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It does not seem to be general knowledge but OFTEC is an organisation that regulates engineers in the Oil Heating industry in the same way as Gas Safe regulates gas engineers.

It is important that you only use an OFTEC registered engineer to Install or service your Oil Boiler or to replace your Oil storage tank.

Oftec insures that engineers have the correct training and skills as well as insurances to protect the customers.  You can find out more or get a list of your local registered engineers at http://www.oftec.co.uk/consumers/consumers

The company Ely Central Heating Services Limited is registered with OFTEC with registration number C13416.  Gus Pretorius is registered with OFTEC registration number 31417


Oil Boiler Servicing

Why it is important?

During the normal process of burning Oil, sediments and sulphites are deposited on the inside of the boiler which cause rust over time and also create a layer of insulation that prevents the heat from effectively reaching the metal sides of the firebox and thus the water that is circulated through the sides of the firebox.  These deposits should be cleaned and vacuumed from the system on a regular basis to ensure the longevity of your boiler and the effective transfer of heat to the water circuit.

Dust accumulates in the airways of the burner which means that the airflow can be restricted over time and reduced airflow means that all oil is not burnt, which in turn means that you are not using your oil to maximum efficiency.

Nozzles that vaporise the oil also have a moving part inside that wears over time and should be replaced at least once a year.

What is done during a service?

A normal service of an oil boiler takes about 2 hours and involves the following:
1. Cleaning the heat exchanger by removing all sediment from the sides and vacuuming it away. 
2. Cleaning the baffles which are metal plates that force the heat to the sides of the heat exchanger through which water circulates. 
3. Removing the burner to clean it and replace the nozzle then connecting a pressure gauge to ascertain that the oil pump is delivering the oil to the nozzle at the correct pressure as specified by the manufacturer.
4. Once the pressure is set correctly, a smoke pump is used to draw some flue gasses through a white paper to see if the boiler is producing any smoke.  If smoke is produced, it indicates that all the oil is not burnt and normally just means that the air intake is not set large enough for the burner to get enough air to burn all the oil supplied.  If required, the air intake is adjusted until a smoke test returns a clean result indicating effective combustion.
5. Once the boiler burns clean (no smoke is produced), a Gas Analyser is inserted into the flue or an inspection hole provided for the purpose, and the air to fuel ratio is set so the burner produces a specific amount of CO2.  This is done by opening or closing the air intake until the correct CO2 level in the flue gasses is achieved.

If your current boiler engineer manages to do all this in 20 minutes which includes a cup of tea, it might be time to give me a ring and see if the efficiency of your boiler might not be improved by giving it a proper service.

When should it be done?

If your boiler is used during summer months to heat water for baths and showers or your swimming pool, it is best to service the boiler at the end of the summer before it needs to take on the heavy work of providing heat to the central heating system.  Near the end of September would be a good time as it is not yet that cold and engineers might not yet be too busy.

If your boiler is only used for central heating, it is best to service it at the end of the winter so the sediments that collect in the firebox do not remain in contact with the metal sides of the firebox through all the summer months where they can cause rust to form.  End of April or May might be best.

Avoid leaving it until your boiler stops working between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when the snow lies six inches deep outside.  The best is to get an engineer that maintains a database with your details and contacts you when the service is due every year at the same agreed time.

What does a service cost?

A service costs £70.00 and includes the cost of replacing the injector nozzle which should be done every year.