Boiler Service Explained
This is always an interesting question, the answer to which would be dependent on a number of variables, but the simple answer is that it should take approximately 30 to 40 minutes, often companies will allow slightly longer for unforeseen issues. In some cases, where a boiler needs some specific attention, this could then mean that the service would take 1-1.5 hours. The time required will be influenced by the fuel source feeding your boiler, usually for example, an oil boiler service will take longer than a gas boiler service. This will also depend on how ‘efficiently/cleanly’ the boiler has burnt in the previous year and how long it has been since the last boiler service. If the boiler has not been serviced for a while, then it is likely to take longer than a regularly serviced boiler. Equally, a very new boiler or one which is only a few years old will not take as long as one that has been fitted for a while.
Boiler servicing is now similar to car servicing with a ‘mini and maxi’ service theory. Similar to cars, the boiler has a number of operational checks on the initial part of the service. The outcome of these checks will then determine whether the operative needs to complete than the ‘maxi’ or full strip down service or a ‘mini’ is sufficient, and only a smaller number of components are required to be cleaned/checked.
Modern-day ‘condensing’ boilers are much more sensitive to the ‘set up/commissioning’ unlike an older traditional ‘on/off’ boiler, which would run at a consistent rate. For that reason, the service is very important to check these parameters are still correct, and the boiler is operating efficiently. In 2005 it became mandatory to install a condensing boiler, so most boilers now are condensing boilers. Older boilers typically took longer to service as they were less efficient and typically had a big main heat exchanger and burner, which required annual cleaning. Whether your boiler is a ‘Combi’ or ‘Regular/Heat Only/System’ (one with a separate hot water tank) should not really affect the amount of time to complete the boiler service as the service is designed mainly to check the boiler itself and the gas parts, flue and burner rate. Ultimately a boiler service is just that, and it only requires work to the boiler and not the other components in the system.
We are often asked ‘what’s included in a boiler service’, and the answer is straightforward that the boiler itself will be checked for efficient operation and internal components within it will be checked and cleaned as detailed by the specific manufacturer of that boiler. Once the operative has completed the boiler service, they then have a legal obligation to comply with The Gas Regulations and perform some mandatory safety checks on the boiler and boiler flue itself. The important point is that if the boiler is not fully operational, then it is unlikely a boiler service will repair a fault you are experiencing, and when you book an appointment, you should make it clear that the boiler is not working and a repair visit should be organised rather than a standard service visit. Equally, whilst operatives may check the radiators to ensure that they are not showing signs of leakage or visible corrosion and the same within your airing cupboard (if you have one), that is an additional check-up and not formally part of the ‘boiler service’.
We would always encourage an end user to run the heating for a short period of time prior to a boiler service visit to check that this is fully operational. You can then advise the service operative of any potential issues you believe that you may have when they arrive. Even in the summer, we would always recommend that you run the heating for around 15-20 minutes a few days before the visit is planned. By doing this, you can then check that all the radiators are heating effectively. You can advise the person completing the service that all is well or any issues you have identified. However, you should ensure that on the day of the service, you turn the boiler off to ensure that it is not too hot for the operative to work on. If you just have one or two radiators that are not heating it may be possible for the operative to diagnose the issue and resolve this as part of the service visit but it maybe that this would take a longer amount of time and they will need to reschedule another visit after the service to resolve the issue. Often a radiator not heating is a simple job to resolve and can be done by balancing the system further, bleeding a radiator or freeing a jammed thermostatic radiator valve. Sometimes the operative will have time to resolve small issues on a boiler service, but it may be that they will need to rebook the repair job. It is when small issues like this are found that the operative may then take longer to complete the service visit at your property.
In all cases, a boiler or heat pump must be serviced to ensure that the warranty remains valid, this is even more important for an extended warranty as the cost of repairs can be expensive if not covered by the warranty itself. Just like a car, the service is essential to validate the warranty. In some cases there is a ‘service record’ in the instruction booklet which the operative can complete when he is on site as proof of service, but do not worry if that’s not been completed or you forgot to have this filled in as you will just need to show proof of service when requested and at Aura Heating we can provide a job report which confirms the detail and date of a service call. You can also view this in the Aura Mobile App, along with the history of other visits that we have made to your property.
At Aura Heating, we include an annual service visit with all our care plans. Whether you have an old/new boiler or heat pump, to provide total peace of mind, you can get support whether in or out of warranty should the appliance fail. Depending on the level of the care plan you have selected will determine what is included, but you can find full details on our website at www.auraheating.co.uk