Boiler DIY warning after surge in botched repairs

Boiler DIY warning after surge in botched repairs

HOUSEHOLDERS across Northern Ireland are being urged to turn to registered technicians to avoid life threatening complications.

The plea has been issued by OFTEC, the trade body for the liquid fuel heating industry, which says its technicians received a number of calls from members of the public who had botched repairs to their systems in 2020.

According to figures, nearly two-fifths turned their attention to DIY during lockdown, and with more people spending longer periods of time at home, there are fears that they could embark on dangerous DIY projects to their home heating systems.

Poorly completed DIY jobs on heating systems can leave homeowners vulnerable to issues such as oil and water leaks, the risk of fire and the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning.

When it comes to the installation of new and replacement home heating equipment, homeowners also need to be aware of the legal requirements to be compliant with building regulations.

Botched repairs can also be detrimental when selling property and with house prices at a five-year high, there is every reason to ensure systems are serviced to add value to the home.

Advice:

  • The advice from boiler manufacturers, the Consumer Council and NI Direct is that your home heating system should be serviced annually by a professional; for gas that’s Gas Safe and for oil it’s an OFTEC registered technician.
  • By staying on top of servicing schedules you can often avoid costly repair bills and you have the peace of mind knowing your system is safe and working at its optimum level.
  • OFTEC technicians can explain about building control requirements and how a boiler passport or completion certificate can avoid problems down the line around warranty claims or when the property is being sold. 
  • Boiler passports were introduced to ensure rigorous quality levels around the installation and commissioning of an appliance and are a very necessary and useful tool to demonstrate the appliance conforms with current Building Regulations.

OFTEC Ireland Manager, David Blevings said: “Modern home heating systems are complex and should never be tampered with by an unqualified person. Modern oil boilers are safe and reliable, if serviced by a competent person. There are very real health dangers which can be avoided by using an OFTEC registered technician.

“OFTEC registered technicians are insured to carry out installation work and repairs in your home and will be able to provide all relevant documentation for the work they have carried out.

There are always plenty of jobs around the home but during lockdowns in 2021 the message from OFTEC is to leave the major jobs to the professionals.

“Don’t forget a botched job not only has health and safety repercussions, it also comes with the added expense of paying for it to be repaired properly”, added David.

It is easy to find registered technicians across Ireland from the OFTEC website using a simple postcode or county search.

For your nearest OFTEC registered technician visit http://www.oftec.org.uk/Consumers/FindTechnician

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