Some people prefer to do their own property maintenance, whether it’s to save money or because they have the skills. It’s natural to try and figure things out yourself before calling out a professional.
However, there are certain repairs and emergencies you should absolutely not try to attempt to solve yourself.
For example, you’ll need a registered professional for anything to do with gas. To ensure your safety, there are systems in place to check a professional is legitimate by using the Gas Safe Register website, formerly known as CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Installers).
By law, all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register, as gas is such a potentially dangerous element to deal with. This is why it’s good to know what gas and heating engineers can do for you and when to call them.
All Things Boiler
For all aspects of boiler maintenance and repair, like boiler servicing, you will need to pop into the search bar something like gas heating engineer near me and find a Gas Safe registered professional.
You may be able to troubleshoot a few boiler issues yourself by performing simple actions such as restarting the boiler or adjusting the thermostat higher than 21 degrees to “wake” it up. Make sure you have checked all basics such as having enough credit if you use a prepayment meter, checking the fuse box and testing if other gas appliances in the house are working.
If you’ve had a recent power cut, just like many appliances, you may need to reprogram the boiler to get it working again. If you’ve tried resetting it multiple times and there’s still no functionality or obvious reason why it shouldn’t be working, then it’ll be time to call a professional.
You should not attempt to do any serious repairs yourself, as this is illegal, dangerous and invalidates the warranty of the boiler. Getting a Gas Safe Registered professional to perform a boiler service every 12 months is part of your boiler’s warranty, which could last anywhere between 5-10 years, with a boiler’s lifespan lasting up to 15 years.
Any attempt to fix a boiler yourself could result in fatal poisoning from inhaling too much carbon monoxide, an odourless and invisible gas. It could also result in a gas leak explosion.
In the fairly unlikely event you are one of the 6% of the UK who own an oil boiler, you will need to contact a registered technician from Oftec, who are the official governing body of this type of appliance.
Radiators and Powerflushing for Heating Systems
If your radiators’ heating feels uneven, you can try bleeding them yourself. This is performed by first turning off your heating and then using the radiator key to loosen the valve. Loosening the valve may let out trapped air which will result in a hissing sound (water may also leak out a little). Once the hissing stops, you can retighten the valve and may see improvement.
If you don’t see improvement however, or there was no hissing sound/trapped air, you may be dealing with a build up of what’s known as sludge (mixture of dirt and rust) in your radiator. For a sludge problem you’ll need the professional help of a heating engineer or plumber.
They can perform what’s known as a powerflush, the use of a special machine to circulate a special chemical around radiators, pipes and boilers at a high pressure. This will flush out and clean your heating system, creating more efficient heating and best of all – lower heating bills.
If you smell gas and suspect a leak you will first need to evacuate everyone from the property, pets included, do not touch any light switches, and call the National Grid on 0800 111 999. They will come to switch off the gas supply.
An engineer can only be called out to assess the problem, if required, after the National Grid has visited your property to turn off and isolate the gas.
In the event of a gas leak, a Gas Safe Engineer can carry out thorough checks including:
- Entering the property to identify the source of the leak
- Testing the gas pipework for any leaks or checking the pipework is in good condition
- Appliances are working properly and are placed in a suitable location
- The heat input and operating pressure of the appliance is fully functional
- Safety checks
Know When to Call a Gas and Heating Engineer
Now you have an idea of how important it is to get a certified engineer to investigate any suspected issues with gas and heating. Stay safe, and if in doubt, call a professional.
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