepy, but if you’re putting off repairs and servicing you’re unlikely to notice its effects in the interim.
Aside from the health risks involved, boilers involve plenty of hard-to-grasp principles that you won’t pick up on if you aren’t a trained engineer.
For the sake of maintaining an intact warranty, you should keep on top of yearly services. Without a service every 12 months, any expenses for boiler repairs may or will fall squarely on you.
The longevity of your boiler
The average boiler lifespan is between 10 and 15 years. Regular servicing, care and maintenance can push it well beyond this figure.
Are you a landlord? Presenting safety records for gas equipment is a legal requirement, and it’s best to get this out of the way in a single calendar period by checking all of your boilers’ simultaneously.