If you are moving houses please inspect the boiler to make sure that it is in a good working condition.
There are many horror stories of boilers breaking down as soon as people move into the new house. New owners are often forced to pay a hefty bill to replace the old boiler on top of buying the property.
Building regulations and certifications exist to ensure the safety of people living in and around residential buildings.These regulations and product or services certifications improve the safety of gas and oil heating appliances such as boilers, and ensures that they are installed by competent technicians. The following is a check list of the things you need to know before moving into a new house, and the rules and regulations on boilers in the UK.
Ask for the paperwork
Even if the home owner shows you a relatively new boiler and central heating system, ask your solicitor to get the building certificate. Asking for the necessary paperwork of the boiler is important since you should be concerned of whether or not the boiler was installed properly so you won’t have to outlay more money for rectifying any issues which emerge later on once your living in the property.
Gas Safety Certificate
A gas safety certificate shows that a boiler was installed correctly, and by professionals. If there is no gas safety certificate, then it is advised to ask the vendor to pay for a Gas Safe registered installer to check the boiler system and certify it before you move in.
Get the Boiler Inspected
If possible, request the vendor to pay for a gas installer to inspect the boiler and heating system of your new home before the exchange, this way you can get a professional opinion.
Buildings Regulation Compliance Certificate
Along with the Gas Safety Certificate, also ask the seller for a buildings regulation compliance certificate, also known as a Buildings Regulation Compliance Gas Safety Certificate. This will come in handy if you want to sell the property after a few years, which will mean the new buyers will ask for the proper documentation as well.
Pay Attention to the Details
Once you have the Buildings Regulation Compliance Certificate with you, it should include the address, certificate number, the date the boiler system was installed, along with other important details regarding the boiler and the Gas Safe Registered installer. This can be attained by the council’s building inspector.
New Regulations for Condensing Boilers
- As of 1st April 2007, all oil fired boilers in the UK have to be condensing boilers.
- As of 1st April 2005, all gas fired boilers have to be condensing boilers. This rule applies to both boiler replacements and brand new boiler installations in the UK.
- As of 1st April 2005, all condensing boilers have got to have a SEDBUK efficiency rating of A or B.
There used to be a time when one bought a house “sold as seen” and took the seller’s word that the boiler worked, but one never really knew for sure until after they had shifted in their new home. Keeping the aforementioned tips in mind regarding the rules and regulations for boilers in the UK will keep you from ending up at the sharp end of the deal.
Building Regulation Documents Boiler
Building regulations may differ in different counties within the UK. Building regulations are updated each year and are mainly concerned with energy conservation. When it comes to boiler safety certifications, it is usually advised that the boiler be checked annually, especially if you are letting your home, then it is required by law to have your boiler checked every year. Likewise, before getting a boiler installed in your home it is advised to ask the manufacturer to provide you with a gas certificate, which needs to be from a Gas Safe registered engineer. This will ensure that the boiler you are about to install has met all the necessary safety requirements. Apart from the safety angle, a Gas Safe certification can provide you with some idea of what could go wrong with your boiler next. These checks are carried out by companies such as British Gas, who offer planned packages annually at an affordable cost.
As part of the UK government’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy conservation as from 2005, all new or replaced gas boilers are required to be condensing boilers that have an energy efficiency rating of either A or B.
Fast-Track Certification Process
Rather than enforce that all installations must go through Building Control, Gas Safe and OFTEC engineers can ‘self-certify’ their own work thereby fast tracking the process.
Points Exemption Scheme
In order for an exemption to be justified a boiler needs to be assessed using a points system. A total of 1000 points are required for a non-condensing boiler to be fitted. If the points tally after the relevant form is filled is less than 1000 then only a condensing boiler can be fitted regardless of the home owner’s personal preference. The following are some of the factors that are considered during the assessment:
- Property type
- Fuel type of the boiler
- Extension of the flue (if needed)
- Re-positioning of the boiler
- Requirement for a pump of condensate soak away
The new regulations also brought about changes to the heating controls, where minimum standards are being set for the effort to conserve energy and reduce the amount of carbon emissions that are released by a home. The heating controls have not been given any exemptions, but are focused on the type of the home. For instance, the minimum requirement for the combi boilers is a room thermostat, the thermostatic radiator valves or TRV on all of the radiators, the timer and programmer.
When it comes to regular or system boilers the requirements are the same as combi boilers, with a few exceptions. For instance, a full programmer is required to be installed rather a timer, which enables both the hot water operations and the heating to be timed independently. And lastly, the system is required to be fully pumped.
All new oil and gas fired boiler are required to be condensing boilers and need to be issued with an Approved Document L1 on the building regulations. Under law, it is homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that the boiler and the heating system complies with the boiler regulations. This is the reason why all gas fired boilers are required to be installed by a Gas Safe registered technicians, while all oil-fired boilers have to be installed by OFTEC registered installers.
In England and Wales, the Local Authorities have to be informed whenever a heating appliance such as a boiler etc, is installed on a property. The Local Authority needs to be notified within 30 working days of the completion date of the new installation. Once complete, a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate should arrive via post within 10-15 working days.