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Boilers

From April 1st 2002 new Building Regulations come into force , making great changes to the way that Installers must work. Every time a boiler or hot water cylinder is changed, the whole heating system must be checked and brought up to the new standards of efficiency and control.

The regulations themselves are written in a very open way, but they refer to documents which give clear advice for any installer or homeowner. The two main documents are The Good Practice Guide 302 (GPG302) and Central Heating Standard Specification (CheSS – GIL059), these give two levels of control that will be deemed to satisfy the regulations; “Good Practice” and “Best Practice” .

What is required?

When a boiler or cylinder is replaced, the whole heating system must be checked and upgraded if necessary. This will ensure that the boiler will be able to work to its declared efficiency. (There is no point in fitting a new highly efficient boiler on an inadequate system).
The new boiler or cylinder must meet efficiency standards – SEDBUK for the boiler BS for the cylinder. (Medium duty cylinders DO NOT satisfy these).
For the system to be compatible with the higher efficiency boilers, it should be fully pumped.
The system must have a boiler interlock.
If a bypass circuit is fitted, an automatic bypass valve must be used. (Slumber or Bypass radiators are only acceptable on solid fuel systems).
The controls fitted should be either Good or Best practice as defined in CheSS or GPG302)
When completed the system must be commissioned to ensure that all components are installed and functioning properly.
When the system is handed over to the householder, operation and maintenance must be explained to the user and instructions left with proof of commissioning. ( A completed and signed Benchmark Logbook is accepted).
Controls requirements are laid out below. For more details, see CheSS or GPG302.

Good Good Practice
Stored Hot Water Systems
Programmers (Preferred with independent times for CH/DHW)
Room Thermostat
Cylinder Thermostat
Motorised Valve (s)
Radiator thermostats throughout*
Automatic Bypass Valve**

Combi Boilers
Timeswitch
Room thermostat
Radiator thermostats throughout*
Automatic Bypass Valve**

Best Practice
Stored Hot Water Systems
Programmable room thermostat with capability to control DHWRoom thermostat
Cylinder thermostat
Motorised valve (s)
Radiator thermostats throughout*
Automatic bypass valve**

Combi Boilers
Programmable room thermostat
Radiator thermostats throughout*
Automatic bypass valve**

* Radiator thermostats should be used on all radiators except where the room thermostat is fitted.

** If a bypass circuit is used, then an automatic bypass valve must be fitted.

For stored hot water systems, Sundial S, W and Y Plans satisfy Good practice and Smartfit satisfies Best Practice.

On Combi systems, use ST6100 and a room thermostat for Good Practice and a programmable thermostat for Best Practice.

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GAS SAFETY REGULATIONS
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Responsibilities of - Landlords: Tenants: Letting Agents: Owner Occupier:
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The current legislation controlling the installation and use of gas is the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 which came into force on 31 October 1998 and place duties mainly on installers, landlords and some gas suppliers.
These Regulations aim to prevent injury to consumers and the public from either carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, fire and explosion.
In particular the Regulations require gas installers.

To be registered with CORGI, (which is approved by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to maintain a register of gas installers and gas businesses & to monitor the competency of those installers/businesses to undertake gas work safely and to investigate complaints against registered installers).

All gas fitting operatives are also required to be able to demonstrate they are competent to undertake gas work safely normally by being assessed against nationally accepted standards.
& Landlords.

Have duties to ensure that the gas appliances and flues they provide for tenants use are maintained in a safe condition at all times.

And checked for safety each year by a CORGI registered installer.

And a copy of the check record is provided to the tenant.

Unlike landlords there is no duty on owner/occupiers of private domestic property to have their gas appliances either maintained or regularly checked for safety.
But, the HSE & CORGI have over the past few years, spent a considerable amount of money on publicity campaigns advising owner occupiers to take such action.
Below are the main responsibilities for landlords, tenants, letting agent and owner occupier.

Landlords - responsibilities BACK TO TOP
By Law (Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998) you must,

Ensure installation pipe work, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition

Ensure an annual safety check is carried out on each appliance and/or flue that you provide for tenants use

Ensure an annual safety check is carried out on each appliance and/or flue that you provide for tenants use

Ensure maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a CORGI registered installer

Keep a record of each safety check for 2 years

Issue a copy of the safety check to each existing tenant within 28 days of check being completed and to any new tenant before they move in

Ensure all gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting

If a managing agent is used to help the landlord in meeting their duties, make sure that the management contract clearly specifies who is to make arrangements for maintenance and safety checks to be carried out and for keeping records. However, the landlord maintains overall responsibility for ensuring duties are met, irrespective of whether a managing agent is employed

Ensure that anyone carrying out work on gas appliances/fittings and/or flues provided for tenants use has the required competence and that only CORGI registered installers are used

Tenant - responsibilities BACK TO TOP
HSE advises

You should allow your landlord access to the property to carry out maintenance or safety checks on appliances and/or flues that they provide for your use

That gas appliances and/or flues you own should be regularly maintained and a safety check carried out at least once every 12 months by a CORGI registered installer

That, if there is any doubt about the safety of gas equipment it should be turned off and not touched until checked by a competent installer, and remedial action taken as necessary

Letting Agents - responsibilities BACK TO TOP
By law (Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998) you must,

Ensure that the management contract clearly specifies who is to make arrangements for maintenance and safety checks on gas equipment and for keeping associated records

Where specified by the management contract ensure gas appliances and/or flues are serviced at least once every 12 months or at any other time if there is a safety doubt

Ensure that maintenance and safety checks on gas appliances/fittings and/or flues provided for tenants use are only carried out by a CORGI registered installer

Owner Occupier - responsibilities
HSE Advises

That all gas appliances and/or flues should be regularly maintained and a safety check carried out annually or at any other time if there is a safety doubt by a CORGI registered installer.

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Types of Central Heating Boilers

Todays boilers are not only smaller, neater, and so take up less space, but they are more energy efficient and use less fuel to produce the same amount of heat. Replacing a 15 year old boiler with a modern highly efficient model, could save you upto 30% on your existing fuel bills. There are four main types of modern boilers using gas, LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) or oil:

Conventional Boilers

Conventional boilers are generally used in conjunction with a hot water cylinder and roof tanks and radiators. Available for oil or gas, floor standing or wall mounted with a large range of flueing options. External oil fired conventional boilers are also available.

Condensing Boilers

By converting approximately 88% of fuel into heat compared to 72%+ for a new conventional boiler, the condensing boiler is the most efficient of them all, wasting the least energy. Condensing boilers are available as both conventional or combination units. A conventional boiler burns fuel in a combustion chamber surrounded by a water jacket. This heats the water, which is then circulated around the heating system. Unfortunately, much of the heat produced by the burning of the fuel is either lost to the surrounding air or disappears up the flue. Condensing boilers basically scavenge the heat not recovered by the main heat exchanger and make effective use of it by reducing the temperature of the flue gases to a point where water vapour produced during combustion is "condensed out", releasing latent heat that would otherwise escape up the flue.

Combination Boilers (Combi Boilers)

Combination boilers do the work of both a central heating boiler and a hot water cylinder and they are compact (usually wall hung in the kitchen) – which means you either have more space in your airing cupboard, or you don’t need one at all. Installation costs may be lower and fitting is often less disruptive than with a conventional boiler. However, because the hot water heats on demand it runs more slowly – which means it takes longer to run your bath. Combi boilers are popular in properties where space is limited because they negate the need for hot and cold water tanks.

Condensing Combination Boiler (Condensing Combi)

This is a condensing version of the standard combination boiler, which gives you the extra efficiency of a condensing boiler as well as the advantages of a combination boiler. It can easily be installed as a direct replacement for an existing combination model.

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