DIY Oil Boiler Service


Postby mortod » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:30 pm

As I'm currently not working, am wondering whether it is possible to DIY service an oil boiler, and what equipment would be needed? I realise that I need a flue gas analyser (CO2 meter), and £300 seems to be the starting price - I have 3 burners (Rayburn+CH) so I think I can justify the cost in the long run. What else is needed, or is this really not a DIY task?
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Postby htg engineer » Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:15 pm

Not a DIY job, not sure why you would or could spend £300+ on a flue gas analyser but wont or can't pay for a annual service for your boiler ?

Also Flue Gas Analyser's require testing and calibrating not sure but I think it's every 12 - 18 months, and what you pay for that will probably pay for the boiler service.
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Postby The Heating Doctor » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:30 pm

It really is not a diy job, get the figures wrong on the analyser and you could end up with a house full of carbon monoxide, only an Oftec engineer, the oil version of CORGI, should service a oil boiler.
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Postby mortod » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:05 am

Hmmm, financially it works out - I pay some £200 to service the Rayburn cooker, and £100 for the boiler service, so would be breaking even day 1. Take your point about registered engineers, but like many things around the house I suspect it won't be that difficult for a competent DIYer (look at home electrics for example). Plus there's the satisfaction factor.
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Postby sparx » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:46 pm

Hmmm look at home electrics!!
now mostly not diy legal unless paying excessive fees to bldg control to check out, new regs coming in jan say ALL electrical work must be certified and done by "electrically competant person" which excludes 99% of DIYers from doing it!!! AT LAST!!
27 people killed so far this year from dodgy home electrics, don't have figures for CO but bet it's higher!
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Postby Bay Plumbing » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:17 pm

Mortod,
sounds like you wont need the Analyser!! if you ever think of selling it let me!!

Cheers Mark
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Postby htg engineer » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:33 pm

I know a company that will service the boiler once a year and the cooker twice a year for only £183.60 + VAT. So shop about because the people who you got the prices off seem to be over charging.

So it financially works out ? how much is your life and your family worth ?
If you do something wrong that could be the price you'll pay.

We can only offer advice if you choose to do a DIY service, then thats up to you. Not sure about you but as for the satisfaction factor - i'd be satisfied knowing my family was safe.
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Postby The Heating Doctor » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:29 pm

CO deaths currently running at 50 per year or 1 per week, but it is not just death from CO. When it comes to CO what it is doing is starving the brain of Oxygen which is why victems complain about head aches if subjected to prolonged exposure this will result in brain damage, then in death. The blood can absord carbon monoxide twice as efficiently as oxygen, that why it takes so little of this gas to kill. You have asked for advice and that advice has been given it's against the law to service such an appliance with out the proper certification, sholud you carry on despite this advice and some one is injured or killed you will be taken to court on a possible man slaughter charge. It will also invalidate house & buildings insurance should any damage to your home be caused.
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Postby Bay Plumbing » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:39 pm

just something I found and to think about !!!!

"LIVES are being put at risk across the region due to faulty gas appliances spewing out carbon monoxide gas - dubbed the Silent Killer.

On average, 50 people die a year in the UK from carbon monoxide poisoning, which causes symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and nausea."
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Postby mortod » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:55 pm

OK, point taken. Maybe I should train as a heating engineer so I can join what must be a very lucrative 'closed shop'....
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Postby ggaylmer » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:22 pm

Interesting contrast: Thousands of deaths on the roads every year, some due to faulty repairs or servicing. Yet anyone can repair or service their own car and change oil and oil filters, fuel filters, air filters, sparking plugs, brakes etc and save a lot of money. I do for one. I trust myself to do jobs I am confident with. Of course you often hear of car services and repairs not carried out properly by professionals as well as amateurs. The same must be true of some plumbers.
There are a lot of things you can do on an oil boiler that do not require plumbing qualifications, such as replacing water conditioners, cleaning out baffles and heat exchangers, venting radiators and topping up the system to correct pressure as per the manual. Most of the operations are fairly simple when you know how. I don't see why you cannot clean a combustion head or change a nozzle on a boiler, if you can clean or change a heating plug or sparking plug in a car. I agree that a qualified plumber or boiler engineer should check the flue and CO situation for both legal and common sense reasons. It's still a good idea to get a CO meter and check the flue gases periodically. The service may only be carried out once a year and you could be dead before the next one is due, if there is something wrong with the system.
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Postby htg engineer » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:43 am

"It's still a good idea to get a CO meter and check the flue gases periodically." is it?

I send up to 30 Flue Gas analysers away across the year for calibration, most come back with a bill of between £95 and £150. I then probably send half of those away for repair in between at the same price. The costs don't weigh up buying your own equipment for DIY work. Your'e looking at £300-£400 for initial purchase £100+ per year for calibration, repairs and then you still legally need to pay a competent person to service the appliance. Leave it to the experts.
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