A dirty heating system can prematurely kill a boiler, a magnetic filter on the heating return is a worthwhile investment. I’m just having a WB 35CDI fitted with a Magnaclean on the return…
I don’t bother with annual services now to be honest. I have a combi in the garage (Vokera) about 12 years old the longer it lasts, the happier I am. I am friendly with a BG engineer and if it goes wrong he fixes it for me. He has said when it last went belly up 2 years ago it was starting to get hard to get parts for.
I think the whole annual service thing is a bit of a rip off in most cases. As mine is in a draughty garage, I don’t worry about it poisoning me, and I am very sceptical about the practice of annual servicing. I used to get it done off a local company who inevitably found some fault during the service that needed repairing at a wallet busting cost. Even after it was 5 years old I was being told to replace it for a more efficient model and all the usual drivel they dish out.
If it was a more honest procedure I would agree with it, but even the service plans that have been mentioned on here exclude a lot of parts in the agreement. Valves, heat exchangers and even burners on some, which are the first parts to fail are excluded in the agreement. You end up paying £20.00 a month for god knows how long, then when it breaks down the part you think is covered, is not so you have to fork out for that. If and when it’s a part that is covered, there’s a 70% chance that part is obsolete so it’s time for a new boiler. It’s a form of legalised theft in my eyes.
We have Vaillant combi, c.20 years old; Vaillant keep mailing us with service plans, but c.15 years ago when we arranged a service, their engineer suffered a bereavement (we think) and let us down. Obviously I had sympathy, but cover should have been available. Failing that, a phone call and re-schedule would have been nice.
Apart from one small persistent drip for the last 10 years (which we have a jug under), the boiler had been faultless, however, the significant other has always wanted it serviced and last year, having found a local company, I got it booked. Cost about £40 +VAT for an engineer to strip/test/reassemble and tell us to keep hold of it for as long as possible as “they don’t make ’em like that anymore”. Total time about 70 mins.
Obviously, finding a bona-fide firm you can trust is often the first massive hurdle.
My advice: Pick a medium sized local firm with about 5-15 engineers/fitters. Check http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk using your postcode to find your local companies (and individuals).
(The firms will often post photos of their engineers, however it can be a bit of a rogues gallery, so do not use a persons appearance as an evaluation tool ha ha).
If you choose to use your local small ads, check the http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk to see if they are registered. If they are not, they will probably use a “mate” who is registered to oversee or pass the work.
Get recommendations off your friends and neighbours – almost everybody will have used somebody at some time. Personally, I avoid BG due to their pricing structure, however they do do a good job, they are always available and you are almost guaranteed a fix within 24 hours. Either that or some yellow tape and a prohibition notice 🙂