Boiler and Central Heating

Boiler room with a heating system.

10 Signs Your Boiler Needs Servicing

By | Boiler and Central Heating

10 Signs Your Boiler Needs Servicing

From domestic properties to commercial buildings, it’s essential to have a professional service carried out on your boiler by an accredited Gas Safe engineer to ensure that it is running efficiently and safely, whilst extending the longevity of your central heating system. Whilst it’s advised to have your boiler serviced once a year, there are a number of warning signs to watch out for that alert homeowners when a service needs carrying out. From visible damage to poor water pressure, warning lights and increased energy bills, these problems need to be seen to as soon as possible. At SR Coates our efficient and effective service helps to eliminate potential boiler issues in the future.

Signs Your Boiler Needs Servicing

Older boilers in particular require regular servicing so that they can heat your home properly and provide hot water on demand. It’s time to call SR Coates when you notice the following ten signs your boiler needs a service.

Unusual Noises: Knocking, hissing, clunking or whistling sounds are a clear way to spot the need for boiler maintenance. Hearing these sounds means there could be a build-up of limescale, trapped air in the system or a faulty pump.

Water Leaks: Corroded pipes, damaged seals or a faulty pressure valve can lead to water leaks which will fall around your boiler. If your boiler is leaking there are a number of areas an engineer can get to the route of the problem.

Inconsistent Heating or Hot Water: Have you recently experienced that some rooms are colder than others? This lack of home heating efficiency can be caused by water circulation, failing heating equipment or issues with the thermostat.

Increased Energy Bills: If there is no particular reason why you’ve seen a sudden increase in your energy bills then this could be a sign of an inefficient boiler. A service will not only help to maintain energy efficiency and reduce consumption, but it will also keep your bills at a consistent level.

Boiler Keeps Shutting Off: One of the biggest signs that you need a boiler repair or servicing is that it keeps shutting off. This could be down to multiple factors as to why it’s doing this such as blockages.

Warning Lights or Error Codes: Error codes or the pilot light frequently going out is usually caused by a faulty thermocouple or problems with the gas supply. Keep an eye on this if common occurrences happen as it’s an easy indicator that something is wrong.

Poor Water Pressure: When hot water takes a while to come out of your taps or shower, this poor water pressure can become rather frustrating. A fully maintained boiler shouldn’t experience this, therefore calling out an expert plumber can fix the issue.

Visible Damage: If something on your boiler doesn’t look quite right or you spot signs that your boiler appears different to usual, it could mean that it is damaged and can lead to wider issues with how well it performs.

Age and Lack of Maintenance: If your service history isn’t great perhaps it’s time that your boiler needs servicing. Even if you haven’t spotted any obvious signs of wear and tear having a professional check your boiler will be able to give you advice on any areas that need improving.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Activation: This is a vital one as carbon monoxide leaks are a serious matter. If the alarm sounds then it’s important to get professional assistance as soon as possible.

The Importance of Professional Boiler Servicing

With so many areas that can lead to issues with a boiler, it’s essential to have regular boiler servicing carried out by a professional engineer and a reliable plumbing company that you can trust. Safety is the number one reason as a poorly maintained boiler can pose a variety of risks to your home or property such as carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks and even boiler explosions. Our team are highly trained to spot and address these hazards to give you complete peace of mind.

Not only that, professional servicing ensures that your boiler is operating efficiently and is consuming less energy which is better for the environment as it reduces carbon emissions as well as lowers your utility bills. As many manufacturers have warranties on their boilers, it’s important that the servicing is carried out by a qualified professional, as the warranty could be void if not completed by a qualified plumber. Finally, regular servicing ensures that your boiler is reliable and won’t experience any unexpected breakdown as checks will be made to rectify any small issues before they become big ones which can result in costly fixtures. It also helps to prolong the lifespan of your boiler.

At SR Coates we provide comprehensive boiler services that go above and beyond basic safety checks. We take a look at boiler flue output, inspect pipework, carry out thorough component testing, disassemble and clean key components and replace components if needed when faults occur or as time goes by with an ageing boiler. As Gas Safe engineers we are qualified to service a wide variety of makes and models for boilers and pride ourselves on our expertise and reputation for delivering high levels of customer satisfaction by providing a full spectrum of gas, heating and plumbing services from installation to maintenance. Speak to our team to find out more about how we can assist you.

How long does it take to install a new boiler? 

By | Boiler and Central Heating

How long does it take to install a new boiler?

When your boiler is beyond repair and can no longer be saved with a service or general maintenance, it’s time to get the professionals to install a new boiler. They’re essential to providing a central heating system in your home, hot water, and there is a wide variety when it comes to the type of boiler you order and have installed. Whether you want to do a combi swap with old gas boilers and have a new smart thermostat installed or are looking to relocate the boiler altogether, it’s a variable process when fitted by a professional depending on your circumstances.

The installation time will differ due to a number of factors such as what kind of boiler you’re installing and its location in the house. It’s also important to get assistance from a gas safe registered engineer who will complete the task to a high standard and will meet gas safe regulations too. The variety of installation processes include:

Straight boiler swap – 4-6 hours

The simplest and quickest installation is when an engineer is swapping an old boiler in your home for a new one of the same type. Say for example the boiler replacement will be installed in the same location and all the pipes are already in place for gas, central heating and water. The process is pretty straightforward, as the system will be drained and isolated by disconnecting the thermostat and electricity which can be achieved in less than a day. 

Changing the position of your boiler – 1-2 days

If you’re doing refurbishments to your house or need to relocate the boiler, this will take a little more time than a straightforward swap as new pipework for water and gas will need to be installed along with new cables connected for electric power and thermostats. It’s important to keep this in mind when looking at where it is best to fit a new boiler. 

Installing a new combi boiler – 1-2 days 

This is comparable to if you’re putting in a new boiler into a building that doesn’t already have one in place. All the same processes will need to be actioned when putting in new pipes and cables, but bear in mind that if no central heating system is in place at all then this will increase the length of time for instalment. This can elongate to 3-4 days as it’s one of the larger boiler installation jobs for an engineer as you’re changing the type and the position. You may also need to have new brackets, re-route the water and gas supplies and even knock holes through to make room. 

Changing the type of boiler – 2-3 days 

Whether you’re investing in a new combi, heat only or system boiler, due to the fact you’re changing the type altogether will need a new set of plumbing and electrics. System boilers require a cylinder to hold water for the central heating, whilst heat only boilers need an expansion and cold water tank. When changing boilers the installation time will be spent taking away any unnecessary tanks, cylinders and pipework. 

Changing fuel type – 2-3 days 

If you’re looking for an alternative to the current boiler you have and upgrading from oil or gas to a new electric model, there will be extra plumbing and electrical work to consider even if you’re keeping the boiler in the same location. 

At SR Coates our experienced and knowledgeable gas engineers are on hand to supply and fit a new boiler to your specification and schedule. We understand that the process can be disruptive to your home life so we’ll be honest about the time it will take and what work will be carried out. We’re pleased to offer leading names in the industry such as Worcester Boilers, Vaillant, Viesmann, Baxi and Ideal and will advise on which boiler is best for you. We’ll also ensure that you’re happy operating the new boiler and can use it correctly and safely once installation is complete. 

Gas, Heating & Plumbing Engineers in Oxford

Are you prepared for the colder months?

By | Boiler and Central Heating

Are you prepared for the colder months?

As winter is fast approaching and the days are getting colder, it might be a good idea to start preparing your home for the colder months.

One thing to consider is learning how to prevent your pipes freezing over once the temperature starts to drop below 0. Here are a few tips from the SR Coates plumbing and heating team to prevent frozen pipes and keeping your home ticking over.

Use sleeving

A great way to take care of your pipes is to apply some insulation, this can be done by adding some foams leaving to areas where pipes tend to get cold, such as attics or basements. A great tip to use is; the thinner the pipe, the thicker your sleeve needs to be.

Don’t avoid fixing dripping taps

Dripping taps can be a nuisance most people tend to ignore, however, if a drip freezes a block can occur. Consider replacing the washer on your dripping taps at your soonest connivance.

Consider leaving your heating on

Although keeping your heating off when you’re out and about can save you money, leaving your heating on can help prevent costly disasters such as burst pipes. Another option could be to drain your pipes to ensure there is no water left if you’re going to be away from home for a lovely winter holiday.

If you do end up with frozen pipes, don’t panic, you can thaw them at home. Try turning off your water supply at the stopcock and turning off your heating system, then start to thaw your pipes using hot water bottles or wrap the pipes with towels soaked in hot water, or even a hairdresser.

SR Coates Plumbing and Heating have a number of experienced and friendly plumbers in Oxford who would be happy to help restore your home back to good health.
Contact our plumbers in Oxford today on 07850 399148 or 01865 862323 for helpful advice or to book your callout.

hands on radiator

Why do I have cold spots in my radiator?

By | Boiler and Central Heating

Are you experiencing cold spots in your radiators?

Cold spots can be caused by sludge buildup and dirty water passing through your heating system. This build-up can cause poor performance and even result in a boiler breakdown.

To diagnose what’s wrong with your radiator, we take a look at where the cold spot resides.

I have cold spots at the top and bottom of my radiator

If the cold spot is at both the bottom and the top of the radiator, this is likely to be trapped air. Luckily, this issue can be fixed at home and doesn’t require a plumber to come out. To release the trapped air from your radiator you will need to bleed it.

How to bleed your radiator:

  1. Turn your central heating off and wait for them to cool
  2. Use a screwdriver or a radiator key (depending on the type of radiator you have). If you require a radiator key and don’t have one, they are available to purchase in most local DIY stores.
  3. Cover the floor below with a towel or some cloth, some people like to place a bowl below to catch any water.
  4. Use the key and slowly turn the radiator valve anti-clockwise, you should hear a quiet hissing sound as the air escapes.
  5. Wait until the sound stops and the water starts to leak out before turning the key back and closing the valve
  6. Well done, you have successfully bled your radiator! Switch the heating back on and re-check the radiator for cold spots.

I have a cold patch in the middle or bottom of my radiator

Sludge build up, rust and dirty water passing through your heating system is likely the cause of this issue.

In this case, the radiator will need to be removed from the wall and flushed out to get rid of the sludge trapped inside. To fix this at home yourself, you will need to purchase a sludge remover available from most DIY stores and flush the system yourself.

If you have a pressurised system or if you’re not confident in attempting this yourself, it’s important to hire a gas safe engineer (view our gas safe profile here).

The cold spots in my radiator keep coming back

If the cold spots in your radiator are persistent, its time to call in the professionals to avoid a possible clog that could lead to a costly boiler breakdown.

SR Coates Plumbing and Heating have a number of experienced and friendly plumbers in Oxford who would be happy to help restore your system back to good health.
Contact our plumbers in Oxford today on 07850 399148 or 01865 862323 for helpful advice or to book your callout.