Inspection Hatches for Flue Systems Concealed Within Voids.
Fox & Co provide and fit inspection hatches which allow engineers to carry out flue inspections. You had until 31/12/2012 to have, if required, inspection hatches fitted. After that date your appliance will be deemed unsafe the 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

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The opening should be of sufficient size to allow a Gas Safe engineer to put his head through so he can see the joints in the flue. It is felt by most that the smallest most suitable size would be 300mm x 300mm and should be fire rated to at least the same as the construction of the void or ceiling material (typically plasterboard).

Where a flue passes through a void or a false ceiling, inspection hatches must be fitted so that the Gas Safe registered person carrying out a safety inspection can also inspect the flue to ensure that it is not leaking CO (carbon monoxide).

Inspection hatches should be fitted in approximately the same area as any joints in the flue, thus allowing for the engineer to properly inspect the flue. 


Hatches for Flue Systems
Many gas fired fanned-draught boilers have been installed with the flue systems concealed within voids or hidden within false walls and ducts. These types of installations enabled the boiler to be installed on internal walls, in many case up to 8 meters away from the flue terminal where the exhaust fumes exit the building. 

Installations that have extended flue systems concealed within voids are vulnerable to high levels of condensate forming within the flue pipe, if the condensate is not drained back to the boiler in the case of a condensing boilers or to the external terminal for non condensing boilers it will remain within the flue pipes. 

Exhaust condensate is acidic and will eventually corrode the flue pipes or seals causing leaks in the flue system.

All flue systems concealed within voids must be installed to the manufactures instructions, made of the materials specified by the manufacturer and have the required fall back to the boiler or terminal as detailed in the installation instructions.

Incorrectly installed flues is the main cause of flue systems concealed within voids failing or leaking condensate. TB008 now requires installation of inspection hatches & access panels to be installed throughout the length of the flue. The installation of inspection hatches & access panels must meet the requirements set out by local building control.


Gas Safe Regulations TB008
Gas safe have issued a Technical Bulletin (TB008) which now requires all service engineers working on boilers with the flue systems concealed within voids to carry out a written risk assessment of the installation, the risk assessments will be attached to any landlords gas safety certificate or service report that is carried out at the property. All installations with flue systems concealed within voids are now required to have CO audible alarms in rooms where the flue may pass, in some cases properties may require several CO alarms to comply with these regulations.

A copy of the information pack issued by Gas Safe can be downloaded from here, TB008 details the above in more detail, it also include a sample risk assessment and fact page showing some frequently asked questions.


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Installation of Inspection Hatches & Access Panels
Further requirements of the technical bulletin require installation of inspection hatches & access panels to be installed at all properties where the flue systems concealed within voids. Installation of inspection hatches & access panels must be fitted throughout the length of the flue so that the flue can be visually inspected for signs of leaks and corrosion by the engineers. Gas safe have given a deadline of December 2012 for installation of inspection hatches & access panels to be installed otherwise the boiler installation would be assessed as "At Risk" and the boilers would have to be switched off and isolated from any gas supply.

Different inspections exist to deal with different requirements. These range from plastic to slimline metal units as well fire rated inspection panels.  

A guide price for the installation of inspection hatches & access panels can be found here, these should be installed at the earliest convenience to ensure that the property complies with the updated regulations.

We work with families, individuals, schools, landlords, overseas owners and anxious parents and we can attend swiftly fit the required inspection hatch or hatches and prevent your boiler from being turned off. 

Fox & Co can offer you a hassle free one day installation. 

Competent experienced tradesmen with public indemnity cover.


020 8883 2223   07958 500 900
www.inspection-hatches.co.uk