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British Gas Homecare - Powerflush recommended at £700!

teerex Avatar
4y, 5m agoPosted 4 years, 5 months ago
I've just had a British Gas engineer visit to fix my boiler under the homecare agreement. He says that we need a powerflush and has quoted about £700 for it. He also says that they will not attend any more call outs as they have recommended a course of action and we will be in neglect of out boiler (therefore outside of our agreement he is probably insinuating).

Is this fairly typical of the cost of a powerflush or can we go for a different company to carry out the work? I don't want BG to refuse to service our boiler because they didn't do the work.

The problem with the boiler is that the pilot light isn't coming on and it is showing pump failure on the diagnostics. Just had a new pump fitted on sunday but the boiler broke down again within 24 hours.
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teerex Avatar
4y, 5m agoPosted 4 years, 5 months ago
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1 Like #1
OK it sounds like a correct assessment - if the central heating system is all blocked up with small iron particles then the pump will fail in this way.

That said, £700 is A LOT of money to pay for a powerful... My local plumbers have all quoted me between 400-500 this week for the job on a house with 4 bedrooms (about 10 radiators). A quick Google also suggests there are plenty of companies (in my area - London), that'll do a power flush for even less, circa £250-350.

The big question here is what British Gas will "accept". You'll need to speak to them. If you provide evidence by way of a receipt to show it's been power flushed then I do not see why they won't reinstate your contract. I would NOT get British Gas to power flush - I've not heard great things, in essence, they're a rip off.

Speak to BG, check they'll reinstate your cover by way of evidence a powerflush has been completed, then phone around some local plumbers to find out how much they charge. Be careful, there are cowboys out there. Google is your friend here too, and there's lots of info on moneysavingexpert forums too.

Good luck!
1 Like #2
You could buy a new boiler for that. Sounds like a recently qualified trainee who hasn't got a clue what he's doing. Make an official complaint giving the details of the claimed cost of flushing through the system, not that that has anything to do with the pilot light not lighting. More likely the pressure/flow sensor. But at least you might get a proper technician to attend. Failing that tell them you will get a private company to rectify the fault and then expect full recompense from them.
[helper] 1 Like #3
You would have thought that you would be covered but then this is listed in the exclusions....

The following are not included in your Agreement:
• Removing sludge or hard-water scale from your system or
appliance.
• Repairing damage caused by scale, sludge or other debris if
we have told you on a previous visit that permanent repairs,
improvements or a PowerFlush™ (or a similar cleaning
procedure) are needed to help ensure your appliance/system
works properly.


So if you want to stay with Homecare you'll need to get it fixed but as others have said will BG accept it being flushed by a 3rd party? Personally I'd get it done cheaply (if it needs doing) and take out cover with someone else.....



Edited By: gari189 on Apr 24, 2012 15:03
3 Likes #4
if you get the flush done, I would also get a magnaclean fitted also
2 Likes #5
Wasn't this on watchdog last week about them overpricing jobs?
#6
Thanks all. I know that it's not covered by the agreement and that really sucks. I'll call them and find out if and what evidence they require to see that its been done and they are happy with that. I suspect they will insist on it being done by them. They have been good with call outs so I'm loathe to cancel and go with a different supplier. I've heard really bad things about some other suppliers like homeserve that I don't want to get caught out.
banned 4 Likes #7
just get a decent local plumber to do your annual service. BG are a bunch of useless scammers.
banned 1 Like #8
and what evidence did BG produce to show you needed a powerflush. £700 is a ridiculous quote for what should only take a couple of hours!
#9
http://pep-plumbing.co.uk/power-flushing-london-power-flush-radiators-central-heating.html

I'm not suggesting this company but their costs are a lot lower

Edited By: Alfonse on Apr 24, 2012 15:50: ukfkj
1 Like #10
and there was me thinking of going to BG for their homecover. Not good that stuff like this is not included. who's to say they are not trying it on to get more money from the customer. Has the power flush issue come about from your annual service from BG?
banned 1 Like #11
csiman
and what evidence did BG produce to show you needed a powerflush. £700 is a ridiculous quote for what should only take a couple of hours!

^^^^^^^^^^^^ this

when i had my old boiler, they could not get to the bottom of what was causing the problems, and kept coming out and replacing everything they could possibly think of, at each time they kept saying the next course would be a powerflush but each time they replaced something else, the last time they came out they replaced the actual tank and the feeder tank in the attic, and it sorted it no powerflush was needed but they kept pushing for it, thankfully the blokes that came out kept persevering with it

also if the powerflush does not solve the problem, what then? are british gas going to sort the problem or wash their hands of the cover you took out

Edited By: sassie on Apr 24, 2012 15:48
#12
csiman
just get a decent local plumber to do your annual service. BG are a bunch of useless scammers.

I would assume the pump breaking after 24hrs was a fairly good indicator
#13
EN1GMA
and there was me thinking of going to BG for their homecover. Not good that stuff like this is not included. who's to say they are not trying it on to get more money from the customer. Has the power flush issue come about from your annual service from BG?

I think you'll find no insurance covers sludge
banned#14
Alfonse
csiman
just get a decent local plumber to do your annual service. BG are a bunch of useless scammers.


I would assume the pump breaking after 24hrs was a fairly good indicator

fair enough although OP didnt state the new pump had broken down :p
#15
no boiler insurer is going to cover for sludge or scale in the system, thats like them sa\ying they will replace your boiler if its beyond repair regardless of the age of it

Edited By: Havince on Apr 24, 2012 16:07
#16
I don't know if the new pump works or not just that the boiler did not. The engineer has got the boiler working again (I'll find out what he did when I get home) but it seems then that the pump wasn't faulty. He did say that it would probably break down again :(

Just like sassie, numerous parts have been changed on the boiler in the hope of finding what was wrong but the problem keeps coming back. I think the power flush is just another (albeit very expensive for me) guess at the problem. If I get it done and the problem returns then I shall ask for a refund of my money or take then to court. Can't let them get away with it.
banned#17
teerex i would find out exactly from british gas what they intend to do if the powerflush you have paid for on their instructions does not solve the problem, how old is the boiler?

although they kept hinting at sludge and a powerwash on mine they could not show any evidence that one was needed, thankfully i kept pushing

Edited By: sassie on Apr 24, 2012 16:24
#18
teerex
I don't know if the new pump works or not just that the boiler did not. The engineer has got the boiler working again (I'll find out what he did when I get home) but it seems then that the pump wasn't faulty. He did say that it would probably break down again :(

Just like sassie, numerous parts have been changed on the boiler in the hope of finding what was wrong but the problem keeps coming back. I think the power flush is just another (albeit very expensive for me) guess at the problem. If I get it done and the problem returns then I shall ask for a refund of my money or take then to court. Can't let them get away with it.

the water released from your system *say out of the rad bleed valve should be discoloured ida thought*
#19
sassie
teerex i would find out exactly from british gas what they intend to do if the powerflush you have paid for on their instructions does not solve the problem, how old is the boiler?

although they kept hinting at sludge and a powerwash on mine they could not show any evidence that one was needed, thankfully i kept pushing

I asked the engineer the very same question but all he would say is that it is guaranteed. I asked what would happened if the same problem returned and all he said was that they would not charge me again but that's not the issue!
#20
My friend had this prob.
His house was built in the last 5/7 years.
The pipes behind the wall are plastic then metal to the rads.
Some how air etc seaps into system and it clogs up with sludge.
He paid £850.00 i think but bg will then come back and flush again at their cost and still cover him.
Before flushing took about 1.30 hours to heat the house.
Now 20 mins with snow on the ground.
#21
A powerflush or lack of won't cause the pump to fail so soon after fitment. If BG or a competent person fitted the boiler, then there should be an inhibitor in the system to prevent sludge build up and powerflush wouldn't normally be needed. The fact that the fault has reoccured so soon after the pump was fitted suggests that BG haven't repaired or diagnosed the initial fault properly. Before the original pump failed, were the bottom of your radiators cold?
#22
Slightly off topic but when we get a new combi boiler fitted few years back, BG quoted us around £2500 to fit it and then recommended a power flush, went with someone else who as cheaper and when i mentioned power flush to him, he said no, as it could cause more problems as when the sludge is removed, it could be filling holes that could be in the pipes/radiators.
banned 1 Like #23
boabbyrab
Slightly off topic but when we get a new combi boiler fitted few years back, BG quoted us around £2500 to fit it and then recommended a power flush, went with someone else who as cheaper and when i mentioned power flush to him, he said no, as it could cause more problems as when the sludge is removed, it could be filling holes that could be in the pipes/radiators.

LOL - so BG recommended a powerflush after installing a brand new system? Bunch of shysters!
#24
The Therapist
A powerflush or lack of won't cause the pump to fail so soon after fitment. If BG or a competent person fitted the boiler, then there should be an inhibitor in the system to prevent sludge build up and powerflush wouldn't normally be needed. The fact that the fault has reoccured so soon after the pump was fitted suggests that BG haven't repaired or diagnosed the initial fault properly. Before the original pump failed, were the bottom of your radiators cold?

Mine broke down within a week under the same circumstances, so I disagree - it IS possible although unlikely...
suspended#25
csiman
boabbyrab
Slightly off topic but when we get a new combi boiler fitted few years back, BG quoted us around £2500 to fit it and then recommended a power flush, went with someone else who as cheaper and when i mentioned power flush to him, he said no, as it could cause more problems as when the sludge is removed, it could be filling holes that could be in the pipes/radiators.
LOL - so BG recommended a powerflush after installing a brand new system? Bunch of shysters!

You should powerflush when installing a new boiler.

That powerflush quote is stupidly priced. It takes around 3 hours depending on the setup. The machine is only about £1000 itself. Look about you will get it one for a much better price.

OP i see that you are quite local to me. If you want me to ask about for a trustworthy engineer let me know.

Edited By: Starr on Apr 24, 2012 21:59
#26
Starr, I'm in West London but not sure where you are?

I spoke to an engineer on the link provided by Alfonse and got a quote of £300 for 8 rads. Called BG to find out if obliged to choose them for the work but the office had closed. Will try again tomorrow but will be surprised if they force me to use them as it's my money isn't it?!

The Therapist - my rads were hot all over and heated up quite quickly too. All this makes me more suspicious that I'm being conned. Different BG engineers have come up with different diagnosis for the problems I've had so not confident about this engineer as no one else has been adamant that it needs a powerflush. He was quite brusque too on the phone when I was speaking to him.
1 Like #27
I am not convinced a powerflush will cure your boiler fault. The system would need to be HEAVILY sludged, blocked, and corroded for the pump to fail so soon. I don't think the BG engineer is really diagnosisng the fault and seems like he's relying on 'computer says' pump fault so it must be that. Speak to BG and suggest you get an independent to assess the fault and BG pay for the repair.
#28
british gas was on watchdog last week for recommending stuff thats not needed (should still be on bbc iplayer)
i would get someone else to have a look first
banned#29
BG are notorious for charging ridiculous sums for any non-warranty or out of cover work

Ask for a full breakdown of their cost
suspended#30
£300 for 8 rads seems decent enough mate. I would have expected £350-£400 so seems you've got a good quote.

West Drayton is very local mate but as I said above. Seems like you should go for that.
#31
Remember that there are cowboys out there! Check if they're a member of the PowerFlush Association (http://www.powerflushassociation.com/)

Also, find out if they come and put chemicals in your system for a week before doing the job!
#32
a power flush should be around £300 - £400 and that is in London so should be cheaper elsewhere.

a power flush can be done by anyone. it does not have to be with British Gas. it should not affect your contract with them.
suspended#33
As reflex says. Def make sure they are putting inhibitor in.

Not heard of Putting in chemicals a week before hand though. Makes sense though
#34
Had a second BG engineer come round today for the annual service & the missus says he took his time checking the boiler over thoroughly. He asked loads of questions & said he was definite that while a power flush might help, the actual problem was the heat exchanger being clogged with scale! He said the water was taking too long to heat up & would mean our bills were quite high (they are!). He said as it was due to scale& stuff in the water, it wasn't covered by BG. No surprise there then.

I spoke to him on the phone & he did seem to be quite sure what the problem was. He quoted for a new exchanger, inhibitor, fill kit & magnaclean (don't they all?!) & labour = £430. I said I wouldn't pay a penny more if that didn't solve the problem once & for all and agreed to it. I just want it fixed now :(

He's doing the job on Friday.
#35
Can I ask you teerex how many radiators you have? I have 16 and have just been quoted £789 for a powerflush by British Gas! Eon offer fixed prices of £300 -£350 for up to 15 radiators and £25 per additional radiator. Not sure if this includes the magnetic filter though. Cannot understand why BG are so much more expensive than their competitors.
banned#36
teerex
Had a second BG engineer come round today for the annual service & the missus says he took his time checking the boiler over thoroughly. He asked loads of questions & said he was definite that while a power flush might help, the actual problem was the heat exchanger being clogged with scale! He said the water was taking too long to heat up & would mean our bills were quite high (they are!). He said as it was due to scale& stuff in the water, it wasn't covered by BG. No surprise there then.

I spoke to him on the phone & he did seem to be quite sure what the problem was. He quoted for a new exchanger, inhibitor, fill kit & magnaclean (don't they all?!) & labour = £430. I said I wouldn't pay a penny more if that didn't solve the problem once & for all and agreed to it. I just want it fixed now :(

He's doing the job on Friday.

I thought the boiler wasnt working at all now so cant see how replacing a scaled up heat exchanger would make any difference. Cant see how it would increase your bills either as the heat generated will still transfer to the water, regardless of scale AFAIK
banned#37
pampus123
Can I ask you teerex how many radiators you have? I have 16 and have just been quoted £789 for a powerflush by British Gas! Eon offer fixed prices of £300 -£350 for up to 15 radiators and £25 per additional radiator. Not sure if this includes the magnetic filter though. Cannot understand why BG are so much more expensive than their competitors.

because a lot of people just pay for things without shopping around. Only getting 50% of the jobs with a triple digit percentage profit margin is better than getting 80% of the jobs with a double digit percentage profit margin.
#38
how often does a boiler need a powerflush?

Anyone know any other company that does these annual service agreements without costing a arm and a leg. what I dont want is to pay BG £x's a month and then when the time comes to fix my boiler, BG turn round and say,nope that aint covered....cause that would pee me right off.
banned 1 Like #39
EN1GMA
how often does a boiler need a powerflush?

Anyone know any other company that does these annual service agreements without costing a arm and a leg. what I dont want is to pay BG £x's a month and then when the time comes to fix my boiler, BG turn round and say,nope that aint covered....cause that would pee me right off.

as far as i know none of the boiler service agreements covers powerflushes so doesnt matter who you go with if one says you need one it is not covered
#40
sassie
EN1GMA
how often does a boiler need a powerflush?

Anyone know any other company that does these annual service agreements without costing a arm and a leg. what I dont want is to pay BG £x's a month and then when the time comes to fix my boiler, BG turn round and say,nope that aint covered....cause that would pee me right off.
as far as i know none of the boiler service agreements covers powerflushes so doesnt matter who you go with if one says you need one it is not covered
Thanks Sas!!

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