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Gas Escape
In the event of a gas escape or smell of gas

Firstly no source of ignition or flames to be present, so no turning on lights, hobs, smoking, switches, anything that could cause a spark or flame etc.

Secondly open as many windows as possible to vent the room.

Thirdly if you can, it's always good to know where your gas meter located, if it's outside the house it will be located within its own housing, so a gas key would be needed. You can buy these from any plumber's merchants for around £2.50. To the side of the meter you will see a lever, pull this down, this should only pull down a quarter, the handle should be pointing in your direction towards you not upwards. This will isolate the gas and the risk of any further gas leaking. If you cannot locate your gas meter outside it's likely to be inside, in most cases it can be situated inside a cupboard, this is no guarantee.

Once you have carried out these procedures, you should immediately contact either your gas supplier or a gas safe registered engineer. Your aim is safety all the time, so time is crucial..

Contacting your supplier in most cases will only confirm you have a gas leak. They will find this out by carrying out a tightness test on your gas supply. In the event you do have a gas leak in most cases they will cap off the gas meter and tell you to locate a gas safe registered engineer.

Your Gas safe registered engineer can carry out the relevant checks. And any remedial work (if needed) to get you up and running. Once the leak has been traced and fixed the engineer can turn on all your appliances making sure you are safe.

Our point is always safety when it comes to gas. But due to the nature of the work involved, you will be better off locating a gas safe registered engineer than your supplier (as long as the engineer can respond within the same time span as your supplier between 1 to 2 hours) if the gas safe engineer can't then it's best to contact your supplier. Till your gas safe engineer turns up and resolve the issue.

I would recommend when you have your boiler/fire serviced on any gas work carried out, to ask your engineer where your gas meter located, and maybe take you through some simple safety checks. Like turning of your gas meter etc.

I hope the information supplied from UK Engineers will help you in the future to stay safe.

Boiler & Heating Breakdowns Avoiding high costs

Nobody likes or wants unexpected costs, especially on their heating and boiler system. Yet in my experience over my twelve years carrying out many breakdowns. The lack of care towards heating system does surprise me.

The point I like to make reference to, if you were in your car (let's say between October and March) and drove constantly for 6 to 10 hours a day totalling 6 months, at some point you would start to think your car would need a service/ filters oil change etc, you would expect your car break down at some point if this wasn't carried out.

The same should apply to your boiler and heating systems. Like any mechanical item it needs maintenance to function properly. I come across systems being neglected for many years.

I'm not here to point the finger and blame. I'm here to hopefully help you save money in the future, and help you run your heating system in a cost efficient way.

You don't need to do a lot or even spend a lot, to minimise the risk of a breakdown. Some easy and simple guidance can and will help your system run efficiently. Which will save you many pounds over the years.

1. Service your boiler annually: this can tell you many things like is it safe? Is it running efficiently ( it could be over gassed, or simply be dangerous: emitting carbon monoxide) these checks annually can potentially save you money.

2. Every five years install inhibitor in your heating system. One bottle should do it if you're a normal 3 bedroom house, more is needed in a larger house (read the label) . This will protect your system, from dirt and sludge. If your system is sealed, then installation of inhibitor can be done through your radiator. Or any open vented system then can be applied via the tank in the loft, drain some water off through your drain off. (This will be located downstairs on the ground floor. If you have one) . This allows the solution to enter into the main heating system. Just adding solution to an open vented tank without any water taken out will only sit in the tank, and won't be pumping around your system protecting it.

3. Every 7 to 10 years power flush the whole system. Or when any new boiler installation has taken place. The machine attaches to the flow and return (once you have taken the radiator of the system) and chemically clean the boiler, pump radiators and pipework.

We hope at UK Engineers this was helpful


Yearly Maintenance of Your Stop Cock

External stock cock

You have two stop cocks. External and internal. I will cover the external first. You have one of two external stop cocks.

In most cases you will have a stop cock close to your boundary, either within a square metal flip lid or plastic round cap. Lift the lid, a square metal head about 1 inch square ( this can be covered in water or even dirt if you can't locate) this requires a tool from any plumber's merchants, best to buy the universal type for around £22.00.

Turn the valve clockwise, till the valve stops, then repeat the process anticlockwise to turn back on

This can be done by the handle of the universal tool. So imaging the handles in your hands, left to right. The left hand pointing towards 9 o'clock direction of a clock and the right hand would then be pointing in the 3 o'clock direction. ( this is just a guideline, but use the clock method to gauge your turns ) turn the handle with both hands till your left hand has turned from 9 o'clock to 12 o'clock this would be classed as one quarter turn, repeat the process again till you have moved from 12 O'clock to 3 O'clock.

The reason for this method is to stop the valve seizing in the fully open position, ( this applies to all stop cocks ) by closing the valve two quarter turns this gives the valve more chance of movement in the future and not seizing in the fully open position.

You are responsible for the water mains from your stop cock to your house. Your water companies are responsible for the mains to your stop cock and the stop cock it self. You can buy insurance at an affordable cost from your water company if you wish to protect yourself from any large costs if in the event your mains may burst. You will be covered between the main stop cock and up to your house for any repairs. This does not cover you within your house though.

The second type of external stop cock and most common. Round plastic head this can either be done by lifting with a screwdriver and flipping the lid up, or the cap unscrews, if so you will need another Key, this can be bought at any plumbers merchants, a cost around £9.00. Make sure when you go to the merchants that you give the correct information, so you get the correct tool.

Once the cap up you should see a plastic key. Repeat the same process in the first top section.

Internal stop cock

This will normally be situated under the kitchen sink. But depending on the house, can be in different locations. I would strongly advise you locate the mains stop cock, it's important to know in case of an emergency. The stop cock will be of a brass body and handle in most cases. But the best way to test your stop cock, turn your valve off and see if the mains cold in the kitchen sink turns of? If it does then it's the mains stop cock, (again repeat the same process as stated in my first top section) this stops the valve from seizing.

These are simple steps that could save you a lot of time, cost and expense in the future

I would also advise you to turn your mains off when you're away. This will restrict the potential for damage. In the event of a leak.

I would also advise when you get the chance, ask your plumber to understand your plumbing within your house, and explain to you the layout, this will save you the hassle and time of trying to work it out yourself. Don't call them out just for this reason though, incorporate it within another visit.

We hope at UK Engineers this information has been helpful.


Gas Safe Registered Engineers

When choosing somebody to carry out any work on your house or business within the gas sector, it's important to make sure firstly they are gas safe registered and secondly qualified to carry out the work you wish them to do.

They may be gas safe registered, but are they qualified in the sector you require them for? Let's say you call up your engineer you have used for many years who service your boiler, you have an LPG BBQ that's faulty. He has a responsibility to the safety of you and to him to say if he can carry out this work in a safe and proper manner, and the only way he can do this is by being qualified (taking exams on LPG). Sadly not all engineers will give you this information and be honest.

So from a safety point of view, ask your engineer if he holds the current qualification for this type of work. Don't be scared to ask. Remember this is all about safety when it comes to gas.

The other way you can find this information out is by going onto www.gassaferegister.co.uk website, you can then type in the company or engineer and it should tell you all their qualifications.

It's also important from an insurance purpose, especially if you're a business. (If you get someone who's not qualified and damage occurs later, like a fire or explosion, it's likely you won't be covered).

We all like recommendations and if that's not possible we use the Internet. Regardless of either, still carry out your checks. Any good engineer will always be honest and upfront from start to finish, so even if you don't ask the questions and you want them to carry out gas work, if they are not qualified they should tell you. But to avoid any doubt don't assume everybody's equal and honest. Carry out your checks; even ask for their gas safe registered card. This again will carry all their qualifications.

Once you have established they are qualified. Try and get some background on previous jobs or even the last time they carried out any similar work to yours. By doing these simple checks, you can avoid the unqualified and Cowboys within the gas industry. And you get the qualified engineer who is suited to carry out the work you wish to be done.

To go direct to gas safe website simply click on the website www.gassaferegistered.co.uk

I hope this information supplied by UK Engineers will be helpful to you now and in the future.