Boiler servicing Winchester

Boiler Servicing – An Essential Investment

A study has found that watching spending has become an ingrained way of life that consumers will continue with, even when their finances improve.  It seems the recession has left behind a legacy of cautious consumers, with people needing a strong reason to part with their money.

VITAL BENEFITS

An annual boiler service, however, needs to be seen as essential spending.  In much the same way as a homeowner would regards a service and MOT for their car.  Most people anticipate there will be ongoing costs associated with their vehicles and budget for them accordingly.

An annual boiler service provides some important benefits; it will ensure the boiler is safe, is performing efficiently and reliably, and maintains the manufacturer’s warranty.

SAFETY

The number one reason for a homeowner to have their gas boiler serviced regularly is safety.

Unfortunately, consumer awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is thought to be generally low across the UK.  It is important for heating engineers to explain to their customers that unsafe gas appliances – those that have been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained – can produce this highly poisonous gas.

According to the Department of Health, 50 people die each year from CO poisoning and another 4,000 are treated in hospital.  It is thought the true number is likely to be much higher, as the early symptoms can easily be mistaken for flu or tiredness.

LONGEVITY

Another benefit of regular servicing extends the service life of your heating system and ensures reliable, trouble-free operation.  This is the only way to make sure that the energy from the fuel is used efficiently and cleanly, thus protecting the environment and saving on heating bills and the likelihood of breakdown, saving the homeowner money and minimising disruption without compromising high heating and hot water convenience.

Again, it is useful to draw on a car analogy.  A homeowner will understand that things like replacing filters and spark plugs are essential to keep their vehicle in top condition, and that avoiding a scheduled service may have a detrimental effect on the way the car works, leaving them out of pocket in the long run.  The same rules apply here, the boiler, burner and control unit form a system like that of a car engine which is essentially runs for many more hours than a car.  If your car was in operation for the same amount of time as your boiler, it would cover more than 60,000 miles in a year.  All car owners know that they need to have a service carried out at regular intervals.  Therefore your heating system should be serviced at least once a year, much like your car.

WARRANTIES

An annual service is usually a condition of a boiler warranty – which is another important reason why you as the homeowner should invest.  Today, boilers come with lengthy warranties, which should be seen as a sign of reliability, but the working parts still need to be checked annually.

Call us today to book your service on 01722 417873.

Sited: McCallum Layton study.  HVP Magazine May 2016.

Written by ‘The Girl in the Office’.

New Boiler Installation

Viessmann Installation at a New Forest Hotel

It’s hard not to be impressed at the work our engineers undertake especially when it comes to an installation such as this.

What a beautiful building for the installation to take place at.

IMG_8502

Now down to the main plant room. . .

IMG_8571

Two Viessmann gas boilers installed and awaiting to be fully connected and turned on.

IMG_2255

To an untrained eye, such as mine, even I can see the work that has gone into this Plant Room by the sheer size of the new cylinders and pipework.  All the old dropping pipework is coming out to be replaced by new straight and completely secured 2 ½” iron pipework and fittings.

IMG_8540

This not only shows the magnitude of the work involved, but that careful thought and design consideration has been made, to fit into the space available and to make all the equipment accessible and serviceable in the future.  Not forgetting that until it is time to switch over to our new system the old system has to be running as the hotel is fully booked as the work continues.

The Technical Side:

I would like to give you a rundown of the equipment used in this installation:

– 2 x Viessmann-W 200 Vitodens 60kW boilers
– 2 x Viessmann Vitocell 300-B 500L Cylinder
– Viessmann Low Loss Header and insulation
– Spirotrap MBL 2 ½ “
– Spirovent Dearerator 2 ½ ”
– Pumps
– 2 ½” Pipework
– Controls – Weather Compensated

Which means:

Our customer will have complete control of the heating and hot water system within the hotel.

The main plant room has 1 underfloor heating circuit for the conservatory, used as the dining room.  Then 3 individual fully weather compensated heating circuits for the main house ground floor, 1st floor bedrooms and 2nd floor bedrooms.  Meaning different temperatures and timings can be set for the different sections of the hotel.

So from an atmospheric conventionally flued system to include boilers and water heaters, they now have a balanced system with Viessmann high efficiency condensing technology with full weather compensation.

IMG_2362

What a difference we can make!

Written by ‘The Girl in the Office’.

Case Study - Viessmann Vitorondens 200-T Oil Boiler

Viessmann Installation at a Grade II Listed Home

When the owner of a former listed rectory dating back to around 1600 in a small village outside Salisbury, Wiltshire, came to replace the property’s fifty year old boiler and gravity fed heating system, he naturally had high expectations.

IMG_6927

The project needed to significantly reduced running costs (the old system consumed 2,000 litres of oil per month), provide a constant space heat temperature and enable the heating, hot water and secondary hot water circuits to be controlled independently and remotely. Salisbury-based Viessmann partner, AHS Ltd., specified a Viessmann Vitorondens oil-fired boiler, with weather compensation and Vitotrol 300A remote controls. The result is a modern, fuel efficient heating system which is saving £8,000 per year, or around 70 per cent of his previous expenditure on oil.

The Technical Side:
  • 60kW Vitorondens 200.
  • Vitocell 300-B 500L.
  • 3 x Header Divcon Units with mixers.
  • Vitocom 100 with Virotrol App.
  • Vitotrol 300A remote control (3 heating circuits).
  • Wilo Comfort COR-2 pressure booster set.
  • Break tank.
  • 2 x large expansion vessels.

IMG_7630

Viessmann Vitorondens oil-fired boiler, with weather compensation and Vitotrol 300A remote controls.

IMG_7672

The new heating system comprises three fully weather compensated heating circuits and one constant temperature circuit for under-floor heating.

Which means:

Saving space, saving oil.

With oil bills of almost £13,000 per year at the 6,660 sq. ft., six bedroom, four bathroom home, fuel efficiency was a major priority. The Viessmann system – attractive because of its product build quality, system performance and user- friendly controls – was also the only one to come with weather compensation controls. These would fully optimise the Vitorondens 200’s efficiency and improve internal comfort, regardless of external temperature.

The installed system provides three fully weather compensated heating circuits and one constant temperature circuit for under-floor heating. One cylinder loading circuit with controls operates the heating and hot water and also the secondary hot water circuits. A welcome benefit of the advanced Vitotrol 300A controls is that AHS can monitor the system remotely on behalf of its client.

Noise was also a key consideration as the boiler’s flue would terminate above an outside seating area. The Vitorondens outperformed its competitors on noise levels.

AHS was called in as one of the few companies who could take on the complexities of the equipment and the task of designing, specifying and constructing a new, 9 ft by 6 ft plant room, in an outbuilding next to the main house. Tight for space and access, there was a lot of kit to install and most of it had to be dismantled and built inside the room. Thanks to the swift work of AHS, the crossover to the new plant room was achieved in just two days.

Overall the installation has resulted in a huge reduction in heating costs and oil consumption of around 70 per cent. Says a satisfied AHS Customer:-

In a property with no particular thermal efficiency, the installation of a highly efficient oil boiler and the very latest in temperature curve control programming has achieved a massive shift in performance.

Written by ‘The Girl in the Office’.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Awareness Poster

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that kills hundreds of people each year and injures many more. It is often referred to as the silent killer; it has no odour or taste and cannot be seen. Like oxygen, CO enters the body through the lungs during the normal breathing process. It competes with oxygen by replacing it in the red blood cells, thereby reducing the flow of oxygen to the heart, brain and other vital organs. In high concentrations, CO can kill in minutes. Many cases of reported carbon monoxide poisoning indicate that while victims are aware they are not feeling well, they become disorientated and unable to save themselves by either exiting the building or calling for assistance. Exposure during sleep is particularly dangerous because the victim usually does not wake up.

Symptoms of CO poisoning

The following symptoms may be related to CO poisoning which all household members should be made aware of:

  • Mild Exposure: Slight headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue (often described as ‘flulike’ symptoms)
  • Medium Exposure: Severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, confusion, fast heart rate
  • Extreme Exposure: Unconsciousness, convulsions, cardiorespiratory failure, death

A CO detector monitors the level of CO as parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere surrounding the detector.

35ppm The maximum allowable concentration for continuous exposure for healthy adults in any 8 hour period, as recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

200ppm Slight headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea after 2 – 3 hours.

400ppm Frontal headaches within 1 – 2 hours, life threatening after 3 hours.

800ppm Dizziness, nausea and convulsions within 45 minutes. Unconsciousness within 2 hours. Death within 2 – 3 hours.

Should you suspect CO may be affecting you or your family, open the doors and windows of your property to ventilate, turn off your appliances and evacuate the premises. At this time the authorities should be contacted to locate the source of the carbon monoxide before re-entering the building. Medical attention should be sought for anyone suffering the effects of CO poisoning.

Common sources of CO:
  • Oil and gas boilers
  • Portable generators
  • Oil or solid fuel cookers
  • Gas or paraffin heaters
  • Barbecues
  • Clogged chimneys
  • Gas, wood, coal or coke fireplaces
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Gas appliances
  • Any fossil fuel burning appliance

It is relatively inexpensive to have a CO alarm fitted in your home, so don’t hesitate to call us today to arrange for one of our engineers to visit your home.

Keep your family safe!

Written by ‘The Girl in the Office’

Boiler installation in Shaftsbury

Fighting Legionella

It is well understood that legionella, a bacillary germ similar to pneumonia, causes severe health issues for humans.  Recent cases of legionella infection have prompted industry figures, such as the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors, to speak out about the importance of quality materials and disease prevention training for those responsible for the control and maintenance of water systems.

The issue of prevention runs deep however, right back to the initial system design stage.  A fundamental part of good water network design is rooted in understanding how the choice of materials used can affect the health of a system.

A system which is correctly designed from the beginning will encourage the correct flow of water without creating areas where water is stationary, stagnant and susceptible to the risk of bacteria growth, and potentially legionella contamination.  ‘Dead Legs’ in a system, where a section of pipe contains unmoving water, are a major risk for legionella growth and eliminating these in the first place can go a long way to fighting waterborne diseases throughout the plumbing system.

The proliferation of bacteria such as legionella in water systems can pose a major health risk, particularly for vulnerable people such as the elderly.  Recognising the severity of this issue, EU regulations were introduced to provide a consistent water quality policy for all member states during 2015, with more to come.  The plumbing industry has a huge part to play in ensuring that quality control is maintained.

IMG_9576

A customer’s roof tanks, in desperate need with a real risk of Legionella!

THRIVING BACTERIA

Legionella-based illness are contracted from inhalation rather than ingestion; the bacteria thrives particularly in water circuits where the temperature ranges between 25 to 45 degrees Celsius and is most commonly transferred by aerosol action, such as water vapours from air conditioning systems and faucets.  The spread of this type of bacteria depends on certain key elements; the nature of the water, absence of circulation, ambient temperature, lack of on-going treatment, and sometimes the choice of materials used.  It is therefore vital that these main criteria are adhered to when trying to avoid contamination of the water systems.

HEALTH & SAFETY

According to the HSE – L8 approved code of practice and guidance document, the growth of legionella bacteria in pipework can also be linked to biofilms essentially nutriment build up), which are in turn linked to the survival of waterborne bacteria.  Good design and construction of a pipework network is key to optimum system functionally, yet the choice of materials used has also been found to substantially improve the health benefits too.  Studies gathered by International Copper Association regarding cooper’s ability to destroy a wide range of bacteria, including legionella, show that copper kills at least 99.9% of bacteria within two hours of exposure.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations impose a responsibility on persons controlling premises, or its water system, to ensure that all harmful bacteria is minimised.  Filtration and reducing the build-up of debris that can act as a nutriment source in water systems is an important step in minimising biofilm in the system.  However, while copper is proven to have antimicrobial qualities and ongoing mechanical benefits, it should not be installed as a device for sterilisation or as a means of improving the potability of the water system.

Choice of material aside, good maintenance practice is paramount and without it bacteria growth in pipes can increase.  Rigorous maintenance should be implemented to ensure all breakdowns in the network are minimised, which will in turn reduce the risk of bacterial growth developing in water that has sat in pipes for extended periods.  Once installation is complete, it is essential that those charged with maintenance understand how to completed checks and report any concerns.  If we take these points on board as an industry, we can minimise the proliferation of legionella bacteria and the threat of Legionnaires’ disease in our water heating systems.