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Posted on 28 March 2022

What Is A Powerflush?

All central heating systems will need a powerflush at some point in their lifespan as it’s easy for sludge, rust and debris to build up in the pipes and radiators. If left untreated, these will slow down the efficiency of your system and stop heat flowing evenly throughout your home, leaving some rooms colder than others.

In these cases, powerflushing may be the only solution (and it’s generally recommended where you may be installing a new boiler into an old central heating system). Depending on its age, if your system has never had a powerflush, the chances are that you will probably need one especially if you find yourself having to bleed your radiators on a regular basis.

How do I know when I need a powerflush?

  • Rooms take a long time to warm up
  • Some rooms are warmer than others
  • Radiators need frequent bleeding (should only need doing a couple of times a year)
  • Cold spots on radiators, even after bleeding
  • Boiler keeps cutting out/making excessive noise
  • Discoloured water after bleeding
  • Cloudy tap water

How do I prevent sludge?

You may be able to avoid the need for a powerflush by getting a magnetic filter installed into your central heating systems. A magnetic filter (or magnifilter) is a device which collects the iron oxide and sludge that are circulating in your system. The iron oxide is attracted to the manet which then removes it from the system, stopping it from causing damage to your central heating.

If you’re installing a new boiler in your home, the engineer may recommend fitting a magnifilter and it’s sometimes possible to add one to an existing system (it’s sometimes a struggle due to their bulky size).

What do I need to know about powerflushes?

Most powerflushes take around 6 hours to complete although if your system is bigger, it can take longer. It generally takes half a day to powerflush a small system and a full day for a large one.

These can be relatively expensive but depend on your system’s size and location; they range from £300 up to around £800. If you’d like to do it yourself, you’ll need a powerflushing machine and an appropriate cleaning chemical.

Although they are expensive, it’s better to arrange an expert to do this rather than take on the job yourself unless you have experience, as it’s a very technical process which requires specialist machinery.

What are the benefits to me?

Some of the advantages of a powerflush are:

  • A warmer home with heat evenly distributed
  • Savings on your energy bills
  • Reduced fuel bills
  • Reliable hot, running water
  • A reliable central heating system
  • Increased system life span

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plans, boiler and central heating insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as plumbing and drainage insurance 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 14 March 2022

Essential Maintenance Jobs For Spring

As the days get longer, warmer and lighter, now’s the time to give your home some love. Fixing any issues now means that you’ll be able to enjoy a stress-free summer.

Keeping your home well maintained will help to prevent unforeseen breakdowns, but having Home Emergency Cover in place can give you peace of mind knowing that in the event of an emergency, your home will be covered.

Check your roof

One of the easiest ways to complete your maintenance is to start at the top of your property and work down.

Your roof is the most exposed part of your house and subjected to cold weather, storms and more year after year. Look for cracked or loose tiles and slates and get a builder to fix any faults to prevent water damage occurring.

Make sure your gutters are clear of any tree debris. Clogged gutters can quickly result in water damage to your home, with rainwater running directly down the walls if your guttering is blocked. Any resulting water damage can be expensive to correct.

Fix any plumbing and heating issues

It may feel odd to check your heating while the weather is getting warmer, but spring is the best time to check and fix any heating and plumbing issues. This includes having your boiler serviced, your pipes insulated and bleeding your radiators.

Your boiler will need to be serviced by a Gas Safe or OFTEC registered professional, but you can tackle any simple issues to do with the boiler’s efficiency yourself, if you know how.

You can follow our guides for bleeding radiators, getting your boiler pilot light to ignite and topping up your boiler pressure.

Protect your home from pests

While the weather’s milder, it’s a good time to make sure you’ve pest-proofed your home. Mice, rats and even wasps tend to search for warm, dry places to nest once the weather turns colder and so fixing any problems now protects your home against future infestations.

Rats and mice can chew through your soft furnishings as well as your woodwork along with pipes, brickwork and through electrical wiring, which can damage appliances, affect your electrical supply and even start fires.

Make sure you seal up any potential entry points and bear in mind that mice only need a 5mm gap to get in. You can also remove potential nesting sites by keeping your garden clean and tidy and cover any household waste by making sure you close dustbin lids and cover any compost heaps.

Wasps’ nests are commonly found in the eaves or loft but there are things you can do to protect against these too. Keep your bins tightly closed and away from the house, removing any food sources; especially things that are sweet. Certain herbs, like thyme, repl wasps naturally so use these in your garden, near the house or anywhere you may sit.

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plans, boiler and central heating insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as plumbing and drainage insurance 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 10 January 2022

Save 22% In Our January 2022 Sale!

Home Emergency Cover ensures that your home’s most important functions are protected in the event of an unexpected breakdown.

Our cover means that you don’t have to spend large sums of money on repair bills or have the stress of locating your own tradesperson if a breakdown occurs.

Home Emergency insurance helps to provide you with the peace of mind that in the event of an emergency, such as having no heating and/or hot water, you’ll have access to our UK-wide network of fully qualified engineers who are ready to assist you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Save 22% on any of the below Home Emergency Cover plans when you buy before 31.01.2022!

Tailor your plan

We know that our customers are looking for different types of home emergency cover, with different levels of cover, so we offer a range of different packages to meet your needs.

Boiler and Central Heating Cover: this protects you in the event of a complete breakdown or your boiler and/or central heating system. If you upgrade to our Premium plan, we’ll also help with non-emergency situations too, such as repairing leaks within your boiler/central heating system, including your radiators and pipes.

Plumbing and Drainage Cover: we’ll help in the event of damage to or failure of your plumbing and drainage system, where internal flooding or water damage are likely. If you upgrade to Premium, we’ll also help in the event of leaking pipes, clearing blockages and dripping taps too.

Utilities: if you add utilities to your Boiler & Heating Cover or Plumbing & Drainage Cover, we’ll cover you against electricity failures (as long as it’s at least one complete circuit) and repair or replace a section of damaged internal gas supply pipe which is causing a leak. Upgrade to Premium, and we’ll repair or replace any item or system after your supply meter which causes breakdown or failure of the electrical wiring system.

Complete Home Emergency Cover: our most comprehensive cover, Complete Home Emergency Cover includes boiler and heating, plumbing and drainage and utilities along with roofing (missing, broken or loose tiles causing internal water damage), pests (protection against infestations of wasps nests, hornet nests, black/brown nice and/or rats) and access to your home (damage to or failure of an external lock, door or window which renders the home insecure).

We’ll also include overnight accommodation in the event that your home becomes uninhabitable as a result of an emergency covered above and it hasn’t been possible to resolve it.

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plans or other types of home care cover plans, such as boiler and central heating insurance and plumbing and drainage insurance, 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 20 December 2021

Why Home Emergency Insurance & Appliance Cover Should Be Your New Year’s Resolution

According to research by GoCompare, 44% of Britons made a New Year’s resolution at the start of 2021, and perhaps influenced by the Covid pandemic, the top five things people wanted to change related to health, fitness, and seeing friends and family.

Most of us spend the festive season with our family at home, so it’s the perfect time to think about protecting your home and family against unseen home emergencies.

Whatever you’re thinking about choosing for your resolution this year, here’s why you might want to include buying Home Emergency Insurance as one of them

Peace of mind

According to an article by mirror.co.uk, more than 2.8 million workdays are lost due to home emergencies such as broken boilers or burst pipes, which is over half (52%) of UK adults.

By taking out Complete Home Emergency Cover, you’ll have peace of mind all year round that a fully qualified engineer will come out as quickly as possible to help if your boiler breaks down, your heating fails or your pipe bursts. We’ll also provide alternative accommodation in the event that your home becomes inhabitable.

Types of cover available

We allow you to tailor your home emergency insurance to make sure you’re covering the things you care about:

  • Boiler and Central Heating Insurance: we’ll cover you in the event that your boiler stops working and your home is left without heating and/or hot water. Unlike most insurers, we can cover gas, oil and LPG boilers under 15 years old. If you have a gas or LPG boiler, you can also add an annual boiler service
  • Plumbing and Drainage Insurance: this covers you in the event your plumbing and drainage systems fail to an extent that you’re likely to suffer internal flooding or water damage. We’ll also help if you lose access to the only (or all) toilets in your home
  • Complete Home Emergency Insurance: this includes boiler & heating and plumbing & drainage cover and adds cover for electrics, security, pest removal and your roof.

We also offer two levels of insurance, depending on the amount of cover you need for your home and whether or not you’d like to be insured for non-emergencies too.

Enhanced Cover

With our Enhanced Cover package, you’re insured for the most essential home emergency situations as detailed above. You’ll benefit from a cover limit of up to £3,000 a year.

Premium Cover

With our Premium Cover package, you get all the benefits of the Enhanced Cover, plus insurance for non-emergency situations such as dripping taps, repairing, and rectifying leaks within your boiler or central heating system and restoring toilet facilities. You’ll benefit from an unlimited cover limit each year.

Add Appliance Cover

We also offer Appliance Insurance for your important kitchen white goods. Cover up to 10 appliances on one plan, and we’ll cover you against accidental damage as well as mechanical and electrical breakdown. We can cover the following:

*https://press.gocompare.com/news/new-years-resolutions-23-million-resolve-to-make-2021-healthier-and-happier-1

To find out more about our home appliances cover or other types of home care cover plans, such as boiler and central heating insurance, plumbing and drainage insurance and Complete Home Emergency plans, 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 11 October 2021

Unblocktober 2021

This month-long campaign runs throughout October and raises awareness of what items w should and shouldn’t be disposing of down our drains with the aim of improving the health of our plumbing and drainage systems as well as saving the environment.

According to Unblocktober.org, although 64% of the UK population say that they’re ‘very aware’ of what should and shouldn’t go down their drains, 48% of people will continue fishing substances they shouldn’t.

What can’t I flush/put down my drain?

As well as being bad for your plumbing and drainage system and leading to blockages that could cause problems, flushing plastics can also lead to pollution.

Disposable face masks, nappies, gloves, wet wipes (which are over 90% plastic), dental floss and even cotton buds are non-biodegradable because they contain plastics and putting them down our drains increases the likelihood of them finding their way to our rivers and seas, where around 8 million pieces of plastic end up every day!

You should also avoid pouring the following down your kitchen sink:

  • Cooking oil
  • Food – even small crumbs
  • Butter/margarine and lard
  • Cooking sauce

Problems this can cause

Thames Water have confirmed that each year they have to clear over 75,000 blockages from their sewer systems which are caused mainly by cooking oil and wet wipes being put down the drain. This can lead to floods of sewage in customer’s homes.

In the East of England, preventable blockages cost over £19 million a year and around 800 tonnes of unflushable items are being flushed each week.

What can I do?

  • Look out for the ‘Fine to Flush’ symbol on packaging (most products labelled flushable don’t break down easily)
  • If you suspect a blockage, clean your drains and pipes regularly with half a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of white vinegar and very hot (but not boiling) water. This won’t corrode your pipes like some harsh drain cleaners
  • If you’ve used cooking oil or have fat left over from cooking, let it cool slightly and, before it hardens, pour it into a bottle to throw away
  • Prevent hair/food getting down the drain by investing in plughole protectors
  • Replace dental floss with reusable alternatives

Having cover in place before a plumbing and/or drainage emergency takes place is key. By taking out Plumbing & Drainage Insurance with Home Emergency Assist, you’ll be covered in the event of the failure of your plumbing and drainage system. If you upgrade to our ‘Premium‘ plan, we’ll also clear blockages, repair your taps and restore toilet facilities too.

To find out more about our plumbing and drainage insurance , boiler and central heating insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as Complete Home Emergency plans 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 16 August 2021

How To Look After Your Taps Yourself

Dripping taps aren’t just annoying – they have the potential to add as much as £100 onto the cost of your water bill and waste up to 5,300 litres of water a year!

If you take out Premium Complete Home Emergency Cover, we won’t just help in the event of emergencies – we’ll help with dripping taps, and other non-emergency problems too.

Find out how to look after some of the basic problems yourself with our guide below. If you don’t have the right tools, or you’re unsure of how to carry out the work, it’s important to call in a qualified plumber.

Turning off your water supply

Before you start working on your taps, you’ll need to turn off your water supply.

  1. You might be able to turn off the water to specific areas of your home (therefore you won’t have to turn your water off at the mains). Looks for a shut-off valve close to the area you want to turn the water off for. These are usually hidden behind – or under – fixtures.
  2. If you can’t turn off the water for a specific area, you’ll need to locate the stopcock. These are typically found under the kitchen sink, but if you’re having trouble locating it, simply trace the pipes back from your tap until you find a valve on the main water supply.
  3. Turn the stopcock clockwise to turn the water supply off.

Before you start

  • Put the plug into the sink so you don’t lose any small parts down the plughole
  • Take care not to scratch your chrome taps with any of the tools you use – where you can, use a soft cloth to protect the finish
  • Don’t overtighten washers or valves when reassembling, as this may damage the joint
  • Make sure you have the right tools for the job and use protective equipment to avoid injury

Fix a dripping tap

You can then check to see the reason why you have a leaking tap by opening up the tap and inspecting the washer (only do this if you feel comfortable doing so).

If you can see a build-up of debris, clean this away, close up the tap and see if this resolves the issue.

Alternatively, you may see that the washer has become damaged. If this is the case, it’ll need to be replaced. You can read how to do this in our step-by-step guide to replacing a washer.

Take out a Home Emergency plan

Keep on top of emergencies – and non-emergencies too – by taking out Premium Complete Home Emergency Cover. As well as sending out a plumber in the event your plumbing and/or drainage system fails, we’ll also help with clearing blockages, repairing your taps and storing toilet facilities too.

To find out more about how our home emergency insurance could be here to solve your home emergencies and our various types of cover, including plumbing and drainage insurance and boiler and central heating, 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 31 May 2021

Why You Need Home Emergency Cover

If a pipe bursts or your boiler breaks down, it can be a huge relief knowing you’ve got Home Emergency cover in place to rectify the emergency quickly and cover any repair costs.

Depending on the level of cover your choose, if your central heating stops working, you have an electrical fault in your home or you discover pests have made a nest in your house, your Home Emergency insurance provider will send out an approved tradesperson to fix the problem.

While home insurance will usually cover any damage caused by an emergency – for example, if a pipe bursts and the water ruins your carpets – it won’t usually cover the costs for call-out fees or emergency repairs of your boiler and central heating or your plumbing and drainage system.

It’s important therefore, to have Home Emergency Cover in place before a problem develops, to make sure you’re covered in the event of an emergency.

What does Home Emergency Cover with Home Emergency Assist include?

If you buy Enhanced Complete Cover, you’ll benefit from the following:

  • Boiler & Central Heating: this will cover you in the event your boiler stops working and you’re left without heating and/or hot water. We can cover gas, oil and LPG boilers under 15 years old. It’s important you get your boiler serviced once a year to keep it well-maintained.
  • Plumbing & Drainage: this covers you for damage to or failure of your plumbing and drainage system where you’re likely to suffer internal flooding or water damage. This includes loss of access to your only or all toilets within your home.
  • Electrics: covers you for the electrical failure of at least one complete circuit.
  • Security: this covers you if your windows, doors or locks are broken and your home is not secure. We’ll also cover you for the loss of your only available key to the home which can’t be replaced (and normal access can’t be obtained).
  • Pests: we’ll cover you in the event you suffer from an infestation of mice and/or rats, as well as wasp and hornet nests.
  • Roof: covers you for missing, broken or loose tiles which is causing internal water damage.
  • Boiler Replacement Contribution: we’ll give you a contribution towards the cost of a replacement boiler if yours is deemed to be beyond economical repair.
  • Overnight Accommodation: where it’s not been possible to resolve your emergency following an accepted claim for emergency repairs, we’ll arrange overnight accommodation for you.

What’s classed as an emergency?

We class an emergency as a sudden or unforeseen event which, if not dealt with quickly would:

  • Render your home unsafe or insecure
  • Damage or cause further damage to the home
  • Cause personal risk to you
  • Cause a health and safety risk to others

Can you get cover for non-emergencies?

If you upgrade to Premium Complete Home Emergency Cover, you will be covered should any of the above scenarios occur as well as being covered for non-emergency situations.

A non-emergency (or breakdown) is a sudden and unforeseen malfunction with results in the unit or system no longer working or operating as expected.

This would include repairing dripping taps, replacement of leaking pipes and thermostats/temperature timings.

 

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plans, boiler and central heating insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as plumbing and drainage insurance 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 30 April 2021

Simple DIY You Can Do Around Your Home

Being able to do basic home maintenance yourself is an important life skill which can save you money in the long term. Outsourcing jobs that you can do yourself can be a big expense.

We’ve put together a list of basic DIY skills you can learn to save yourself time and the inconvenience of having to find a tradesperson.

Basic Plumbing

We’ll all have to deal with plumbing problems at some point. Whether it’s a blocked drain, a leaking tap or a toilet with a faulty flush, these are all common problems and usually easy to fix.

  • If your plumbing freezes or springs a leak, you’ll need to be able to shut your water supply off in order to make repairs. Make sure you know how to locate your stopcock in the event of an emergency.
  • If your sink has stopped draining (or has become slow to drain), you’re likely to have a blockage somewhere in your waste pipe. Read our step-by-step guide to unblocking your sink.
  • Dripping taps aren’t just annoying – they’re bad for the environment (and your wallet) too. It can waste as much as 5,300 litres of water a year. Luckily, we’ve got a handy guide to fixing a leaking tap.
  • If your toilet won’t flush, there are things you can try before having to resort to a plumber. Find out more about fixing a faulty flush.

 

If you don’t have the right tools, you don’t feel confident attempting repairs yourself or the problem hasn’t resolved with a simple fix, you’ll need to call in a plumber. Having Plumbing & Drainage Cover in place before problems develop is important in the event of an emergency and with our Premium Plumbing & Drainage Cover, we’ll also fix non-emergency problems such as dripping taps.

Boiler and Central Heating

It’s important that you don’t attempt to fix your boiler yourself, as this will need to be done by a fully qualified Gas Safety registered engineer, however there are steps you can take yourself to resolve common problems:

  • If you find yourself without heating or hot water, there may be a problem with your boiler’s pressure. Follow our step-by-step guide to top up your boiler pressure.
  • If boiler pressure isn’t the problem, your boiler’s pilot light may be out. Read our handy guide to reigniting the pilot light. (You may need to get a Gas Safe registered engineer to look at your oiler depending on the issue)
  • If your radiators are cold at the top but the bottom is warm, you may have trapped air that needs releasing. In this case, you’ll need to bleed your radiators to improve flow.

 

If none of the simple fixes above help and you’re without heating and/or hot water, you’ll need to call an engineer. Making sure you have Boiler & Central Heating Cover in place before an emergency occurs is important and with Premium Boiler & Central Heating Cover from Home Emergency Assist, we’ll take care of non-emergency problems too.

Simple DIY

If you’ve just moved into your first home, there are some other basic maintenance tasks you can do yourself. Find out more with our easy-to-follow step-by-step guides below:

To find out more about our Complete Home Emergency plans, boiler and central heating insurance or other types of home care cover plans, such as plumbing and drainage insurance 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 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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