Banbury: 01295 985375
Sonning: 01491 905375​​​​​​​

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info@macdplumbing.co.uk

We are Gas Safe/Oftec Oil registered heating engineers
23/08/17
Annual boiler service

Every year you should get your boiler serviced. Not doing so can invalidate your boiler’s warranty. An annual boiler service is also gives you the assurance that your boiler is working as it should. During the service we will clean its components, check the expansion vessel charge and PRV, and check everything is working. We can also identify any current, or potential problems. The sooner an issue is found, the less costly and expensive it will likely be to repair!
If larger or multiple issues are found we may recommend getting a new boiler.
Sometimes though, problems may arise before your service, and your boiler may indicate that it needs replacement.

Some indications that tell you it's time for a new boiler:
  • Regulars
If you find yourself constantly resetting, or regularly having to top up the system pressure, your boiler has a problem. If it’s old and keeps needing repairs, or maintenance to keep working, it’s probably time to replace it. Long term this can save you both time and money!
  • Strange noises
Typically you will not notice the sound your boiler makes while operating. If you start noticing it’s making a lot of noise and emitting strange sounds, there could be a problem. Sludge or limescale deposits, air in the system or poor pump circulation are a few things which can cause these noises. Sometimes you will need a boiler replacement, but sometimes a simple repair will solve the issue. To stop any problems getting worse, call us as soon as you start noticing the noises.
  • Carbon monoxide detector keeps sounding
If your carbon monoxide detector frequently goes off, then it is very probable that something is seriously wrong! Turn your boiler off and contact us immediately. Your boiler could potentially be posing a great danger to you and your family. Carbon monoxide poisoning is potentially fatal. It is also hard to detect, so it is crucial to pay attention to your detector. If your do not have a detector installed, install one ASAP! It could save your life…

Annual servicing will help you reach the typical lifespan of a boiler of about 15 years. The older your boiler is, the harder it works. So, if your boiler is nearing this age, you may want to consider getting a replacement!

Do you need a new boiler in Banbury or its surrounding areas?
Please do not hesitate to contact macD Plumbing and Heating we can install a new boiler or service your existing one in Banbury, Oxfordshire or surrounding areas
09/08/17
A combi boiler (or combination boiler) is one of the most commonly used boilers in the UK they provide heat for both the central heating system and the hot water system on demand... as and when you need it.

Combi boilers are mains water fed and instantaneously heat your water, which means you only heat the water when you need it, which is obviously more economical. Combi boilers are a neat and tidy installation which allows you to get rid of any external water cylinders or gravity storage tanks in the loft, as all controls for your heating and hot water fit within a single small boiler unit, which is great particularly if you are in a home with limited space!

There are though pros and cons for all types of boilers, and you need to understand these if you are thinking of investing in a new boiler.
A few of these are listed below:

Pros of combi boilers

• Instantaneous hot water, no wait time if the hot water cylinder has been used up and you are waiting for it to fill
• More compact as all controls are contained within the boiler
• No need for external storage tanks or cylinders

Cons of combi boilers

• Not ideal for homes where multiple users require hot water at the same time.
• If the boiler has a fault you will have no back up for hot water, a hot water cylinder would normally have a back up immersion element.


Is a combi boiler the right choice for me?

A combi boiler is the ideal choice for small to medium homes with one to two bathrooms as it provides effective hot water and heating instantly, while bigger output combi's can achieve higher outputs and flow rates, generally your main supply, will be the limiting factor as to how many hot outlets can be used at one time, we can measure and advise on this for you.

There are a range of combi boilers available, but at macD Plumbing & Heating , we specialise in selling and installing Worcester Bosch & Vaillant boilers due to their top-quality efficiency, wide range of models, aftermarket service, and long term warranties. For more information about our range of boilers, or for a quote, contact macD Plumbing and Heating today and a member of our Banbury or Marlow based team would be delighted to help.
02/08/17
With energy bills constantly rising, we could all do with a few tips to reduce our energy cost and consumption. Consider these small changes and see if they can make a difference to your energy costs.

Top Tips

Electrical appliances:

How many appliances or devices do you have plugged which are not being used? We all do it and it is a really common way most of us waste energy. When you’re not using appliances switch them off and unplug them from the wall. Even standby mode uses unnecessary energy!
Also, you can considerably improve your energy usage, and reduce your bills, by using energy efficient appliances. So, if you need to purchase a new appliance consider if there is an energy efficient model available.

Radiators:

Your radiators can really affect your energy bills. Check them regularly and don’t block them. The Energy Saving Trust reports that around 42% of homes have furniture blocking at least one radiator! Moving this furniture away will help heat circulate in your home, keeping you warmer longer and ensuring the boiler is not running unnecessarily.

Also avoid drying your clothes on the radiator. People sometimes do this, instead of using a tumble dryer. When you dry your clothes on your radiator, this could end up being worse for your bills as you are forcing your boiler to work harder. Additional moisture on the external parts of your radiators could also add to premature rust damage and the need to replace them.

For friendly and professional advice on replacing an old boiler contact macD Plumbing and Heating today
19/07/17
At the end of the day you want to relax and watch TV on your favourite sofa. But your peace is constantly disturbed by a constant banging noise, despite being alone. What could it be? Well, if there’s no one banging around in your house, it’s likely to be your central heating!
Central heating shouldn’t be noisy, so if your heating is creating a banging noise or any sort of humming, tapping, clicking and gurgling noises then you need to find out why!

What’s causing the noise?

There are a number of reasons why your central heating could be making a noise, incorrectly installed boilers and radiators, with inadequate automatic air vents, causing air pockets and noise, poor maintenance, and sludge or limescale build-up, or a heating pump on its way out and not able to push hot water away from the boiler, causing kettling and noise.

Identifying the noise and problem

Before calling a heating engineer, we recommend doing a little investigating so you can get an idea of the type of noise and where it’s coming from. This is likely to be something the heating plumber will ask you when you phone them up. Here we’ve provided a quick guide to some of the sounds you are likely to hear and what they mean.

Banging in the pipes

If you can hear a banging or clanging sound, it’s likely coming from your pipe work. Check that they have been fitted and clipped down properly. If you can see that they are loose or not clipped down, then that’s probably what’s causing the noise.

If the pipes appear to be clipped correctly, there may be a flow problem inside the pipes. A heating installer can determine if larger flow and return pipes for your boiler should have been fitted.

Air in the system or a pump cycling to fast could also cause noise, Bleed all the radiators, ensure auto air vents are open, and that the pump is bled. It may be a case of needing to slow down the speed the boiler pumps the heating water.

If the pressure is set too high, it can also cause damage to your pipes, which is likely to result in them banging and clanging. If you are unsure what settings are best for your boiler, get in touch.

Gurgling and tapping radiators

If you can hear a gurgling or tapping sound coming from your radiators, there’s likely to be a build up of air inside them. The solution to this problem is pretty simple – you just need to bleed the air out of the system.
To do this, loosen the top bleed screw(holding a towel underneath) and wait for water to appear. Once it does, you can be sure that all of the air has gone. If the water is very black and dirty this is also an indication that your system does not have the correct level of chemical inhibitors, and a flush and re-fill with the correct chemical dosage could be required.

Tapping sounds can also be caused by lime scale in your radiator pipes. To resolve this issue, you will need to buy a descaling solution to pour into your expansion tank. Just make sure your central heating system is turned off beforehand.

Call US!

If you do not feel confident in investigating noisy central heating problems yourself or cannot resolve the issues, it’s highly recommended that you get in touch with a Gas Safe heating engineer like macD Plumbing and Heating. Simply give us a call ; let us know the problem and we’ll send someone out to fix it!
12/07/17
What is the difference between a plumber and a heating engineer? Its good to know so you can call the right person for the right job.

A bit about the plumber

In Roman times, plumbers used to work with lead piping, which is where the name came from. The Latin word for lead is 'Plumbum’ so you can see why they’re now called plumbers!
Modern plumbing devices are no longer made from lead (in fact plumbers spend a lot of time removing lead piping from homes), the name has remained the same. Today plumbers tend to work on wet and dry pipes. From dishwashers and drains to toilets and sinks, if you’ve got a leak, it’s a plumber you’ll need to call.
Although some plumbers are also capable and qualified to work on heating appliances, it is important to check before hiring one to fix your boiler!

So what do heating engineers do?

The clue is in the name! Basically heating engineers work solely on the heating appliances found in buildings. They carry out a wide range of jobs from maintaining and installing heating pipework to fixing appliances when they break down.
Heating engineers tend to work on a wide range of properties including residential, commercial and industrial, ensuring that they are heated safely and efficiently. Whereas some plumbers work on both water and heating, heating engineers are reserved for heating only and don’t venture into any other aspect of plumbing work.

Who do I call for boiler services and repairs?

If you are having trouble with your boiler or it needs a service, then your safest bet is to hire a heating engineer.

Gas Safe Heating Engineers

Before hiring anyone to work on your boiler and heating system, you need to check that they are Gas Safe.
Gas safety legislation in the UK, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Guernsey sets out gas work as activities that involve:

• Maintaining, servicing, adjusting, disconnecting, altering or renewing the fitting or purging it of air or gas
• Changing the position of a fitting that is not readily movable
• Removing a fitting

A Gas Safe registered heating engineer must only ever carry out these activities. Any plumber that carries out this work without first obtaining a Gas Safe certificate will be breaking the law and could potentially endanger you and those living in your household.

Our heating engineers

Here at macD Plumbing and Heating our heating engineers are Gas Safe registered and therefore competent in carrying out work on boilers and heating systems safely. From boiler installations to solar water heating, we provide a wide range of services that allow our customers to benefit from efficient and effective heating systems in their home and workplace.
07/07/17
Having an efficient and reliable boiler is essential to creating hot water and keeping your home warm. As with other appliances, your boiler must be serviced and maintained regularly to keep it in a good working condition. Here we’ll explain why it’s so important to have regular maintenance carried out on your boiler.
Spot potential issues and problems

As when you have your car serviced, a boiler servicing will involve detecting any potential problems with your boiler. If a gas engineer spots an issue, they will be able to resolve it, before it gets any worse. This could save you from having to fork out hundreds (or even thousands) of pounds to repair your boiler, whilst also preventing unwanted disturbances to your heating supply.
Replacing broken boilers can be very costly, so if you want to save yourself a significant amount of money, it is recommended that you have your boiler maintained on a regular basis.

Improve efficiency

Another reason why it is important to have your boiler serviced and maintained is that it will help to ensure it is working efficiently. If your boiler isn’t operating at its maximum capacity, it could result in you paying over the odds for your household energy.

Use a Gas Safe Registered engineer to service your boiler, they will test and inspect all of your boiler’s components and determine whether anything needs to be replaced. Although replacement parts aren’t cheap, purchasing and installing them will allow you to save money in the long run through lower energy bills.

Keep in mind that even new boilers (which should be the most efficient) need maintaining in order to keep them in tiptop condition.

Ensure safety

Boilers are incredibly useful appliances for heating your home and water supply, however if faulty, they can potentially threaten the lives of those living in your house.
Boilers that have not been installed correctly or are not maintained well or not regularly serviced can potentially produce a poisonous gas known as carbon monoxide. This gas is often known as the silent killer, as it is both odourless and colourless, making it particularly difficult to spot.
If exposed to carbon monoxide you can become seriously ill and in some cases poisoning can prove to be fatal. If you or anyone in your household is experiencing these symptoms, seek medical advice immediately.

The best way to prevent a carbon monoxide leak and ensure safety is to have your boiler serviced on a regular basis. A Gas Safe Registered engineer will be able to spot anything wrong with your appliance that could potentially cause a leak in the future. They will then be able to rectify the problem, ensuring your appliance is left completely safe.
Whilst having your boiler serviced and maintained regularly will definitely help to keep you and your family safe, although a carbon monoxide alarm installed at home is a good idea to detect leaks.

Boiler maintenance requirements

It is recommended that you have your boiler serviced and maintained on an annual basis. This will help to keep it in optimal condition and help to prevent any unforeseen problems from occurring. In the mean time, if you notice anything wrong with your boiler, it is a good idea to seek help from a professional gas engineer.
The person you hire to service and maintain your boiler must be Gas Safe Registered. This will ensure they have the skills and knowledge to inspect and maintain your boiler safely.

If you require boiler maintenance, feel free to get in touch with macD Plumbing and Heating.
30/06/17
Despite the warmer weather right now, winter will be here before you know it and the last thing you want to contend with in the middle of December is a broken down central heating system that’s beyond repair. It’s not only inconvenient, but can also be a big unexpected expense to budget for.
However, there could be some tell-tale signs already showing that your central heating system is on its way out, so knowing what these signs are could save you the hassle of a complete heating meltdown and save you money in the long run too.

Your boiler is older than 15 years

Boilers are generally designed to last for up to 15 years if they’re properly maintained. So if your boiler is nearing this age or exceeding it, this could be a sure sign that a new heating system is on the horizon. Plus, older boilers are renowned for being less energy efficient too, so it could be costing you more to hang onto the old boiler than it would to replace it with a modern upgrade.

You have unusually high fuel bills

There’s no escaping the fact that energy prices have risen over the past decade, but if you’ve found that your heating bills are unusually high or have risen drastically over the past year this could also be a sign that your boiler is not functioning as efficiently as it could be. A poorly functioning boiler will inevitably use more energy to reach full heating capacity, which will only get worse, thus your energy bills will be ever on the increase.

It takes a long time to heat up

Following on from this, many older boilers will take an age to get to full temp, which ultimately costs you more money. Whereas an efficient, modern boiler will heat up immediately, making them more energy efficient and more effective. If you’ve found that your boiler is taking an inordinate length of time to heat up, this is a sign that it could pack up the ghost in the near future.

Frequent Repairs

Another obvious indication that your boiler could be on the brink of packing up is if you’re constantly having to repair it. It doesn’t matter if these are small, inexpensive repairs, it all adds up to time and money that could be better spent elsewhere and is likely to lead to more serious problems further down the line.
Problems sourcing parts
As is often the case with many older boilers, finding the spare parts can be a challenge and also expensive, so if every time you need to make some repairs you’re finding it increasingly difficult to find the parts you need, this could be time to switch to a more modern boiler where parts are cheaper and more readily available.

For friendly and professional advice on replacing an old boiler contact macD Plumbing and Heating today.