I’m Ian of St Albans, UK – welcome to my personal website!
(Like it or not, it’s nearly all my own work!)
News – end of an era – and thanks
At the end of February 2019 I shall be curtailing my work in St Albans in order to focus on a major personal project. I’ve been very fortunate to work for such a pleasant, interesting and appreciative group of customers – a very big “thank you” to you all.
Though it doesn’t make me any money, I’ve always enjoyed trying to help people via e-mail and phone, and recommend a colleague or two if I’ve not been able to attend in person, so do please get in touch, and I’ll continue to do my best.
My offering: boiler service & repair, landlords’ Gas Safety Record (certificate CP12), heating system repairs, gas cooker & hob installation, unvented hot water service & repair and heating controls installation, including smart controls.
(I don’t do major plumbing or installation work, but I can recommend a colleague.)
Note: domestic natural gas only –
I 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 also set it up to share information –
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.
Phone calls –
Inadequate boiler servicing!
The Consumers’ Association (Which Magazine) carried out a covert series of observations of boiler services: the findings make very uncomfortable reading:-
I don’t pretend to be perfect but I do try to do my best. During every service, I complete an extensive checklist.
Several reasons for having your boiler (properly) serviced:
- Heat exchanger may be clogged with deposit (see image right and note below about power flushing), perhaps stressing the fan.
- The expansion vessel may have lost all its air.
- Combustion settings may need adjustment.
- Condensate trap may need cleaning (a blockage can stop the boiler working).
I’ve encountered (older) boilers that haven’t been serviced for years, which are fine, and one or two that have been so wrecked there’s nothing for it but replacement. Winging it with a modern boiler is simply foolish.
Gas fire safety
The most vital aspect of a traditional gas fire is that the chimney is working and the ventilation is adequate. A gas fire with a blocked chimney is a potential killer –
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!) – my current engineer’s licence number is 4444744.
“At present I am all day at the Laboratory, which is emerging from chaos, but is not yet clear of gas-
Every now and then I come across a situation where the problem with a boiler is not the boiler itself, but the state of the water going through it. Either the boiler itself becomes blocked up with rust and sludge or the pipework in the system is itself blocked/partially blocked.
In situations like this I might recommend a “power flush” of the complete heating system, including the boiler. When called for there is only one firm I can hand-on-heart recommend and that is “Power Flush UK”. I’ve known the owner for some years now and, in my opinion, they are the only firm I have come across who give enough time and have the right experience to make sure that the job is done properly. They have been specialising solely in power flushing for over 12 years and also provide a 5-year guarantee for your peace of mind.