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Big BANG after boiler serviced, what would you recommend?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by ChrisOxford, 10 Sep 2014.

  1. ChrisOxford

    ChrisOxford

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    Our end-of-terrace house has Baxi back boiler & gas fire (Bermuda 45/4M with GF3 Super fire) installed in 1999. I know 15 years is considered old, and that they’re inefficient, but it is serviced regularly and has never let us down. We moved out a few years ago, and the house is now let.

    I booked its annual service with a guy we hadn’t used before. I wasn’t there when he attended, but the tenants said he seemed in a rush and kept telling them how old and unsafe the boiler was, and that a lot of spares were NLA. He also said that he was unable to rectify the problem with the gas fire which was becoming harder to light. He serviced it and passed it as safe, but wrote "recommend upgrading for efficiency and safety" on the invoice. I settled the £85 bill in cash straight away.

    A day or two later the tenants phoned me in a panic to say that the boiler had gone BANG with a big flash and smell of burning plastic, so they’d called back the engineer. I was shocked and disappointed, as the boiler had been trouble-free until this point. He attended straight away and disconnected it as immediately dangerous. His report said “Uncontrolled ignition when burner fires. I checked all test points, gas fire connections and completed a soundness test, all OK. Gas leak possibly on control knob”. This time, the tenants said he seemed agitated. This cost a further £65 which again, I paid immediately. I phoned him the next morning to discuss replacing the gas valve which he’d told the tenants was at fault, but he said the boiler was old and he wouldn’t be able to repair it because he was too busy.

    I had a glance at it and was disappointed to find that he’d not put back any screws and had just chucked them everywhere, that the boiler was still covered with a thick blanket of fluff, and that Christmas cards and toys that had dropped into the space between the fire and the boiler had not been retrieved. And that burning smell the tenants had mentioned? It was the plastic base of a Hayes smoke pellet that he’d carelessly left on the HE top baffle!
     
  2. ChrisOxford

    ChrisOxford

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    Part 2 (sorry!)

    So I found another heating engineer, recommended by a neighbour this time. He connected it back to the gas supply, tested for leaks and found none, did the usual spillage tests for both the boiler and the fire, and repaired the gas fire in 30 seconds by removing a chunk of fluff from the pilot aeration hole. He declared it safe and issued me with a Landlord/Homeowner Gas Safety Record certificate valid for a year. No hard sell to persuade me to replace the boiler, and lots of reassurance about how bombproof these Baxis are. It’s been perfect every since. He was there for an hour and charged me £78.

    I asked the second engineer about what he thought had happened. He said he couldn’t be certain, but he suspected that the first engineer had probably left the burner pressure test point open, then tried to cover his tracks when he was called back.

    What would you recommend I do? Forget all about it, or pursue the first engineer, and if so, how? The whole episode caused an enormous amount of stress, wasted lots of time and has left me out of pocket. Both engineers are on the Gas Safe Register, by the way.

    Thanks,

    C.
     
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  4. picasso

    picasso

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    I would put it down to (a bad) experience, you cant prove the first guy left anything open so what good would it do to go chasing after him? recommend the second heating engineer to anyone that asks and obviously recount your experience with the first one if asked,believe me bad news travels fast.
     
  5. Agile

    Agile

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    This just shows how two people, both Gas Safe, can be completely different in their standard of work.

    It sounds as if the first one did not do any proper cleaning.

    I take 75 minutes and charge about £85 to service plus £35 for a gas Cert if required.

    But I try to do a good job and don't charge again to return if there were any further issues!

    Tony
     
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  7. gas112

    gas112

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    You paid him to service it fluff in pilot is absolute basic and is something that takes seconds to clean out so he has not serviced it correctly for a start .
    So i would be asking for that money back or a percentage of it .


    As for the second visit charge personally i would not be charging for a call back to a service and neither would all the guys who work in my immediate area and especially as it sounds like he dropped a b##lock

    Try your luck and tell him what second guy said he thinks it was and see his reaction
     
  8. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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