Posted on 27 May 2020

Signs That Your Fridge Freezer Is Broken

It’s never good when your fridge stops working, and it’s not just the cost of repairing or replacing the fridge, but the cost of the food you have inside it too, especially with a measure of lockdown still being in place.

Having appliance insurance in place before problems start to develop is a good way of ensuring that your appliance downtime is reduced and that you’re not left with an unexpected expense but here are the most common signs to look out for that it might be time to replace your fridge.

Food going off too quickly

Food going mouldy quickly is a sure sign your fridge is struggling to regulate its temperature, particularly in the warmer months. There are a number of reasons why this right be happening:

  • The thermostat has broken
  • The condenser coils are dusty
  • The motor is working overtime

 

Before you waste any more food, it may be worth calling out an engineer or replacing your appliance.

An expensive energy bill

A sudden rise in your monthly energy bills could be caused by faulty kitchen appliances; especially when you know your day to day usage hasn’t changed.

Fridge-freezers are the worst offenders for this as they’re on 24/7 unlike your washing machine or dishwasher.

Too cold

While a little bit of water or ice in your fridge is perfectly normal, too much ice is a indication that there’s a problem. This is often due to the door seal needing to be replaced but if that doesn’t solve the problem, it’s a sure sign something’s wrong.

Strange noises

You’re probably used to your fridge humming but if it suddenly stops, accompanied with the loss of the internal light, it probably means you’ve lost power. Locating the blown fuse and flicking it back on will usually solve this problem but you may need to call your electricity provider if not.

If the hum disappears but the light stays on, this might be the sign of a bigger problem. You can try fixing it by turning the thermostat to its coldest setting (this may help to jump start it again), defrosting the fridge or turning it off and on again.

If your fridge makes any noises other than humming, this is a sure sign that something is loose or a part is on its way out.

To find out more about how our home appliances cover can help you solve your problems along with our other types of home emergency cover, including boiler and central heating, and plumbing and drainage insurance, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can also request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a free quote online in minutes!

While social distancing guidelines are still in place, we are making every effort to keep both you and our engineers as safe as possible and to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This includes the use of PPE (personal protection equipment), frequent handwashing and you won’t be asked to sign anything. You can find out more about what to expect from an engineer visit on our Covid-19 FAQ page.

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Posted on 11 May 2020

Does My Boiler Need Repairing Or Replacing?

Having your boiler break down, especially when its cold outside, can be worrying and stressful; even more so in light of the coronavirus crisis. This is particularly true when you’re not sure if your boiler needs repairing or replacing completely.

In many cases, your broken boiler can be repaired easily and quickly, restoring your warm home. However, sometimes replacing your old boiler for a new, more efficient model is the best course of action.

So how do you know what’s the best course of action?

Safety First

If your boiler is old, it may not meet current regulations or safety standards. The first thing you should do is consult with a Gas Safe/OFTEC registered heating engineer to make sure that it can be safely repaired.  You may find even if it can be repaired, it may still be potentially unsafe and prone to further problems.

By taking out a Complete Boiler and Heating insurance policy with Home Emergency Assist, you can be assured that we will send out a qualified engineer in the event of a complete breakdown of your boiler and, if it were found to be beyond economical repair, a boiler replacement contribution payment would be made*.

Efficiency Savings

Even if your boiler can be fixed, you may find that a new boiler would be more energy efficient and therefore that you could save money in the long run.

Rather than paying for repairs, its worth asking yourself if it’s a good opportunity to replace your boiler and make efficiency savings.

However, if your boiler is already a new, energy efficient model, having it repaired by a registered engineer may be the best course of action.

Frequency of Breakdowns

If boiler breakdowns are becoming worryingly familiar to you, replacing it with a newer model may be the best option as the cost of repairing an older boiler will only increase over time.

Frequent breakdowns can be stressful too; especially over the winter months, so think about whether you’d want to avoid this stress completely and replace your existing boiler with a newer model, which is likely to be lower maintenance.

If, however, your boiler is a newer model already then repairing it is likely to be the better course of action as frequent problems are unlikely.

Its also worth bearing in mind if your boiler is out of its warranty period as you’ll no longer be covered for breakdowns and will need to cover the full cost of dealing with any issues yourself.

Our Complete Cover Boiler and Central Heating insurance is designed to help you if your boiler and/or central heating system breaks down completely, giving you peace of mind that your home will be warm again in no time even while you’re in lockdown.

To find out more about how we’re here to solve your emergency breakdowns with our boiler cover including service and other types of home emergency cover, including plumbing & drains and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online!

While social distancing guidelines are still in place, we are making every effort to keep both you and our engineers as safe as possible and to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This includes the use of PPE (personal protection equipment), frequent handwashing and you won’t be asked to sign anything. You can find out more about what to expect from an engineer visit on our Covid-19 FAQ page.

*BRC is automatically included in our Enhanced and Premium Cover Packages and an optional extra on the Standard Home Emergency Cover Package.

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Posted on 7 January 2020

Top Tips For Looking After Your Drains and Pipes

According to the ABI (Association of British Insurers), one of the most common types of property damage claims is ‘escape of water’ damage, with insurers paying out around £1.8 million for it every day. ‘Escape of water’ damage can be caused by many issues, including burst pipes due to freezing temperatures to blocked toilets and leaking dishwashers.

If you want to ensure that your drains and pipes do not leave you in financial despair due to significant damage, our plumbing and drainage cover and insurance can offer the additional reassurance you require. Making sure you have cover in place before problems develop is crucial.

Keeping your drain in good shape

Making sure you’re not pouring oil and fats from cooking, baby wipes, sanitary products and even cotton buds and plasters goes a long way to making sure your pipes don’t get blocked. If you suspect a blockage, make sure you clean your drains and pipes regularly. Half a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar and very hot (not boiling) water will help to remove a blockage quickly without corroding your pipes as some drain chemicals can.

If you have a lot of oil or fat left over from cooking, let it cool slightly (but not enough to harden), pour it into a bottle and throw the bottle away. You can also use a plughole protector in your sinks, bath and/or shower to stop hair or food from escaping into the pipes and causing potential blockages.

Soften your water

Hard water can cause problems with your plumbing and sewer pipes as well as having a negative impact on your skin and home appliances too. It typically contains minerals like magnesium and calcium which will then build up inside your pipes and restrict water flow.

You can invest in a water softener, which is installed where your home’s water supply enters your property (usually under your kitchen sink). These use sodium to counteract the effects of the other minerals and can help to prolong the life of your plumbing and drains.

Stopcock

Find out where your stopcocks are and make sure you test them regularly as they can seize up. Turning your water off as soon as possible in the event of a leak can help to limit the amount of damage caused.

You’ll usually find you have two (or more!) stopcocks; one inside your property and one outside. Keep in mind, if you live in a flat, the external stopcock will be for your whole block.

Preparing for winter

The cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and burst just when you don’t want to be without heating or hot water!

If you have any exposed pipes in areas of your home that are unheated, such as the garage or attic, wrap these in insulation tape to protect them during the winter.

You may be staying with family or away on holiday, leaving your home unoccupied for a length of time and there’s a chance that your pipes (and any water in them) could freeze. It’s best, therefore, to turn off your water supply if you’re able to, or set your heating not to fall below 14°C.

To find out more about how our plumbing and drainage cover packages could be here to solve your home emergency cover needs, including boiler and central heating cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can also request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a free quote online in minutes.

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26 December 2019

Why Is My Central Heating So Noisy?

Is your central heating system making odd noises? Making sure you have central heating and boiler cover in place before your system develops these problems is crucial so that you know you’ll be covered in the event of an emergency.

Here’s how to solve your noisy central heating problems:

Hissing due to boiler kettling

If your central heating system is making strange noises, it may be caused by boiler kettling. This, as you’d imagine by the name, sounds like a kettle boiling. This is often caused as a result of the build-up of limescale and hard water inside your boiler’s heat exchanger. When this build-up occurs, this affects the water’s ability to flow freely through the central heating system. As a result, any excess heat is converted into steam, resulting in the kettling sound.

Humming due to a high pump speed

High boiler pump speeds can cause humming sounds. You can manually turn the pump speed down to see if this fixes the noise, which is the most common solution. However, if reducing the pump speed impacts the level of heat emitting from your central heating system, then there could be a more serious problem.

Banging due to overheating pipes

A central heating system with banging pipes is usually caused by overheating. If you notice banging or thudding sounds coming from your central heating system’s pipes, look at your boiler’s thermostat. If you notice your boiler is operating at a temperature that is too high, allow your boiler to cool down by turning it off. Once your boiler has cooled down and you’ve turned it back on, continue to monitor its heat to ensure it doesn’t rise too high again.

Your boiler could be at risk of a potential breakdown if you continue to experience banging pipes as a result of overheating.

To find out more about our  boiler with central heating cover and our other types of home emergency cover, including plumbing and drains and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can also request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a free quote online in minutes!

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Posted on 26 November 2019

When Should I Arrange A Boiler Service?

A boiler service is hugely important to ensure that your boiler is functioning as it should be. At Home Emergency Assist, we offer home emergency boiler cover with an optional boiler service, which we recommend doing once a year to reduce the chance of a sudden breakdown.

But is there a certain time of year that you should arrange your boiler service? Definitely! If you already have, or are interested in boiler and heating system cover with us, there are various benefits to suggest that it is better to arrange your boiler service during the warmer months. This is why we aim to complete our boiler servicing between April and September.

Flexible and convenient for you

Generally, there are less boiler breakdowns during the summer, which means that our engineers are not as busy compared to colder months of the year. If you arrange your service included in your boiler cover with us during the summer, there is often the chance of more flexibility to choose an appointment that is convenient for you, as well as a shorter waiting time.

Ensure your boiler is ready in time for winter

Arranging your boiler service in the summer months means that your mind will be at rest in time for winter, when boiler problems are more likely to occur and are more problematic if they do so. If you choose boiler cover and hot water tank insurance at Home Emergency Assist, we can ensure that your boiler is working as it should be but will also be there for you in case the worst was to happen during winter.

Provide your boiler with consistent care

During the summer, our boilers are turned off because the weather is a lot warmer. When the colder weather creeps back in, problems are more likely to occur when you turn your boiler back on after months of being dormant.  If you opt for an annual boiler service when purchasing home emergency cover, we can assess your boiler in accordance with the Gas Safety Regulations, so you are all set for winter. Our UK approved engineers will also recommend areas that may require further maintenance. For extra protection, our boiler and central heating cover will ensure that you are fully protected if you did happen to suffer an unfortunate boiler or central heating emergency breakdown.

To find out more about how we’re here to solve your emergency breakdowns with our boiler cover including service and other types of home emergency cover, including plumbing & drains and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can even request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a quote online!

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Posted on 26 July 2019

4 Common Boiler Problems To Look Out For

Is your boiler feeling under the weather? A boiler breakdown is an inconvenience and worry for many homeowners, due to not knowing how much time or money it could take to fix.

Making sure you have cover in place before your system develops these problems is crucial, so you know you’ll be covered in the event of an emergency and with the majority (15.6%) of breakdowns happening in January of each year, according to research conducted by boilerguide.co.uk*, now is an important time to make sure you have insurance in place.

Here are 4 of the most common boiler issues to look out for:

Loss of Heating or Hot Water

One of the most noticeable signs of something not being quite right is a loss of heat from radiators or hot water from taps. This has a variety of causes, including motorised valve failure, thermostat problems or damaged airlocks and diaphragms.

Low Boiler Pressure

Another common boiler problem is low boiler pressure. We would highly recommend always keeping an eye on your boiler’s pressure to ensure everything is operating smoothly. When the needle is showing the pressure is below 1, this indicates low boiler pressure. This means your central heating system will not operate as it should.

Low boiler pressure can be caused by factors such as a water leak, a broken pressure relief valve or radiators that have been bled recently.

Water Leakage

If your boiler is leaking water, it’s a sign that something isn’t quite right. The cause of this common boiler fault is usually a damaged pressure valve or pump seal, which will often need replacing. If the leakage is bad enough to cause a complete boiler breakdown, this can cause a huge amount of inconvenience if your boiler is not protected.

Frozen Condensate Pipe

A frozen condensate pipe is one of the most common boiler issues. Condensate pipes quite often freeze due to the cold weather conditions during the winter, either causing your boiler to display a warning light or resulting in complete heating loss. You can insulate your condensate pipe with waterproof lagging to prevent this from happening. You can also read our handy guide to thawing a frozen condensate pipe.

 

We’re here to solve your home emergency problems. To find out more about our boiler and heating cover packages and or other types of home emergency cover, including plumbing and drains and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can also request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a free quote online in minutes.

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Posted on 26 June 2019

Caring For Your Boiler This Christmas

The festive season is the most wonderful time of the year…when you have a working boiler! A broken boiler at Christmas has the potential to ruin the holiday mood by leaving you in the cold and with your money being dedicated to presents, turkey and Christmas parties, the cost of a boiler breakdown in November and December is something that nobody wants to deal with.

With the UK being hit by freezing temperatures over the winter period, it’s undoubtably the most common time for boiler breakdowns. According to experts, four in ten people across the UK didn’t arrange a boiler service in preparation for winter in 2018*.

Here’re a few top tips for how to look after your boiler and central heating system this Christmas:

Regularly check your boiler

Keeping an eye on your boiler before the freezing temperatures fully set in is a great way to make sure that your boiler is working as it should be. There’s nothing worse than leaving your boiler alone for months and then when you finally need it come wintertime, it’s broken down!

Bleed your radiators

To ensure your radiators are working as they should be, we recommend bleeding your radiators every now and again. If you notice cold spots near the top of your radiators, there is air present that shouldn’t be there. Bleeding your radiators releases this air and gets them working effectively again. Whilst doing this is vital, it can result in a drop of pressure. Make sure your boiler’s pressure is topped up by checking your pressure gauge after bleeding your radiators.

Prevent your pipes from freezing

Dropping temperatures increase the risk of pipes freezing and ultimately bursting, but there are ways to prevent this from happening. Keep your pipes warm by keeping your heating on low when you’re not in the house or allow your heating to come on at intermittent periods. There are also insulation materials available to purchase at DIY stores to prevent your pipes from freezing.

Get home emergency cover

What better way to care for your boiler and central heating system than with home emergency cover? Our central heating system, boiler, plumbing, drainage and utilities cover is here to solve your problems by providing peace of mind with complete protection for boiler breakdowns, heating failure and other home emergencies.

To find out more about our boiler and heating cover packages and or other types of home emergency cover, including plumbing and drains and home appliances cover, contact our friendly team on 0330 09 48 301. You can also request a call back to discuss your requirements or get a free quote online in minutes.

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