Boiler repairs: reaching for the right partsApril 4, 2016
Boilers are one of those vital parts of a home that people tend to take for granted.
Essentially, they enjoy the heating and hot water but forget about their boiler except for once a year to get it serviced. Other than that, a boiler is out of sight and mind until it breaks. That makes heating spares an urgent, distress purchase when the heating engineer is faced with families who have no heating or hot water and all the stress that creates.
Though the quality control and materials in new boiler manufacture is much better today than 15 years ago the mechanical nature of boilers means they still do break down, although they are typically very reliable up to five years or more years after installation. And there are still quite a few houses with boilers as old as 30 years.
As a heating engineer will know common boiler faults can include fans failing as bearings wear out or valves getting old and breaking. Mechanical and electronic devices will do this and rarely give any warning. A fan that’s about to fail might become noisier before it stops turning but electronics simply stop working. That’s when you – the heating engineer – get the phone call…
Getting the right parts for the job
Once you’ve done the diagnostic on the boiler to work out what’s wrong with it, you need to have the right spares to fix it. Engineers might choose to take a number of different parts before they know exactly what the problem is; for that it helps to have a merchant with a no quibble bring-back service (like Plumbase Spares does) so you can get your money back on un-used parts.
What’s vital is that you have the correct, unique part that fits the particular boiler and manufacturer. There can be boilers with a model life of 10 years or more but with many parts that can be upgraded during that model life, meaning a range of different parts to choose from. This needs absolute accuracy and identifying the wrong part means it probably won’t fit or work because of specification or physical differences.
Obviously, your customer wants the boiler to be fixed first time. For you, that means being able to pick up the right part to complete the job – even more important in winter. But if the part isn’t in stock, your merchant needs to offer a good back-up plan with next-day delivery as a given, at least for the most common parts.
Your merchant needs to accurately and quickly identify the correct part. Plumbase Spares has invested in a number of tools to help with that, including 3-D rotatable pictures as well as 2-D pictures on our Parts Arena software to give engineers peace of mind that they’re buying exactly the part they need. Also, our website gives you the ability to search for and identify whether stock is available at a particular branch, with live stock levels listed for each and every branch. We would also strongly recommend using original manufacturer parts rather than cheaper imitations and, in a future blog post, one of our manufacturer partners will explain the reasons why.
After all, your customer doesn’t like to be without heating or hot water; that means pressure for the heating engineer to identify the problem, get the right parts and fix the problem quickly. Everything we do at Plumbase Spares is about looking after you so you can look after your customer.
Aidan Ogle, Plumbase Spares Director