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Your Glow-worm boiler should give you years of hassle-free heating and hot water with very little maintenance needed. However, not unlike a car it will need to be serviced annually to keep it in tip-top condition.
An annual check will ensure that your boiler is operating safely and efficiently, and help to spot any potential future problems which will no doubt keep any repair bills to a minimum. In this guide you can see exactly what is involved when servicing your Glow-worm boiler, how it helps you in the long-run and how to save on the annual cost.
Getting an annual service for your boiler is far from an inconvenience when you consider the important reasons why:
One of the main safety concerns with a malfunctioning gas boiler is the production and potential leakage of Carbon Monoxide (CO) if your fuel isn't being burnt fully. This can potentially be deadly, and it is especially hard to detect as it is silent, colourless, odourless, tasteless and slightly less dense than air which makes it spread very easily throughout your home. Your service will help detect any potential problems that could result in a leak, but you should always ensure you have CO alarms installed throughout your home.
Though all Glow-worm boilers come with a standard warranty period of up to 7 years this can be extended anywhere up to 15 years if installed correctly and regularly serviced. This then is the importance of servicing your boiler... if you fail to do so it is likely you will invalidate your warranty which will result in a costly repair/replacement should anything go wrong.
It's no secret that repairing a boiler can be costly. Not only do you get a call-out charge, but the price of parts can be high. That's not to mention the inconvenience of having a broken-down boiler, so no hot water or heating until it is fixed. The majority of breakdowns can be avoided with regular servicing, with potential problems being spotted well in advance of total failure.
A boiler is at its most efficient when it is running as smoothly as when it left the factory. Regular servicing ensures that the boiler is able to run efficiently and only burn the fuel amount it needs. This in turn can have a significant impact on your monthly, quarterly or annual heating bills.
On the pre-arranged day of your service, a Gas Safe (for gas boilers) or an OFTEC (for oil boilers) registered engineer will arrive at your door, introduce themselves, show you their ID and request access to your boiler onec you are satisfied they are who they claim to be. Depending on where it is located (it may be in your garage, kitchen or boiler room)the engineer will need clear access to the boiler, along with enough workspace around it to safely carry out any tests.
A service for most Glow-worm boilers typically lasts around 30 minutes, during which the engineer will:
Upon completion your engineer will complete a boiler service certificate detailing the work carried out, the date, the model of boiler and the reading levels attained during the visit. You should keep this safe and this will likely be valid for a year.
The cost of servicing your Glow-worm boiler is usually fixed between the £60 to £130 range depending on your boiler type, however you may find some factors that influence the total cost:
All boiler work that involves accessing the actual boiler itself should be carried out by a trained GAS SAFE or OFTEC registered engineer. There are however a number of things you can do to ensure your Glow-worm boiler is running as smoothly as possible before it's next annual service:
As you would expect, the harder your Glow-worm boiler has to work to heat your home, the more likely it will suffer from wear and tear and possibly need repairing. You can help ease the load on your heating boiler by simply ensuring your home is as well insulated as possible. There are various options such as:
As an additional bonus you will also enjoy lower fuel bills due to the heating being used less!
It's important that your boiler is kept clear and the immediate surroundings are clear also. Your boiler will not only need ventilation, but in order to be able to service it your engineer will need enough space to set his tools down nearby and to remove the cover without being hindered in any way. If an engineer can't get to your boiler they are well within their rights to refuse to service it. Additionally it's important that nothing is leaning against the boiler or connecting pipes (in particular your gas pipe) or could potentially fall against it. This can often be the case if your boiler is mounted in your garage next to stored items.
It's a simple job to insulate any external pipework that connects to your existing Glow-worm boiler. This can help prevent pipes freezing in the colder months which in turn can lead to some catastrophic problems such as leaks, an increase in pressure and even stop your boiler functioning entirely. Pipes can be lagged with a variety of materials such as foam, rockwool and fibreglass and it doesn't cost a lot to do.
Adjusting the pressure that your boiler needs to function at is one of the few important jobs that you can do yourself in accordance to the Glow-worm manual you will have received with your boiler. If your pressure gauge is reading either too high or too low it will need to be adjusted following the simple instructions. Typically it needs to be between 1 and 2 but each model may vary so reference your manual to find the optimum level.
This is an easy check that you can do yourself. Your boiler wil have a window that gives you a clear view of your pilot light. First an foremost it needs to be lit (if your boiler isn't working this could be why). Secondly it needs to be burning a distinct blue colour in order to be deemed healthy. If your pilot light is burning orange or yellow, or even flickering yellow/orange intermittently then this could be an indication that the fuel is not being burnt entirely, and could result in a Carbon Monoxide (CO) leak. This could be very dangerous and your next step should be to call a Gas Safe engineer as quickly as possible.
If you would rather not have the upfront expense of a boiler service (and any repair work necessary) every year, then a popular option is to take out a service plan. By making small monthly payments you can cover all costs in a more manageable manner. It's likely you will find that the monthly payments add up to more than an annual service, but for the peace of mind it offers when covering repair bills as well, they remain a popular choice for many households.
Many people choose to take out a Glow-worm boiler service plan once their boilers are out of there manufacturers warranty. This gives them the peace of mind that if something goes wrong they are covered just as they were during the initial warranty period. You also have the added convenience of being reminded each year to have a service undertaken.
There are several companies that offer service plans for Glow-worm boilers so it's a good idea to compare what is available on the market and choose the best option for you. For instance you may wish to include full heating system cover, and even full house plumbing cover in the same agreement.
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