Category: Heating

Gas Safe Plumber

You might have heard about a proposed ban on gas boilers in the UK, and no doubt it’s left you with a lot of questions about how much it will cost to replace your heating system. In this blog, we debunk the myths on the ‘boiler ban’ and look at what your options are for replacing your old boiler with a more energy efficient alternative.

What is the government proposing?

In 2019, the government announced a change to the way that new homes will be built in the future. As part of the Future Homes Standard, domestic properties will have to produce 70 – 80% fewer carbon emissions than current new builds.

The Prime Minister has set the country an ambitious target – he wants the UK to be zero carbon rated by 2050, which means reducing emissions by as much as 80%.

According to the Committee on Climate Change, 14% of greenhouse gas emissions come from our homes, predominantly gas boilers, but this could soon change. From 2025, house builders will be forced to use alternative heating systems.

In the short term, the ban on gas boilers will only apply to new builds, but there could be a complete ban on using gas in the next thirty years. So, what alternatives is the government considering, and how much will this cost the average household?

Alternatives to gas boilers?

The government is considering four other heating solutions for domestic properties – heat pumps, electric boilers, solar heating, and hydrogen gas boilers.

Heat pumps

Heat pumps extract heat from the air or ground, and use it to heat water that is stored in a hot water cylinder. This water is used to supply taps, showers, and radiators.

Heat pumps rely heavily on your home being well insulated to stop heat escaping.

Currently, heat pumps are not considered a viable alternative to gas boilers by industry experts. The cost to install a heat pump and retro-fit insulation into older properties would be unaffordable for many people, plunging them into debt.

But perhaps the biggest problem is how heat pumps are powered. Though some are powered by solar or wind, most use electricity, and as 47% of the country’s electricity is produced by burning gas, this could significantly increase carbon emissions.

Electric boilers

Electric boilers work in much the same way as conventional boilers, but instead of using gas to heat up the water, they use electricity.

But just like heat pumps, electric boilers are not considered viable. As a fuel source, electricity is four times more expensive than gas for consumers.

Additionally, generating enough electricity to meet demand would increase carbon emissions. Though, it is possible to produce electricity using renewable energy like wind and solar, in reality, it’s likely to come from burning gas.

Solar heating

Solar heating systems use the sun’s energy to heat up water, which is stored in a hot water tank. This type of thermal system uses roof-mounted solar collectors that can be fitted to flat and pitched-roofs, and work all-year round.

Solar energy panels are expensive to install – the Energy Saving Trust estimates between £3,000 and £5,000. But because the sun is free, you will save money on your monthly heating bills and at the same time reduce your carbon footprint.

Solar heating can be used independently but it’s best used in conjunction with a gas boiler. This helps get the water up to temperature, particularly in the colder months, though it does rely on you maintaining and paying for two systems.

Hydrogen boilers

Hydrogen boilers are currently the frontrunner for replacing gas boilers, and here are just some of the reasons why.

    • It produces no carbon emissions, the only by-product is water
    • Hydrogen can be distributed using the network of gas pipes already in place
    • Modern gas boilers need only minor modifications to accept hydrogen
    • Hydrogen and gas are similar, so there is minimal training for gas engineers

 

There is a long way to go before hydrogen-ready boilers are approved for sale in this country. Prototypes are still being built and tested, and pilot studies are planned for the future – some for right here in Greater Manchester.

Though hydrogen-ready boilers are a way off yet, modern boilers can accept an 80:20 blend of natural gas and hydrogen, which is the first step in a longer journey.

Should I still buy a gas boiler?

In the future, we might use hydrogen, solar, electric, or even compressed air, but while the government and industry bodies are exploring these alternative fuels, gas is still the most affordable and energy efficient way to heat your home.

If you need a boiler replacement, then upgrading your outdated model with a new boiler will not only save you money but reduce your carbon footprint.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, an A-rated boiler burns a third less fuel than a G-rated boiler, so by replacing your old boiler you could cut down on your carbon emissions (based on a detached house in England, Scotland and Wales).

What’s more, by upgrading you could save £300 a year on your energy bill.

The key takeaway

The proposed ban on gas boilers only affects new builds from 2025, and any wider ban is unlikely to come into force until nearer 2050. Alternative home heating systems are still being developed, but in the meantime upgrading your old boiler with a more energy efficient one can significantly cut down on your carbon emissions.

If you’re looking for a gas engineer to replace your boiler, we can help. RJ Martindale, is a family plumbing and heating company based in Bolton. We have years of experience in boiler installation and repairs, and a loyal customer base who rate us highly.

Our job isn’t just about fitting gas boilers, it’s about the small things we do for every customer to make their life easier. From quote to handover, you can rely on us to do the best job possible, but don’t just take our word for it, read our Google reviews.

RJ Martindale

Got a leaky boiler? Here’s what you need to do

If you have discovered a leak in your boiler, then you need to act fast as to minimise any damage caused. A leaking boiler is a telltale sign that your boiler is malfunctioning in some way and there are many reasons why it might be happening.

We have put together a helpful guide as to what you need to do should you find yourself with a leaky boiler disaster on your hands.

 

Why is my boiler leaking?

As you might already expect, a boiler isn’t supposed to leak water and with advanced boiler systems, water should be tightly sealed off and unable to escape. However, if you find that your boiler is leaking water, then it might as a result of the following:

  • Your boiler pressure needs topping up.
  • Extra pressure from the boiler system may be being released through the pressure relief valve.
  • Your heat exchanger (the component that warms up your cold water) is damaged.
  • You have recently had a new boiler fitted but the bond between the heating system pipes and boiler have not been sealed properly.
  • Your boiler is old and may have stopped functioning properly as a result of age.

Typically, the above problems can be fixed but a replacement may be needed. Find out more information about RJ Martindale’s boiler repairs and replacement services here.

 

How can I tell if my boiler has a leak?

If there is no obvious sign of leakage, an indication that your boiler has a leak will be that it cuts out as a result of low pressure. When you try to top it up, pressure will be lost again rapidly.

You might also notice drips of water coming from the boiler or water trailing down the wall where it is attached to. Small boiler leaks can sometimes reveal themselves by taking the form of mould or damp near to the boiler or by misshaping the skirting boards and counter tops in the vicinity.

Make sure that you check any visible pipes for water leaks as well as keep a lookout for staining on nearby walls or ceilings.

 

Should I turn my boiler off if it’s leaking?

If you notice a leak, then you should switch off your boiler to stop it from coming into contact with electrics and creating water damage to your home. If you notice a leak, you shouldn’t try to fix it yourself and you should contact a professional to take a look.

RJ Martindale offer a range of boiler repair services as well as emergency services to fix a leaking boiler. If you suspect a leak, get in touch.

 

Is a leaking boiler dangerous?

A leaking boiler can become a hazard if it is not fixed quickly. Boiler leaks can cause short-circuiting to the electrical components in your home and any contact between water and electrics creates a big safety hazard.

If left, a boiler leak can create serious water damage to your home and belongings. Water damage not only destroys your furnishings but can also lead to mould growth and this can really affect your health and the air quality of your home.

Additionally, leaking boilers can result in the rusting and corrosion of pipes in your boiler system.

Water damage can also weaken the structure of your home and make it vulnerable. This is why getting a leaking boiler looked at immediately is so important for the safety of the residents in the house and nearby.

 

What should I do as soon as I notice my boiler is leaking?

Once you notice a leak coming from your boiler, you must act fast to minimise damage. Firstly, you should place towels, a bucket or bowl under the boiler to catch the water and you should turn off electricity to the boiler to prevent the risk of electric shock and potential damage to your central heating system.

You should then contact a professional to take a look at your boiler. RJ Martindale provide a range of boiler repair and replacement services, as well as emergency callouts.

 

What should I do if my boiler is leaking gas?

If you can smell gas, then this can be very dangerous. If there are black stains around the boiler, then this is a sign that you have a gas leak. You might also notice more condensation on surrounding windows than usual.

You might also experience the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Tiredness

If you think that your boiler might be leaking gas, then you should open all windows and doors immediately, as well as put out any naked flames. Call an emergency service for someone to come out straight away.

 

What should I do if my boiler is leaking oil?

If you notice signs of oil stains or oil pools, then this could indicate an oil leak from your boiler. If you suspect an oil leak, immediately close the tap or valve on the oil tank and ventilate your home.

You should seek the services of a gas safe registered engineer and if you or anyone else starts to feel unwell, then leave the house and seek medical advice.

RJ Martindale offer specialist plumbing and heating solutions to residents based across the North West. Made up of a team of accredited boiler servicing experts, we are on hand to help you out. Find out more about our heating and boiler services here or contact us to speak to an expert.

Boiler Installation

Boiler cover is similar to the insurance that you might take out on a car. It gives you the assurance that if your boiler stops working, an engineer will be sent out quickly, so you won’t have long to wait without central heating or hot water.

Most policies include emergency call-outs, boiler repairs, or a replacement if it’s not economical to fix. But not all providers offer the same level of protection and it’s easy to get caught out. Our guide on how to choose your boiler cover has everything you need to know before you buy.

 

Things to consider

Narrow down your search for the best deal on boiler cover with our checklist of questions.

1. What level of cover do you need?

Before you decide on a policy, check to make sure it has everything you need.

Most providers offer different levels of cover, from basic up to more advanced packages. As a rough guide it should include:

  • an annual service
  • emergency call outs
  • boiler repairs
  • boiler replacement if it can’t be fixed

 

We recommend finding a provider that offers an annual service as standard. Having your boiler routinely checked, helps to identify minor faults early before they become dangerous problems. If you have a new boiler, then you’ll need to get it serviced at least once a year by an accredited engineer to protect its warranty.

 

2. How old is your boiler?

If your boiler is over ten years old, check to make sure your chosen provider will cover it. Not all companies pay out for older boilers, and those that do will often put a limit on the amount they will contribute towards repairs.

Likewise, some don’t cover certain types of boilers, such as oil-fired or solid fuel, so before you sign up, check that your boiler will be supported. At RJM Homecare, our highly-skilled engineers are trained to work across combi, gas, and electric boilers. Whatever make or model, we cover it.

3. Are emergency call-outs included?

Most people take out boiler cover for peace of mind, knowing that they won’t be left without hot water or central heating… To avoid disappointment, check that your chosen policy includes emergency call-outs 365 days a year, and that there are no additional call out charges.

4. Do you have to pay an excess?

When considering how to choose your boiler cover, look for a policy with unlimited repairs and no excess to pay. Some big companies limit the number of times they will come out to repair your boiler, so check in advance there is no cap on the amount of help they will provide, and no excess to pay.

5. What else do you want cover for?

If you want to insure additional appliances in your home, look for a provider that offers extended packages, such as those that include boiler, plumbing and heating cover. Take a look at what’s on offer, you could save money by taking out a comprehensive policy, that covers you for more than just your boiler.

Our extensive ‘advanced care’ package, includes your:

  • boiler and boiler controls
  • central heating system
  • gas pipes
  • plumbing pipework
  • electrics
  • toilet

 

So, if you need help fixing a water leak, then we’ve got you covered!

 

Boiler cover – is it worth it?

On average it costs between £200 to £500 to repair a boiler, and upwards of £2000 to replace it. Add in the cost of calling out an engineer, and if your boiler breaks down you could find yourself being landed with a sizeable bill that you weren’t expecting.

Boiler cover is an affordable way of insuring yourself against this cost, with fixed, regular payments over a year. Not only is this more manageable, but if you need to make a claim it can work out cheaper than paying for your boiler to be repaired in one lump sum.

If you include an annual boiler service in your package, you could also save money. Consumer website, Which? recommends servicing your boiler every year to prolong its life and avoid unnecessary repair bills.

The real value of boiler cover comes from the peace of mind in knowing that if you find yourself without central heating or hot water, you won’t have long to wait for an engineer to get your boiler back up and running again.

 

Why Choose RJM Homecare for your boiler cover?

When thinking about how to choose your boiler cover, you might be tempted to go straight to your energy provider, but typically they are more expensive. Forbes Advisor recommends shopping around for the best deal on standalone policies. At RJM Homecare, we offer affordable cover with no excess to pay and unlimited repairs.

Our plans start from £6.50 per month for our ‘annual care’ package that includes a carbon monoxide test and an annual service. In fact, we so strongly believe that an annual service is a much-needed safety check, that we include it as standard in all our packages.

We are a family company serving the Bolton and Greater Manchester area, and our exceptional customer service is what sets us apart from our competitors. Our customers are so impressed with our service that they consistently rate us highly, and we have over 150 five-star reviews on Google.

Where we include breakdown assistance, we guarantee to come out within 24 hours, so you’re not left wondering when an engineer will arrive to look at your boiler.

With our engineers you’re in safe hands – not only are they trained to the highest standards but they’re also Gas-Safe accredited. So, if you have new gas appliances, your manufacturer’s warranty won’t be affected.

 

Next steps

Unsurprisingly your boiler is more likely to break down when you least want it to and the thought of spending days waiting for an engineer is enough to make savvy homeowners think again about taking out quality boiler cover.

No hot water, let alone no heating, makes a family home unusable for many. We’ve covered the essentials on how to choose your boiler cover, but everyone’s circumstances are different, so our friendly team are here to help. Visit our Boiler Cover page to find out more about RJM Homecare and choose a plan that’s right for you.

Gas Safe Plumber

Having your boiler stop working is incredibly frustrating; your boiler and heating system is an essential part of your day-to-day life, so when yours breaks down, we appreciate how stressful that can be. For boiler breakdowns, it’s best to call a professional heating engineer you can trust to help fix any issues and get your heating back up and running.

That’s why at RJM Homecare we provide expert service with our Premium and Advanced Homecare Cover so that any issues are swiftly dealt, by our friendly and highly professional Gas Safe registered engineers, within 24 hours guaranteed! No excess, no extra charges… just peace of mind.

We’ve put together this quick summary of some of the most common boiler problems that could occur to help provide some clarity on some of the issues. If you have any questions about your boiler or heating system please don’t hesitate to contact us – one of our friendly team members is always on hand to answer any of your concerns.

Typical Boiler Issues:

There’s No Hot Water And No Heating

If power is being supplied to your boiler and there’s no issue with your fuel supply (e.g. gas supplier or fuel storage tank)… and there’s no heating and no hot water then the first place to look is on the display panel of your boiler to check if an error code is showing. Also, check your thermostat settings are set correctly. Some potential sources of this issue could be: low boiler pressure; frozen condensate pipe; or a fault with the pilot light in the case of older boilers.

Look out for water leaks and always contact a professional Gas Safe registered heating engineer for assistance.

There’s Hot water But No Heating

A common issue is having hot water but no heating. This could be an issue with the boiler pressure being too low or an indication that you have a broken diaphragm and airlock, or an issue with diverter or motorised valves. Check the boiler pressure gauge; if it’s below 1 then your boiler may need more pressure. Check your boiler manufacturer’s instruction guide for reference on the recommended pressure level (typically between 1 and 2). If the pressure level looks in order and your thermostat is working, then a professional repair is likely required. Always make sure that you choose a heating company that is Gas Safe registered and provides a professional service you can trust.

Boiler Is Leaking Water

A leaking boiler is potentially a major issue as it’s most likely caused by a problem with an internal component, such as a worn-out pump seal or an issue with the pressure valve. A leak could be caused by a poor installation, an internal fault or corroded pipes and could be a sign you need a new boiler. If you are noticing water around your boiler, you should contact a Gas Safe registered heating engineer immediately.

Hearing strange noises

If you are hearing a strange noise emanating from your boiler, similar to that of a kettle boiling, then it could be an indication of limescale build-up. This can be an easy fix, and your engineer will be able to flush the system and remove the deposits. If you are hearing other strange sounds, it is best to speak with a Gas Safe engineer as soon as possible. Choose a reputable Gas Safe registered heating engineer to help repair the issue promptly.

Need your boiler repaired?

Experiencing a boiler breakdown is very frustrating, but here at RJ Martindale Ltd, our dedicated engineers are here to help you. We offer Boiler repair and servicing to homeowners across Bolton, so if you are having issues with your boiler, get in touch with us today. We also offer RJM Homecare Cover to protect you from costly repair costs – visit rjmhomecare.com for more information or give us a call on 07401 077791.