Using the Harry Potter term, this ‘rogue’s gallery’ picture set is taken from a property in the Greater London area. Asked to simply provide a quotation to upgrade the existing boiler system to Honeywell Evohome zoned control, I stumbled upon this.
What we have here is a 50Kw Evinox condensing boiler, installed by a contractor on behalf of the previous owner around 12 years ago.
The current owner had concerns about the unusual flue termination and had arranged different contractors to carry out the annual boiler service over the last 8 years. None had mentioned any problems with the external termination, including one of the manufacturer’s own staff.
As part of my quotation visit for Evohome, I wanted to see the boiler, and was shocked to see discoloured mastic wiped around the flue elbows, meaning that they had been leaking – this was particularly worrying as the flue system passed directly through an adjacent bathroom.
The flue outside was a real shocker. The original installer had used a vertical balanced flue terminal and fitted it horizontally; this meant it not only leaked condensate both onto the patio but back inside the air inlet. Furthermore, the sheer unsupported weight of the terminal had necessitated a steel wire rope being attached to a eyebolt further up the wall to prevent it falling off the wall.
To round the job off, a plastic water hopper had been cantilevered off the wall to catch the condensate drips. This had all been in place since the boiler was installed.
Not surprisingly, when I advised the customer that this was dangerous and had to be immediately turned off from the gas supply, he was sceptical. He argued that every other gas technician that had been to service the boiler had never mentioned it. I pointed out that a thorough a flue inspection is a mandatory part of a service.
Sometimes it is hard to believe one Gas Safe technician where a number of other supposedly informed and qualified technicians have given the same installation a clean bill of health. At the end of the day, they were extremely negligent and the innocent customer could have been affected.
Just to be sure of my actions, I rang the engineer helpline at Gas Safe Register to following morning (my quote visit was early evening) and they advised that the boiler was not safe to use because of the defects.
We haven’t formally asked permission to publish these photos, so I cannot identify the region of London they were taken. The photos have been cropped so the property cannot be identified.
The potential customer for Evohome has advised us that the flue is currently being replaced with the correct parts.
In the meantime I might send the photo to the Gas Safe Register ‘Gas Installer’ magazine, as I think the best ones win a digital camera!