Archive for February, 2014

What Is Powerflushing?

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

What Is Powerflushing?

Powerflushing is a cleansing process designed to rid the central heating system of sludge, rust and corrosive inefficiencies that accumulate over time in most heating systems. In addition to increasing the efficiency of the heating system, the powerflush also serves to protect the main heating plant. Powerflushing should only be administered by a knowledgeable and experienced central heating expert.

Powerflushing is a proven solution for uneven heat distribution and for remedying the inefficiencies of the central heating system. Many homeowners are unaware that the heat circulation in their home is clogged. Powerflushing is the best way to ensure that the system is circulating properly and not adding pressure to the heating unit.

Powerflushing is also recommended when new systems are being installed. A new boiler replacing an older boiler is only as effective and efficient as the circulation of the existing piping. Powerflushing is a safe, relatively inexpensive process that will add warmth to the home and reduce energy expenditures at the same time.

Warning Signs That Powerflushing is Needed

There are several symptoms that indicate it is time to powerflush your central heating system.

Cold radiators – Are some radiators warm while others are cold? The reason for this is rust and sludge that has accumulated in pipes and is preventing heat from circulating to all radiators in the home.

Excessive Noise – Can you hear you boiler overworking? Do you hear air trying to fight through the sludge and rust in pipes? If your central heating system is making unusual noises, the chances are a powerflush is in order.

Discoloured Water – When you bleed your radiators and pipes are you finding the water is discoloured? That is a clear warning sign that the system is in jeopardy and in need of powerflushing. In extreme cases, you might notice that tap water is cloudy.

How Powerflushing Works

You can improve the circulation in your heating system by cleaning the pipes. You will most likely enjoy other benefits such as a quieter, more efficient operating system. Over the long-term, you will also notice that your energy expenses are decreasing.

Powerflushing is safe if administered by an experienced heating engineer likle Home Cure. The heating engineer will connect a high flow, low pressure pumping unit to the system. The most likely connection point is the circulation pump or the pump head, depending upon the system.

The engineer will add high strength cleaning chemical to the system. These include ingredients to break down sludge crust that inevitably builds on the pipes. A chemical to remove the sludge is also used along with a descaler to break down the limescale. After the initial flush, crust and rust inhibitors are added to the system.

The crust breakers and removers are acid-based cleansers. These will also rid the system of any sand that may have accumulated in the system. When the powerflush is complete, the acid will be washed thoroughly from the system.

Professional powerflushing takes can take a few hours. Most homeowners notice the difference immediately. Please feel free to get an estimate beforehand to find out about time frames and costs.

In the UK today, many residents are concerned about the cost and amount of energy used to heat their homes and businesses. Powerflushing is a great way to reduce energy expenditure, your carbon footprint and most importantly to improve the heat circulation in your home. By removing the sludge and corrosive elements from your central heating system, you are also prolonging the life of your heating plant. Replacing a boiler is one expense nobody wants to incur.

Powerflushing in London

For more information on our London based powerflushing and emergency plumbing services, please contact us today.

powerflushing

For Landlords: UK Gas Safety Regulations

Monday, February 17th, 2014

For Landlords: UK Gas Safety RegulationsFor Landlords: UK Gas Safety Regulations

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 (as amended) are the most important and most strictly regulated of all the landlord’s obligations. The landlord is responsible for all appliances which includes boilers, fires and cooking appliances. All of these must be tested to ensure that they do not emit toxic gases and that flues are in good condition. All tests must be carried out prior to tenancy and annually thereafter.

Am I A Landlord?

Under the domestic gas section of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1988 a landlord is ‘anyone who rents out a property that they own under a lease that is shorter than seven years or under a license.’

If your lease is for longer than seven years or is for life then you are not responsible for gas safety checks and maintenance.

However, if there is an implied tenancy agreement such as accommodation is provided due to your job then it is expected that you carry out duties for gas safety.

As a general rule, the landlord and agency are responsible for gas safety and maintenance checks under any circumstances, such as subletting or shared ownership. However it is important to read the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 (as amended) to ensure you are certain of your legal obligations.

What Are My Duties?

As a landlord you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. This involves checking all gas appliances and having them tested prior to tenancy and then annually thereafter. The gas appliances, fittings and flues should all be tested by a Gas Safe registered engineer and good practice dictates the demonstration of regular, annual maintenance checks and subsequent checks.

Other responsibilities involve ensuring an annual gas safety check is carried out within 12 months of the installation of a new appliance/flue (and annually thereafter) by a Gas Sage registered engineer. A record of these safety checks must be kept for up to two years and your tenants should be issued a copy within twenty eight days of the check being completed. Furthermore, any new tenants should be issued copies of past checks and safety regulations before they move in.

What Gas Appliances Are My Responsibility?

All gas appliance that have been bought and provided to the tenants by you are your responsibility. If the tenant has brought their own appliances you are responsible for any fittings and installation necessary, but not for the appliance itself. In regards to appliances owned by tenants there are certain measures that you can practice to ensure complete safety. Firstly you can send reminders to the tenants each year when their appliances are due a service by a Gas Safe engineer. Secondly, when you begin the tenancy you can advise your tenant on any flues or chimneys that are unsuitable for the installation of a gas appliance to discourage any accidents. Finally it is recommended to include all the flues that are connected to gas appliances within the landlord’s gas safety check that you will be providing your tenants with.

Do I Need To Use A Gas Safe Registered Engineer?

Only an engineer that is registered as Gas Safe should be used to complete gas work for maintenance and safety check on gas equipment that you own or provide for tenants use. It is advised that you check the registered engineer is competent to work in that specific area of gas.

It is important to note that the Gas Safe Register has no control over the amount an engineer charges to carry out any safety checks. To ensure you are being offered the best price, obtain three different quotes from separate engineers before hiring somebody.

You can check that an engineer is qualified to undertake a gas safety check in your area by asking to see their ID card, which all registered engineers are required to carry with them.

What Should I Do If I Smell Gas?

If you have any suspicions that there could be a breach in gas safety you must immediately call the National Grid’s Gas Emergency Freephone number (0800 111 999), open all the doors and windows to the house and shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve.

It is illegal to continue using a gas appliance if you believe there is a chance it could be unfit for use.

If you are experiencing problems with your boiler or just need some advice about gas safety, give Home Cure a call Freephone on 0800 002 9991. Check out our gas services here.

10 Tips To Prevent Blocked Kitchen Drains

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Preventing Blocked Drain

Preventing Blocked Kitchen Drains in Your Home

A clogged kitchen sink can inconvenience the entire family. Everything seems to come to halt when the kitchen sink is not working properly. Furthermore, to make matters worse, clogged kitchen sink can lead to expensive repairs that can be prevented with a few common-sense practices. The approach to proper kitchen sink maintenance should always be cautious and to focus on prevention, rather than repair.

1. Check Your Design – The first assessment of your kitchen sink should be the actual design of the sink and drain. All the caution in the world cannot overcome a poor design or poor installation. Make sure the level of the drainage pipe slope is 2 degrees or more. This angle will ensure that water entering the drain pipe flows out evenly and smoothly.

2. Check the Piping Materials – As important as the installation and angle of the drainage pipe is the composition of the pipe. Ideally, a high quality material that is not easily splintered or cracked is used. The material should also be corrosion resistant. If the material is PVC, make sure that it is thick, elastic and meets special drainage specs.

3. Check the Filters – Your drain should have high quality filters that encourage flow but protect against invasive materials. If you have the right drain filter, you never have to take leave the drain open to pour liquids down the system.

4. Run Water when Using the Disposal – If you have a kitchen disposal, never use the grinder without running water down the system before during and after disposing of waste. As a matter of safety, always put the lid on the drain when you turn the grinder on. Never stick your hand or fingers in the grinder!

5. Clean the Filter – Always clean the filter after washing dishes or using the sink.

6. Stop Using the Sink – If the drain stops flowing, stop using it immediately. As soon as the flow stops, turn the water off and clean the sink area. Put caustic soda powder down the drain. Always follow the safety instructions on the soda powder container.

7. Know the Telltale Warning Signs – There are several indicators that should serve as warning signs that your drain is partially clogged and needs servicing.

  • Drainage speed slows
  • Bubbles surface when water is poured down drain

If these symptoms arise, stop using the sink and wipe clean. Pour hot water down the drain with the hope that it will reduce or eliminate fats or leftover food particles in the system built up in the pipe.

8. Avoid Grease and/or Fat – Never pour grease or fat down the drain. Grease and fat are the most common causes of kitchen sink clogging. Make sure everyone in the house adheres to this policy. Keep a metal can near the sink where fat and grease can be deposited. Fat and grease will build up in the pipes and eventually prevent liquid from passing through.

9. No Hair Policy – Anther common cause of kitchen sink backup is hair that makes its way into the system and refuses to pass through. Insist that all household members be careful with washing hair in kitchen and other sinks in the house.

10. Trees and Leaves – After we have been cleaning up  or working on the garden, we wash our hands. Sometimes we find we have leavers or dirt on our clothing and instinctive dump it in the sink and try to wash it down the drain. Eventually, these things build up and the sink backs up.

In anticipation of a kitchen sink backup, be familiar with how to take the sink apart and have the proper tools around the house.

If you are experiencing problems with your kitchen or bathroom drains, give Home Cure a call Freephone on 0800 002 9991. Check out our plumbing services here.