Spring is coming and many of us are starting to look for a new house.

Here are some tips that might help if you have found a house that you are thinking of buying. Plumbing and heating problems can be costly!

  1. Most surveyors will not give you a good idea of the condition of the plumbing and heating systems. It is not their field of expertise.
  2. Have a good look at the boiler (and water cylinder if there is one). Unless you are sure that these are in good condition, get a competent outside opinion into the condition. We are often called to houses where people have recently moved in, where considerable amounts of money are needed to rectify faults.
  3. Find out how old the boiler is. There should be a Benchmark form in the back of the installation manual (where the service history may also be recorded) that will confirm the age. Vendors and in fact everybody else always think the boiler is much newer than it actually is! The serial number will enable the boiler manufacturer to let you know how old the boiler is – but these can be difficult to find.
  4. Your solicitor will often ask for evidence of a current boiler service. But this will have been done for the vendor, and will stick strictly to the manufacturer’s guidelines. It will NOT necessarily be a guarantee of good condition. Even a very old boiler can be serviced. Servicing will, however, check that the appliance is safe.
  5. Look at the ceilings. If there is any evidence of leaks, try to find out when they occurred and whether they have been repaired properly.
  6. Have a good look at the toilets. Do they flush properly? Is there any evidence of leaks when the wc is flushed, particularly behind where the soil pipe is connected. This type of leak often results in rot in the floor, creating a much larger job than just resolving the leak.
  7. Does the sealant between the shower tray and the tiles and screen look in good condition? Most shower leaks are due to this sealant failing.

If you are not sure of the condition of the heating or the plumbing we will be happy to go to the property and give you a report. If at all possible it is best that you are there so you can ask any questions you have, but alternatively we will take photographs so you can see for yourself. In any case, taking a Response maintenance contract can be a good way to avoid unwelcome surprises with heating faults. Ask us for details.

Increase of call outs for 'boiler not working' issues

Get in touch here, or call us on 01243 370880.