plumbline-team 1. What types of heating systems do you install?
We install gas, LPG (liquid petroleum gas), oil and solid fuel-powered central heating boilers as well as under-floor heating and warm air units. We provide renewable energy solutions such as air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers, solar energy for water heating and solar PV panels. For more information on the latest renewable solutions visit our Renewables division website.

2. What is a central heating system upgrade?
A central heating upgrade may be updating your old gravity type heating/hot water system to a modern, fully pumped, fully thermostatically controlled central heating system to comply with the current Part L building regulations. It may also be the replacement of your central heating boiler with a more efficient or combination boiler, the installation of new controls such as thermostatic radiator valves and timing clock or switching to renewable energy options.

3. How long will a central heating installation take?
Installation times will vary from home to home and according to the type of heating. Below is an approximate guide

  • Traditional/combination boiler replacement and power-flush: 1-2 days
  • Boiler replacement, system upgrade & power- flush: 1-2 days
  • Upgrade existing traditional system to combination system: 1-2 days
  • Install complete new central heating system: 2-4 days (this will depend on the amount of radiators and the size of the property)

4. How disruptive will it be?
We try to minimise disruption as far as possible and all engineers carry their own vacuum cleaners, dust sheets and door mats. Any old flue openings are made good with material matching the original as closely as possible/practical. Our quality management procedures ensure the greatest care will be taken with all aspects of your installation.  

5. What if there’s a problem with the system?
When your installation is complete you are given a unique reference number to quote in the unlikely event of a problem. All systems fitted by us carry a minimum comprehensive two-year warranty on all parts and labour (subject to terms and conditions), with some manufacturers offering up to ten years.  

6. Is grant funding available for renewing central heating?
Yes, grant funding is available for some more efficient boilers or renewable energy solutions. There are often requirements that need to be met, so it is worth looking into it to sooner rather than later. See our information on Funding for Renewable Energy.

7. What is a traditional central heating system?
This is typical of the most of the systems in the UK and is generally suitable for average to larger homes where hot water is needed at more than one tap at a time, such as families of three or more whose homes have more than one bathroom / shower room. When fitted with fast recovery/high efficiency hot water cylinders, this type of system will be almost as efficient as a combination boiler but will serve several taps at a time.
A traditional central heating system comprises a cold water storage tank (normally in the loft), a hot water storage cylinder and a separate boiler (often installed in the kitchen).
8. What are the advantages of a traditional central heating system?

  • Hot water to several taps at the same time
  • Greater volume of water, so a bath fills quickly
  • When used in conjunction with a fast recovery hot water cylinder, hot water can be available almost 24/7 and efficiently

9. What are the disadvantages of a traditional central heating system?

  • If you require a powerful shower, a mechanical pump is needed to increase the shower pressure
  • It takes up more space in the home i.e. in the airing cupboard and loft
  • There is a risk of freezing pipes in the loft

10. What is an unvented hot water system?
Also known as a pressurised or mains pressure hot water system, unvented hot water systems are ideal where high flow rates are required or where there is no or limited loft space for a conventional cold water storage tank.
When an unvented hot water system is installed, both the hot and cold water supplies within the dwelling deliver water at the taps or shower outlet at mains water pressure. Cold water from the mains is delivered to the base of the cylinder, the water is heated, then when a tap or shower is turned on the mains water pressure pushes the hot water out.
To allow the water that is heated in the cylinder to expand as it is heated, an internal or external expansion vessel is used, and a pressure relief valve is also fitted should the vessel fail.
An unvented hot water storage cylinder can be heated directly via an immersion heater or indirectly by most heating systems, providing it is not a solid-fuel burning appliance.
11. What are the advantages of an unvented hot water system?

  • Balanced pressures at hot and cold taps
  • High performance showering throughout the house
  • High pressure, therefore high flow rate of hot water
  • Fast filling baths
  • No cold water storage so no fear of frozen loft pipes
  • Quiet running
  • Fast recovery (typically 15-20 minutes to heat 150L)

12. What are the disadvantages of an unvented hot water system?

  • No storage back up if mains water fails
  • Poor mains water pressure will cause poor performance
  • Requires a discharge pipe (overflow)
  • Requires an annual inspection
13. What are combination or combi central heating systems?
 Combination boilers are so called because they combine most of the components of a conventional system (i.e. boiler, cylinder, pump, control valves and thermostats) into one unit – the combi. They are generally more suited to smaller homes with up to three independent hot water users.
14. What are the advantages of a combi central heating system?
  • It is the most economical type of system, only heating the hot water you use
  • No stored water in the loft or airing cupboard, saving space and there’s no risk of freezing pipes
  • Instantaneous hot water is available 24 hours a day
  • High pressure showers do not need an additional pump
15. What is the disadvantage of a combi central heating system?
Combi’s primarily serve one tap at a time, dependent on mains water pressure, so if someone is in the shower upstairs, and someone else turns on the hot tap in the kitchen, the flow to the shower will reduce. However, higher output combi’s (up to 40kW) and higher output combi’s with a small hot water storage facility are now available to deal with higher hot water demands.