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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Why Replace a Working Boiler?

Should you get a new boiler if the old one is still going?  If the boiler needs new parts will it be better to replace the faulty parts or replace the whole thing?

These are very good questions and their isn't one simple answer there are two opposite answers!

Reasons for Replacing an Old Boiler Which is Still Working

A new moel could be far more efficient but you need to check out your model of boiler on the Zedbuk list to find out how much more efficient.
New boilers pretty much will turn 90% or so of gas into heat but old boilers utilised less.  This might be just a bit less like 80% or it could be a lot less, like 55%.  So if your gas bill for heating high you could be saving over £100 per year by switching to a new boiler.  BUT check out arguments against replacing the boiler, below.
If your boiler is 12 years old then replacement parts may become obsolete, so when it breaksdown, that is it.
For older boilers break downs may become more frequent and parts and labour becomes expensive, the money spent on keeping the old appliance going could have made a hefty contribution to installing a new model with a 2, 3 or 5 year parts & labour warranty.

Here is someone from British Gas talking through the issue:

Reasons for Keeping the Old Boiler, Not Getting a New One

The cost of a new boiler is high.  Depending on the needs of your house and the existing heating system a new boiler fitted could cost anywhere between £1,500 to £3,000. 
So even if the new boiler is more efficient the saving in fuel bills per year hardly contributes to the cost of installing a new boiler.
There is a GREEN case which argues the cost to the environment of manufacturing and transporting new appliances is not justifiable when old appliances could keep going with just a few small parts.

When To Replace An Old Boiler?
You can expect a gas boiler to last more than 10 years, 15 years is very good.  An oil boiler has a much longer lifespan.
  • Replace it when repair bills become high.
  • Replace it in the summer if possible, certainly in warmer months not in between December and February if possible.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Broadstairs, Margate And Ramsgate Heating Engineer Call Out at Xmas

Tara plumbing will not be running a 24 hour Emergency Call Out service over the Christmas holiday time.

A common problem with new condensing boilers is that condense lines are freezing in exceptionally cold weather, home owners can deal with this themselves, find out more here:

If you have a problem with your boiler our advise is always to contact the installer or the manufacturer first.  The contact details can be found on your user manual or online.

If you are in Kent and a regular customer of Tara Plumbing, if we installed your heating, then please feel free to leave a message on our ansaphone.  We will pick up message every day, we might be able to give free advice or come to you the next day but we cannot promises to send someone out to you to deal with urgent emergencies.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Find a Gas Heating Engineer in Broadstairs, Margate, Ramsgate, Whitstable, Kent

Tara install Boilers and gas central heating from Thanet to London, particular at Herne Bay, Whitstable, Faversham and Sittingbourne.  If your house is somewhere near the M2 or A2 then you are on our route.  Most of our work is in the CT and ME postcodes.

Install and Service Gas Fires

Tara Heating engineers do not do gas fires, we don't install them and we do not check them.  If you need someone to install or check a gas fire there are two things I recommend.

Firstly, contact your local gas fire show room.  If they sell gas fires they must be able to recommend gas heating engineers who can install them and service them.

How to Find a Gas Safe Engineer to Fit or Service a Gas Fire

Secondly, check the Gas Safe Register. Any person who works on a gas appliance must be on the register, you will need to put in your post code, when the list of enginers comes up change the work type tab to fires.  The only reason that I do not suggest this as the first route is because it can be hard to find someone who works locally.  The address where an engineer is registered can be very different to the area the engineer usually works.

Want Tara to Do House Renovation Including Gas Fire Installation?

If a gas fire was a small part of a much large job such as a house renovation then we could take on this work.  We would bring in a highly experienced and qualified subcontractor to do the gas fire work, some one we know and have worked with for many, many years.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Cheap Baxi Boilers in Kent for our Customers in Sittingbourne, Whitstable, Thanet & Eythorne

We are currently setting up a special promotion which we anticipate will continue throughout 2011.  We are offering a staggering amount of money off a replacement boiler, replacing old Baxi Solos with new High Efficiency Baxi boilers for a price which we think can't be beaten.

I can't tell you the price because I don't know what it will be. 

The very best price will only be available to people who have regularly had their boiler maintained and serviced by Tara Maintenance for the past 10 years, we are proposing to REWARD customer loyalty by refunding all the money those customers have paid in servicing.  Not just generosity gone mad, of course, we hope they will continue to have their boiler serviced and repaired by Tara for years to come.

So you could say our rock bottom price for a new boiler installation is going to be part of a continued mutually beneficial arrangement.

Price is not everything.  Getting the installation right, choosing the best boiler for the job, the quality of the workmanship are all important.  New boilers will be condensing boilers replacing old boilers which are not so changes must be made to the heating systems to bring them up to modern standards, we are not replacing like with like.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

It is Autumn, Do I Need a Boiler Service?

If your boiler is still under warranty (usually under 2 years old) then you should have it serviced just before the end of 12 months after it was installed.  An annual boiler service is often required as part of the Terms and Conditions of any longer, extended guarantee.

If you boiler is not under warrantee then do you need one?  Well, of course it is in our vested interest to say yes, so that we can come and do it every year!  So here are some things to think about:
  • It does make sure the boiler is running safely and correctly.
  • If the boiler is not running right parts are more likely to be damaged resulting in expensive repair bills
  • The boiler could be burning more gas than it needs to making your fuel bills higher
  • Most people do have a regular boiler service
  • Most people wouldn't question the need to service & MOT their cars regularly.
When Should you Have a Boiler Service? 

About every 12 months, check in your owners manual.  The boiler needs to be OK, can't be serviced if it doesn't work, that is called a repair.  Ideally the heating should be off and cold before the service, so the end of summer or early autumn is the ideal time of year, hence the timing of this blog.  You may want to consult the last entry on how much a boiler service should cost.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

How Much Will A Boiler Service Cost?

The short answer is that this year MOST of our customers will pay £55, some will pay £65 and a few will pay over £100. 
We think that between £75 to £100 is a very reasonable price to pay for a Boiler Service.  The long answer is very long so here are a few short pointers:

1.   You must expect to pay for the time of a professional person, with expertise and specialist equipment. The only people who can do boiler services are Gas Safe Registered engineers.  They are highly trained and should be covered by expensive Public Liability Insurance. 

2.   Not all boilers and heating set-ups are the same. Some boiler services (especially on older models) could take well over an hour.  Modern boilers are easier to look after and the engineer might be done within 45 minutes.  It is not a 5 or 10 minute job.

3.   Not all boiler services are the same, the details of what should happen to your boiler will be in the Gas Boiler Owner's Manual, which you should keep.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

How Long is a Boiler under Warranty or Guarantee?

All boilers are not the same which is why some will come with the minimum guarantee required by consumer law, which is 2 years. Many boilers now coming with a 5 year warranty or more.

Note: any guarantee may be null and void if the boiler is not correctly installed by a register gas fitter. Guarantee & warranty are the same thing.

Boiler Parts & Labour Warranty

It is important to check the details of the guarantee. For example, parts may be covered but you might have to pay for labour. The new Logic+ range of boilers by Ideal Heating come with a 5 year parts & labour guarantee as standard. Boilers by Worcester Bosch and others might also by offered with a similar lengthy warrantee period.

How Get Help through the Boiler Guarantee

In the first year or so it the boilers is not working the first point of contact should be the installer.  He will be able to check whether you are simply not using it correctly.  it is surprising how many faults turn out to be something like the power was turned off or the thermostat was turned down.

If there is a problem with the boiler, under the manufacturer's guarantee they will send out their own engineer to replace any parts.  The better companies are geared up to do this within 24-48 hours notice through the winter months.

The Boiler Guarantee

Tara Heating & Plumbing only install boilers by the best companies, those with a reputation for quality products and a good service from their own engineers when faults arise.  We usually fit Baxi, Potterton, Worcester Bosch, Ideal and Keston boilers.

Manufacturers usually recommend that boilers are serviced annually.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

How Much Will It Cost To Have a New Boiler? Will VAT RIse Make a Difference?

Without seeing your home we could not give you a quote for a new boiler.  We do not give estimates over the phone.  This is because there are so many factors to take into consideration when we get there.

How Much Will a New Boiler Cost in Kent?

Roughly speaking most home owners can expect to pay between £2,000 to £3,000 for a new boiler. There ia a useful article about replacing your boiler here.

VAT Rise & New Heating Boilers

We sometimes find that people actually get the work done a year or so after getting quotations, the risk is that the price may have gone up as costs of materials may have risen.  The impact of the rise in VAT in the UK from 17.5 to 20% means that a price which was £2,000 will have risen by £43 if you delay having a boiler installed until after the VAT rise takes effect.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Free Tips on DIY Central Heating Maintenance & Power Flushing

A local blogger in Ramsgate, Adem, has renovated his house on a tight budget with great results.  For people interested in that sort of thing his blog is excellent and I point here to his tips on cleaning the sludge from radiators:

DIY Central Heating & Radiator Sludge

Throughout my web-based writing you will find me warning that unqualified and unregistered people should never attempt DIY work on Gas Central Heating Systems.  Never touch the boiler! 
You will need to be quite a competent DIYer to clean the sludge from your rads in the way Adem describes and you need to be very strong, ideally have two people around.  Rads are remarkably heavy.

Obviously, make sure you are able to contact a plumber if you take it all apart only to find that you don't know how to put it all back together again!

Good heating engineers are used to flushing heating systems (without removing the radiators individually), it must be done if a new boiler is added to an old heating system.  Depending on the property and number of radiators it will cost anything upwards from £300 because it takes a long time to do it.  You can read about some people's experiences of power flushing here.

Finally, Adem used Tara Heating & Plumbing to do the heating jobs which he is unable to undertake and he has been happy to recommend Tara Plumbing to others.  Thanks Adem xx

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Best Time to Have a New Boiler or Heating Installed

Most people seem wait until winter to replace their central heating boiler, just when they really need it.  If you know you need a new one I recommend having it done in warmer months. 

You will be without heating for several hours, possibly a day and if you are really unlucky there might be a faulty part on your new boiler leaving you without heating for 2 or 3 days, it is rare but is known to happen.  Replacing boilers involves leaving doors open so men in big boots can go in and out to the van. 

In the winter it involves freezing cold air blowing in through a hole in the roof or wall, otherwise known as replacing the flue.  Finally, of course, the heating engineers are also really busy fixing or replacing all the broken down boilers old boilers.

I speak from bitter experience because I had a boiler replaced in the coldest month of the year when I was much younger!

Tara Heating Replacing Gas Boilers in Margate, Ramsgate & Broadstairs

We had a lovely summer here last year, but usually in previous year August has been so cold that no excuse is needed to test the heating.

In the winter Tara Heating try to ensure that our customers are not greatly inconvenienced and not without heating for too long.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Tara Plumbing do Heating Too!

When I was younger I had no idea that plumbers do gas central heating, when I talk to foreign (American) friends they are especially bewildered because they think plumbers are quite a difference species to the more high status heating & ventilation engineer.

Tara Plumbing or Tara Heating? Which should it be?

Now I know that gas heating engineers in this country will often also be plumbers although many plumbers are not qualified heating engineers? It is confusing to those who have nothing to do with the building trade, you just have to know that you don't have to be worried when a plumber turns up to install your new gas boiler, so long as he is on the gas safe register!

Friday, 26 February 2010

The Tara Heating blog from Mrs Tara Plumbing

I have set up some new blogs away from my original Mrs T.P. blog. 
This one relates specifically to all things related to gas central heating.
From getting quotes for a new boiler, to moving a radiator or having your central heating system flushed through.
I hope to be able to share gems of information about heating that are not widely known, such as underfloor heating, skirting board heating and solar power.
But this stuff takes time to write, especially as I like to back it up with hard facts and useful links, so it will take time.

xx for now