If you have just had a new LPG gas boiler installed, you may not have considered that it will need servicing. However, it is just like your car in that respect and will need to be serviced: the engineer will check that everything is running smoothly and as it should. It is usual to service an LPG gas boiler every 12 months, and indeed, this is almost certainly written into your warranty, so if you don’t have it serviced it could invalidate the warranty.
Most boilers have a five-year warranty, but some come with a 10-year warranty. Over time, the boiler’s parts could become worn and the level of efficiency drop, but by having it serviced regularly it will have a longer life. Another very good reason for having your boiler serviced is the possibility of gas leaks. Your home should have a carbon monoxide alarm, but if it doesn’t, any leak will be virtually unnoticeable. A build-up of carbon monoxide would be extremely dangerous.
At Exeter Heating we carry out LPG repair and servicing in Exeter and the surrounding area. We are, of course, Gas Safe registered, and the first thing that our engineer will do is carry out visual inspection of the boiler and pipework in order to see if there are any cracks or corrosion. Assuming that everything looks OK, our engineer will then test the boiler and the controls to check that everything works as it should.
Once the engineer has satisfied himself that everything seems to be working correctly, he then needs to check that the gas pressure and flow are correct and that the flue is in working order. This is important because if there are any obstructions in the flue it could result in gas escaping. He can use a flue gas analyser in order to check that the boiler is burning the correct combination of gas and air because if it is using too much gas you will be paying more for fuel than you should do.
Even though you have a gas boiler, electricity is needed in order to operate the pump which pushes the water around the system, so our engineer will check the electrical connections, and also the pipework, seals, and fans. The water and gas pipes need to be checked because if the seals have hardened or cracked – which they can do – it can cause leaks. It is also the case that on some occasions the seals have not been installed correctly and will need changing. Items such as burner door and ignition seals do suffer from general wear and tear and need to be replaced. This is at an extra cost because they are not included in the service cost.
Our engineer will also check the expansion vessel. Sealed boiler systems need an expansion vessel for excess water. As water is heated, it expands and causes a build-up of pressure. The water has to go somewhere in order to reduce the pressure in the system and this is the purpose of the expansion vessel. In effect, it stores the excess water until the pressure in the system drops back to normal.
However, as time passes it is possible for the air in the expansion vessel to be lost, and the result is that the expansion vessel fills with water. In some systems, there is a drain valve at the bottom of the vessel allowing the water to be drained manually. Our engineer can check the pressure of the expansion vessel, and if it is too low, he can re-pressurise it with a foot pump in the same way that you would pump up a car tyre.
Lastly, our engineer will re-start the boiler to check for any faults such as a faulty display screen and will also check that the carbon monoxide alarm is functioning correctly.
Finally, our engineer will do the necessary paperwork to show what he has done, as your boiler needs to have a complete service history in order to comply with your warranty.
As you can see, there is quite a lot involved in having an LPG boiler, or for that matter a natural gas boiler, serviced, but it is essential not only for your warranty but also for your peace of mind.