What is gas fire servicing?
Domestic gas fires offer a welcoming heat source in the colder winter months. A gas safe registered engineer should carry out an annual gas fire service to check that the gas fire is working efficiently and most importantly, safely.
Gas fire service
A gas fire service will normally comprise of a gas fire safety check, plus additional checks and cleaning of the following areas of your gas fire:
- The gas fire’s overall condition
- General cleaning
- Check the gas fire’s installation pipework is correct
- Check that the ventilation is adequate
- Check the wear and tear on the flue, and that it is operating efficiently
If you have a gas fire with a back boiler, you will need a boiler and gas fire service. This involves stripping down the boiler, cleaning out the combustion chamber and performance checks on both the associated pipework and meter to ensure they work efficiently and safely. It’s also essential to check that no leaks have developed since the last service.
Regular gas fire maintenance is essential. A faulty gas fire may lead to leaks of carbon monoxide or gas, which has both fire and health risks.
Gas fire insurance
Gas fire insurance may be available individually, or as part of a central heating insurance package. This type of cover will often include the cost of annual gas fire service or boiler and gas fire service. Gas fire insurance may also include cover for remedial gas fire repairs, when your gas fire breaks down, or those highlighted during the annual gas fire service.
Gas fire service cost
A gas fire service will usually cost £45 to £60 (unless you have taken out cover or a maintenance package with a provider). This should include a gas fire safety check to ensure there is no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or fire risk. In addition, cleaning of the gas fire and checks on its condition, and its performance, to ensure it is working optimally. All checks and tests should be carried out according to the appropriate manufacturers’ standards for the gas fire.
Gas fire service frequency
A gas fire service should be completed annually. However, if you suspect that your gas fire is not working properly, you should contact a gas safe engineer, or your maintenance provider to check out your gas fire, even if it is within a year of your last gas fire service.
Signs that your gas fire may not be working well are:
- The flame is a sluggish yellow flame rather than a blue coloured defined flame
- Your gas fire has black or soot marks around the burners
- The pilot light does not remain lit and needs relighting
- The room where the gas fire has an increase in condensation
- The gas fire will not work
Incorrect gas pressure may cause the gas fire to stop working, as it will shut down for safety reasons. Most contemporary gas fires require a power supply if the gas fire stops working and if there are none of the signs above, check if a fuse has blown, or if batteries need changing.
Gas fire service – In detail
We’ve identified what a gas fire service is, why it is necessary, how much it should cost, how often it should be done, and who should carry it out. Now, let’s look at what a gas safe registered engineer will do when he or she services your gas fire appliance.
- A visual inspection of the external appearance of the gas fire, to check it meets current standards. The gas engineer will take into account the situation of the appliance, installation and ventilation when doing this.
The gas fire will be turned on (fired up), to see if it works as it should. At this time, faults with its working will be identified and noted.
- The gas fire external casing will be removed to check its main components:
- Heat Exchanger
- Sensor/Spark Probe
- Primary Injector
- Take apart the gas fire’s internal parts, identified above to clean. Reassemble noting any defects
- Check that the flue terminal is unobstructed, and takes away waste combustion products, efficiently and safely.
- Check flue’s internal parts for leaks of harmful combustion products by checking seals
- Gas flue analyser test – adjust the gas valve to ensure the burner’s efficient and proper combustion.
- Gas tightness test- to check system is sealed and that there are no leaks.
- After internal cleaning and tests, replacement of the gas fire cover, and check it is adequately sealed and fits, as it should.
- A service report completed; identifying service components completed, and any remedial actions completed or necessary,
- A copy of the gas fire service report is given to the gas fire owner.
An annual gas fire service is an essential household requirement for all gas fire owners or landlords with gas fires in their tenanted properties. Only gas safe registered engineers are allowed and qualified to carry out a gas fire safety check, boiler and gas fire service, gas fire maintenance or gas fire repairs. The gas engineer will give you a copy of the service report, on completion.
Also, keep in mind that you may be entitled to a free gas fire service as part of your home cover. Although, in some cases, this may only be a small extra cost. Regular servicing of your gas fire is important for its optimum running, manufacturer warranty and most importantly safe use.
Make sure you keep warm and safe this winter by ensuring that your gas fire is in great shape. If you don’t have boiler or central heating cover, this may be the perfect time to research what’s available and give yourself a worry-free winter with the latest in home cover.