Avoid The Winter Call Out – Check Your Central Heating Now!

Grrr ….gas price rises coming thick and fast now! It’s not simply a problem of finding the extra money to cover the winter quarterly bill. Every year millions of customers face a crisis when the boiler packs up unexpectedly – just when a cold snap arrives or worse, the night before Christmas!

If the cold snap lasts as long as they have been doing in the last couple of years, then all sorts of unexpected problems can occur. It’s simply staggering how many emergency call outs there are every day as it starts to get colder from November onwards.

But as daily gas consumption rises more boilers break down. The rise in energy prices have also meant that people have, increasingly, delayed turning on their heating.

One in six consumers will wait until November before putting the central heating on for the first time since last winter while three per cent will keep putting another jumper on until December or until the first sign of frost, and one per cent hold out until snow arrives!

But the added delay also increases the likelihood of storing up more problems with the boiler, radiators or pipes just when they need to be fully working and providing heat.

Before temperatures start to fall…

The master always advises customers to have their boilers and central heating checked over before temperatures start to fall . It’s so much easier to fix a boiler or water flow in milder weather than when temperatures are below freezing and there’s the possibility of a blockage.

It’s easy to simply forget about the heating system but there can be so many things that can go wrong simply because the system has “not been looked at for a while.”

Most people know about radiators failing to heat up because of corroded pipework causing a blockage of sludge in the system, which prevents the free flow of hot water.

But many people will simply leave the boiler set to ‘hot water’ all summer and then switch to both ‘hot water and heating’ when they feel the first nip in the air. What actually happens is that a valve turns to allow the water out to the radiators but if the valve has been damaged or simply stopped working during the year, then the first time it’s realised there is a problem is when the radiators fail to warm up.

So many things that can go wrong…

As well as a failure of motorised valves, no heat or hot water could also mean broken diaphragms and airlocks, a faulty thermostat or low water levels. A boiler which keeps switching itself off could also mean a problem with the thermostat, or the pump not circulating the water in the system properly.

Low water pressure is another possible cause. A water leak in the system is the most common reason for a loss of pressure, but a pressure relief valve may need replacing, and leaks and drips can be caused by a variety of issues.

And those strange banging, whistling or gurgling noises you hear when you’re trying to get some sleep at night? Once again it could be low air pressure or most commonly, air in the system or the build up of lime-scale in the boiler’s heat exchange.

There’s so many things that can go wrong which can so easily be avoided with a pre-winter check up!
The master is always right – he should know, of course, he is a fully qualified Gas Safe plumber!


Welcome to Moo’s views about life on the job.

Hello London! Love Moo the BBS plumb and heat dog…

“If you live in London, particularly North or South London, you know how we now don’t escape the cold or snow anymore, with London plumbing possibly becoming affected. I know my plumbing gets affected when there is snow on the ground ! What better time than pre winter to get your heating and boiler system upgraded or tested so it doesn’t become a pain later! I know my master, Bernard at BBS Plumb and Heat knows so much about this as he is always dragging me ( literally ) to different houses and flats across North and South London to install or upgrade the occupants heating systems. Brrrr.. with boiler installs from £1,500 ( something to really warm too ). What’s more I know all new boilers installed by BBS plumb and Heat come with great guarantees; 7 – 8 years and up, on such reliably named boilers such as Worcester Bosch, Valliant, Potterton – you name it Bernard’s got a first class price along with a great guarantee. On top of all that he can do those powerflushes everyone’s talking about. How do I know all this? He’s asked me to wail and bark it to the world as we drive along! ..Time for me to take a powerflush! Till next time ..Moo x “Oct 2013


Well, it’s that time of year at BBS plumb and heat. As well recognised London plumbers and connoisseurs of everything to do with plumbing & heating in North and South London, my big boss, Bernard is called all over the place to do boiler servicing and upgrades in readiness for Winter. Just think only last week I was lying on my back lapping up what was left of the Summer and then bang!…I’m dragged from pillar to post ( I don’t mind the odd post though, as you can imagine). On the way to all these different addresses I overhear Bernard talking to his partner about lots of good offers on new boilers and stocking up on parts for the older ones..circuit boards…valves….washers…it all goes above my head…well I am only 1ft six inches! Instead of talking about things he needs for boiler repairs, I wish he’d talk about food for me..like bones..pig’s ears and meaty chunks.
I was just thinking.. I much prefer it when the boss installs a brand new boiler at a house …. it gives me more kipping time in the van…while Bernard is in the house working like a dog, I’m in the front seat kipping like one…Aah Bliss! Till next time.. Woof woof…Moo x Sept 11th 2013


Hi it’s Moo, BBS plumbing and heating’s very own popular mascot woofer ! Wow, it’s been hot ! Imagine doing your job with a fur coat on like mine?
Good job Bernard keeps a bowl of the clear liquid nectar in the van or I’d be a hot dog otherwise. Today we had to survey a property which was having some rather elegant solar panels fitted on the roof with the right boiler thingymejig inside. All professionally installed of course, by Bern and the boys..Well, you couldn’t have asked for a better day. So hot – I reckon if the guy had already installed his solar panels he would have collected the electricity equivalent for the output of a small city – and that’s in the time it took Bernard to shin up his ladder to take a closer look at the roof line. The homeowner was impressed and I overheard the conversation about “…new favourable tariffs which means you get a cheque for collected energy that isn’t used by the home”. How cool is that ! Talking of cool..I want to go and lay down, it’s far too hot for this…The great thing about belonging to BBS Plumbing and Heating is that they are constantly on the move across North and South London…gives me the chance to stick my head out of the van and get that cool breeze swishing over my face. Of course I lapped that up ! Touch noses soon..yours,Moo x Aug 1st 2013


“Yikes! This is posh I thought..as we pulled up outside a smart 3 bed semi in Highgate. Bernard, my master had pulled up and was studying some sort of boiler configuration on his iphone. I was just coming round..just waking…after all, one must get their cat (or dog ) naps when we can and the 20 minute journey here was just right to do it.

Anyway in no more than 5 minutes..I was out of the van and standing in a large drawing room, wonderful, lots of light. Bernard was busy telling the owner of the house how he could install a new wet room and some underfloor heating..I like the underfloor warmth myself, for obvious reasons! Nice to lie on my back and feel the heat. I overheard Bernard saying “I’ll be round at just after 8 on Wednesday”…more early mornings..Ugh! Anyway the normal handshake ensued between Bernard and the house owner and we dashed back to the van…I’m hungry now, it’s gone 5pm and I wonder if there are any biscuit bits that may have dropped in the van from when Bernard had lunch…no such luck….Bern was famished today and could have eaten through his fingers! Ah well, I’ll just have to wait for dinner in a couple of hours…Oh no Bernard’s just taken another call and is asking what road someone’s flat is in…Until next time folks..and any spare biscuits would be greatly received..Moo x ” July 10th 2013


” Underfloor heating day today, the team were up at the crack of dawn and just as I was finishing my miniature chocolate breakfast bones, I was grabbed by my collar and plonked into our trusty BBS Plumbing and Heating van. We were then on our way to Tollington Park in North London to fit lashings of wonderful underfloor heating at a rather splendid Georgian Abode. I knew it was Tollington Park because I saw another staffie pointing at the wall sign with his cocked back leg! Once inside, my boss, Bernard got straight down to work, pacing out the size, lifting floors and bringing in what seemed to be the biggest dog’s lead in the World. in fact it was the electrical heating wire for the underfloor heating! as the day wore on this long electrical piping was beautifully shaped into perfect swirls across the floor. Being closer to the action, as it were, I could witness this first hand! By the end of the day I knew we were getting to leave as the owner of the house came through the door after work and grinned widely followed by a pat on the back for Bernard and his team. Home then and back to those choccy bones… see you later all !    Moo ”   May 30


” Went out with the team today….it was great staring over the dashboard, through the windscreen of the van, watching the world go by. Saw some other pooches just like me, being walked by their owners – Bliss, fancied that… but my master Bernard said I had to come with him first, to get a boiler serviced or repaired…can’t remember which it was….. those humans really speak garbled at times! Anyway  after about half an hour Bernard suddenly became really busy….I could tell because the back of his shoe at the heel was dashing in and out of focus….sometimes I wish I had a better view of things….plastic pipe thingys and many wrench type spanners and screwdrivers were all reached for near my head – I thought I was getting a sweet or some strokes but alas it was the tools needed on the job and the bag was right next to my right ear! ‘New Distributor Valve” I overheard…..mmmm not sure what that is but my master Bernard looked intent inside the boiler, like he was carrying out some sort of operation. Was almost expecting his brow to be mopped by one of the team. Time really seemed to fly and the next thing I knew we were heading off into the van again with the customer patting Bernard on the back and smiling….it was then I caught sight of a whiskery cat and just as I was about to say ‘hello’ to it, Bernard picked me up and whisked me into the footwell…..never mind….maybe the next customer will have a nice attractive blonde staffy to keep me company !……Till the next time, …. Moo”