I’m Ian of St Albans, UK - welcome to my personal website! (Like it or not, it’s all my own work!)

Naturally, I've created my site to tell you about me and what I do in the hope that some of you will consider becoming my customer. However, I’ve also set it up to share information - I’ve found members of the plumbing and heating community generous in this respect so this is part of my attempt to join in and give something back.

Some pages such as “Home tips” are aimed at customers & householders, while the “Tech Notes” contain technical information for professional colleagues or students of science who will see basic rough & ready science used to produce results of practical value.

I'd be pleased to have suggestions, and do let me know if there's something I've not made clear or you'd like me to add.

View Ian Braithwaite's profile on LinkedIn

You can check me out on the Gas Safe register by clicking on the link below, and entering the numbers shown, depending on whether you’re checking me as an individual engineer or a business (sorry about the photo!):  

URL: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/

“At present I am all day at the Laboratory, which is emerging from chaos, but is not yet clear of gas-men, who are the laziest and most permanent of all the gods who have been hatched under heaven” - James Clerk Maxwell

I offer: boiler repair & service, landlords’ Gas Safety Record (certificate CP12), heating system repairs, gas cooker  & hob installation, unvented hot water service & repair, heating controls installation including smart controls and small plumbing repairs.

(I don’t do major plumbing or installation work, but I can recommend a colleague.)

Note: domestic natural gas only - not LPG

Home Noticeboard Services Why me? Fees About me Blog Home tips Tech notes Links Wise words Testimonials What is a boiler service?


I try to keep my site alive and updated several times a year - for what’s new, please see my Noticeboard page.

Gas fire service or safety check

The most vital aspect of a gas fire service  or safety check is verifying that the chimney is working and the ventilation is adequate. A gas fire with a blocked chimney is a potential killer - I‘ve  encountered them. Always have a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a gas fire.

3 reasons among many for servicing boilers

Phone calls -  I do try to respond to phone calls. I only have two hands and these may be in a boiler or on the steering wheel so please leave a message indicating what you need. If you call my landline and don’t get a response, please try the mobile - I may be away. I’m afraid I don’t answer calls where the number is withheld. For non-urgent enquiries, e-mail works and I even try to respond to calls and e-mails when on holiday.

Inadequate boiler servicing!

The Consumers’ Association (Which Magazine) carried out a covert series of observations of boiler services: the findings make very uncomfortable reading:- here’s how I found out:


I don’t pretend to be perfect but I do try to do my best. During every service, I complete a checklist - here’s my boiler checklist  - please inspect and make up your own mind: