Winter Boiler Advice

Our winter has been pretty mild so far but there are talks of some freezing weather coming our way in March. Therefore, we have created this blog to give you some boiler advice and to help you avoid the loss of hot water or central heating.

  • An easy way to check your boiler is working

It is only natural that during the warmer months we turn off our central heating to reduce energy bills. However, when we go to turn it on again in the winter the boiler can often struggle. It’s like not starting your car engine for 6 months, it’s bound to struggle! Therefore, we recommend that you warm up your boiler and have it on regularly throughout the day and night. Worcester Bosch (one of the UK’s top boiler provider) recommends running your boiler and radiators at the highest temperature for approximately 15 minutes and if your boiler doesn’t struggle with this it is a good indication that your boiler is working fine.

  • Check your boiler pressure

If your boiler doesn’t seem to be working as well as it should, it’s a good idea to check its pressure. There is a dial or indication of boiler pressure on all boilers. The optimum boiler pressure is between 1 and 1.5 when the system is cool. By keeping the boiler at the correct pressure you are avoiding a breakdown.

  •  Radiator care

It is common for air to build up in your radiators over time and this effects their efficiency and warmth. All you need to do to resolve this is to bleed your radiator system, if you need further assistance with this please give us a call on 01491 571 743. Once your radiators have been bled check the boiler pressure as this can effect it.

  •  Keep up with annual boiler services

Looking after your boiler is very important and one of the best ways is to ensure it is serviced on an annual basis. By servicing your boiler you are ensuring it is being checked by a professional once a year, the engineer can then give you advice on whether it needs replacement parts or minor repairs. Annual services prolong the life of your boiler and ensures it is running safely at all times.

  •  Frozen pipes!

Some parts of your boiler may be outside which means when the freezing weather hits the condensate in these pipes freeze up. This is one of the most common boiler problems we see in the winter and can cause your boiler to stop working. Follow this link to find out how to safely unfreeze pipes.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us – we are here to answer your questions and assist with any central heating or boiler issues you may have.

The Importance of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The safety of our customers is of utmost importance to us at Chaps – this blog explains the importance of having working, reliable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home/in your tenanted properties (if you’re a landlord).

We are all taught from a young age the dangers of fire and therefore we are likely to ensure our smoke detector is working. Although, it is very easy to forget about as a smoke detector is one of those appliances that we don’t notice every day, it sits there silently until we burn a bit of toast… It is very important that you check your smoke detector regularly to ensure it is reliable and doing its job.

Landlords and Tenants

By law a smoke detector must be installed on every floor of a property where a room is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in any room containing a solid fuel-burning appliance such as a wood burner, coal fire or biomass.

On the first day of a new tenancy the landlord/letting agent must make sure the alarms are tested and in working order.*

Carbon Monoxide Awareness

What is carbon monoxide (CO)?

CO is an odourless, colourless poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal.** Don’t worry, carbon fuels are safe to use, it’s just when they’re not burnt properly that they release the harmful CO.

Signs of CO Leakage

There are a few signs you can look out for which may indicate that incomplete combustion is occurring in your boiler:

  • Soot or yellow/brown staining on or around appliances
  • Increased condensation inside windows
  • Pilot lights keep going out
  • Yellow or orange rather than blue flames (except fuel effect fires or flueless appliances which display this colour flame).

It is important to keep a regular eye on your boiler so that you can recognise these signs before it is too late. This is one of the main reasons annual boiler services are undertaken – if your boiler is due a service book it in now. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Follow this link to find out the full symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, here are just a few to be aware of:

  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • Erratic behaviour

If you or other members of the household are displaying these symptoms please act immediately:

  1. Call an ambulance if you or a member of the household is unconscious/having difficulty breathing
  2. Switch off the faulty appliance and shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve
  3. Open all doors/windows to ventilate the space
  4. Call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999
  5. Visit your GP if you feel you have been exposed to CO

How can Chaps help?

At Chaps install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – so if you don’t have one already, let us know and we can get an installation booked in now.

We also test and provide Gas Safety Certificates to landlords once we’re happy their appliances are safe to use




Here are just a few common questions we get asked on a day-to-day basis, we hope this blog answers any questions you may have. If not, simply contact us and we will work hard to help you with any queries.

Q There is no water in the house

There are a number of reasons why this can happen, such as an airlock. However, sometimes the water board have to turn off the water supply in the area if there is a burst water-main nearby.

First test to see if there is water to your kitchen tap – this is normally mains water supply coming into the house. If there is no water at this point it would be a good idea to either check with your neighbours to see if they have water or contact your local water board.  If there is water to your kitchen tap then there is probably an issue in your property, if this is the case then call Chaps.

Q I can smell gas

If you think you have a gas leak or can smell gas, leave the house and phone the National Gas Emergencies number immediately on 0800 111 999. If you’re at home, and you can do it safely, turn off your gas supply. … Move the handle a quarter turn until it’s at 90 degrees from the pipe to shut off the gas supply

Q I live in a flat and have a leak coming through my ceiling from the flat above

The chances are that there is a leak in the flat above. Try contacting the occupiers of the flat above as it may be their responsibility to arrange for their own plumber to attend. If you have a communal area where the water meters are fitted you could look at your neighbours’ meter to see if it is running constantly, if it is you could try to turn the water off at this point but you will need to be careful just in case your neighbours are in the shower or their washing machine is running.  Alternatively you could call Chaps so that we can assess the situation.

Q Should I turn my water off when I go on holiday?

If you are planning on leaving your property empty for a few days then you should turn off your incoming water supply. This is normally done on the stopcock where the water enters the property. You may not be covered under some insurance policies if you do not do this. If you find you cannot turn off the water then just call Chaps. We can locate the stopcock and check that it is working correctly for you.

Q I cannot turn off the water supply to my property

There should be two isolating points to your property. The external one normally on your drive or pavement belongs to the water board so if you cannot find this or it is difficult to use then you should contact them. The other one is where the water supply enters your house.

Q My heating is not working

Check that the programmer is set correctly and your room thermostat is set to high. We have many calls asking for an engineer to attend and it could be something simple like this. If it still does not work then give us a call.

Q My oil boiler has stopped running

The most common oil boiler breakdown is due to no oil. If you are confident that you have oil and the boiler is still not working then call Chaps and we will arrange for one of our specialists to attend.

Q My heating won’t turn off

The likely cause is due to a faulty motorised valve which is fitted on the pipework between your boiler and the heating system. Unfortunately all you can do is turn off the electrics to your boiler system and give Chaps a call.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is legionella?

Legionella is a pathogenic bacterium which is most commonly found in water. The bacteria can cause Legionnaire’s disease which is a type of pneumonia or a less serious illness called Pontiac fever which presents as mild flu-like symptoms.

The bacteria can multiply in water between 20-42 degrees centigrade – below 20 degrees the bacteria will remain dormant and above 60 degrees, the bacteria will not survive.

How can you be effected by legionella?

Legionnaire’s disease is uncommon but can be very serious; people catch the disease by inhaling water which contains the bacteria. The most common environments in which legionella is able to build up are in hospitals, offices and hotels – it is very rare to catch it at home.

How can legionella build-up be prevented?

If water is left stagnant and constantly remains at the optimum temperature, legionella will grow and multiply. Therefore, it is really important for companies and hospitals to maintain their building’s water management systems.

Legionella is most commonly caught through the following:

  • Air conditioning units
  • Hot tubs and spa pools
  • Hot water tanks and heaters
  • Decorative fountains
  • Showers, taps and toilets

There are various ways in which legionella build-up can be prevented such us using chemicals like chlorine or installing a water temperature control system.

How can Chaps help?

One of our surveyors can visit your company’s building and carry out an extensive legionella risk assessment, we will then create a report and send this over to you. Once our report is received your business will then be able to take measurements to prevent the build-up of legionella in the water system.

You can then rest easy knowing that your employees and customers are safe.

For more information regarding our Legionella Risk Assessment service, please contact us today.


NHS Website

Centers of Disease and Prevention

Clear Water Services


When looking into installing a boiler for your home it can get confusing – there are a few to choose from and it’s hard to know which best suits your property.

We have created this blog to help you understand the main differences, the pros and cons and suitability of each boiler option. Hopefully this will make the decision-making-process a little easier for you!


So, what are your options?

Mains Gas Boiler

  •  A mains gas boiler is a standard boiler which is connected to the main grid which supplies natural gas.
  • These boilers are usually only available in towns and cities as they are able to be connected to ‘the grid’.

Combination Boiler

A combination boiler simply means the boiler installed can provide central heating and hot water from the same unit so there is no need for a separate water cylinder to be installed, saving space in your home.

Combination boilers are available in mains gas, LPG and oil boilers.

LPG & Oil Boilers

Natural gas is one of the most affordable and environmentally friendly ways to heat your home. However, if your home is in a more rural or remote area it is harder to be connected to the main grid that supplies it.

That’s where LPG and oil boilers come in!

What is LPG?

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is the fuel used to run an LPG boiler as an alternative to natural gas.

LPG Vs Oil Boilers

LPG and oil are efficient fuel sources for your central heating system, here are the differences between the two:

LPG Boilers

  • LPG is a cleaner alternative to oil in terms of maintenance and servicing tanks, this gas produces less by-products such as soot.
  • Registered gas engineers are easier to find due to the popularity of gas in the UK.
  • These boilers are cheaper to install compared to oil boilers as they are almost identical to a mains gas boiler.
  • LPG is delivered in cans to your property.
  • LPG is a friendly fossil fuel creating low carbon emissions.
  • LPG can supply fuel to your hob/oven whereas oil will only fuel the boiler itself.

Oil Boilers

  • An oil boiler is a financially viable way of heating your home, it is a particularly good option for small properties such as cottages.
  • Oil is delivered in tanks to your property, you will need a storage tank for surplus oil. The size of this tank depends on the size of your property.
  • Your oil boiler can be installed internally or externally, whatever suits you best.
  • At Chaps we have OFTEC qualified engineers so you won’t have to worry about the lack of oil engineers out there.

To conclude, there are many options you can go for, weigh up the pros and cons and this will help you with your decision.

For more information regarding boiler installations and annual boiler services give Chaps a call on 01491 571 743 or contact us here.

A reliable and hard-working boiler is an essential element of your home, some would say it is the heart of the house. It is the tool that ensures the circulation of your house is fully-functioning, that your water is hot and your radiators are warming you up on a chilly day.

Like with anything that is this hard-working and essential, it needs TLC and lots of attention. And let’s be honest, as much as our boilers are important, we would much prefer to spend our money on more exciting things, like holidays and new furniture.

Therefore, we have created this blog article to help you maintain your boiler and keep it running for as long as it is safely possible.

So, how can you ensure your boiler lives a long life?

  1. Put your annual boiler service in your calendar

All boilers must be serviced on an annual basis – an engineer will come out to your home and ensure your boiler is running smoothly. It is vital these services are carried out as it ensures your boiler is safe, annual services prolong your boilers life as it is checked regularly and ultimately saves you money over-time because it decreases the chances of serious issues developing.

You wouldn’t miss your car’s annual service/MOT so why is it any different for your boiler?

  1. Fire up your heating regularly

Even during warmer months, it is important to turn on your heating for short periods of time on a regular basis. This is just to check it is all working and ticking along nicely. By switching on your heating once a month the system is kept moving, water is circulated and the thermostatic radiator valves don’t seize up. If your heating is turned off for long periods of time air can collect potentially causing air locks and when it gets to the first cold day of winter your boiler has to work really hard to start up again.

  1. Check your radiators regularly

Radiators often need to be bled or flushed to ensure they are working properly. Here is a really simple & useful video explaining how to bleed a radiator –

How do you know if a radiator needs bleeding?

Simply feel the radiator from the bottom to the top, if the bottom is hot but the top of the radiator is cold, this means there is air in the radiator that needs to be bled out.

Think opposites for a power flush! If your radiator is hot at the top but cold at the bottom this means there could be sludge build up, meaning it will need a power flush.

  1. Under pressure!!

Over time your boiler may lose pressure (particularly after the radiators have been bled), a decrease in pressure will stop your boiler from working. Readjusting the pressure is a really simple task, take a look in your instruction manual and there will be clear instructions in there for you. That brings us onto our next point…

  1. Don’t lose your instruction manual!

When your boiler is installed keep your paper work and instruction manual together so that you know where it is if you ever need it. Also, the contact details of your boiler company so that they are at hand if you ever need assistance.

  1. Know the symptoms of a poorly boiler

Whenever you get a moment simply take a look at the exterior of your boiler, are there any leaks, cracks or any sooty/dark marks on it? Is it making loud, clunking noises?

If so, it’s time to call out your boiler engineer. It’s best to catch the symptoms quickly to prevent a full breakdown.

  1. Blue is the magic colour

Make sure the flame in your boiler is glowing blue – on older boilers you may be able to see this flame so if it is a yellowy/smoky colour it is important to call out your gas safety engineer straight away.

By following these steps, you will prolong the life of your boiler, saving you money over the years and keeping your home lovely and warm.


We have a team of reliable, gas safe and OFTEC qualified engineers for all your boiler needs! Contact us to book in your installation, annual service or if you need an engineer imminently for boiler repairs.