Magnetic Attraction

When installing a new boiler we at BeeXpress always include and install a magnetic filter at the same time.

It makes sense. The filter prevents magnetic and non magnetic debris from going into the boiler where it could corrode parts, block up pipes and scale up the heat exchanger. Although a Powerflush is done at the same time as the installation there will always be some debris left in the heating system and oxidisation will always occur over time inside the radiators. This causes rust to appear which just adds to the dirty sludge that is inside every heating system.

 

There are a number of magnetic filters on the market.

The best known is the Adey designed Magnaclean Professional 2. It’s the original filter and is very easy to fit. However in compact spaces or jobs with odd pipework it’s not the best on offer.

In these cases, we always use the Fernox Omega Filter. It has a fully brass body and can be installed any way needed so is ideal in every situation.

 

A magnetic filter can also be installed on old heating systems.

It makes even more sense to have a filter installed on an older boiler than on a new boiler. An old system will have a lot of sludge and debris in the radiators and pipework as well as inside the boiler. While it may still provide you with plenty of hot water and heating it will be costing you more every year to run. That’s because whenever debris is caught up inside the boiler it will need to work harder to heat up the same amount of water that it used to. By having a magnetic filter installed (and ideally doing a powerflush at the same time) you will be protecting the boiler from new debris which will reduce the cost of the gas bill every year.

When installing a filter on an older system we would need to drain the heating system as the filter is installed close to the boiler which is often on the ground floor. This type of job would most likely take around 2 hours to do and would be priced accordingly.

 

If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 020 8970 7489.

And don’t forget to check out our Which? Trusted Trader Page by heading to http://trustedtraders.which.co.uk/businesses/beexpress-plumbing-and-heating

A Solution to Low Water Pressure

If you live in London you’ve probable had a bit of a lacklustre performance when it comes to water pressure. The bath takes an age and a half to fill. The shower just isn’t satisfying and you seem to be spending too long getting the shampoo out of your hair. When you turn on the shower you either get burnt or frozen.

More often than not, poor pressure is especially noticed when you have a combi at home. A combination boiler produces both heating and hot water. While the heating works on pressure, the hot water works on flow rate.

You can have good water pressure but low flow rate. This could be because of old lead pipework from the street or just bad flow rate in your area. Often you can install a new water mains. They are not necessarily expensive and can cost between £600 and £1000 although obviously these costs may not be correct for your house as it will depend on what extra works you will need done.

A lower cost alternative is to install a Mains pump. New types of mains pumps have come onto the market in the past year or 2. In the past without these units you would have needed a special permit and equipment to pump mains water into your house.

Today with the likes of the Salamander HomeBoost and the Grundfos Scala2 you can spend just £200 to £400 and that will get you a good boost to you water supply.

By UK law the booster pumps can only provide 12l of water/min and boost the water pressure to 1.5 bar. The pumps are quite compact and although slightly bulky if fitted on pipework which is not boxed in they can easily be hidden in a kitchen cupboard which is often under the boiler. This will boost the flow of water on the hot side but leave the cold mains water unpumped. By installing the pump closer to where the mains water enters your property you can then pump both hot and cold water.

 

If you would like more information on having better flow from your shower then give us a call on 020 89707489.

 

And don’t forget to check what other people are saying about us on our Which? Trusted Trader Page by going to http://trustedtraders.which.co.uk/businesses/beexpress-plumbing-and-heating

Home Automation

It’s an exciting world we live in nowadays. With the advent of home automation it seems like we are living in the world of the future that all those books and films promised us when we were younger just without the flying cars.

 

The fact is that there is too much to cover that can’t be included in this blog but some of the exciting things we can do right now is turn on our lights, see who’s at our front door and talk to them even if we are on holiday somewhere hot and sunny (so not the UK 😉). We can turn on the burglar alarm, send movies from our phones to the TV and (yes, we’ve finally come to it!!) control our heating and hot water all from our smart phones!!

There is a plethora of choice out there which can be very confusing. In this article, we will just be focusing on 2 or 3 manufacturers. These are the ones that we , at BeeXpress, have worked with and know how to install and get working correctly.

The first thing you need to know is that this can be an expensive option to control your heating but may be cheaper than rerunning your central heating pipes to zone off different areas of your home.

With Apple Homekit or Samsung Smart Things it is easy to have one convenient place on your phone to control every single one of the appliances mentioned above

All these options are easy to install though any initial wiring in should be done by a Qualified Heating Company (*cough* us *cough*) or an electrician (contact us if you need a good one). When we say qualified we mean that not only is the company registered with their relevant bodies (such as Gas Safe Register or NICEIC) but have also done the manufacturers training as well. BeeXpress is a Honeywell Connected Specialist and have done the Nest training as well.

The Honeywell Evohome has to be the most controllable and efficient system to have. With Evohome you will need the central hub which is the Evohome base. From there you can add as much or as little to the system, as and when you want.

Just want to control your bedrooms but don’t want to spend money in the bathrooms or downstairs? No problem! By adding the relevant controls to those rooms, you can now turn off the heating to those rooms from your phone. Have underfloor heating and an unvented hot water cylinder? It can regulate and turn those on and off.

Its most powerful when you leave it alone. Evohome will work out how long it will take to heat each individual room so if the kitchen takes longer to heat up than the master bedroom and you want the temperature to be perfect by 6.30am just set what time you want the heating on. After a few weeks, it will have worked out that it takes 30 mins for the kitchen to heat up but the bedroom only takes 15 mins. The boiler will come on at 6am and JUST HEAT UP the kitchen for 15mins. Then at 6.15 the bedroom rad will open up and start to heat up. By 6.30 when your alarm goes off the 2 rooms are at the perfect temperature. And the guest room down the hall will be cool as the heating never came on there at all!

Another benefit over other smart controls is during the day having the boiler only heat the downstairs but during the evening the boiler will only heat the bedrooms.

Obviously having multiple wireless units around the house is not a cheap option although Honeywell have calculated that you can save around 40% of your annual gas bill!!

Honeywell also have a basic security that is easily added to the Evohome however it is really basic and you can get better results by adding another unit via Samsung Smart Things or IFTTT.

 

The one you’ve most likely heard of is Nest. It’s a very smart thermostat that learns from you. When you walk past it, it will know that you’re home and keep the heating on. It will also know if someone is at home by tracking you on the connected smoke and CO alarm as well as the cameras you can set up. The smoke and CO alarm just need to be screwed into position and the indoor cameras just need to be plugged in.

 

The last product we will discuss is the Tado.

Honestly, we don’t really like Tado. We’ve installed a few because you buy through a monthly subscription which can be useful for customers. However, the wall unit is odd to look at with no traditional touch screen. Nevertheless, it does have Geolocation as standard which Nest and Evohome don’t have out of the box. This means that it will know when you are 5 minutes away from the house (or wherever you set the boundary) and turn the heating on. Or alternatively you can just leave the house and when you are 5 miles away Tado will turn itself off. You can also install the radiator control heads similar to the Honeywell ones to individually control each room.

 

Here is a comparison table to make things a bit easier:

Honeywell Evohome Nest Tado
Controlled from phone Yes Yes Yes

 

Individually control rooms Yes No Yes
Controls hot water Yes Yes No
Geolocation No No Yes
Learning Thermostat Yes Yes No
Connects to cameras Yes Yes No
Underfloor heating support Yes No No

 

Of course, as we mentioned at the beginning there are tons of other thermostats out there but we at BeeXpress can only recommend what we’ve worked on before. We believe that the Honeywell Evohome and Nest are the 2 best, most sophisticated products out there.

 

If you want us to come round for a free quote or to talk further about anything please call us on 020 8970 7489.

Don’t forget that we are proud to be Which? Trusted Traders and you can see what other people have written about us by going to  http://trustedtraders.which.co.uk/businesses/beexpress-plumbing-and-heating

Boiler Servicing

Yaaawn!! Everyone we speak to seems to know that they should have their boiler serviced but very few actually do it.

Think of it as going to the dentist for a check up. You don’t really want to but you know your teeth will last longer if you do. The dentist will let you know what you’re doing right or wrong and might even find a hole that needs to be filled. If your very lucky they’ll even give you a sticker.

A boiler service is done once a year and is not a legal obligation. Make sure you don’t confuse it with the annual landlord’s gas certificate which IS a legal obligation if you are renting out a house, flat or spare room in your own house.

A boiler service is just a clever idea. During the service we, at BeeXpress, will do a gas test to make sure there are no gas leaks (most companies will not do this during a boiler service). You might think you would smell a gas leak but that’s not always true especially when the gas pipe is running around the outside of the house.

Then we will take the casing off the boiler and do a visual check of the inside of the boiler. We are looking for obvious signs of leaking or blackening of the inside of the boiler which could be a sign of something going wrong.

Older boilers will be opened up fully and the heat exchanger will be swept clear. Newer condensing boilers will have the manual checked as the heat exchanger only needs to be opened every few years. Valliant and Worcester Bosch boilers often need a new seal when doing the full service which puts up the cost of the work being done.

Once the boiler is back together it is turned on full and measurements are taken on how much gas is being used and how much CO is being produced. Then these measurements are checked against the manual. If they are not within the correct parameters then we will adjust it to the correct readings.

Once it’s all been checked and everything has been tidied up we will issue documentation that you will sign and will be emailed together with the invoice.

 

If you want a boiler service then just call us on 020 8970 7489.

You can also check how well other people rank us by heading to http://trustedtraders.which.co.uk/businesses/beexpress-plumbing-and-heating

 

You can take this free Boiler Servicing check list that has been prepared by Which.

Boiler Servicing Checklist.pdf