Is BG HomeCare worthwhile for a problematic system?

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I've found BG Homecare to work pretty well. Its an insurance policy so some years I have made a claim and some years I haven't but it gives me piece of mind for under £200 a year, the annual service must cost £70 so less than £130 a year for everything else doesn't seem bad to me.
 
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read it again, they call it an anuall safety check, not a service

BG info is a bit confusing; maybe deliberately so? They call it an annual service, but then seem to describe a safety check. If someone needs an annual service to maintain the boiler warranty, presumably this is not enough?

What does an annual service include?​


Your service includes a series of check(s) to make sure your boiler and central heating are running safely and efficiently.
Your engineer will check for water leak(s), damage and wear and tear. They’ll also carry out a few safety inspections, such as making sure your boiler is using the right amount of gas and not letting off carbon monoxide and other harmful gases.
 
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BG call it a service. What should the service consist of?

That information describing what needs to be done during a proper service, will be contained in your Baxi manual for the boiler. Read what the manual suggests needs to be done. If you don't have a copy, try a Google search.

A service is designed to enure the boiler continues to be reliable and work efficiently.

A safety check, just checks the boiler is not unsafe, no more than that.
 
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I watched BG "service" our boiler for several years but I didn't find out what the inside of the boiler looked like until it broke down. A visual inspection and a probe shoved in the flue was as far as they went.
 
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I watched BG "service" our boiler for several years but I didn't find out what the inside of the boiler looked like until it broke down. A visual inspection and a probe shoved in the flue was as far as they went.

Which is a largely pointless exercise, rather like paying a garage to come round and give your car tyres a kick.
 

DP

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After a proper system cleanse system should not "fill" the megnaclean filter.

Power flush carried out without thought is useless.

Putting a new boiler onto existing dirty system will be counterproductive.
 
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yes thats fine, if you are topping up regularily you are deluting the inhibitor and adding oxygenated water so can cause sludge build up .but every few months should be fine
Thanks, just on that topic for future what should good practice be with adding additional inhibitor? Presumably the odd re-pressurisation is OK but if you replace a radiator or whatever you need to add more water back. Is there a rule of thumb here when and how much inhibitor to add?

Thanks for all the comments generally everyone.
 
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After a proper system cleanse system should not "fill" the megnaclean filter.

Power flush carried out without thought is useless.

Putting a new boiler onto existing dirty system will be counterproductive.
We were advised to have it done as the system was filthy and causing damage. But how can one tell if the cleanse was not done well, or something else is to blame... what sort of things can be missed when doing a flush? I am imagining things like missing a radiator perhaps - everything looks good but then than radiator dumps a load of rubbish back in?

On your last comment yes this is exactly my fear. We do long-term want to replace the combi with a tanked system anyway but not if there is something wrong in the system.
 
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Thanks, just on that topic for future what should good practice be with adding additional inhibitor? Presumably the odd re-pressurisation is OK but if you replace a radiator or whatever you need to add more water back. Is there a rule of thumb here when and how much inhibitor to add?

The actual amount in the system is not that critical. Some suggest that you always top up, with the same inhibitor as is already in there. Best way is read the instruction on the bottle of inhibitor, the number of radiators it is enough for, then from that calculate the amount you need to add.

I your system was up to spec with inhibitor before the radiator was replaced, then it will be fine without needing to add any. However, a couple of years ago, I half drained my system, to swap a valve out. So when refilling, I took the precaution of adding half a bottle of inhibitor.

We were advised to have it done as the system was filthy and causing damage. But how can one tell if the cleanse was not done well, or something else is to blame... what sort of things can be missed when doing a flush? I am imagining things like missing a radiator perhaps - everything looks good but then than radiator dumps a load of rubbish back in?

I think the point is to just make sure the flushing is done to ensure it is done in a logical way, such that the dirt and debris it flushed out, rather than simply being flushed to another part of the system. Impractical, but ideally - every radiator needs to be removed and individually flushed through outside, then every individual pipe flushed separately.

My own system is 40 years old and always maintained by - me. It has always had inhibitor in it, never actually needed any flushing, always spotlessly clean inside. New boiler fitted a couple of years ago, so I decided to give it its first ever flush through, whilst watching what came out. Nothing at all was flushed out of it, except perfectly clear water, plus inhibitor.

A magnetic filter was advised by the boiler manufacturer, I fitted one and I have checked it several times since then, but it has collected almost nothing.

Obviously, the problem is that most systems are not maintained, not looked after at all. People only become concerned, when they stop working. The assume an annual boiler check or service, checks their whole system out. No one ever worries about the inhibitor, so the system slowly rusts away from the inside. It applies equally to big commercial systems as it does to small domestic systems - both get neglected.
 
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Cheers @Harry Bloomfield. You are in an enviable position from my view :)
Clearly there is no 'magic' to this it's a closed system with copper/plastic pipes, the boiler itself and steel radiators (they are all the modern type though some are old, no antique cast iron ones). Logically, any dirt that stops the water being crystal clear has to come from somewhere and most of it is typically iron IIRC hence the black colour and the magnaclean recommendations. If a flush is done and problems return either more corrosion is happening or they missed it last time. That said, the magnetic trap should remove material so if the inhibitor is working then the amount should gradually reduce.

When they did the flush the water at the end definitely wasn't perfectly clear but it was far better than the opaque black soup initially. One plumber told me about their 'penny test' and the result post-flush would pass, you could drop a coin in a bucket and see it when willed with the water from the system.

My flusher did not, if I recall, remove all radiators and flush them individually (it's possible I am wrong) it was mostly/all done from the main flusher connected into the system. If memory serves they left it running pretty much all day and went round inspecting each radiator with a thermal camera, banging them to dislodge stuck 'lumps' until all looked good, then did their final water tests.

But I find myself in a bit of a catch-22. I need a working boiler but there is clearly a problem as things fail repeatedly... but replacing the boiler sounds like a bad plan until we are sure the system is fixed... but how do we know the system is fixed?
I've got a number for a larger local plumbing firm who could perhaps be just given the whole system to sort out... if they do everything then they can be chased if there is a problem.

Sorry, rant over :)
 
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How many rads have you got? Probably only a few hundred to replace them all if you have basic plumbing skills. Imagine 10mm of crud in a radiator - the chemicals dissolve 5mm, you've still got plenty left! The pipes should be ok assuming you have good circulation round the system.
 

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