The last thing you want to happen when the cold comes around is for your boiler to break down. Keep your home comfortably warm by scheduling regular boiler maintenance at least once a year with a qualified engineer.
Even if you are not an expert, you can have peace of mind knowing the technician you hire is doing their job right by referring to this handy boiler service checklist.
Gas Safe Register Qualification
The Gas Safe Register is the official governing body for gas engineers. They give proper accreditation for gas installation and maintenance work.
Kindly ask your engineer to show their Gas Safe ID card. They should have it on them when taking on jobs. Check for their licence number, and look it up on the Gas Safe Register website.
Take note that gas engineers have different qualifications for specific types of gas work. For instance, an engineer might be qualified for pipework but not for gas boilers.
Visual Inspection of your Boiler
The visual check is the engineer’s initial method of assessing the status of your boiler. This will tell them if the boiler, the pipework, and the flue are all properly installed and if there is any obvious damage.
The location of the boiler itself has to be within regulation. This takes into account the position of gas meters, nearby appliances, the proximity of combustibles, and the ventilation in the area.
Labels on every part of your boiler system must be checked to see if it is all correct. This makes for easy reviewing of the whole system’s performance.
Initial Operations Check
Before the engineer starts maintenance or repair work, they need to see how well the boiler actually performs.
Have them turn it on to check for any problems with how it runs that could immediately be apparent. This will also let them know if the controls are in working order, the safety devices are in place, and if the electrical connections are in good condition or not.
Gas tests are carried out in this step of the boiler service. These tests determine if the gas pressure levels are appropriate if the gas is flowing correctly, and if there are any gas leaks. A tightness test is necessary to guarantee no gas escapes from the whole system.
The amount of gas consumed by the boiler should also be cross-referenced with the manufacturer’s manual. That way, the engineer will know if the gas rate is compliant with the manufacturer’s specifications.
Testing the Emergency Control Valve (ECV) is critical. It is the one thing that can safely shut off the gas in your home if something were to go wrong with your boiler.
Internal Inspection of your Boiler
The engineer has to open up the boiler to get a good look at its internal structure and components. They need to check for signs of leaking, corrosion and overheating.
The parts that require inspection include the flue, the burner, the fan, the heat exchange, and the seals. All these parts should then be thoroughly cleaned, regardless if there is any obvious damage to them. This ensures that they are working properly until the next inspection.
The burner should also be cleaned of debris that has accumulated or any kind of oxidation. The fan might need to be removed when there is too much dirt on it.
Have the engineer look for leakage in the heat exchanger connections. A good brushing of the waterways should be done.
Also, sealing for the combustion has to be intact and in good condition to guarantee zero leakage. If there is a condensate trap or recovery system, they might need to remove it to be cleaned properly.
If any of these parts are found to be faulty in any capacity, they should be replaced.
1. Flue Inspection
The flue, in particular, has to be unobstructed and securely fitted. In line with the flue inspection, a flue gas analysis (FGA) should be run to identify the efficiency levels of the boiler’s combustion.
The engineer can take a look at the colour of the flame to find out if the combustion is fine. A blue flame with a yellow tip indicates the primary presence of methane, which is what makes up natural gas. If the flame is mainly red, yellow, orange, green, or purple, that means other chemicals are being burned up. This leads to inefficient combustion and can be a safety risk as well.
2. Water Systems Inspection
Water levels, pressure, and quality all matter to the overall performance of your boiler. Have your engineer go over the water systems.
The water gauge is the first thing the engineer can check to see if water levels are just right. It can get dirty or cloudy over time, so have it cleaned to get accurate readings.
Controlling the water levels requires maintenance of the float chamber and the piping. If there is any sediment or sludge, it should be removed ASAP.
Another element of the water systems that needs maintaining is the fuel cutoff feature. This keeps fuel from entering the boiler if there is not enough water.
Finally, check the water treatment functions. They filter sediments and whatever impurities there might be from corrosion. While doing this, the engineer should also check the PH levels and the quality of the water.
3. Expansion Vessel Inspection
The expansion vessel is another safety measure that prevents your boiler from high-pressure levels. It is technically not located inside your boiler. It is a separate tank that’s usually located near the boiler.
The engineer can check if the pressure in your boiler is going too low or too high when in use to test the expansion vessel’s condition. It can be recharged if it is not working properly.
Reassembly of Boiler Casing
After all the internal parts of the boiler have been inspected and maintained, the engineer should reassemble the boiler with its casing.
If the seals have been worn down, have them replaced. The boiler should then be visually checked once more for potential leaks.
When the boiler is thoroughly cleaned and inspected, it is time to run tests to see how it performs with the maintenance done.
The engineer should check for the following:
- Flue flow continuity/spillage
- Flue efficiency and functionality with an FGA
- CO/CO2 readings with an electronic combustion gas analyser
- Water pressure
- Minimum and maximum gas setting pressures
- Inlet working pressure
- Appliance burner and main burner pressure
- Flame failure device condition
- Timer and heating control
- Gas rate appliance at full load
- Burner casing seal if positive pressure
Boiler Log Update and Service Sticker
Once the boiler service has been completed, the engineer must update the boiler log with all the important details regarding the work they had to do. This will be useful for the next service, whether it’s a new boiler engineer coming in to do the service or there’s a new owner of the property.
The engineer should also leave a service sticker on the boiler. The sticker must have the date for the next scheduled maintenance and the contact details of the engineer. With this information, you can rest assured that your boiler will be properly maintained at a regular pace, and you can get in touch with the engineer in case your boiler needs urgent servicing.
When to Contact your Boiler Engineer
There are telltale signs that your boiler requires servicing from an engineer. Call a boiler engineer when you experience any of the following:
- The boiler overheats frequently
- The boiler refills repeatedly
- The boiler fan spins loudly
- The boiler pilot light flickers
- The boiler loses pressure
- The flow of hot water is weak or limited
- There are stains or smoke marks on the boiler or near it
- The boiler’s flame is irregular or coloured yellow
If you notice any such issues, do not hesitate to give our qualified heating engineers a call on our phone at 01179 619 021 or on our mobile number at 07890 290 217. Your comfort and safety depend on swift action being taken by an expert who can fix the problem.