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Help, Advice and Anger Managment required

Postby kebamo » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:52 pm


I have a boiler breakdown policy with Homeserve/npower on my 8 year old Worcester boiler powered system, recently my boiler had a small leak, as i have had the policy for a couple of years and never needed to use it i thought i would give them a call to fix it for me.
After the initail visit to diagnose the problem the engineer came and fitted a new diverter valve, he said he had an awful time fitting it and after re-building it for the first time the boiler was springing leaks all over the place, he then re-built it again and solved all of the leaks (this took 4 hours)
After he had finished he said the boiler was no longer working properly, it wasn't getting as hot as it should be (it is actually) and the system pressure dial was no longer working (because this dial was now not working he pressurised the system with what ever my mains pressure is) he then went on to say the new problems were now a result of sludge in the system and would not be covered by the insurance policy.
Regardless of the fact the system was working perfectly well and showing no visible signs of sludge in the system they refuse to re-vist and finish what they started.

Just to be sure i have undertaken to flush the system on the off chance of a sludge build up.

I have now dosed the system with Sentinel X400 and will run the system for a week.
I will then drain down the system
I will then isolate the balance and thermostatic valves on each radiator allowing me to disconnect each radiator and flush through outside in the garden.
Then with the hose still connected to the drain valve and all radiator valves still closed i plan to turn on the filling loop and allow this to run through for half an hour to clean sludge within the pipes, once this completed i will re-attach the radiators and re-fill the system including sentinel x100.

Now finally my questions...

Homeserve/Npower are they being unreasonable or am i?
Does the above look like to best procedure to follow? is there a better one? i don't fancy the cost of a power flush.
Is it worth adding a magnaclean? the video looks impressive.
Balance valves? i know nothing of these, all i shall do is make a note of the amount of turns taken to turn them off and open them up the same amount, what purpose do they serve?

Sorry for the rambling above but i hope somebody will be able to help with my questions.
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Simply Build It

Postby Skids » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:39 pm

Hi kebamo

re boiler, give Trading Stantards at your local Coucil a ring and ask advice, it seems to me that the engineer has messed up your boiler, new problems caused by engineer??

gas or water leak?

re the rest, will defo get the system clear, if you are going to remove all the rads to flush, water is just as good and expensive chemicals, just make sure you add a inhibiter after the system has been checked for leaks at all rad valves and a hot check is carried out, close off one rad, empty it from the bottom then tighten back up, remove the air valve on the top and with a short length of hope pipe add the inhibiter, (if you have an external pump remove it and fir a loop when flushing to protect the pump)


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Postby htg engineer » Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:23 pm

Basically I don''t think any central heating breakdown policy is worth what they charge.

I have lived in my house for 3 years and have a vaillant combi in the three years all i have had to change is the diverter diaphragm which I got for nothing but would have cost be about £6.

If I was a normal customer and wanted breakdown and annual service cover @ £191.76 per year.

£575.28 for 3 years. I would be way out of pocket.

3 x services @ £50 each
1 x repair, £6 parts, £40 labour.

= £196.

Then they'll twists about what repairs they'll do, charge for power flushes (that are not normally needed) and try to get you to upgrade your boiler at every chance they get.

To make it worth while you need a decent breakdown every year, fan, PCB or pump etc. If your boiler doesn't breakdown at least once a year, you're being ripped off.

htg engineer
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Postby banquo » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:44 pm

This is just an opinion, but in my view you should do nothing to your system, as to do so may invalidate what would appear to be a good claim against your repairers.
Form your descrition, they appear to have caused more problems that they solved. You mention additioonal leaks that occurred only after they had worked on it, a pressure guage that was working before they arrived, and now they say it's all down to sludge in the system (did they produce any evidence of this?).
You seem to be saying that all was well until they arrived (apart from small leak) and now they appear to have broken what wasn't broken before.
If you start doing things yourself, you would have to prove that any deficiencies in the system were not caused by work you did yourself.

I agree you should contact Trading Standards, or consider getting an independent report on the current situation from a reputable central heating engineer. Sounds to me like you had a cowboy, and now they're trying to lay everything on you.... :x
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