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Help! No heating & No hot water (Renting)

32
Edited by:"Firefly1"Found 6th Jan
Renting a student property: Came back last night to find no hot water & no heating whatsoever. The boiler has an E119 error code; low system pressure.

Landlord got back to me today via email to say he is away & I should contact British Gas Homecare myself to book a call-out.

British Gas Homecare say as we are not an emergency (but only a priority), the earliest they can come out is Monday afternoon. And require a £60 excess paid in front to book the appointment (They don't have the landlords card details on record).

The estate agent whom we originally let from, says we should "wait for the landlord to come back" ; even though they have no idea when that will be or where he is.

Is Monday afternoon reasonable? I have final exams on Monday so it would have to be post-poned to Tuesday in that case. I've got a fan heater in my room to get it up to 18 Celsius, but the rest of the house is freezing.

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32 Comments

It's unreasonable but pay the £60 and get it fixed. I despise bad landlords.

Original Poster

P.S. If there are any gas engineers that are bored in Southampton, feel free to visit

do you have access to the boiler? adjusting the pressure is as simple as turning a switch


ofcourse you may* have have a leak somewhere in the system but it will be a temporary solution
Edited by: "murtgurge" 6th Jan

also unless your landlord is actually satan when he told you to get BT out yourself he most likely meant the expensve would still fall on him, if BT won't bill him directly just subtract it from next months payment

It does sound like you need some more water in your boiler. Have you checked the water pressure?

re-pressurise boilers are so easy to do that i am surprised very few people actually know how to do it! everyone should be taught basic things like this.

although it is a great hardship to go without heating and water until Monday, as it is a weekend, it is not unreasonable that British Gas will come out Monday as it is not an emergency, unless there are vulnerable occupants like the elderly or very young children.

i assume that the landlord will re-imburse you for the £60 fee.

Original Poster

mutley15 m ago

re-pressurise boilers are so easy to do that i am surprised very few …re-pressurise boilers are so easy to do that i am surprised very few people actually know how to do it! everyone should be taught basic things like this.although it is a great hardship to go without heating and water until Monday, as it is a weekend, it is not unreasonable that British Gas will come out Monday as it is not an emergency, unless there are vulnerable occupants like the elderly or very young children.i assume that the landlord will re-imburse you for the £60 fee.


I don't understand how to. The manual seems to suggest equipment needed to link two pipes together.

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Original Poster

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Plenty of vids on youtube that might help you identify whats what but it is an east fix

what you are reading in the manual is how a plumber should install it, about linking the pipes together. it has nothing to do with re-pressurise.

some boilers have been fitted with a filling loop, where you can turn a valve to re-pressure the boiler. that is the easy version.

a lot of boilers do not have this filling loop installed so it will be a screw that you simply turn with a flat head screwdriver and wait for the indicator on the boiler to get back to the correct position before turning the screw back.

i always send instructions to my tenants to do this when the boiler loses pressure, which they inevitably do every now and then, but i find that most tenants don't even have a screw driver or know how to use one!

you would need to identify which pipe with the screw that you need to turn so it is not something that is easy to identify. but when the engineer comes on tuesday, ask him to show you how to re-pressurise the boiler so you can do it yourself the next time this happens. it really is very simple.

Original Poster

Landlord has changed his mind.

Emergency Gas Engineer here before 6pm - British Gas weren't budging so he's called around national companies for somebody to come out today.

Landlords not all bad after all

If you need to top up the pressure for the boiler it only takes 10 seconds to do. There's normally 2 values you turn (youtube it).
Edited by: "RiverDragon8" 6th Jan

here is a video for your specific boiler (or brand but they are the same)



no point doing it now since you have a guy coming out, but good for the future

So easy to do, re-pressurise it yourself and cancel the engineer. All you are doing is turning a tap on to top the water up. If pressure drops again within a few month would suggest you have a slow leak, if it’s over a few days you will have a faster leak. Just keep an eye on it.
Edited by: "NBEB" 6th Jan

Top picture the black handle valve is closed open it for a few seconds and it will fill the system

(Right at the top of the pic is the valve)
Edited by: "darksideby182" 6th Jan

Original Poster

darksideby18218 m ago

Top picture the black handle valve is closed open it for a few seconds and …Top picture the black handle valve is closed open it for a few seconds and it will fill the system(Right at the top of the pic is the valve)


Thanks all - not quite fixed.
I turned the top black handle valve (top picture, top of the picture too) and it just runs water onto my hand onto the work surface, the more I turn it, the bigger the puddle of water. I tried opening black handle valve (top picture, top right of picture) no change.
Edited by: "Firefly1" 6th Jan

Original Poster

darksideby18228 m ago

Top picture the black handle valve is closed open it for a few seconds and …Top picture the black handle valve is closed open it for a few seconds and it will fill the system(Right at the top of the pic is the valve)


Found the other end of the shiny loop of metal, completely out of sight in the boiler. (got a camera shot eventually showing it). It does also have a plastic valve which seems to need turning to complete the system pressure top-up, although it's incredibly stiff with no almost no give. As he's already got an engineer coming, I'll leave it as I don't want to snap the thing off in my hand but thank you all
Edited by: "Firefly1" 6th Jan

Don't go messing around with it OP, nothing to do with you. Landlords responsibility

Without heating for a bunch of days you'll survive. We have gas central heating working fine but we never turn it on because it gives my partner a headache so I learned to make do with a heater in the bedroom and the cold in general

Monday isn’t unreasonable for a non-emergency call out from British Gas. The excess of £60 is pretty standard and BG now asks whoever books the call out to pay up front because historically tenants were calling out BG unnecessarily and the landlords were unknowingly being billed £60 for each call out. I can understand why the landlord asked you to call BG because he doesn’t know when you’ll be in, and therefore the call out appointment can be made immediately. Competent landlords would reimburse you for the £60.
Anyway, your landlord has done best endeavours to resolve the problem and hats off to him/her.
When the engineer calls just ask them to explain how it works etc and what to do if it happens in the future

Firefly11 h, 34 m ago

Thanks all - not quite fixed.I turned the top black handle valve (top …Thanks all - not quite fixed.I turned the top black handle valve (top picture, top of the picture too) and it just runs water onto my hand onto the work surface, the more I turn it, the bigger the puddle of water. I tried opening black handle valve (top picture, top right of picture) no change.



When the engineer comes, ask him to show you which valve (normally the black handle on the silver braided flexible pipe) to open, and to also show you the pressure gauge, and where it should be during normal use.

It's normal for pressure to drop and it needs 'topped up' every couple of months or so, depending on use.

benjammin3161 h, 20 m ago

Don't go messing around with it OP, nothing to do with you. Landlords …Don't go messing around with it OP, nothing to do with you. Landlords responsibility



If its simply due to pressure dropping than its not as clear cut as the landlords responsibility.

Tenants have responsibility to look after fitted appliances, and ensuring the boiler pressure is correct comes under that, that said, the landlord should ensure the tenant is shown this and it's explained to them in a clear and concise manner to avoid confusion.*


* I made the mistake of not being quite clear to my previous tenant the pressure the boiler gauge should be at during normal use.

She complained about lack of heating and a leak outside, turns out she was filling the system to max meaning the heating wasn't always coming on and the overflow pipe was getting rid of the excess she kept topping up!!

Eventually got to the bottom of it but cost me 2 BG call-outs, paid extra as she had very young children too
Edited by: "andynicol" 6th Jan

Firefly11 h, 34 m ago

Found the other end of the shiny loop of metal, completely out of sight in …Found the other end of the shiny loop of metal, completely out of sight in the boiler. (got a camera shot eventually showing it). It does also have a plastic valve which seems to need turning to complete the system pressure top-up, although it's incredibly stiff with no almost no give. As he's already got an engineer coming, I'll leave it as I don't want to snap the thing off in my hand but thank you all


unless you have been told exactly which valve or screw to turn, i would not advise that you mess around with the boiler as you can damage it rather than fix it! there are so many valves and screws on the pipes around boilers that it is not always obvious which one to turn.

you can also over pressurise the boiler by not switching the pressure off when it has reached the correct pressure. this will damage the boiler as then too much water has gone into it.

ask the engineer when he comes round to show you and take a photo of the pipe that he points to for your future record, as they all look pretty much the same, you will soon forget which one it is.

hearts221 h, 12 m ago

Without heating for a bunch of days you'll survive. We have gas central …Without heating for a bunch of days you'll survive. We have gas central heating working fine but we never turn it on because it gives my partner a headache so I learned to make do with a heater in the bedroom and the cold in general


just at your current property or at any property? headaches when the boiler is on may be a sign of carbon monoxide from the boiler.

Original Poster

Emergency gas engineer has come & temporarily fixed it by topping up the system.

There is a water leak inside the boiler leading to loss of water pressure and the part needs replacing (circa £150) but he's tightened it up as best as he can for now.

He wrote down the parts required with a detailed explaination for British Gas and said to get British Gas Homecare to replace the faulty parts under the contract the landlord has with them; therefore only billed for labour - and got a warm home.


As side-notes (hopefully I've explained these right): He also said there was no drain around the floor meaning that if a radiator were to leak, the whole ground floor would flood. He also said there should be an external expansion vessel attached to the wall outside as the one in the boiler is insufficient (A well known problem with Potterton he says). He also said there are only 2 pipes and there should be 3 to supply the number of radiators in the house.

"Only" £119, which seems very reasonable considering British Gas want £60 per call-out and couldn't come till Monday.

Yay
Edited by: "Firefly1" 6th Jan

The £60 British Gas charge is the payable excess on the yearly contract not a call out fee. The £60 covers call out, all replacement parts and all the engineers visits until the problem is fully resolved.
in view of the above and the fact that the engineer hasn’t replaced any parts or actually fixed the problem, I think £119 is daylight robbery just for tightening up a nut to get the boiler going again.
If I were your landlord I wouldn’t be best pleased.

Toptrumpet1 h, 11 m ago

The £60 British Gas charge is the payable excess on the yearly contract …The £60 British Gas charge is the payable excess on the yearly contract not a call out fee. The £60 covers call out, all replacement parts and all the engineers visits until the problem is fully resolved.in view of the above and the fact that the engineer hasn’t replaced any parts or actually fixed the problem, I think £119 is daylight robbery just for tightening up a nut to get the boiler going again.If I were your landlord I wouldn’t be best pleased.


that is actually quite reasonable for a gas safe engineer coming out the same day. the cost for call outs are mainly the time the tradesman take to get to and from the property.

mutley126 m ago

that is actually quite reasonable for a gas safe engineer coming out the …that is actually quite reasonable for a gas safe engineer coming out the same day. the cost for call outs are mainly the time the tradesman take to get to and from the property.


It probaby is reasonable for a same day call out but bearing in mind the landlord has yet to pay another £60 (as well as the monthly D/D on Homecare cover probably around £160+ per year) to British Gas to come out Monday to actually fix the boiler, I’m just thinking on the landlords perspective.
If the op were the owner of the boiler and had to pay the £119 himself, he might not think £119 was good value just to tighten a nut.
Just waiting now for British Gas to get funny about someone else looking at the boiler and pointing out the faults to them. Any concerns regarding the installation of the boiler and recommended safety enhancements should have been acknowledged by whoever issued the Gas Safety Certificate.
Not looking to cause an argument but just highlighting some of the landlord responsibilities and grief that often renters overlook.
Just glad that op has hot water and heating and a good landlord, when all you usually hear about are the bad ones.
Edited by: "Toptrumpet" 6th Jan

mutley14 h, 0 m ago

just at your current property or at any property? headaches when the …just at your current property or at any property? headaches when the boiler is on may be a sign of carbon monoxide from the boiler.


No, it's not carbon monoxide. He has that problem anywhere when the heat is on for a while. I don't. I have it on in the winter if he's not at home.

We have that device that detects carbon monoxide anyway and the boiler is checked every year

Toptrumpet3 h, 52 m ago

It probaby is reasonable for a same day call out but bearing in mind the …It probaby is reasonable for a same day call out but bearing in mind the landlord has yet to pay another £60 (as well as the monthly D/D on Homecare cover probably around £160+ per year) to British Gas to come out Monday to actually fix the boiler, I’m just thinking on the landlords perspective. If the op were the owner of the boiler and had to pay the £119 himself, he might not think £119 was good value just to tighten a nut.Just waiting now for British Gas to get funny about someone else looking at the boiler and pointing out the faults to them. Any concerns regarding the installation of the boiler and recommended safety enhancements should have been acknowledged by whoever issued the Gas Safety Certificate.Not looking to cause an argument but just highlighting some of the landlord responsibilities and grief that often renters overlook. Just glad that op has hot water and heating and a good landlord, when all you usually hear about are the bad ones.


This is why it is unfair of people to have a go at landlords as soon as they hear the word landlord. Owning properties is not always as great as it sounds as you are forever forking out money for repairs and maintenance, and even when you are on holiday, you cant enjoy your holiday in peace. I am on alert 24/7 for my tenants and even when i am on holiday abroad, wherever i may be around the globe, i am still contactable.

i have had so much stress with the properties at times. If you are a good landlord, you can get very worked up about issues as you want them resolved even quicker than the tenants!

part and parcel of being a landlord is costs, which is why rents are so high, as there can be lots of costs owning properties, not to mention the tax. It is not the easiest way to make money, but it is one of the safest way to do so, which is why people invest in property.

hearts222 h, 14 m ago

No, it's not carbon monoxide. He has that problem anywhere when the heat …No, it's not carbon monoxide. He has that problem anywhere when the heat is on for a while. I don't. I have it on in the winter if he's not at home.We have that device that detects carbon monoxide anyway and the boiler is checked every year


That sounds very odd. I have a problem with heat myself so i cant sit or stand next to a radiator for example, but if the heat source is not near me, i am fine. I cant go on holiday to countries that are hot so i have to choose those that dont get too hot or go in their winter when the heat is not too much.

i have been to hot countries, but i end up suffering badly for it, so i try not to put myself in that sort of predicament.

mutley120 m ago

That sounds very odd. I have a problem with heat myself so i cant sit or …That sounds very odd. I have a problem with heat myself so i cant sit or stand next to a radiator for example, but if the heat source is not near me, i am fine. I cant go on holiday to countries that are hot so i have to choose those that dont get too hot or go in their winter when the heat is not too much.i have been to hot countries, but i end up suffering badly for it, so i try not to put myself in that sort of predicament.


Well when the radiator is on in the bedroom it gets quite warm (we don't have a big bedroom); that causes him to get a headache. He's always been like that. I don't know anyone else who has that issue apart from him .

I also had another guy who wouldn't even let me even turn a heater on because of money, and I was the one paying for the bills anyway
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