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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

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

Our Guide To Purchasing A New Boiler

Of course it’s not as exciting as buying a new car or some clothes but parting with your money to buy a new boiler is one of the most important purchases you’ll make in your home.

659514273_preview_16_The_Wasteland_Survival_GuideThere’s more than just picking a boiler because it looks the best or it’s the cheapest, you need to think about which one would be best for your home, how much will it cost to have it installed by a professional as well as the location it will be in.

We know how frustrating and complicated it can be but that’s why we’ve created this helpful guide.

What Boiler?

Well, pretty much all new or replacement boilers must be high efficiency condens
ing boilers that will help to reduce CO2 emissions by around 25% – not only do they help the environment, but they also save you around £300 a year.

Once you’ve chosen the boiler, you’ll have to determine which type of condensing boiler will best suit your home – Regular, System or Combi.

boiler-repair

Don’t worry! – This is all determined by the type of house or flat you live in. For example, if you live in a large family house with no space restrictions, you’ll most likely benefit from a regular or system boiler. However if you live in a small flat then you will need a combi boiler, but this decision will be made by the professional installing your new boiler.

Calling the Professionals:

Before you go out and buy the first boiler you see,  or the first deal you find online, we recommend getting more than 1 quote, perhaps three or four but no less than two!5900978_orig

If you’re getting more than one quote it will give you a much better understanding of what prices are go
od and who may just be after your money. It will also allow you to compare the professionalism and knowledge of each company, helping you to decide who the best person for the job is.

Getting Yourself Prepared:

We recommend that you give yourself a bit of preparation for when the engineer arrives. And by prepare I mean, make sure you have some answers to the endless questions that we have to ask before the installation process starts.

A good engineer will ask you various important questions about your current system and your lifestyle in order to determine what is likely to be the best central heating system for
your home.

Here are a couple of things to think about:

Where are you going to put the boiler? Will you leave it where the previous one was or pick a better place, if you’re unsure then ask for some professional advice from the engineer as they will know what works and what doesn’t.

phill-page-installing-a-new-condensing-boilerWhat and when do you use? For example, how busy is your household? Will there be a time when two people need to shower at the same time and how well did your old appliance cope?

How much are you going to spend? You should know just how much you’re looking to spend and d
on’t be tricked into spending more than you’re comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to ask what finance deals may be on offer to you.

Make Sure You Ask Questions:

Getting a new boiler installed is a big and sometimes can be an expensive job to do so be sure to ask as many questions as you can while they are there.

Remember, if you were buying a new car you would want to know everything about it, so why just stick with any old boiler?

Here are a couple of questions I recommend to ask:

  • asdsafsafAre they Gas Safe Engineers?
  • Do they offer an after sales service?
  • Will they provide a full written quote that itemises all of the parts used and the work undertaken?
  • Do they offer any warranties?

Don’t be shy, engineers are used to people asking questions so ask away!

So that’s our quick how to guide on selecting the perfect boiler and engineer.

Of course, all of this is something we are capable of doing for you, and with our Which? Trusted Traders status, you know that we are 100% qualified and trustworthy to do the job.

Get in touch with us if you are looking for a new boiler – https://www.beexpress.co.uk/

Powerflush in Hendon, London

pic

Hi,
Ive not posted anything for a long time so I hope you’ve not been waiting with baited breath.
Today though is the 2nd week of nice weather we’ve had so I’m turning my mind to helping people who have necessary but not essential works. By essential I mean that your boilers broken down, if this has happened call us ASAP but if you had that horrible catastrophe happen in December I hope you’ve been able to get over the trauma of 5 days or so that it would have taken for the new boiler to be installed. No, today I want to talk about that radiator in the spare room which was cold but you never bothered checking it out because you weren’t using it (or you wanted your guests to leave quickly). Or possibly you noticed that some of your radiators were hot at the top and cold at the bottom. Or that your boiler was making a loud noise.

If that’s the case then you probably need a powerflush. A Powerflush cleans the inside of the heating system. Its really great when we remove the magnets which are part of our kit and show our customers how much dirt we’ve removed from the radiators.

Most property’s take 1 day to do. We remove the heating pump, attach the powerflush machine, pour non acidic chemicals into it together with water and start pumping. We always have the boiler on as the heat really allows the chemicals to scrub hard and get the insides of your radiators really shiny.
Very rarely the aggressive nature of a powerflush can damage the system as it could find a weak spot say a rusty air vent or a seized valve. We would always advise our customers if this may happen.

Case in point. We were asked to repair a heating pipe with a pinhole leak and also quote for a powerflush. It was very obvious to us that if the pipework was already leaking we shouldn’t push our luck even after we’ve repaired it as there could be another pipe hidden in the loft or under the stairs which would pop with the pressure of the powerflushing machine. Instead we advised a chemical flush where we pour the chemicals into the system and then wait for 2 weeks or so to allow the chemicals to circulate after which we drain the system completely and refill it with clean water and more chemicals to prevent the water from getting dirty again.

If your interested in this Give us a call.

3.5 Common Heating Problems

Well winter has finally hit us. It really looked touch ago at the beginning of December but now we’re in the 1st few days of the new 2012 we’re finally feeling the cold bite and can hear the rain falling outside. Its lucky that our heating and hot water systems are working… Isn’t it?

If you are even slightly worried here’s a small list of things you can check yourself to make sure the rest of the winter goes without any hitches.

1. The Pump

No not the shower pump although that is important. Im talking about the heating pump.

Grundfos pump

In most residential houses you’ll have a Grundfos 15-50 or 15-60 pump. They will be red and have a slot in the centre where a large flat head screwdriver can fit. Just like the picture. They’re normally in the hot water cylinder/ airing cupboard and they are meant to pump the heated water in the pipes around towards the radiators/cylinder.

If this fails the boiler will overheat and shut down. If you listen to the pump for just 1 minute you’ll be able to tell if it’s working correctly or not. If there’s a low whooshing sound then water is flowing nicely along and there are no problems. If you can hear aloud whooshing noise then there’s probably some air in the pipes. You’ll need to vent the radiators. If you need tips on that just have a look at the video below where I show you how to vent a radiator…

Most pumps are C Rated pumps and are therefore costing you more than they should. With a small investment you can upgrade to an A Rated pump that will save you money in the medium term (3 years or so). Just call us and we’ll come over and quote.

2. The Tank (AKA The Cold Water Storage Cistern)

Upstairs in your loft you’ll have a black plastic or silver metal tank. This holds the cold water going to the cold taps everywhere in the house (apart from the kitchen tap traditionally) and the Hot Water Cylinder and from there to your hot water taps. Inside there’s a ball valve similar to the one on your toilet. It works on washers and if the washer fails it’ll drip or flow until the tank is nearly full. The vast majority of houses has an overflow pipe to drain the water away but you might not know about it until you have a look. If you find there is a leak then call us and we’ll see if there’s a quick fix we can do.Ball valve with float

3. The Radiators

These are fun. We often get customers calling because a radiator wont heat up. This is sometime because the valves on the side of the radiators have been turned off at the end of the winter 6 months before and not been touched. Now 6 months later they turn them on nothing happens! Normally the fault is a TRV or Thermostatic Radiator Valve. These have a small wax capsule that melts when it’s heated releasing a pin to go up and the water to flow through. This can sometimes be repaired by knocking the pipe VERY GENTLY until the pin pops up by itself. The radiator should start to heat up within a few minutes.

3.5. The Radiators part 2

You’ll also find that sometimes a radiator is cold on the top but hot at the bottom. This is caused by air and you can see how we vent radiators HERE.Venting a Radiator

Lastly you may sometimes find that the radiators are cold at the BOTTOM but hot at the TOP. This will be caused by sludge and you’ll need a powerflush to remove that. Give us a call and we’ll happily come over top help you out.

BeeXpress Online

Welcome to my website, BeeXpress Plumbing and Heating Engineers. We are online and ready to showcase our business 🙂

The aim of this website is to mainly give our current customers and new an idea as to the kind of company we are and to let them have valuable information about us before they call. We will be updating the website regularly with special offers and news on our work. Hope you enjoy it!

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.