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View Full Version : Gas central heating- for what aspects is T responsible?



keithbanks
21-10-2009, 16:17 PM
In common with most gas central heating boilers the one in our flat needs to have the water pressure maintained in order to operate. This level is clearly indicated (in this case) by a red line on a guage located inside the control panel. The procedure for doing this is clearly detailed in the Users Manual and is VERY simple to do.
When the cental heating is switched on in the autumn this level often falls due to the need to bleed the radiators.
My tenant declined to do this, supported by my Agent, on the grounds that a gas engineer should do it, this was done at a cost to me of £40.
Does anyone think I am being unreasonable to expect the tenant to carry out this routine maintenance?
Its easier to do than pumping up car tyres. Do you suppose she pays a mechanic to do that?!

jta
21-10-2009, 16:26 PM
Does anyone think I am being unreasonable to expect the tenant to carry out this routine maintenance?
Its easier to do than pumping up car tyres. Do you suppose she pays a mechanic to do that?!

It is right and proper that it is done by someone that knows what they are doing, you must not assume that what is easy for you is easy for someone else. On the car tyres thing, I was once called out to a Mini that was driving 'funny', I found that the tyres had all been inflated to over 100psi. So it's horses for courses.

johnjw
21-10-2009, 16:39 PM
Could you explain what exactly this maintenance procedure involves?

mind the gap
21-10-2009, 18:06 PM
Is it quite unnecessary (in my view) to call out a gas engineer to perform this simple procedure which involves pushing a little lever down until an arrow gets to a certain point (less than 20 seconds' work). It is like calling out an electrician to re-set a tripped fuse.

Our student tenants can do it, anyway and they aren't renowned for their interest in boilers or their technical wizardry.

westminster
21-10-2009, 18:20 PM
The procedure for doing this is clearly detailed in the Users Manual and is VERY simple to do.....
....Does anyone think I am being unreasonable to expect the tenant to carry out this routine maintenance?


With the proviso that it really is as simple as you claim (and in my experience of combi boilers, it is that simple) and doesn't require any professional tools etc - tenants are required to behave in a "tenant-like" manner and carry out reasonable routine maintenance tasks such as this - things like changing lightbulbs, cleaning the filter in the dishwasher, etc. While lots of people seem unable to manage little things like this, it's not the LL's liability if they can't - LL is not T's nanny or room service.

Personally I would re-charge £40 to T, just as if you'd had to send over an electrician to change a lightbulb.

If it ends up with T disputing deposit deductions, don't use deposit scheme arbitration - they'd almost certainly rule in T's favour.

havensRus
21-10-2009, 18:22 PM
agree with MTG. Simple task. Next time it needs doing, let them do it under your instructions/watchful eye, then its up to them after that.

keithbanks
22-10-2009, 19:09 PM
Could you explain what exactly this maintenance procedure involves?

Yes. I instructed my Agent to inform my tenant as follows:-
Pull out the fridge. this will expose the pipework to the boiler. located on the cold water supply to the boiler is an isolation valve as fitted in the pipework to the sinks and toilet elsewhere in the flat. Turn this screw one quarter turn, whilst watching the guage in the control panel. when the marker is above the red line ,close the valve.
These instructions are clearly detailed in the USER manual, left for the tenant.
If anyone cant maintain correct tyre pressure they should not be driving.

Mars Mug
22-10-2009, 20:59 PM
The most ‘complicated’ combi boiler closed system I have seen is at my Mother’s house where you have to connect a short ‘loop’ pipe to charge the system, most decent boilers have this built in, as it sounds like yours does. Anyone who can’t charge a system using a permanently fitted loop should not be allowed to take the risk of tying their own shoelaces.

Ericthelobster
23-10-2009, 10:13 AM
The most ‘complicated’ combi boiler closed system I have seen is at my Mother’s house where you have to connect a short ‘loop’ pipe to charge the system, most decent boilers have this built in, as it sounds like yours does. Anyone who can’t charge a system using a permanently fitted loop should not be allowed to take the risk of tying their own shoelaces.Unless the regs have changed recently you are supposed to have the water supplied by a disconnectable flexible hose, as you are meant to disconnect it from the mains supply having topped up the pressure (all about potential contamination of the mains water I think). (I certainly don't bother disconnecting mine though!) Possibly newer boilers have built-in double-check valves or something, like a garden hose tap should, to prevent contamination?)

Certainly a nonsense that a tenant can't do this process themselves; though I have to say the OP's method of doing this seems inordinately complicated - having to pull out the fridge and use a screwdriver isn't ideal. I would definitely get this changed to a proper filling loop above the worktop, with a built-in quarter-turn tap (http://www.screwfix.com/prods/30327/Plumbing/Boilers-and-Accs/R24-Filling-Loop#)

Paragon
23-10-2009, 13:06 PM
What happens if the tenant fails to close the valve and leaves it open?

westminster
23-10-2009, 13:11 PM
Certainly a nonsense that a tenant can't do this process themselves; though I have to say the OP's method of doing this seems inordinately complicated - having to pull out the fridge and use a screwdriver isn't ideal.
Agree about having to pull out the fridge. Maybe just about okay if it's a small under-counter fridge but it wouldn't be reasonable to expect a woman to move a full-height fridge on her own (I'm female BTW before anyone says this is sexist!)

grouse
23-10-2009, 17:20 PM
What happens if the tenant fails to close the valve and leaves it open?

If they fail to close the valve completely the pressure builds up to 3bar and the pressure relief valve opens.

OK if its piped to a drain (but wastes water)

Not OK if your boiler is below ground level and floods your cellar floor (as one of mine did three days ago)

I check and top up the systems myself as part of routine maintenance as they are HMOs with common areas to which I have access. On this occasion though one of the tenants thought he was saving me a job!!!!

Mars Mug
24-10-2009, 09:03 AM
Unless the regs have changed recently you are supposed to have the water supplied by a disconnectable flexible hose, as you are meant to disconnect it from the mains supply having topped up the pressure (all about potential contamination of the mains water I think). (I certainly don't bother disconnecting mine though!) Possibly newer boilers have built-in double-check valves or something, like a garden hose tap should, to prevent contamination?)

My Mother’s combi boiler has a loop which is disconnected when not in use. My Mother-in-law’s combi boiler has a fixed pipe work loop built in, so I can only assume there is a non-return valve fitted to prevent mains contamination as you suggest. Both boilers are relatively newly fitted by the same council.

Dave Lavelle
24-10-2009, 10:51 AM
How often does it need repressurised?
Twice a year is ok, more often than that and you should try to find out where the water is leaking to. Regularly adding a few litres of fresh water will dilute your corrosion inhibitor and will lead to internal corrosion of your system = eventual major problems.
Why not repair the leak(s)?
Hopefully the fridge is not on a vinyl floorcovering.
If the system is accidentally overpressurised and the pressure relief valve opens, they often fail to re-seat properly (especially on a dirty system), and need replaced.
Can't say you will experience any or all of these problems but it is best to deal with the fault rather than a recurring symptom.