How to Get Your Boiler Winter Ready

As winter descends, people are coming closer to the day that boilers will be back to full power again. No longer will it just be a source of hot water, soon it will be heating our homes in order to keep you warm during the coldest part of the year. We here at Wear Heating and Gas understand that your central heating system is the life of your home in winter. So, if you have any problems you want to be aware sooner rather than later.

How, then, do you ensure your boiler is in tip top shape for the coming winter months?

Check Your Pipes and Radiators

The lack of use over several months may cause your pipe system to depressurize. It’s a problem with a simple fix, but it can be worrying when your radiators aren’t warming and you don’t know why. You can do this yourself, or an engineer can do this during a service. On the other hand, you will also have issues if the pressure of the boiler is too high also.

Prior to winter may also be a good time of year to bleed your radiators also. This is a great way to ensure the efficiency of your heating system, removing any trapped air that may have built up into the system over the months since you have used it. Air in the system means that it won’t warm up as well as it should. A quick check to remove this will leave your home toasty again.

Ensure Proper Insulation

Winter is cold, that is an undeniable fact. Temperatures can reach below zero on a regular basis and this may cause issues with your heating. Water can freeze in your pipes, causing a lot of trouble for both your boiler and even the sanitation of your home. A cost-effective solution is to insulate the pipes in order to avoid this issue.

Have Your Boiler Serviced

An annual service may not be necessary, but it never hurts. Better to be safe rather than sorry, as the saying goes. Months of disuse during the summer months can cause your boiler to have problems. Not checking can mean that these problems worsen on the initial winter turn on, not an ideal situation to find yourself in when the cold starts to bite. From a safety point of view, it is also important to service your boiler every year.

Are you worried your boiler won’t be up to scratch come winter? If you live in the Newcastle, Sunderland or Durham area, we can help! Why not give us a call on 0191 5517101 or 07729 429 489 and find out what we can do for you.

Common Causes of Blocked Drains

You watch in despair as the water refuses to drain down the plughole or the toilet backs up all over the bathroom floor. Nobody likes a plumbing emergency, but if you know the five common causes of blocked drains, you’ll be able to take preventative measures to avoid having to make that call – at least not too often!

Grease and Fat

Remember the 40 metre long, 10 tonne ‘fatberg’ that was removed from the London sewers? Fat and grease are probably the most common causes of household drain blockages. When fatty liquids are washed down the drain after cooking, they don’t exit the pipes with the water flow but cling to the insides of the pipes, causing a build-up that can eventually clog the pipe altogether.

Hair

This is the most common cause of blocked drains in your bathroom. Dirt, flakes of skin and especially hair bind to soap scum that settles on the walls of the drain and form a build-up that reduces water flow. Clean the plughole frequently and invest in a hair catching device.

Foreign Objects

If you have a curious toddler in the house, you’ll be familiar with the problem of toys blocking the U-bend. But other objects often get inadvertently flushed or washed down the sink. Some of the more bizarre items plumbers have removed from blocked drains include wigs, medical syringes and even a set of false teeth!

Toiletries

The rule here is: if it doesn’t disperse in water, don’t flush. Baby wipes and disposable nappies are the most common culprits. Nappies are designed to swell and absorb water so the consequences of flushing them seem obvious. And even though toilet paper does break down in water, over enthusiastic use can be too much for your plumbing to cope with.

Leaves and Roots

Thirsty tree roots in search of water have been known to crack through drain pipes, often blocking them completely. If you have trees in the garden, make sure you gather the fallen leaves regularly in the autumn as these are also a major cause of blocked drains.

At Wear Heating and Gas Services, we’re experts at sorting out your plumbing problems so if you’re experiencing the misery of blocked drains, contact us.

Preparing for Autumn

As the leaves and the temperatures begin to fall, it’s time to say goodbye to summer and prepare your home for the colder season and unpredictable changes in the weather. Now is the perfect time to think about important aspects of home maintenance to see you right through the winter chill. There are some things that you can do yourself, for example:

Autumn

- check for drafts
- clear gutters
- test smoke alarms and other home safety devices
- general garden maintenance
- change light bulbs

However, there are some things that due to health and safety considerations, should be left to professionals. This is where Wear Heating and Gas Services can help.

As part of your autumn home maintenance, you should:

Arrange a Boiler Check

Regular boiler maintenance is not only a legal requirement, it’s an essential element in heating your home for the inevitable climate change as winter approaches. Having your boiler serviced is the best way to prevent potential issues, as it will find hazardous faults or identify parts that may need to be replaced. It’s better to have these issues fixed sooner rather than later and enables you to avoid the possibility of being without heating and hot water during a cold spell and more importantly ensures your boiler is safe. As well as the safety considerations, a service will also ensure your boiler is working at maximum efficiency as this can have an impact on running costs. A boiler that works properly can reduce your energy bills.

Have Your Radiator and Heating Ducts Checked

Even if your boiler is working efficiently, you need to make sure that your radiators or heating ducts are also working properly. This may involve bleeding the air out of the radiators, checking the thermostat and clearing vents to make sure they’re not blocked.

Have a Pipe Check-Up

The pipes in your home, both inside and out, can become vulnerable in cold, icy weather and it’s vital that they are checked for cracks and damage to prevent leaks. It’s also important to check that the pipes are sufficiently insulated to protect them from potential loss of heat which can add to energy costs.

For more information about our services, for advice about preparing your home for autumn or to arrange a heating check-up, please contact us to discuss your needs.

What Does it Mean to be a South Tyneside Safe Trader?

Your boiler is one of the most important fixtures in your home and here at Wear Heating and Gas Services, we understand the importance of choosing a reliable and professional gas engineer when it comes to servicing, repair and installation. We have steadily built up a reputation as one of the north-east’s premier heating and gas companies over the past 15 years, with hundreds of satisfied customers to our name, and we are proud to be able to say that we are part of the South Tyneside Safe Trader register.

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What is a Combi Boiler?

Both a central heating boiler and a high efficiency water heater, a combi (or combination) boiler is designed to save space. It’s become a popular choice in the UK, accounting for more than half of all domestic boilers installed every year.

They heat the home and provide hot water without needing to contain two separate tanks, combining the two heating functions into just one appliance.

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What to Do When Your Radiators Stop Working

The British summer doesn’t seem to be especially generous this year, and there are days with heavy rain and cold fog that may have made you turn your radiators on again on more than one occasion. However, if they fail you this can be very troublesome because after the summer, the cold temperatures will only increase.

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How Does Home Plumbing Work?

Plumbing essentially operates under the principles of gravity and pressure. When these work together, you get drainage systems and systems that bring fresh water into your home. So how does it work? Are there special requirements for it to work or is it just a series of pipes put together?

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Common Plumbing Problems

Thorough maintenance and inspections are essential to ensure you have good plumbing in your home, but sometimes it’s not enough. While regularly checking the current state of your plumbing is necessary, problems can still develop. There are many types of plumbing issues, and some are more common than others, since they tend to occur in most homes.

Plumber Fixing a Sink

Fixing them yourself might not always be possible, so it’s best to call in professional help to deal with them – no matter whether a DIY project is possible or not, knowing exactly what problems can develop can help you realise that your plumbing has issues that need attention.

 

Dripping Faucets

Not only can the sound a dripping faucet makes keep you awake at night, but it can also drive your water bill up. You can be losing a lot of water if you have this issue, which is perhaps the most commonly found in households everywhere. Washers can become damaged, meaning that water can start dripping easily – repairing or replacing them can be challenging, especially because fixing the issue can involve specialised tools.

 

Leaky Pipes

If you notice a puddle on the ground or under a domestic appliance, you may have a leaky pipe. Pipes tend to start leaking near the joints, so it’s vital that you’re aware of any wet spots, whether on the ground or on the ceiling – damage to your home can end up being very costly, so this issue needs to be fixed straight away.

Low Water Pressure

Many homes will experience low water pressure in their plumbing, although this problem might be slightly more common in older houses. Low pressure can be due to leaky pipes, a faulty faucet, or even an issue with the water supply itself, and means that instead of the water gushing out as usual, it trickles.

The water running in your pipes is carrying minerals, such as calcium, which will get deposited on the metal. If you have a filtration system, these minerals will be caught – without it, they’re likely to be deposited on showerheads and aerators, leading to the pipes clogging. This will, in turn, lead to a slower water flow.

 

Running Toilet

Typically indicated by a low humming noise – or by a continuous water drip into the bowl even when not flushing – a running toilet can end up costing you a loss of 200 gallons per day. This water waste is not good for your wallet, and can actually lead to even more severe consequences, such as permanent damage to your house.

This problem can occur due to an accumulation of sediments, an imbalanced float or a loose fill tube for instance. No matter the reason why it happened, however, the important thing is that you have it checked out.

Healthy plumbing can help you keep the water bill down and save money at the end of the month. Also, problems with the plumbing are always frustrating, which is why we’re always ready to give you a hand with anything you require. No matter the issue, our plumbers specialise in a wide range of services, so that you can have it solved as soon as possible, so contact us today on 0191 5517101 to learn more about what we can do for you.

4 Tips to Keep Your Boiler Up and Running

If you want to avoid a complete boiler breakdown, you need to keep it in top shape at all times! A boiler is an essential part of the household, especially when the colder months return, but in order to have it working well when that time comes, you should maintain it during the year. Continue reading

How to Survive a Boiler Breakdown

We rely a lot on our boilers, especially in the UK where warm weather is never guaranteed! As a consequence, we understand it can be stressful when things go wrong. However, if you find that your boiler has stopped working properly, try not to panic! There are a few steps you can take to keep things running smoothly until your engineer arrives:

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