We still receive calls and offers regarding funded boiler replacement schemes. We should like to draw your attention to the experience suffered by one of our members following the “free” installation of a gas boiler less than 3 years ago.

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My new boiler was installed in the summer of 2013 by a large and supposedly reputable firm but it was paid for under the government’s boiler replacement scheme of the time. Since the installation I have encountered many problems.

One of the main problems is that when a fault appears it is not always apparent what the cause is. The boiler itself is covered by a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty and the installers offer a 1 year warranty on their work.  The manufacturer requires a £90 deposit before they send an engineer just in case the fault lies outside the boiler.  The installers have refused to look at problems that have arisen more than 12 months after the installation even when they are clearly down to faulty installation.  It is clear that faults resulting from the installation may take longer than a year to show themselves.  I am extremely grateful to my local plumbers and heating engineers who have been invaluable in solving the problems I have experienced.

Immediately after the installation we detected a small gas leak. Once confirmed by a gas engineer, he insisted in switching off our gas supply for health and safety reasons till the leak was fixed.  This resulted in us being without gas for 5 days waiting for the engineer to come and solve the problem.

The second problem was an electrical fault. The installers did send out an electrician and he was absolutely staggered with the quality of the wiring by the installation electrician.  It took him about 4 hours to do a complete rewiring and it was clear that had we used the timer for control then the system would not have worked.  In short the electrical work performed when the boiler was installed was absolutely shambolic.  Luckily this fault occurred within the 12 months installation warranty period.

During the winters of 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 our central heating system failed on a number of occasions, usually coincidental with severe temperature drops. Indicators pointed to a pump or filter problem but always there was a significant build-up of corrosion and dirt within the system.  Eventually the pump failed so we had it replaced and the system cleaned out.

The final straw hit me in January 2016 when the system again failed just as the temperatures plummeted again. Once again the filter was completely blocked.  Following a long and fruitless discussion with the installers,  I asked a local central heating engineer to check it out and his diagnosis was that the complete central heating system needed a power flush.  He performed the power flush and my heating started working again after 2 weeks with no heating and no hot water!  The poor guy had to wear gloves to do the work as it was so cold in the house.

But it does not end there! While connecting the power flushing equipment, the engineer noticed that the boiler had not been properly plumbed in. That had caused air to enter the system which had caused the corrosion that was the cause of all my problems.  He was kind enough to replace the wrong pipework within the price of the flush.

Since the boiler was installed I have spent around £800 on repairs that I believe to have been caused by faulty installation which could not possibly have become clear before the 12 month guarantee of the installation. I shall now have to approach the installers for recompense.  What hope do I have???

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What a horrible experience! This member has not only undergone the considerable cost of these repairs but has suffered intolerable periods of freezing cold essentially as the result of poor workmanship by people purporting to be professional boiler installers.

What we strongly advise is that anyone that takes advantage a special scheme for getting a new boiler seeks an independent view from a reputable local heating engineer once the installation is complete. That should not be too costly and it should ensure that if there is anything wrong with the installation then it can be rectified while the warranty is still in place.