CIPHE urges homeowners to carry out MOT style servicing

CIPHE urges homeowners to carry out MOT style servicing

Richard Soper, Director of International Development at the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), explains why the institute is keen to encourage more homeowners to enlist the help of professional engineers to carry out annual MOT style services.

I’ve often heard it said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. However, if you think a little deeper, the beating heart of any property has to be the central heating system. Drill down further still and it’s the boiler that is keeping everything going, day in day out, without being noticed at all. Until something goes wrong, that is.

While a reliable central heating system is essential for a certain quality of life, boilers are so often taken for granted. Waking up to a cold house with no hot water is usually the first sign something isn’t right and when this happens, the old saying “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” suddenly becomes all too relevant. Situations like these can often be prevented by scheduling a regular service or check-up, so why aren’t more homeowners investing a small amount each year in making sure their heating system is kept in perfect running order?

When we buy a new car, parting with several thousand pounds and the need to safeguard warranties is enough to make people want to book in regular services – usually with the garage the vehicle was purchased from. After three years, there’s also the requirement of an annual MOT to consider, without which we can’t tax or insure our vehicles. This system encourages the majority of people to maintain their cars for their own safety and that of others. I only wish the same could apply when homeowners purchase a new boiler and heating system.

When first fitted, all new gas and oil-fired boilers are issued with a commissioning certificate in agreement with Approved Document L of the Building Regulations. The Benchmark Checklist is also included within the boiler installation instructions and ensures the appliance and heating system complies with the required regulations. In most cases this validates the boiler warranty too.

While important checks are carried out at the point of installation, there are no compulsory requirements for boilers to have an annual service following on from that. This means homeowners are left to their own devices.

For some time now, I have been of the opinion this is an area that needs to change. For starters, the industry could work together to suggest that annual servicing should be made mandatory for all boilers, with servicing extended to cover all aspects of plumbing throughout the house. Manufacturers of certain plumbing related products also offer longer warranties if evidence of regular checks is provided and in some cases this is necessary for warranties to remain valid.

Safeguarding the health and safety of the general public is one of the key aims of the CIPHE and throughout 2017 we want to encourage more homeowners to make annual servicing a priority. From an installer’s perspective, offering and recommending an annual check-up deal makes perfect business sense too. The key to securing it is being able to communicate the simple message that prevention is better than cure and that a little investment made each year will certainly pay off in the long term.

If you would like to become a member of the CIPHE, please contact the team via email: [email protected] or call 01708 472791. Alternatively, contact Richard Soper via LinkedIn or email: [email protected]

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