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FAQ

Frequently asked questions

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We answer some of the most frequently asked questions below, but if you still need help, then please contact us.

General

This depends on the size of the plant room and the number of heating, water and air control appliances e.g. boilers, radiators, tap outlets, air conditioning units. Typically this takes between 1-4 hours but the duration can vary as mentioned previously.

That’s perfectly ok. We do one-off boiler repairs (all makes – parts permitting) with no contracts or hidden fees. We also offer a 24/7 emergency call-out service. Get in touch by calling 0207 9989 005 and we can organise an engineer to attend your property as soon as possible!

Our policy is to fit and install only energy-efficient commercial boilers from makers such as Worcester, Ideal, Baxi, Vaillant, Worcester Bosch, Hamworthy, Strebel and more!

The main difference between a commercial boiler and a domestic one is the output rating. A domestic output rating is generally between 10-60kW, whereas the output of a commercial boiler is generally much higher – between 60kW to 1,500kW. Other factors include bigger gas metres and larger pipework which a domestic engineer wouldn’t be qualified to work on. For more information on this topic click here.

Absolutely! We can even create a bespoke maintenance agreement tailored specifically to your property, system and requirements. CGBS specialise in the ongoing management of large commercial properties. Get in touch by calling 0207 9989 005 for more details.

Yes. All our engineers are fully qualified, experienced professionals and are Gas Safe registered, we also have 40+ years experience as a commercial HVAC company with an impeccable track record!

CGBS work on all types of HVAC systems, including but not limited to: boilers, heat pumps, gas-fired warm air heating, radiant heaters, air conditioning, chiller systems and catering equipment.

If you think of anything else that we haven’t covered give us a call. This way we can ask a few questions to assess your HVAC system’s specifications and ensure a qualified engineer with the specified expertise will attend your property.

Boiler installation

The cost of a new boiler largely depends on the size and type of boiler you want installed and the specifications it needs to meet. New boilers can cost anywhere between £500 and £3,000 for a standard domestic system, the installation cost is then based off how long it will take to install the boiler. Our hourly rates for an engineer in working hours (weekdays between 9am and 5pm) are £175 per hour, per engineer and our day rates are £1100 for one engineer and £1800 for two. If out of hours (5pm – 9pm on weekdays, weekends and holidays) work is required the rate is £250 per hour, per engineer. The cost of the boiler can go above £3,000 if your property requires a larger output than a singular boiler can provide as a cascade system using multiple boilers will have to be implemented. The cost can also increase if you require other equipment on top of your boiler e.g. BMS, gas burners, gas booster pumps and gas interlock systems.

If the boiler is gas-fired then it is a legal requirement for a Gas Safe registered engineer with the correct qualifications to install the boiler. If the boiler is LPG or oil they will also need to have the correct certification and qualifications e.g. an OFTEC certified engineer. If the boiler is electric and domestic as well as not rented then you can technically install your own electric boiler but this is not recommended for safety reasons. You may also need to have the boiler reinstalled by a qualified engineer if you plan on selling or renting out the property.

If you are strictly talking about a new boiler and not a new heating system, then there will generally only be a slight increase to the value added to the property. If you install a new heating system including all new radiators and pipework, the increase will be much greater but by comparison, a heating system will not increase the value as much as a loft conversion so the increase in value needs to be relative to the amount you are investing in the heating system. You also need to consider the existing boiler in the property, as if the boiler being replaced is really old then obviously the value will increase further. There are varying arguments for the exact amount a new boiler will increase your property’s value by, with most saying around 4% or £8000 for a £2000 – £3000 boiler installation but again this is dependent on many different factors. If you are selling your property and the boiler is not functioning correctly or is considerably old, we recommend a replacement to not add further complications in relation to selling your property.

The size of a boiler depends on the output that it needs to meet. Many factors affect this such as whether the boiler is supplying heating and hot water or just heating, the number of radiators the property has, the number of water outlets the property has and the overall square footage of your property. As a rule of thumb if the boiler is supplying hot water and heating a property with 0 – 10 radiators will need a boiler around 24 – 27 kW, a property with 10 – 15 radiators will need a boiler around 28 – 34kW, a property with 15 – 20 radiators will need a boiler around 32 – 40kW. If the boiler is only supplying heating a 12 – 15kW will be able to power up to 10 radiators, a 18 – 24kW will be able to power up to 15 radiators and a 30 – 40kW boiler will be able to power up to 20 radiators. Radiators come in different shapes and sizes and have different BTU ratings so this is a guideline only and you should always consult your gas engineer when choosing the right size boiler for your property. For properties with more complex specifications such as commercial properties, it is extremely difficult to provide an output on the size of the boiler needed without knowing more about the property and it’s requirements. For a more accurate estimate please contact our customer service representatives who will ask questions to find out more about your property or book a site survey to accurately provide the correct size boiler your property needs.

Depending on the efficiency of a boiler installed and the boiler it is replacing, you can expect to save up to 30% on your energy bill. Most new boilers have an efficiency rating above 90%, whereas older boilers were around 60 – 70%; look out for the term A-rated as this means that the boiler does in fact have an efficiency rating above 90%. If the boiler you are replacing already has a high efficiency level then it is unlikely you will see a drastic reduction in your bills, as it will not use less fuel if the efficiency is already at a high level. Another benefit of replacing an old boiler with a new one is the amount of carbon produced, a new boiler will significantly reduce your carbon footprint especially if the boiler being replaced is 10 years or older.

A new boiler normally takes around a day to install but can take longer depending on the boiler being installed, the equipment being removed and if any other equipment needs to be installed alongside your boiler. Some properties require a large output and will need multiple boilers installed as a cascade system and may entail other equipment such as water cylinders and an array of pumps. If this is the case then a new installation time will be at least 2-3 days.

Gas Boilers

Gas boilers can still legally be installed, the reason people think this isn’t the case is due to proposed legislation that detailed banning gas boilers from being installed in new build homes from 2025. This legislation has not been passed and therefore isn’t official but even if it does pass this only affects new build homes, meaning that older homes will still be able to have their existing gas boilers replaced with new gas boilers. For more detailed information on the topic please read our article.

Gas boilers emit carbon as a byproduct of the combustion process, this may sound bad for the environment but first you need to consider the alternatives. The main alternative that is thought to be more beneficial for the environment are electric boilers as they don’t burn a fuel to provide energy for the boiler. What people often don’t consider for electric boilers is that the electricity has to be created somehow, with a large portion of this electricity being produced by means that burn a fuel source and produce carbon as a byproduct. Currently, only 40% of the UK’s electricity is produced by renewable means with the rest being imported or produced by burning fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Making it just as bad for the environment if not worse when considering all the additional components that are required to produce the electricity. Other renewable means of heating aren’t widely applicable to the UK as we simply don’t have the weather to meet their requirements e.g. we don’t have enough sun to heat a property consistently with solar panels and the weather gets too cold for air source or ground source heat pumps to be your sole source of heating. The debate of the most environmentally conscious energy source for heating has many contrasting opinions and research which make it hard to decide upon a clear winner.

The efficiency of your gas boiler mainly depends on the age of the boiler in question. Old gas boilers often had an efficiency between 60 – 70% whereas new gas boilers often boast an efficiency that can compete with their electric counterparts with ratings around the high 80’s and low 90’s.

The answer to this question is highly subjective but our preferred brands of gas boilers at CGBS are Elco, ACV, Vaillant, Ideal and Hamworthy. If you are worried about choosing an inefficient or ineffective boiler then just make sure to look out for the term A-rated, as this means that the boiler you have chosen is at least 90% efficient and will be among the most energy-efficient of models available today.

Depending on the efficiency of a boiler installed and the boiler it is replacing, you can expect to save up to 30% on your energy bill. Most new boilers have an efficiency rating above 90%, whereas older boilers were around 60 – 70%; look out for the term A-rated as this means that the boiler does in fact have an efficiency rating above 90%. If the boiler you are replacing already has a high efficiency level then it is unlikely you will see a drastic reduction in your bills, as it will not use less fuel if the efficiency is already at a high level. Another benefit of replacing an old boiler with a new one is the amount of carbon produced, a new boiler will significantly reduce your carbon footprint especially if the boiler being replaced is 10 years or older.

No, all gas boilers need to be installed by a qualified gas engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register. If your boiler hasn’t been installed by qualified gas engineer you run the risk of serious legal repercussions as well as the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and explosions.

Electric Boilers

Electric boilers actually are the most expensive type of boiler to run. As of  2022, the price of electricity is on average around £0.20 – £0.30 per kWh, whereas natural gas is £0.04 – £0.5 per kWh, LPG on average is £0.07 – £0.08 per kWh and oil is £0.05 – £0.06 per kWh. So despite electric boilers normally being more efficient than other types of boilers, it doesn’t make up for the price of the energy being more than 3x the amount than the fuel used in other types of boilers.

Whether you need a hot water tank for your electric boiler depends on the amount of hot water you require from your system. If you have a large property with multiple bathrooms then you will most likely need a hot water storage tank. If you have a property with only one or two bathrooms then you should be fine with an electric combi boiler that heats the water on demand. The issue with combi boilers is that heat water on demand is that the flow rate can be quite low leaving you with low water pressure in the shower or it may take some time to fill a bath.

Electric boilers are more efficient than gas. Electric boilers normally have 99% – 100% efficiency, whereas new gas boilers have an efficiency rating around 90% – 95%. This is because the electricity used by an electric boiler is converted to heat straight away which heats the water but gas boilers lose some of the heat in the combustion process by heat dissipation.

Electric boilers on average take longer to install than fuel-fired boilers because there are additional components associated with electric boilers that need to be installed. For example a consumer unit (fuse box) will need to be installed as a safety precaution, a rotary isolator will also need to be installed for emergency shut offs and a heat resistant cable will need to be installed which will need to be either trunked or chased to the boiler location. Fuel-fired boilers don’t require any of this, they simply need to have the boiler installed as normal which is then connected to the correct pipelines that supply the fuel and transport the water. Fuel-fired boilers also need to be connected to a fused spur which usually connects to a fuse box, this being a quick and simple process.

Electric boilers don’t require a fuel source but we do recommend a competent professional installs them. They technically don’t need to be installed by an engineer who is registered with a regulatory body such as the Gas Safe Register or OFTEC. There are no laws around who can install an electric boiler in a domestic property other than you should be competent to do so. In rented or commercial properties there are laws surrounding the safety of those within that prevent someone who isn’t qualified from installing an electric boiler themselves. If you have a domestic property it is highly recommended that you have a qualified plumber and qualified electrician install an electric boiler as you will run the risk of endangering your life and those around you if done incorrectly. You will also most likely void any home insurance installing an electric boiler yourself without the correct qualifications. All electric boiler installations will also have to meet local standards and national regulations whether done by yourself or a qualified professional. To summarise, the short answer is you can install an electric boiler on your own if the property is domestic and not leased but it is not advisable to do so, you will void any insurance on your property and there is a barrage of regulations you need to make sure are met.

There is no definitive answer to the best electric boiler as this depends on what factors you value, your properties requirements and the type or size of electric boiler you need. The boilers we have found to be the top performing at CGBS are: Comet or Slimjim by EHC, Electromax by Heatrae Sadia, Mattira by Elnur, Elektra by the Electric Combi Boiler Company and a variety of models from Thermaflow.

LPG Boilers

Yes, LPG boilers need to have a gas safety check performed annually just like natural gas boilers. This is a legal requirement for all commercial properties and leased properties, it also needs to be performed by a gas engineer with the correct qualifications to work on LPG boilers.

LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and natural gas have distinct environmental characteristics. While LPG emits slightly more carbon dioxide (CO2) per unit of energy produced compared to natural gas, its advantage lies in its lower risk of methane leaks during distribution. Methane, present in natural gas, is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Natural gas distribution involves long pipelines, making methane leaks a significant concern during extraction and distribution. On the other hand, LPG is often transported in tanks and cylinders, reducing the likelihood of widespread leaks.

LPG boilers generally have higher energy efficiency compared to traditional oil boilers. From an environmental perspective, LPG produces fewer carbon emissions than oil, making it a cleaner-burning alternative.

The efficiency of LPG boilers can vary depending on the model and brand. Generally, modern LPG boilers are designed to be highly efficient, on average most achieve around 90% efficiency. However, this level of efficiency is always increasing due to technology and energy developments.

Yes, most modern LPG boilers are designed to provide both heating and hot water, either through a combi boiler (combination boiler) or a system boiler with a separate hot water cylinder.

LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is not toxic to breathe when used safely and in well-ventilated areas. LPG primarily consists of propane and butane, which are hydrocarbon gases and non-toxic in their natural state. However, like any fuel or gas, improper use or exposure to high concentrations of LPG can be hazardous to human health.

The main safety concern with LPG is its potential to displace oxygen in confined spaces if there is a significant leak. In oxygen-deficient environments, breathing the air can lead to asphyxiation, which can be life-threatening. This is why it’s crucial to ensure proper ventilation when using LPG indoors and to promptly address any gas leaks.

Additionally, LPG contains an odourant (usually ethanethiol) to provide a distinctive smell, making it easier to detect gas leaks. If you smell gas (a strong, unpleasant odour similar to rotten eggs), it is essential to take immediate action: turn off the gas supply at the source, leave the area, and contact a qualified professional or emergency services.

Air Conditioning Systems

On average an air conditioning system will last anywhere between 10 and 20 years if the equipment installed is of a high quality and is frequently maintained. Obviously some parts are subject to more wear and tear than others, meaning they might need to be replaced as part of the maintenance.

If your AC system has an output of 12kW or over it will legally need to be inspected at a bare minimum of once every 5 years by an accredited air conditioning energy assessor. Although this inspection will give you a report detailing things like the efficiency of the system, any faults and improvements or maintenance that is recommended, it will not involve the conduction of any maintenance works.

With a service on your AC system basic maintenance works will be performed and recommendations for further works will be given. At CGBS we recommend having your AC system serviced once a year alongside any recommended works suggested as a result of the service. This ensures your air conditioning will maintain peak performance with a long and healthy lifespan.

In theory anyone can install air conditioning if they believe they’re competent to do so but once the  equipment is installed, the system will need gassing and commissioning. This gassing and commissioning will legally need to be performed by a qualified F-gas engineer. The process of doing this can be expensive and it will often be more cost effective to have the engineer install, gas and commission the air conditioning system in its entirety.

In theory, refrigerant in air con units should last forever as the system is a closed loop in which the refrigerant is recycled and reused constantly. The only time refrigerant will need to be replaced is when there is a leak in the system and the refrigerant is escaping. 

R22 (Hydrochlorofluorocarbon) was the most commonly used refrigerant in air conditioner systems but in 2004 R22 was banned for use in any new air con systems. In 2015 the regulations were further tightened, making it illegal to use additional R22 to repair or maintain any existing systems. Meaning that if you had an old AC unit which needed to be regassed with R22 due to a leak it would either need to be replaced or an alternative refrigerant found.

Systems using R22 can still be used but no additional R22 can be added to the system when needed. The reason for this ban on R22 is because it was found to be an ozone depleting substance and is incredibly damaging to the environment.

Whether you can use an alternative refrigerant in your old air conditioner that uses R22 is entirely dependant on the model of the unit. Some air conditioners are able to use alternative refrigerants, some are able to do with upgraded components (e.g. compressor, condenser, evaporator and refrigerant tubing) and some will air cons will simply need to be replaced.

Some of the alternatives to R22 are: R410A, R134A, R407C, R407A, M099 and RS-44B.

Heat Pumps

The cost of installing a heat pump depends on various factors, such as the size of the unit, the complexity of installation, the location, and more. Generally, the cost of installing a heat pump can range from £3,000 to £10,000 or more. For a larger property, the cost may be higher, but for a smaller property it would be less. It’s important to consider factors such as energy efficiency, maintenance costs, and the area in which you live when determining if a heat pump is the right choice for you. Often the energy efficiency and energy saving benefits make installing a heat pump beneficial to property owners. Additionally, you may be eligible for government incentives or rebates that can help offset the cost of installation like the ‘Boiler Upgrade Scheme‘ . We always recommend consulting with one of our licensed HVAC contractors to get a clear estimate for your specific situation.

The lifespan of a heat pump varies depending on the quality of the unit, the amount of usage, and the level of maintenance. Generally, a well maintained heat pump can last for 10-15 years or more. However, some high quality models have a lifespan of up to 20 years. Factors that can affect the lifespan of a heat pump include the environment it operates in, the frequency of use, and the level of maintenance. To maximise the lifespan of a heat pump, it is recommended to have it serviced annually by a professional technician and ensure that it is properly installed and sized for your property. Regularly changing air filters, ensuring proper air flow, and addressing any issues promptly can also help extend the life of your heat pump.

The cost of running a heat pump has no simple answer and is dependant on the heat demand of your property. Heat pumps run on electricity, so to figure out the average cost you will need the price of electricity at the time, your property’s average heat demand and the efficiency of the heat pump in question. For example, say a unit of electricity is £0.3 per kWh, the average heat demand annually for a property in the UK is 12,000 kWh and a heat pump will produce 3 kWh of heat for every 1kWh of electricity. You would then have to divide the average heat demand by the kWH of heat produced by a heat pump e.g. 12,000kWh / 3kWh = 4000kWh. You would then multiply the cost of electricity per kWh by the result of the previous sum e.g. 4000kWh x 0.3 = 1200. Making the annual cost of running your heat pump £1200 per annum. When you compare this to the cost of a gas boiler which is estimated to be between £600 and £800 per annum depending on the boiler used, then you can see it is actually quite expensive to run a heat pump.

Whether a heat pump can heat and provide hot water for a whole house year round depends on many factors, such as the size of your property, the heat demand of your property, and the weather around the location of your property. Quite often, a heat pump will need to be accompanied by a back-up system (such as a combi boiler or water heater) if the location of the property experiences fairly cold weather or if the property has a sizeable demand for heating and hot water. This circumstance is prevalent in the UK due to the indecisive and fairly cold weather, leaving many homes with heat pumps needing a hybrid system to boost the output of their system. Although heat pump technology is quickly evolving, so hopefully soon a heat pump will have no problem providing heating and hot water for an entire property, regardless of the demand and weather conditions.

Heat pumps can make some noise, but it is typically not excessive. The outdoor unit of a heat pump will make some noise while it is running, similar to an air conditioner or a refrigerator. However, most modern heat pumps are designed to be relatively quiet, with sound levels comparable to a conversation or a dishwasher. Indoor units may also make some noise, such as the sound of air flowing through ducts or the fan motor. Some people may be more sensitive to noise than others, but overall heat pumps are not generally considered to be noisy appliances. If you have concerns about the noise level of a heat pump, it is a good idea to talk to one of our professional heat pump engineers who can recommend models that are specifically designed to minimise noise.

Whether or not you will need new radiators and insulation when installing a heat pump depends on the condition and effectiveness of your current system. Heat pumps work differently from traditional heating systems, so it is possible that your radiators may not work as efficiently once using heat pumps. However, many heat pumps are now designed to work with existing radiator systems without a problem so it is largely dependant on the heat pump chosen for your property

Insulation, on the other hand, plays a critical role in how well a heat pump operates. A properly insulated home can reduce heat loss, which makes your heat pump more efficient. In most cases, you will not need to install new insulation when you switch to a heat pump if your insulation is already of a decent quality. However, if your home has poor insulation, it is highly recommended to improve it as it will reduce energy costs and increase your home’s value. One of our qualified heat pump technician can assess your home and recommend any upgrades to ensure optimal heat pump performance.

Warm Air Heating Systems

As warm air heating heats a property via blowing warm air through vents and ducts instead of radiators, they are ideal for heating large open spaces such as warehouses as the warm air will circulate around the property and disperse it across multiple ducts. Radiators are more suited to heating small rooms and enclosed spaces due to only heating the specific area around the radiator, which will slowly heat a room once the temperature of the entire space slowly builds up. Radiator sizing and quantities are based on the BTU output of the radiator and requirements of the room. Warm air heating systems are also well suited to premises that have a door or window that is in constant use, such as garages with a large shutter door. This is because instead of needing the temperature to slowly build in an enclosed space like a radiator, a warm air heating system will constantly blow heat throughout the entire premise at various locations.

How warm air heating works depends on if you are talking about gas-fired warm air heating or electric warm air heating units like ground source and air source pumps. Gas-fired warm air heating works by drawing in air which is then heated by a flame created from combusting natural gas. This heat is the transferred to a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat to clean air, which is then drawn through vents and dispersed by air ducts to heat a property. Air source and ground source heat pumps work slightly differently. The small amounts of heat present in the air outside and in the ground are absorbed, this heat is then transferred to a fluid which then gets condensed to increase the temperature. Once the temperature is increased the hot fluid will transfer its heat via a heat exchanger to either clean air or water, which is then used to heat a property or provide hot water.

Yes warm air heating is included in the ‘Boiler Upgrade Scheme‘ in a way but only for air source and ground source heat pumps, not gas-fired warm air heating. The ‘Boiler Upgrade Scheme’ is available for domestic and small non-domestic properties, as part of the scheme you can get a grant for £5000 off an air source heat pump and £6000 of a ground source heat pump. For more details on the eligibility on the ‘Boiler Upgrade Scheme’ visit this government page.

Gas-fired warm air heating systems can be converted to offer air conditioning capabilities also but it will involve a redesign of the system to involve additional components. This can often be a more expensive and labour intensive process than adding an air con unit onto the ducting system of your property. It is important to note that this conversion will likely require additional components to be added to the system, such as a reversing valve, an evaporator coil and a condenser unit. It may also require modifications to the existing ductwork to ensure proper airflow and distribution of conditioned air.

Maintaining a gas-fired warm air heating system starts with scheduling routine service, ideally before the winter season begins. The HVAC engineer should inspect the burners, check the pilot light, examine the flue, and clean the furnace. Alongside this, you need to replace the furnace filter and other air filters every 30 to 90 days to keep the system running smoothly. Clogged filters can reduce airflow, cause system inefficiency, and result in unclean air. Scheduling annual inspections also ensures that the ducts carry heat appropriately. You may also need to lubricate the furnace fan bearings for the furnace to run smoothly. Regularly checking the accuracy of the thermostat by setting the temperature at different levels and observing the response of the system is also required. Lastly, keep the furnace area clean and free from combustible and flammable materials to prevent fire incidents.

The lifespan of a gas-fired warm air heating system typically ranges from 10 to 20 years. The actual lifespan of the system depends on factors such as the quality of installation, how well the unit has been maintained, and how often the system is used. Regular maintenance and service, including annual inspections, can help to extend the lifespan of the unit. If your gas-fired warm air heating system is more than ten years old and requires frequent repairs, you may want to consider replacing it with a new, more efficient unit. A new system can provide better temperature control, improved energy efficiency, and may be eligible for rebates or other incentives to help offset the cost of installation.

Chiller Systems

For air cooled chillers a space of 1m around the entire chiller is needed to allow for ample air flow and heat dissipation. For water cooled chillers there is no set amount of space needed, although you will need enough space for engineers to access the chiller for maintenance and repairs to be conducted.

Chillers don’t need a constant water supply as they operate using a closed loop system, meaning they recycle the air and water that is used. Although, water cooled chillers will gradually lose water due to the evaporation rate from the cooling tower, meaning that the water levels will have to be topped up periodically but it will not require a constant water feed.

No, not all chillers need a cooling tower. Only water-cooled chillers require a cooling tower. Despite the fact that this takes up more space and requires more equipment to maintain, water-cooled chillers are more efficient than their air-cooled counterparts because of the cooling tower.

Yes, all chillers have a refrigerant circuit and therefore need F-gas to operate due to the compression process.

Theoretically? Yes. Easily? No. A chiller’s temperature can be adjusted to a degree but they’re not variable in temperature as air con units are.  Chillers are normally used to provide a consistent and ongoing temperature.

Chillers can get extremely cold, especially with specially designed low temperature chillers. These chillers can reach tremendously icy temperatures, going as low as -30°c. They aren’t called chillers for nowt!

Radiant Heating Systems

The distance you place your radiant heating panel from people and objects entirely depends on the heat setting the panel is on. As a rule of thumb nothing should be placed within 3ft of the heater, as it will most likely be too hot and damage whatever is placed in front of it depending on the material. Radiant heaters should also not be placed further than 12ft away from the people or space it is heating as the warmth will not be felt, again this is dependant on the size of the heating panel and the heat setting it is on.

Radiant heaters are best at providing warmth to precise areas and small spaces, this is because they don’t circulate the area around a room and only heat the area directly in front of the panel. The heat will only be able to stretch so far, so heating large areas or spaces from a distance is ineffective. They are especially effective in large buildings that only need certain areas heated e.g. large factories that only need small spaces heated where people are working.

Radiant heaters are not directly bad for your health as they emit infrared heat which is the same heat produced from the sun. Although, it isn’t recommended getting too close to a radiant heater or sitting close to one for an extensive amount of time as it may burn or cause damage to your skin. You would feel the heat burning your skin or making you uncomfortable, so as long as common sense is used radiant heaters will not cause harm to your health.

Radiant heaters work by combusting gas or using electricity to heat a conductive element e.g. a steel tube or ceramic plate. This heat is then directed by reflective panels in the desire direction to heat whatever is in its vicinity.

Plant Rooms

A plant room is a space which is dedicated to storing the equipment related to a building’s services. They can also be known as a mechanical room or when they have more specific requirements, a boiler room amongst other names that will be relevant to the equipment they contain. The machinery is operated and maintained from inside.

Strangely a plant room isn’t actually for flowers and vegetables! The equipment in a plant room varies largely and depends on the services the property requires. Some of the most common types of equipment seen inside a plant room are: boilers, water cylinders, water pumps, air con systems, warm air units, heat pumps, air ducts, control panels, BMS, generators and refrigeration units.

The size of a plant room is completely down to the equipment it needs to store. Some properties may only need their plant room to house a small boiler and water cylinder; if so then a 1m x 2m room could be adequate. Other properties may need their plant room to house an array of equipment from their heating components, to large generators and multiple air ducts; if so the plant room needed will be a lot larger, ranging anywhere from 5m x 5m and above.

As plant rooms store operating machinery then they will most likely need to be ventilated due to the heat that is released as a by-product. If your plant room houses equipment like gas burners or gas boilers then it will be a legal requirement for your plant room to be ventilated by a flue and a fresh air intake. The flue will remove the toxic gasses that are released from burning fossil fuels and the oxygen will be replaced by the fresh air intake. Plant room ventilation will also help maintain the correct temperature for the equipment and stop the room from coming to hot which would cause the equipment to overheat. Also it is a regulatory requirement that plant rooms with combustion equipment have a gas interlock installed, which will ensure any toxic or combustible gases in the room don’t exceed a certain level.

A plant room should have a temperature between 15°c and 23°c due to the equipment it contains. The reason being is that if the room is too warm then machinery can overheat and if too cold the machinery may be more likely to malfunction or may struggle to function as normal, putting more of a strain on the equipment.

Ideally a plant room should be located somewhere that doesn’t receive a lot of foot traffic and should only be accessible by authorised personnel. They should also be located somewhere that isn’t near a residency as the machines may create a lot of noise that could disturb the occupants. These factors are why plant rooms are often found in the basements of building but this can create further issues, as a plant room should be easily accessible when required to make removals and installation of equipment easier. Another thing to consider when deciding the location of your plant room is how central to the building it is. Having the plant room central within the building is desirable because it means that any distribution of things like water and heating will not require unnecessary pipework stretching from one side of the building to the opposite side. If the plant room is housing heating and hot water equipment you should also take into consideration whether your system is pressurised or gravity fed, if it is gravity fed it will need to be on the top level of the property.

Flues

Flues are essentially chimneys for your boiler or for other gas-fired appliances, almost acting as an exhaust. A flue is a piece of piping that carries the harmful exhaust fumes created from burning a fuel (e.g. natural gas, LPG or oil) outside of the building and into the atmosphere. The harmful fumes in question are Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide, all of which are toxic to humans and needs to be disposed of safely. 

The rules and regulations for flues are expansive, covering topics from location to temperature and are dependant on what type of flue is being used (e.g. natural draught, fanned draught, balanced flues or open flues), as well as the fuel being used (e.g. natural gas, oil or an alternative). There are too many regulations to detail here but for a more detailed look at flue regulations click here to view the Approved Document J on the government website, detailing all the flue regulations that should be followed.

A blocked or clogged boiler is extremely dangerous as it means the toxic flue gasses can not be disposed of properly and may enter back into your property. Signs of a blocked flue are: staining or soot around flue pipes and their seals, water leaking around the flue pipe as it enters your boiler, an odd smell due to the gasses coming into your property and Carbon Monoxide alarms going off. If you have noticed any of these signs get in touch straight away by calling 0207 9989 005.

Flues normally don’t require planning permission as long as they don’t exceed more than 1m above the highest point of the property’s roof and they aren’t on the principle or side elevation of a highway or designated land such as a national park or conservation area. If the property in question is a listed building you will need to check with your local planning authority to ensure you are adhering to the regulations designated for your property. If you need help finding out who your local planning authority is, please click here.

The length a flue can be run is dependant on the manufacturer’s instructions and the size of the flue being used. Most flues with a 60/100mm concentric size can reach lengths up to 10m and flues with a 80/125mm size can normally reach lengths up to 20m. Again this can vary depending on the manufacturer’s installation instructions and the amount of bends / elbows used, so make sure to check with them before installing a flue.

Flues are likely to drip a small amount of water from the outlet due to the condensation of water vapour, if a large amount of water is dripping from the flue outlet it may be due to the flue not being set at the correct angle. Flues should be slightly angled at around 3° – 5° down towards the boiler so that the condensate drips back down into the condensate trap. If the flue is dripping water elsewhere it could be because a joint is loose and is leaking or the material used for the flue isn’t correct and is corroding. Another reason may be because the flue has become clogged or blocked and the gasses are not being expelled properly. In any of these circumstances, you are best having it checked by a qualified professional as not doing so could have dangerous consequences. Get in touch by calling 0207 9989 005 to book an engineer appointment or for further information.

The gasses a flue disperses are created from combusting a fuel so they can be very hot and make the flue itself hot. This is why flues should be installed in a location where they won’t normally come into contact with people and why they should be located away from any material that can be adversely affected by the heat.

A flue installation needs to be carried out by a gas engineer with the correct ACS qualifications and is registered with the Gas Safe Register. This is to ensure the correct procedures are followed, the regulations surrounding flues are met and the installation is done so safely. If you attempt to install a boiler flue without meeting these requirements, you may risk legal repercussions, also possibly being a danger to yourself and others.

Catering Equipment

No gas-fired catering equipment requires engineers to have certain qualifications (e.g. CCCN1, COMCAT-1, COMCAT-2, COMCAT-3, COMCAT-4 and COMCAT-5) and be a part of the Gas Safe Register. Which qualifications your engineer will require depends on the catering equipment being installed or maintained, to find out what each qualification covers click here for our article detailing the topic in more detail.

Yes gas-fired catering equipment does need a gas safety certificate if you rent the property out or use it for commercial purposes. The gas safety certificate needed for catering equipment is also different to the normal domestic or commercial gas safety certificate, the one for catering equipment is called CP42. To get your CP42 book an engineer appointment by calling 0207 9989 005.

Gas interlock systems are now a legal requirement for commercial kitchens according to the BS 6173. The regulation is not retrospective so older pre-existing kitchens do not need to have a gas interlock system installed, although it is highly recommended in doing so. Gas interlock systems are an essential component to commercial kitchens as they will shut off any gas appliances in the event the ventilation system fails, preventing dangerous and even fatal consequences.

Ventilation systems are a legal requirement for commercial kitchens according to: the Workplace Regulations (1992), the Gas Safety Regulations (1998) and The Health and Safety at Work etc Act (1974). Ventilation systems are especially important in commercial kitchens as gas appliances will displace a lot of the oxygen within the space and emit fumes like Carbon Monoxide.

BMS

A Building Management System (BMS) is a fully-computer controlled system to manage and track a wide range of electrical and mechanical components of a building, including but not limited to: ventilation, heating, air conditioning, lighting, fire safety systems and building security. Smart sensors are installed in the various components of the building and relayed to a database (which can also be accessed remotely), these sensors can trigger alarms if a component relays data outside pre-defined parameters and they can provide detailed information on the operation of said systems.

Yes, many systems can be controlled and monitored remotely via computer or phone app. Most modern BMS have this feature available but some older models may not be able to be controlled remotely.

Even small buildings can benefit from having a BMS installed. Whilst you may not need all the features of a BMS, the advantages of controlling your building’s services remotely, coupled with the benefits of better energy efficiency and enhanced safety can be a considerable advantage.

Because everything is optimised and controlled by a computer system a BMS can make running a building more energy efficient with up to 40% savings. It does this by ensuring the equipment connected to your BMS isn’t wasting energy unnecessarily, making sure that everything is only operating when needed and is only using the energy actually required by the machinery.

The cost of a BMS is very much dependent on the size of the building and the amount of components that the system needs to track. A small building can start at £10,000, a block of flats can start at £30,000 but a hospital or university campus would be considerably more.

There are many BMS manufacturers in the UK, among the most popular are: Honeywell, TREND and Tridium to name but a few. We can maintain and install all brands of BMS as we have a wide range of engineers covering all qualifications.

Gas Interlocks

A gas interlock is a piece of equipment that is connected to various sensors relevant to safety precautions such as fire alarms and ventilation systems amongst others, as well as gas pipework. It will detect a variety of things, such as faults with your ventilation and fires within a building,  in the event that a sensor is triggered it will shut off any gas feeding to appliances. This is to prevent a build up of Carbon Monoxide and a lack of oxygen in the environment if the ventilation system fails.

Gas interlock systems are now a legal requirement for commercial kitchens according to the BS 6173 and also in plant rooms. The regulation is not retrospective so older pre-existing kitchens or plant rooms do not need to have a gas interlock system installed, although it is highly recommended in doing so. Gas interlock systems are an essential component to commercial kitchens and plant rooms as they will shut off any gas feeding to appliances in the event the ventilation system is down, a fire is censored or when other parameters are met triggering a sensor, preventing dangerous and even fatal consequences.

Although gas interlocks don’t directly use natural gas themselves, they still need to be installed and maintained by an engineer who is a member of the Gas Safe register, with the right qualifications. The qualifications needed to work on gas interlocks are dependant on where the gas interlock is installed; if the gas interlock is in a kitchen then it will most likely be the CCCN1, if it is in a plant room then it will most likely be a COCN1 These are your qualifications for your core catering requirements and core commercial requirements.

A gas interlock itself costs between £100 and £2000 depending on the one in question as they come in a variety of specifications and sizes. The cost of labour will depend on how long it takes to install, how long it takes depends on how far the equipment being wired is away from each other and the amount of equipment wired to the interlock. Going off past experiences a standard interlock will take up to a day with two engineers, which would cost £1800 when using the CGBS rates.

Gas Burners

A gas burner is a piece of equipment that can be installed to boilers and other fuel burning pieces of equipment, that regulates the oxygen and fuel used in the combustion process to heat water. Some boilers will come with gas burners pre-installed, these are normally the smaller domestic boilers although some larger commercial boilers do now come with a pre-installed burner. Gas burners are used to closely regulate the temperature used by the boiler and to reach larger kW outputs.

Gas burners are designed specifically to use natural gas as their fuel source. You can get other types of burners that use different fuel sources (e.g. coal, oil and LPG) and you can even get dual-fuel burners that can use two different types of fuel (e.g. natural gas and oil).

A post-mix burner deliver the fuel and oxygen separately, allowing them to mix in the furnace naturally. A pre-mix burner delivers the fuel and oxygen already mixed together. Pre-mix burners in general allow for a more efficient combustion process.

There are two main brands of gas burners, Riello and Nu-Way, which is deemed the best is down to personal opinion. At CGBS we always recommend Riello as we believe they are the best quality burners available and have the most options available also. Due to being more widely available, they are also easier to maintain and repair because the parts are more available as a result.

Gas Booster Pumps

A gas booster pump is a piece of equipment that increases the pressure and flow rate of gas into your boiler, also keeping it at a constant rate.

A gas booster is often needed if you have larger commercial equipment that requires a higher flow rate to operate or in some circumstances a property may simply have a lower flow rate given by the mains gas supply than normal, requiring a gas booster pump to meet the requirements of the connected equipment.

The size gas booster pump needed for a heating system is dependant on a variety of different parameters. You will need to know the maximum pressure your system can withstand, you will also need to know the required flow rate and discharge pressure (the working pressure not the maximum). Other measurements you will need to know are: the required fill time for your pressure, the gas supply pressure for your property and the drive pressure (minimum pressure for your system throughout a typical day). As a variety of lesser known measurements are needed to size a gas booster pump, we always recommend having a professional assist to ensure the right type is purchased for your system. If you want help with a gas booster pump please call 0207 9989 005 and we can assist throughout the whole process from selection to installation.

The lifespan of a gas booster pump can vary depending on the gas booster pump being used and how often it is used. An average gas booster pump is designed to last for 15 million cycles and are designed to operate at a maximum of 100 cycles per minute (CPM). Therefore if you had your gas booster pump operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, it would last roughly 104 days. This was calculated by dividing the cycle life by the CPM (15m / 100 = 150,000), then dividing the result by the number of minutes in an hour (150,000 / 60 = 2500) which gives you how many hours the gas booster pump should last and finally dividing this by 24 hours (2500 / 24 = 104).

Trace Heating

Yes trace heating can be used on plastic or PVC pipes but the output of the heat trace cables needs to be at a level it won’t overheat and damage the pipes. Aluminum tape is also often applied to the plastic pipe before installing the heat trace cables, to help the heat disperse around the pipes evenly.

Trace heating doesn’t require scheduled maintenance but we do recommend checking on heat trace systems periodically to ensure the output is consistent and at the right level. Cold spots should also be checked for or any other damage to the cable.

This is largely dependant on the type of cable or tape used. A lot of heat trace cables are resistant to water but some are not. Also most heat trace tapes aren’t resistant to water either.

Legally electrical systems can be installed by anyone who has the knowledge to do so safely, but we always recommend having a qualified electrician or trace heating engineer install the system. This is done to prevent any hazards from occurring and to ensure the work is kept in line with any insurance.

Whether trace heating will require additional insulation or lagging depends on the circumstances in which it is installed. If the trace heating is used as frost protection and the environment experiences extremely cold temperatures or sudden drops in temperature, then additional insulation or lagging may be required. If precise temperature outputs are required without fluctuation, insulation may help achieve this.

How long trace heating systems last depends on the quality of the installation, the quality of the equipment used, the maintenance performed and how often the area is used around the pipework. On average heat trace systems have a lifespan between 3 years – 10 years with some even exceeding this.

Pipe Installation

Signs of an airlock inside a pipe are: no hot water coming from your outlets, hot water taps gurgling when turned on and cold spots in your radiators.

In general steel pipes are cheaper than copper pipes but are less malleable. As steel pipes are less malleable they are more durable, making them less prone to ruptures but they are also harder to install, leading to higher labour costs. Overall, you will most likely save money using steel pipes but if they are being used to transport hot or cold water they need to be galvanised to meet WRAS regulations. The benefit of copper pipes is that they are easier to install due to being more malleable and having a wider array of fittings available, steel pipes can only use a BSP fitting. Copper pipes are also less likely to corrode in comparison to steel pipes and they are more accessible, meaning they’re normally readily available in large amounts from suppliers. Steel pipes can be a bit more tricky to source, especially if you are doing a complete pipe refit and need steel pipes in large quantities.

The size pipes needed for a heating system depend on the system being used and the heating / hot water demands that need to be met, it also depends on what the pipes are transporting. The Gas Safe Register states that all gas pipes running from a meter to a combi boiler need to be a minimum of 22mm. If a higher flow rate of water in a system is needed then a larger pipe should be used, as it will allow more water to be transported at once. Another factor that affects pipe sizing is where in the system the pipework is; pipes running to a radiator are normally smaller (around 15mm), whereas other pipework is commonly done in 22mm piping. Pipes can range from 8mm to 35mm, each size having its own benefits and applications to specific circumstances. If the pipework transports gas then it is a legal requirement to have any work carried out by a qualified engineer a part of the Gas Safe Register, if the pipework is for hot or cold water we still recommend using a qualified engineer or plumber to ensure the right size pipe is used and the system works efficiently.

Pipework is generally replaced if there are frequent blockages and leaks occurring or if there is a substantial amount of corrosion, it can also be replaced if you need to reroute the pipes to suit new renovations made to a property. If you are uncertain on the health of your pipes you can have a water sample analysis performed, which will inform you of any particles in the water caused by blockages or corrosion, signalling whether they need to be replaced or not.

Legally plastic pipes can’t be used internally to transport gas, as they are classified as exposed and if damaged could have dangerous repercussions. Plastic pipes are allowed to transport cold and hot water but we recommend using steel or copper as they’re easily damaged and more prone to ruptures, in comparison to their more durable metal counterparts.

An automatic air vent or automatic bleeding valve is used to automatically release air trapped inside a heating system. They are attached to pipework and have the valve facing upwards, as the component uses a floatation mechanism to let air within a system out without letting any water escape. An auto air vent will usually be placed at a high point on a system to prevent any air locks from occurring within a system.

Pipe Lagging

Pipe lagging can save up to 25% on your energy bills. The precise amount you will save depends on the temperature of the property the pipes are located within. If the pipes are in a property that is already considerably warm then the amount saved will be less, if the property is considerably cold then you will save more having your pipes lagged.

If pipe lagging is installed correctly and the pipe lagging used is of a high quality then it should stop pipes in cold areas (such as loft spaces) from freezing. If you live in an area with extremely cold temperatures then pipes may still freeze even though they’re lagged but for properties in the UK this shouldn’t be an issue, as we don’t experience the extremely cold temperatures of other countries despite our unpredictable weather.

Cold water pipes aren’t lagged to save money on energy bills as there isn’t heat from hot water that need to be retained. Cold water pipes are lagged to prevent them from freezing in cold areas of the home and in cold weather.

The answer to this question ultimately comes down to the foam and fibreglass being used. If you are using the pre-cut foam rolls then it will not normally have as high of an R-rating as fibreglass but if you are using spray foam then it will most likely have a R-rating higher than fibreglass (the higher the R-rating the better the material is at insulating). There are many different brands and products of foam insulation and fibreglass, some products have been developed to boast a higher R-rating than their predecessors which is why there is no definitive answer. You also need to consider other factors such as ease of installation: spray foam will need to be installed by a professional (making the cost higher), pre-cut foam rolls and fibreglass can normally be installed yourself (making the cost lower). We do always recommend having a professional carry out the work regardless, to ensure the lagging is installed correctly and you are getting the most out of your pipe insulation. You will also need to consider material cost: pre-cut foam is normally the cheapest, spray foam is the most expensive and fibreglass falls between the middle of the two. When choosing which pipe insulation to use, you should weigh up the R-ratings alongside the installation and material cost to find the right one for you. For further advice or to book a pipe lagging installation, call 0207 9989 005.

Swimming Pool Boilers

In England it is essential to have your swimming pool heated, especially if it is outside. In general swimming pools are normally at a temperature between 24°c and 30°c, using this as a guideline you can see why pools in the UK need to be heated. Solar covers are an applicable alternative in hotter countries but in the UK solar covers aren’t a reliable source of providing your pool with heat, as unfortunately sunny days are far and few between in Britain. Without having your pool heated, using the pool will be a very cold experience to say the least and if the pool is used by children or the elderly you may risk causing them hypothermia.

To calculate the right size boiler needed for your swimming pool you will first need to calculate the surface area (e.g. width x length). Once you have got the surface area you will need to divide the number by 3, this will give you the minimum BTU requirement your boiler will need to be. You will then need to account for other factors such as windy weather and heat loss, for example a pool requiring a 150,000 BTU based off the first calculation will most likely need a 250,000 BTU boiler. You will then need to convert this into kW, as this is what boiler outputs are measured in. This is done by multiplying the BTU by 0.00029307108333333, the result will give you the kW output needed for the boiler. If you are still uncertain on which boiler you will need to heat your swimming pool and want the installation carried out also, call 0207 9989 005 and we can book an engineer appointment to ensure you have the correct equipment installed to a high level of workmanship.

Although not done conventionally, standard domestic boilers can be used to heat a swimming pool but will require a heat exchanger to be installed alongside the boiler to make this possible. We do recommend having a purpose made swimming pool boiler installed to heat your swimming pool to make matters easier but if the previous method mentioned is desired, it is in fact possible. To book an installation for either methods please get in touch via our contact page.

Heat pumps can be used to heat a swimming pool but aren’t the preferred method in the UK due to the temperatures experienced in this country. When the temperature drops below 7°c heat pumps start to lose efficiency the colder it gets. As autumn, winter and spring months in the UK often have temperatures below 7°c, heat pumps are not a great method of heating boilers unless the pool is solely used in summer.

Emergency Boiler Repairs

The price of an emergency call-out varies on the amount of time spent at the property and the amount of engineers needed; emergency call-out rates are £250 per hour, per engineer. As expected, emergency call-outs can lead to unexpected problems not easily foreseen, so estimating the amount of time that will be spent at site is no easy feat until an engineer arrives to inspect the situation.

When attending emergency call-outs we always aim to be at the property as soon as possible. This time can vary as you may be round the corner from one of our engineers, who will then be able to be at your property within minutes. You may be on the other side of London on a day with extremely heavy traffic and other emergency call-outs taking place, this would make the arrival time considerably longer. We always aim to be at emergency call-outs within a maximum of 3 hours and in most circumstances this is easily achievable. Please bear in mind the 3 hour time frame is no guarantee and is subject to the circumstances at the time e.g. location, traffic and other external factors.

Unfortunately there is no definitive time detailed within UK law that heating must be fixed by if broken. It does say in the 1985 Landlord & Tenant Act that repairs should be carried out in a “reasonable time”, as a rule of thumb a reasonable amount of time is normally considered to be either 24 or 48 hours when involving heating and hot water. This can be subject to change e.g. if the heating isn’t working but its the middle of summer and is hot outside, then what classes as reasonable time may be longer than 48 hours.

Absolutely, any information regarding the emergency call-out will be very helpful for our engineers. Knowing the boiler model, any details about the issue and any other information about the system will allow our engineers to arrive fully prepared for the issue and to address it as quickly as possible.

Boiler & System Repairs

The cost of repairing a boiler can vary greatly, being dependant on what repairs need to be carried out on the boiler and the work this involves. Our in hour rate £175 per hour, per engineer and our out of hour rates for emergency call-outs are £250 per hour, per engineer. If you want a more exact price you could book an engineer to attend your property and diagnose what the problem is. We will then provide a quote on the full works required, which will give a more accurate picture on how much it will cost to repair your boiler.

Whether a boiler is worth repairing depends on the degree of damage to a boiler, the cost of repairing the boiler and the availability of spare parts for the boiler. The age of a boiler isn’t directly relevant to whether a boiler could be prepared or not but the older a boiler it is less likely spare parts will be available for the boiler. This isn’t to say that old boilers won’t have parts available, as certain models of old boilers have readily available parts even though the models are 20 years old or more. If the degree of damage to a boiler is excessive it may be that the boiler can’t be repaired and does need replacing or if the cost of repairing the boiler exceeds the cost of a new boiler, it simply won’t be worth repairing.

Check out this article on when to replace a boiler and things to consider.

Whether a leaking boiler can be repaired depends on the condition of the boiler itself and where the leak has occurred. Some issues are easier to fix such as a leaking valve whereas other issues are more detrimental to your boiler. For example if a heat exchanger is leaking and has affected the electric components beneath e.g. the pcb, the pump and sensors then it will more than likely be more cost efficient to replace the boiler. The reason being is that a heat exchanger can cost upwards of £1000 and the other damaged parts can bring the bill to over £3000, which is more expensive than an average boiler.

A plumber can repair a boiler when it doesn’t involve the gas components of your heating system. If the repairs required involve any of the gas components of your boiler or heating system the a qualified gas engineer who is a part of the Gas Safe Register is the only person who can legally perform repairs on the boiler.

Gas Purging

Gas purging is the introduction of an inert (non-combustible) gas into a closed system to prevent the chance of an explosion from air and an combustible gas mixing. Purging into service is conducted to push out any oxygen remaining in a system and replace it with an inert gas so when a combustible gas enters the system it doesn’t mix with the oxygen and form an explosive concoction. Purging out of service is the opposite, an inert gas is put into the system to push out combustible gas to prevent it mixing with oxygen when the system is shut down.

Gas purging occurs for a variety of reasons, mainly to remove combustible gas or oxygen from the system to prevent an explosive reaction. It is also done to remove any impurities which may damage the system or affect its function, especially when a sensitive gas mixture is needed for operation.

Gas should be purged once a system has been installed but before the combustible gas is introduced to the system. It should also be purged if any work is being done on the systems gas pipes e.g. cutting into a pipe, removing a pipe or disengaging the system once use has ceased.

How long a gas purge takes depends on the size of the system, the larger the system the longer it will take. To find out about a specific system contact an engineer who should come to service the property and advise on an appropriate time span for the purge.

Purging is mainly performed on commercial properties unless the domestic property is especially large. To purge up to 1 cubic metre of gas you need a TPCP1a qualification and to purge over 1 cubic metre you need a TPCP1 qualification.

Yes, there are different levels for purging and they refer to the amount of gas in your system. The typical gas purging qualification is TPCP1A which allows you to purge gas pipework not exceeding 1m³ in volume. Our team are qualified up to TPCP1 so we are qualified to purge pipework exceeding 1m³ also. It is always good practice to check what your engineer is qualified for so your works can be carried out safely and correctly. To find out more details on the different types of qualifications for gas engineers click here and also check out why it’s important to check your engineer is apart of the Gas Safe register.

Maintenance Contracts & Block Management

How often we attend your properties is entirely up to you! When discussing the management of your property we will tailor a bespoke service plan to directly address your requirements. We can be there once or twice a year or as many times as you want! We will also be available to attend the property in addition to the established service plan whenever an issue occurs or something goes wrong.

We advocate having a communal system as it means there is only one system to maintain and depending on the equipment installed, it can reduce the energy consumption and therefore the carbon footprint of the building. We also recommend HIUs are installed at each residence to allow for works to be carried out in each flat without disrupting the rest of the building.

At CGBS we can manage and maintain all components of your HVAC system; covering everything from your  plant room up to the HIUs for each apartment and any other components e.g. pumps, fans, ducting, ac units, burners, heating appliances, pipework and so on.

Due to communal heating systems having a high volume and workload of the equipment, the boilers and other HVAC appliances are paramount but we also recommend a full service of all other peripheral equipment in the plant room and any other relevant equipment outside the plant room to avoid a drop in services for the residents in the block. Some of the equipment that we recommend servicing is (but not limited to): BMS, pressurisation units, gas booster pumps, other assorted pumps, fans and chlorifiers.

Boiler Servicing

A boiler should be serviced annually to prevent your boiler unexpectedly breaking down and to reduce the risk of any dangers related to a faulty boiler e.g. carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and explosions. If you don’t have your boiler serviced annually, you run the risk of a spontaneous breakdown which can lead to an expensive emergency call-out or being left without heating and hot water until it is fixed.

A boiler can be serviced at any point within the year but it is a good idea to have your boiler serviced towards the end of summer. This way if there is an issue with your boiler and it isn’t operating for a couple days you won’t be stuck between a rock and a cold place. It also means that any parts needed for repairs will be more likely to have low lead times and engineers will have an appointment that suits you because it is in the quiet period of the heating world. Having your boiler serviced towards the end of summer will also stop it sitting stagnant for an extended period which isn’t good for your boiler’s health, as it will be used again when the cold weather sets in around autumn and winter. For a more in depth look at when to get your boiler serviced check out our article on the topic.

It isn’t a legal requirement for anyone to have their boiler serviced but it is a legal requirement to have a gas safety inspection performed annually, if you rent out your property or use it for commercial purposes. Also if you don’t have your boiler serviced annually it made void any manufacturer warranties.

Our boiler services include checking every component of your heating system to ensure it is running safely and efficiently. This means all parts of the boiler itself will be inspected, the flue will be examined for obstructions, components like burners and gas valves will be cleaned if necessary, pipework as well as seals will also be checked to see if they’re holding pressure and to see if there is any leaks. As no two properties and heating systems are the same, all of our boiler services are bespoke and tailored towards our client’s requirements. If you need something that wasn’t previously mentioned when discussing your boiler service, speak to one of our staff and we can make sure it is included.

When having your boiler serviced it is likely that you won’t be able to use your heating or hot water as these will need to be turned down or switched off. This is so the engineers can properly inspect all components which cannot be done when they’re hot. On larger systems an engineer may need to wait for the system to cool, so it might be a good idea to turn them down or off beforehand to prevent incurring additional costs for the waiting period.

In many manufacturer warranties and guarantees it is a requirement for you to have your boiler serviced to keep the warranty guarantee valid. Not following your manufacturer instructions may void your warranty and lead to a large bill if your boiler is faulty or malfunctioning during the period of cover. It is best to check the details of your warranty which would of been supplied in your boiler handbook, or in the confirmation of the manufacturer when registering the cover but if this isn’t available contact the manufacturer of your boiler to check the details.

Gas Safety Check

A gas safety check legally needs to be conducted annually if your property is leased or used for commercial purposes.

A gas safety check is an inspection of your gas appliances to assure they are in safe working order. The inspection will involve: locating and noting the whereabouts of the gas appliances, a check to ensure all appliances are operating as they should, a gas tightness test, checking standing and working pressure, taking high and low combustion rates, checking that ventilation is satisfactory, a visual inspection of the meter and plant room to ensure they are clear of combustibles, a visual inspection of the flue and a flue performance test.

If you are leasing your property or using it for commercial purposes and don’t have a gas safety inspection performed annually, you are committing a criminal offence and could face a penalty fine (which can be an unlimited amount) or even face a custodial sentence of up to 6 months.

It is not a legal requirement to provide a gas safety certificate if you are selling a property, although it is desirable. It is a legal requirement to provide the Building Regulations Compliance certificate for each gas appliance installed at a property.

No, radiators are not checked with a gas safety inspection as they are not essentially a gas appliance. Radiators can be checked upon request from a client but this will come at an extra charge, which will vary depending on the amount of radiators and work involved.

A CP12 and CP17 are the gas safety records provided by the Gas Safe Register’s predecessor, CORGI. CORGI used to be the regulatory body of gas appliances and installations in the UK but have since been replaced by the Gas Safe Register; they still provide certificates to be used as valid gas safe records as do many different providers across the UK including CGBS ourselves. The main change is that these certificates now don’t have to be CORGI’s CP12 or CP17 but can be any gas safe record provided by a gas engineer on the Gas Safe Register with the relevant qualifications.

Gas & Water Leak Detection

If you smell gas the first thing you should do is open all the windows to let gas out, make sure all naked flames are extinguished and don’t use any electronic devices in the property. If your property is under management and has a designated firm to deal with heating and hot water issues you should call these, if not or the call-out time is too long you should call the emergency gas number on 0800 111 999. The reason we recommend trying a designated firm if your property has one is because the emergency gas line will send an engineer to cut off your gas supply. Whereas, if you call your a designated firm they will cut off your gas supply, address the issue causing the leak and then reinstate your gas supply; completely addressing the issue. Some people may also want to cut off the gas supply at the meter themselves, which is advisable if you know where it is and what it looks like but if not leave it to the professionals and get yourself / others away from the property safely. For qualified and experienced gas engineers please call 0207 9989 005.

Rotten eggs. Carbon Monoxide on its own is odourless, which is why a chemical called Mercaptan is added to the gas to give it a distinctive smell, some describe this smell as sulphur, some rotten eggs and some rotten cabbage.

No, not all fire alarms will detect Carbon Monoxide. You would need to have a dual purpose fire and CO alarm installed, these can detect both smoke and gas leaks.

What you should do in the event of a water leak depends on how bad the water leak is. If you’ve noticed a few drops or a small puddle of water coming from an exposed pipe, simply put a towel down to absorb the water and call an engineer or plumber. Book an appointment and keep an eye on the leak, if it gets worse you will want to have an emergency call-out to fix the problem before it causes further damage. If the leak is producing a constant stream of water then you will need to get an engineer or plumber to your property as soon as possible on an emergency call-out, before it causes damage to your property and belongings. Make sure you turn all the electrics off at the PCB (switchboard) to prevent the risk of electrocution and if possible try put something down to catch or absorb the water such as buckets and towels.

Water leaks can be caused by many different things. If the leak is on an exposed pipe then it may of got knocked or damaged and has become disconnected at a joint or cracked, then leaking as a result. Other causes are: pipes becoming corroded over time, faulty or worn valves and seals, excessive water pressure causing a pipe to burst, blocked or clogged pipes and sudden temperature changes or frozen pipes making the pipes contract, expand and burst.

If there is a major leak there will be obvious signs such as water coming from the ceiling, water pooling on the floor or water dripping down the walls but if the leak is small there may be more subtle signs. Some of these less obvious signs of a leak behind a wall or under a floorboard are: mold or mildew growing, paint peeling or bubbling on walls, water stains on ceilings or walls, cracks on ceilings or walls, flooring warping or buckling and a the musty smell of damp that won’t go away.