blond telephone receptionistAs of January 1st, 2013 the rules relating to flues in voids changed.  All engineers inspecting your central heating system must be able to inspect your flue as a flue in poor condition, combined with a boiler that is not working properly, could put you, your family and other residents in danger from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, which can serious injury or even death.  Hence the need to be able to inspect it!

From 1 January 2013, if you have a concealed flue any registered gas engineer will turn the boiler off, with your permission, and formally advise you not to use it until inspection hatches have been fitted in appropriate places.  

Although most of the affected boilers and flue systems are relatively new (installed since 2000), the risk of faults leading to the release of CO increases as the system gets older, especially if it is not serviced regularly. 
If your boiler is situated on an outside wall, it’s unlikely you have this type of flue. Alternatively, if the engineer can see the entire flue, you will not need to take any further action in relation to this issue

The flue component of a gas central heating boiler can be made up of two components, one will be an outlet for the products of combustion, toxic gasses generated when gas is burnt to give heat and the other (If present) a supply of fresh air to the boiler itself. Flues are generally a large diameter “pipe” that will come off of the top of the boiler, but may also be made up of 2 plastic or metallic pipes which will also be coming off the top of the boiler.

Older properties will often find that their appliances are situated on an outside wall to allow this flue pipe to exit the building easily, however, as boilers have become more advanced and manufacturer’s have been developing solutions that allow flues to run further, giving more flexibility on the overall location of a gas heating boiler, we’ve seen developers taking full advantage and “hiding” the appliance flue runs often within ceilings and behind walls. This was never seen as a good practice, but the law is often slow to catch up and the buyer commands the market, if a developer can squeeze in another window or bathroom by moving the boiler to an inside wall, then they would often take advantage to increase their return on the investment. Unfortunately, this has been the case and over the past few years, it’s turned into an epidemic of flues running in all sorts of places and positions.

Gas engineers have to ensure that you are safe when your appliance is in operation and part of the procedure for ensuring your safety, is an inspection of the flue. When we cannot see the flue, or have no idea where it goes; we obviously cannot ensure your safety as we cannot inspect the integrity or suitability of the flue and it is for this reason that as of the 1st of January 2013, the law changed.

If you have a boiler that has a flue running in a “void” like a ceiling or wall, you must now provide engineers access points for inspection; if you do not, then registered engineers are required (By law) to consider your appliance as unsafe and issue an At Risk notice, switching the appliance off.

You need to take action now!
If your property is less than two years old, contact your builder. If your property is between two and ten years old, contact your home warranty provider, as you may be covered by them if there are defects in the flue. However, some warranty providers have advised that cover is not provided for installing inspection hatches in homes over two years old. If your property is 10 years or older you should contact a Gas Safe registered engineer.  If you are a tenant, it is the responsibility of your landlord to ensure that inspection hatches are installed and that the boiler and flue are checked every year. You should pass a copy of this document on to your landlord.

Fox & Co can offer you a hassle free one day installation. 
Competent experienced tradesmen with public indemnity cover.

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