Exit your property and ring the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999
First, you need to locate your filling loop or filling link, which should be fitted to the underneath of your boiler or fitted to the pipework leading from the boiler. You now need to find the pressure gauge, which will be located on your boiler. Is your central heating system switch off and cool? If not, switch it off and wait for your system to cool down before topping up the pressure. Now your central heating system is cold you can start topping up the pressure by opening up the filling valve and carefully monitoring the pressure gauge. The pressure should be between 1.0 and 1.5bar. Keeping your pressure between these values is very important, increasing your pressure further may cause damage to your boiler or system. Running your boiler on low pressure can also cause damage to your boiler. If in doubt call a Gas Safe Engineer.
- Your stop tap may not be in the fully open position
- You may have a pressure reducing valve on your supply
- You may have a blocked strainer on your supply
- You may have a leaking water supply underground
- You could be on a shared water supply
Modern-day gas boilers when calibrated and installed correctly burn gas in a lot cleaner way, so they do not create a lot of deposits to be cleaned from the heat exchanger. If the boiler falls out of calibration, this can mean the boiler is no longer burning gas efficiently, which also means there can be a dangerous amount of carbon monoxide produced. This can be found on a boiler service and corrected along with many other safety checks. A Gas Safe Engineer should carry out all service procedures.
Example 1: Your new boiler is staying in the same location, and the flue exits the property via an outside wall. Your current gas supply is sufficient for the new boiler to operate; there is a waste pipe nearby to connect the condensate discharge. You have chosen plug in controls for your new boiler, and you already have thermostats on all of your radiators. This job would usually take one day to complete.
Example 2: Your new boiler will be relocated into an airing cupboard, you require a vertical flue kit exiting via the pitched roof using 3 meters of flue section, you need a new gas supply installed to the new location, and you need thermostatic controls installed on all of your radiators. There is no waste pipe locally available, and you have chosen external controls. This job would usually take two days to complete.
If your home was built before 1970 it may have lead pipes. If it was built after 1970 it is unlikely to have lead pipes as the installation of new lead pipes and use of lead solder on pipework supplying drinking water has been banned for more than 25 years.
Even in properties with no lead pipework there may be other sources of lead in drinking water, such as brass fittings or improperly used lead-based solders.
Each property is different. However, start by checking the incoming pipework behind your kitchen cupboards or under the stairs – this is also where you would normally find your stoptap. Find the pipe leading to the kitchen tap. Unpainted lead pipes are dull grey in colour. They are also soft. If you scrape the surface gently with a coin, you will see shiny, silver-coloured metal beneath if the pipe is made of lead. Always wash your hands thoroughly after doing a scratch test.
If in doubt, ask a WaterSafe approved plumber or your local water company for advice. You can also ask your water company to test the water at your kitchen tap.
Many water suppliers already have programmes in place to replace any lead pipes they find on their own network.
However, homeowners and businesses are responsible for all pipes on their property – including internal pipes and the underground supply pipe which connects your home or business to the public water main.
If you’re replacing pipes within your boundary, make sure you contact your local water company, as they may be able to also replace the pipes beyond your house and garden.
WaterSafe and water companies advise replacing all lead pipes with new copper or plastic pipes which have been approved for use with drinking water. A WaterSafe approved plumber is qualified to safely replace lead pipes in line with the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws which protect public drinking water in the UK.
*The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2010 in Wales, The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 in England, The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 and The Public Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2014.
Lead is a dangerous metal which can cause serious poisoning if it builds up in the body. Babies and young children are most at risk as their development can be affected.
If the water supply to a home or business passes through lead pipes, or someone has used illegal lead solder to join pipes, the lead can dissolve into the drinking water.
The plumbing in your property is the responsibility of the homeowner, so it’s up to you to safeguard your health by replacing lead pipes with ones made of copper or plastic.
- Minimum depth is 750 mm
- Maximum depth is 1350 mm.
If an installer wishes to install a service pipe either deeper or shallower than these depths they must notify the local water supplier for permission.
Important note: The gas service should be at 600mm to ensure separation from the water service pipe.
- Turn off the water supply coming in to your property at the stop tap
- Open the affected tap to allow the water to escape as it thaws
- Slowly thaw the pipe with hot water bottles or a hairdryer on a warm setting
- Never use a naked flame or blowtorch to thaw the pipe.
Call a WaterSafe recognised plumber who is qualified to work with the drinking water in your home if you need help.
This is measured at the point where the water leaves the water suppliers pipework and enters yours (usually the outside stop valve or property boundary).
As a guide, if you have a suitable single service pipe, the first tap in the home (this is usually the kitchen tap) should be able to fill a 4.5 litre (one gallon) bucket in 30 seconds, with all other taps and appliances turned off. Another way of putting it is enough water pressure to fill a cold water storage cistern in a two storey house roof space.
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