Posted on 24th September 2017

One flue over…

If you are frequently encountering problems when dealing with concealed flues, it could be that EHC have the solution.

The introduction of fan-flued gas appliances in the mid 1990s allowed gas central heating boilers to be installed away from external walls. This meant that builders could design newbuild and refurbishment properties with boilers being installed on internal walls to make better use of the available space. The flues to these boilers were, in some cases, routed through voids in the ceiling space (and through stud walls) between properties above.

Safety alert On 2 October 2008, the Health and Safety Executive issued a safety alert to raise awareness of the potential dangers from certain types of flues connected to gas-fired central heating installations in some properties – particularly, but not exclusively, a large number of flats and apartments completed since about 2000. The concern is that these may not have been installed properly or may have fallen into disrepair.

To comply with The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations (GSUR), a flue must be visibly inspected throughout its route. However, if built into a ceiling void, the ability to do so is impaired unless inspection panels are part of the construction. In November 2010, the Health and Safety Executive issued new guidelines and a Landlord has until 31 December 2012 to arrange for inspection hatches for such flues.

At risk After 1 January 2013, any gas engineer working on a system where the complete flue is not visible will advise the Landlord that the system is ‘at risk’ in accordance with the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP). With the owner’s permission, the engineer will turn off the gas supply to the boiler so it cannot be used.

Urgent action needs to be taken as after the 31 December 2012 any appliance where the complete flue is not visible will be condemned and disconnected.

Although the gas boiler and flue may be condemned this does not mean that the system needs to be condemned.

By installing an electric boiler, the homeowner will benefit from the same controllability and flexibility that their gas heating system offered.

Flexibility and savings As electric boilers are silent in operation and do not require flueing, they can be located in almost any room in a property. Furthermore, as there is no Annual Safety Inspection required on electric boilers, there will be significant cost savings to Private and Social Landlords. With electric boiler outputs from 4kW to 14.4kw on single phase electricity and 3-phase 24kW and 36kW outputs, The Electric Heating Company (EHC) can offer a central heating solution to most properties. There is a misconception in the market that electric heating is expensive to operate. However, EHC offers impartial advice on the best electricity tariffs within the UK to ensure that running costs are kept to an affordable level.


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