Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Communication and Product Management at Worcester Bosch, explains that when it comes to boiler spares, there is plenty installers can do to have a hassle-free experience.
On average, 12-15 years is the design life expectancy for most boilers. Some boilers will last the full projected lifespan, a little longer or sometimes less, but as a general rule it is around the 12-15-year mark.
It is somewhat expected that not all of the components on the boiler will last the full timeframe – particularly if the boiler has been used every day for a number of years, or is subject to external factors like hard water, contaminated system water and sometimes no water at all if there’s been a depressurisation. For these reasons and more, it is important to have quick and reliable access to compliant boiler spares when required.
For a well-maintained and annually serviced boiler, it is highly unlikely that there would be any boiler components that would need changing too regularly. That said, it is recommended that pre-emptive maintenance to replace components, such as the electrodes or the electrode leads, every four or five years is sensible.
Certain seals or gaskets might need replacing after a few years, which is quite common. Ultimately, though, there is no textbook answer to the question of which components may wear, which is why it is important to look to the boiler manufacturer’s instruction manuals as a guide of where to check.
More about manuals
To avoid any confusion or costly errors, instruction manuals should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis depending on the specific boiler being installed, as certain manufacturers might have different requirements. It wouldn’t be unusual, for example, on a boiler that has a combustion management system onboard, for the manufacturer to specify that the sensor needs changing at specific intervals, as it is this component which manages this part of the boiler operation. In years gone by, it was quite normal to replace the thermocouple annually, or if it’s an oil boiler, to change the nozzle and the flexible hose.
No matter how many times you have studied a boiler manual, however, it is always worth investing in time for practical training. Training is a great way to refresh your knowledge and skills, while if you are a new to a particular boiler model a course will ensure that you are more confident when it comes to the servicing and spares selection in the future.
When considering spares and servicing, the importance of water treatment is a must and should be covered to ensure a comprehensive approach is taken. After all, a clean and efficient heating system, new or old, will help to boost performance and protect the system in the long-term. At Worcester Bosch, we have invested in a robust training programme, including servicing, water treatment and spares courses, across our four Training Academies, 80 plus colleges and via our eight mobile trainers.
When it comes to ordering the spare part(s) you need, there are many ways to go about it. To help support time-pressed installers, manufacturers are making it easier than ever before to find what you need when you need it, for a hassle-free experience. The Worcester Bosch ‘mySpares’ website and app, for instance, is ideally suited to searching for local merchants that stock Worcester-branded spares. Installers have the opportunity to visit, call, or send an enquiry direct to the stockist. This ensures 98% availability of genuine Worcester spares to collect from the merchant on the same day, and 100% availability on the next day.
While we are still in the winter months, having access to spare parts, should a homeowner have the misfortune of a boiler breakdown, is really important. For vulnerable customers, especially the very young or elderly, it is important to be able to respond quickly to return heating and hot water as quickly as possible at this time of year.
Installers have a vital role to play and with the right knowledge, access to compliant spares and manufacturer support, nothing can stop professional heating engineers from delivering the best service.