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Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

I have a Vokera 24e combi, that suffers intermittent failures (system shut-off) the quick fix is simple enough, press the red light button, and off it goes again for a few week/months. But there has to be a reason for this (and probably a simple one...I think)
What is significant:
A pressure microswitch has been replaced as it burnt out, possibly due to a very minor leak.
The pressure microswitch actuator plunger is coated with a dark gunge (possibly residue from the same (ongoing I think) leak.
The pipe union just above the pressure switch assembly is often damp
System pressure drops off to zero from time to time, needs to be re-set to 2.5 bar
Presumably, the pressure drop is caused by the minor leak.
Curiously, the shut-downs seem to happen on the coldest nights of the period since last reset. I suspect that the afore mentioned "gunge" freezes or solidifies sufficiently to "stick" the plunger?
More significant:
Vokera agents are refusing to look at it for less than £65 per half-hour+VAT+parts+VAT
So:
Am I likely to do or create any damage by tightening (carefully) the pipe union above the microswitch assembly?
If anybody think they can help, but wants more info, I will take and post photos of the offending area.
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15 REPLIES
itsme
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

If the leak is caused by a damaged ill fitting olive in the union then tighening could make it worst. The only option in my opinion is to drain the system and undo the union to inspect the joint.
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

Get some PTFE tape from any diy shop.
If/when you undo the joint and the olive is intact wrap a few turns of the tape around it and tighten it back up again.
Edit: If you do this make sure the tape does not go over the end of the pipe and cause a blockage....easily done.
PS I'm not a heating engineer but I served 10 years with a master plumber. Undecided
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maranello
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please


Assuming that the boiler is out of warranty (otherwise why should there be a charge for repair), any competent CORGI registered gas installer should be able fix it. If you are lucky, you might find a non registered plumber to have a look, someone who has a good reputation and therefore is gainfully employed through word of mouth and can make a decent living charging lower rates because he doesn't have to pay the inflated prices for continued CORGI training and registration.
Otherwise, if you feel reasonably competent with a spanner (or two) you could try a sixteenth or an eight of a turn on the compression fitting, clean up any residue from the leak and wrap the joint with some kitchen roll to see if you have cured it.
There is an old trick where you could wrap the leaking joint with some ptfe tape, and seal with nail varnish (colour not important, but not the 'hard as nails' type as this can craze or crack with time).
Whatever you do, in case it all goes wrong make sure you know where to get hold of a plumber and do not attempt it outside of normal business hours to avaiod any premium rates
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

I do not have this particular boiler, this is a gas one Yes?
My last gas one (I am oil fired now) had a problem with the thermocouple that would happen on colder/windy evenings. Thermocouples and fire saftey valves can become intermittent. Does it have a visible pilot light or is it all electronic ignition?
My father has been working on oil, gas a solid fuel cookers/heaters for +40 years.
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Community Veteran
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

Which model do you have listed from http://www.vokera.co.uk/discontinued.asp ?
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pierre_pierre
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

A non corgi plumber is illegal working on gas, OK on water Crazy
itsme
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

Sorry but anyone can work on their own gas supply. What you can't do is charge someone for work carried out on a gas supply unless your Corgi registered.
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

You can charge them, but your work would not be insured.
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

Quote from: itsme
Sorry but anyone can work on their own gas supply. What you can't do is charge someone for work carried out on a gas supply unless your Corgi registered.

I don't actually believe any of that is accurate.
There are requirements to be met by anyone working on a gas supply, mainly to ensure safety. A normal DIY-er is highly unlikely to comply.
A commercial gas fitter can meet these by being Corgi registered, but it's not mandatory. However meeting them any other way is in practice almost impossible.
"By law only a competent person can carry out work on gas appliances or fittings.
Do-it-yourself work on gas appliances or fittings could be dangerous and is likely to be illegal"
itsme
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

My father had a problem of being overchanged/charged for work not necessary by a Corgi registered plumber so he telephoned Corgi and during the converstation he asked whether work always have to be carried out by a Corgi plumber. He was informed that he could do it himself.
From the HSA
Quote
n by law anyone carrying out work on gas appliances or fittings as part
of their business must be competent and registered with CORGI Gas
Registration.
Always check your installer is registered by asking to see their
current CORGI photo ID card which has a photo of the installer, their CORGI
registration number, their trading title and the expiry date of the card. The
reverse of the card details what kind of gas work the installer is able to do. You
can also call CORGI during normal office hours on 0800 915 0485 or log on to
the CORGI website on www.trustcorgi.com/consumers.htmx;

n by law only a competent person can carry out work on gas appliances
or fittings. Do-it-yourself work on gas appliances or fittings could be
dangerous and is likely to be illegal
;


Don't have to Corgi just competent.
Community Veteran
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

Define competent in this context...... Roll eyes
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) regulations 1998 say:
PART B  GAS FITTINGS - GENERAL PROVISIONS
Qualification and supervision
     3.  - (1) No person shall carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting or gas storage vessel unless he is competent to do so.
(There are also a lot of other specific requirements listed in these regulations)
itsme
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

I'm competent as I have install two full central heating systems. One conventional and the other a combi system. In addition to all water and gas plumbing. This was before the laws were changed in 1998.
But at least I can demostrate that I'm competent  Undecided
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

I have over a number of years done quite a lot of gas work both domestic and industrial with no problems.
These days I refuse to touch anything gas related for friends and relatives, advising them to seek a registered fitter.
I consider myself competent due to experience and a degree of training but am not registered.
The critical item in itsme's quote is
Quote
as part of their business
.
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Community Veteran
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Re: Any heating engineers who can answer a question please

Well, I would only get a "corgi" fitter to work on my gas system, cos I reckon, if he blows the house up, I can definitely say to the missus..... not my fault ! Cheesy  (and I suspect the insurance company would pay up, whereas if non corgi person did the work, and BOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooommmmmmmm!  Shocked Roll eyes can see the insurance company saying no to any claim !  Cry