Written by Neil Marsh MCIPHE RP RHP EngTech
How a gas/heating engineer may approach a boiler service will differ. However, there are key fundamentals across all boiler makes and models that heating/gas engineers should undertake when servicing … Below we have put together a detailed guide which covers what your boiler service engineers should be doing when he/she services your boiler.
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What should be getting inspected/checked on your boiler service:
- The boilers general condition should be inspected. Where it is deteriorated, you should be notified of such faults or potential faults that are likely to occur in the near future.
- The boilers location and clearances should be checked to ensure that the boiler is fully accessible and maintainable
- The boilers operating pressures should be checked where applicable, and where not applicable, or where preferred, a gas rate should be undertaken.
- Any ventilation requirements should be checked to see if they are adequate.
- The flue should be inspected to ensure that it is free from damage, obstruction and has been installed and supported correctly.
- Where applicable, the combustion should be checked with a flue gas analyser to confirm that the products of combustion are within parameters and no dangerous levels of carbon monoxide exist.
- Where applicable, flue flow and spillage checks should be conducted to ensure that the flue (typically open flued) is operating in a safe manner.
- All safety devices and controls on the boiler should be checked to ensure they are working correctly.
- The burner, where applicable, should be inspected and checked for defects. Some boilers have pressure tests to check this.
- The ignition and flame picture should be checked to ensure the boiler is igniting correctly and the flames being produced that are one of complete combustion. With some appliances the scope to do this is limited.
- The primary heat exchanger should be checked to ensure it is free from sediment/dirt and other defects, such as cracks/splits.
- The electrics should be checked to ensure that the boiler is correctly wired, fused and such things as the polarity through the appliance is correct.
- Any seals that prevent the products of combustion from entering the internal spaces of the property should be inspected to ensure they are still in good condition.
- The general circulation of the water around the heating system should be checked to ensure the pump is working correctly and no blockages exist which prevent the boiler from working normally.
- Any condensation traps should be cleaned from debris, although due to the poor installation of some boilers this is not always possible.
- Expansion vessels, where applicable, should be checked to ensure that their internal air pressure is adequate and no discharge is evident from the pressure relief valve.
- System pressure, where applicable, should be set to the correct cold pressure.
- The condensate pipework, where applicable, should be inspected to ensure that it is of the correct size, and where required, is correctly insulated
- CO2 values should be checked, and where applicable, calibrated to within the manufactures tolerances.
- A general inspection of the boilers components should be undertaken to ensure no signs of distress or failure are present.
- Any other aspect specified in the manufactures instructions as a service requirement should be undertaken.
It is worth to note that external aspects of the system may or may not be checked under an annual service. For example:
- Some engineers/companies will clean out magnetic filtration units, however, others will avoid this as some are prone to leaking following cleaning and this can lead to further chargeable work.
- Some engineers/companies will check all the radiators to ensure they are heating fully, others will not unless you advise them of particular faults.
- Although many do not, all engineers/companies should be visually inspecting hot water cylinders to ensure that where unvented cylinders are installed, they are free from poor installation that could contribute towards a steam gas explosion.
For further information about what a gas engineer must do when working on a gas appliance, click here.
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