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Deciding on a new installation

If you are considering having a new central heating boiler installed there are a number of things to consider, we have listed a few points which may be worth bearing in mind.

It is a good idea to ensure that the installer you choose will be able to service and maintain the boiler in the future.  It is also essential that are qualified to complete the work - ask to see proof of their registration, such as an ID card, don't just take their word for it.  Any engineer who will be working on a gas appliance must be GAS SAFE registered, and should have their card with them. 

GAS SAFE have replaced CORGI, therefore a CORGI registered engineer does not mean that they are qualified to work on your gas appliance. If you are unsure, check them out with GAS SAFE on 0800 408 5500, or go to their web site at www.gassaferegister.co.uk


It is also worth having a good idea as to what you would like from your new heating system such as:
Do you want to re-locate the boiler?
Do you need instant hot water?
Do you need the hot water to be supplied at mains pressure?
Do you want to heat different areas of the house independently?
Do you plan to have any alteration to the property, now or later on, such as an extension or a loft conversion?


It is always advisable when looking to have any type of work completed to get several quotes so that you can compare them.  Some points to consider when comparing quotes are listed below:


Have you been quoted for the work to be completed as you wanted? 
Current regulations must be met, but if you have been told that you can’t have the work completed as you would like, do you know why?  Ensure that you haven’t only been offered the easiest way for the installer.  Have the benefits and drawbacks been explained for the options you have been offered?


Are the engineers qualified to complete the work?  
The engineer must be GAS SAFE registered for gas systems and OFTEC registered for oil.  

Within these registrations, there are also specific areas of qualification.  So although an engineer may have a GAS SAFE or OFTEC registration number, they could still be unqualified.  Work completed outside of registration could affect your safety and the warranty of the parts used. 

It is illegal for any person who is not registered with GAS SAFE, or working under the supervision of a registered engineer, to work on any part of the gas installation. 


Will the installer register the work with local authorities?  
By law, most changes made to your heating system must be registered with your local authority. 

If this is required, is your installer qualified to self-certify the work and inform the authorities on your behalf?  If you have to inform the authorities yourself you will have to pay an inspection fee.


Are you comparing your quotes like for like?  
There are many makes of parts that can do the same job, but may not be of the same quality. 

Make sure that you aren’t being quoted for ‘budget’ parts, which usually need replacing more often.  The main components to compare include the boiler, radiators, hot water cylinder and controls. 

Other major things to compare would be: 

  • Whether you have been quoted for copper pipe or plastic.  Copper pipe is more expensive initially, but will long outlast plastic pipe and generally give fewer problems.  
  • Whether the system will be flushed correctly, treated with corrosion inhibitor and commissioned.  
  • How long the boiler will be covered by its guarantee
  • The type of system and how this suits your needs.  Combination boilers are great if installed in the right property, but they are not ideal for everyone
  • The make, model, position and suitability of the boiler, cylinder, controls, programmers and radiators

 

Have you been given a quotation or an estimate?  
A quotation should mean that if something doesn't go to plan you will not pay anymore, but if you have been given an estimate you could end up paying more than you expected.


Make sure the following will be completed as part of the work:

  • The system will be flushed, the boiler commissioned and corrosion inhibitor will be added.
  • The ‘Bench Mark’ card or ‘Completion Certificate’ and warranty forms will be completed.


Don’t be afraid to question a potential installer, and make sure your questions have been answered before accepting a quotation.  Once work has been completed, ensure you have been given all necessary instruction manuals and completed paperwork.  If you are unsatisfied with any work which has been completed, you can request an inspection by either GAS SAFE or OFTEC, at no cost to you.