Before You Call!

Have you fuel?
Was the fuel supply valve inadvertently shut off?
Is there power at the appliance?
Is there water in the heating system?
Doing these simple checks could save you the expense of calling out a plumber or service engineer.
Never leave taps running to prevent freezing, with water charges becoming a fact of life it is better and cheaper too to insulate pipes and cold spaces instead It is also advisable to have dripping taps repaired or replaced as well
Do not forget to insulate the water storage tank in the loft paying particular attention to the top of the tank (pvc lids are readily available if one is not already fitted) Save on fuel by turning down the thermostat a notch or two.
Fitting thermostatic radiator valves, a room thermostat and a cylinder thermostat can drastically improve the efficiency of your heating and hot water system
If replacing a boiler, cylinder or any other plumbing/heating component it is always wise to choose high efficiency models
Similarly with showers, wcís and taps. There are eco-friendly versions of almost every plumbing and heating component available to us
Make yourself familiar with the location of your mains water stopcock
Familiarise yourself with the various valves in your airing cupboard and what function they perform
Any plumber would be happy to label them for you (invaluable if you need to turn water off in the event of a burst pipe for instance)
Check them periodically to ensure that they will still turn as long periods of inactivity can leave them stiff and difficult to use
If you are leaving home for a period of time it is good practice to turn the water off and to time the heating to come on for a short time, morning and evening, to guard against freezing and dampness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q; What do I do if I have a burst pipe?

A; Turn off the valve controlling flow to the affected pipe. Mains stopcocks are usually located under the kitchen sink or under the stairs. Valves located in the airing cupboard control flow to bathrooms and heating. If in doubt contact a professional who would be happy to advise you over the phone to minimise damage pending a call to repair the problem.

Q; What should I do if my heating wont work?

A; Ensure that there is fuel, that oil or gas was not turned off or run out.
There are increasing incidents of theft from oil storage tanks.
We have a locking system designed to suit most situations. Alternately the system can be modified to suit.
Make sure that your heating programmer is turned on and any room thermostat is turned on/up
Make sure there is adequate water in the system.
Check that the flue is not blocked or obstructed

Q; Can I have hot water without the radiators heating?

A; Yes; however there may be some adjustments to the system pipework necessary and additional electrical components may be required in order to facilitate independent hot water. While there may be an initial financial outlay these alterations are very cost effective in the long term

Q; Are condensing boilers effective?

A; Yes; with domestic condensing boilers providing efficiencies of up to 97% they considerably outperform standard efficiency and older boilers by some considerable distance. High efficiency boilers modulate which means that the boiler can interpret demand via sensors which will increase/decrease output depending on weather or how many radiators are turned on for instance.

Q; Are multi fuel stoves worth considering?

A; Yes, however it is vital that the advice of an installer with experience of solid/multi fuel appliances be sought as the installation of such appliances require that certain criteria are met which are different to oil or gas. As with all fossil fuel burning appliances, fuel and flue are the most important factors.

Q; Can solar heating work in the Irish climate?

A; Yes, it is some years now since I first fitted them on my home and I am very happy with the gains. Since then we have fitted a vast amount and feedback is very positive. Solar will not work 100% of the time however on average Solar will provide circa 70% of the average households hot water needs over the four seasons. At quotation stage we can provide performance printouts from previous installations that are monitored on an ongoing basis to assess performance.

Q; Are pellet boilers an option if I want to cut fuel bills?

A; Yes, again it is vital to seek the advice of an experienced installer as pellet boilers do not perform like oil or gas boilers hence they are set up in a different way with different system design layout necessary. We have received very positive feedback from customers regarding the installations which we have carried out. My home is heated by pellet and there is also a small pellet room heater in a sunroom, both performing satisfactorily.

Q; Are pellets difficult to source?

A; No, when the industry was in its infancy there were some supply/demand issues however there are now several pellet suppliers in Ireland so supply is not a problem

Q; Do pellets not get damp?

A; It is essential, as with all wood products that they be stored in a weather proof hopper/shed

Q; Can you tell me about water harvesting?

A; Water harvesting is becoming increasingly popular with the introduction of water charges and also because people are becoming more aware of changing weather patterns which might affect supply. It is better to have your own store than depend on a local council or group water scheme perhaps. From being capable of meeting the demands of the entire house to just providing for one WC there are many options on design.
Whilst it can be costly to install initially savings can be considerable over time and being self-sufficient can also have benefits

Q; Do Patrick Plant Heating & Plumbing provide all heating and plumbing services?

A; Yes we cover all aspects of heating and plumbing, both domestic and commercial. We are fully trained and accredited to work on gas, oil, solar, biomass, solid fuel and water harvesting. Conventional heating systems using radiators, underfloor systems, ground and air source systems are all within our remit.
A bathroom planning and consultancy service is also available with fully trained trades carrying out all of the work. That means that a plumber does the plumbing, a tiler does the tiling etc. Not one person who claims to be able to do everything! We know what that will lead to.
Electric showers, power showers, booster pumps, cylinder & storage tank replacement, new radiators oil tanks etc are all part of the services we provide.
Like it says on the home page, if it involves water or heat we do it from a dripping tap to a solar heating system and everything in between we are at your service.

Tips for Winter

Have your appliance serviced by a reputable engineer
Ensure you have adequate fuel if you are not on the gas network as roads can become impassable quite quickly
In the case of solid/multi fuel ensure your fuel is good quality, has a low moisture content and is stored under cover
Check flues and chimneys (applies to all appliances, gas, oil and solid/multi fuel)
Save on fuel by improving the insulation in the home, particularly in the loft
Seal draughts but be careful to ensure there is adequate ventilation in order to ensure the safe operation of any fuel burning appliance in use
Fit a good quality certified Carbon Monoxide alarm in rooms where fuel burning appliances are located
If unsure about ventilation requirements or Carbon Monoxide alarm standards Patrick Plant Heating & Plumbing would be happy to advise or assist you