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About British Gas and the Power Flush?

(16 Posts)
MatildaTheCat Tue 29-Nov-16 15:34:22

I own a very small 2 bed flat which is let to my son and his girlfriend. I have a service contract with BG in the good faith that they will promptly deal with any boiler issues.

Earlier this year we lost all hot water though the heating was fine. They came out, fiddled with it ( no new parts) and recommended a power flush at £785. I decided against this and it was fine for a while.

Then the hot water began to fluctuate and then stopped again. They came again and told ds quite crossly that I hadn't followed up correctly with the PF. They did more fiddling, reinstated the hot water and again recommended the PF.

So I asked my old, independent boiler engineer for a quote to do this and he said £150 plus VAT and I asked him to go ahead. He came and said the boiler needs a new heat exchanger and no PF required at all. The heating is working perfectly well. Having asked around, BG seem to push for the PF for every fault and charge an absolute fortune for work which is quite possibly not required.

Before I call them yet again, any advice on getting them to do the job they are contracted to do rather than blame me for not following their dodgy advice?

All help gratefully required. And for the benefit of anyone wondering, there is no mortgage on the property so it is not illegal for me to let it to my ds and his gf.

candybar007 Tue 29-Nov-16 16:28:55

BG are renown in the plumbing world for their "You need a powerflush!", they seem to think it will cure all evils. Best advice is to put the £`s you pay for the monthly contract to one side and use your local independent guy.

Sooner or later the BG data base will say part x not available for your boiler yet the independent guy can still get them - Fact!

ineedabodytransplant Tue 29-Nov-16 16:50:10

I had a Powerflush done trhe other week. Total of £350 including fitting of a magnetic filter. BG wanted £800 just for the PF!

My heat exchanger was totally blocked but fine after flushing. Looked like treacle before and drinking water after grin. Took them all day as well

Local company, never charged for first call-out even though he was here about two hours. Never offered but I saw when I looked on their site, various service plans starting from £10 per month. Includes annual service and pipe/boiler cover.

BG can kiss my butt before I would use them.

Remembermyname Tue 29-Nov-16 16:53:50

I just had this! BG quoted me £850 for a power flush and said my homecare agreement (that I"m paying for on a monthly basis) is not valid until I have it done. I moaned on Twitter and they informed me the heating department is closed for training (in winter?) and they aren't taking on new work. They did me a favour as I'm having it done by a local company for £400 including having the shower resealed...

JaniceBattersby Tue 29-Nov-16 16:54:42

I used to sell powerflushes for BG when I was a student. Total and utter con. All the engineers knew as much. If your system has so much sediment in it that it's blocked, there's something wrong with the system. Central heating is a closed system and, as such, there's not really anything that should be able to get in there. It's often the drain down and rebalance that they do at the same time as the power flush that actually does the job.

CuppaSarah Tue 29-Nov-16 16:54:54

I used to work for them, The staff are majorly pressured to sell to customers, but they aren't allowed to sell so are majorly pressured to sell under the pretense of advice. The power flush happens to be the cheapest product they can earn a lead on so it's what they'll try and sell you wink

PossumInAPearTree Tue 29-Nov-16 16:58:15

Blimey. No clue what a power flush is but when our system was a bit dodgy dh attached a hosepipe to the last radiator and drained it down. Bought a bottle of something from b&q which was some sort of desludger and flushed that through. Think it cost less than £20.

HelenaDove Tue 29-Nov-16 17:03:03

"Sooner or later the BG data base will say part x not available for your boiler yet the independent guy can still get them - Fact!"

HA tenants are forever getting the same excuses from the plumbing and heating companies that the HAs sub contract work out to. Its not just British Gas.

PossumInAPearTree Tue 29-Nov-16 17:05:21

Found a thread on pistonheads about this saying what a scam it is. There's a more detailed post about how to do it yourself like my dh did. Takes a bit of time but seems quite simple.

there is a simpler way than removing the radiators from the wall.

find the drain off valve for the whole system, attatch a garden hose to it. CLOSE all radiator valves apart from 1 radiator.

Open up the drain valve so the system is being emptied via the hose into a drain. OPEN the filling loop on the boiler and if there is sludge in your pipes it will come out a rusty brown out the end of the hosepipe. Wait until it runs clear (so that the 1 radiator and all the pipework has been flushed out)

Next close the valves on the radiator you had open and go to the next radiator and open up both valves on that. The water flowing from the hose should again be brown for a few minutes before going clear.

Close valves, on to the next one, etc etc until all radiators have been flushed in turn. close drain valve and refill system adding some good quality inhibitor.

No mess, an hours work tops with most of that being slurping your tea marvelling at how much money you have saved.

MatildaTheCat Wed 30-Nov-16 18:19:32

Many thanks for all your advice and help. Neither of us is a handy type so probably won't be attempting a self fix.

My real questions are a) does it sound remotely as if the PF would fix this bearing in mind that the heating is fine and the independent guy said it needs a new heat exchanger and b) how do I get BG to actually do this? I'm paying £24 a month to do emergency repairs. Surely ianbu to want them to do it but how can I make them?

Any plumbers or BG people around?

CuppaSarah Wed 30-Nov-16 18:49:52

Ok British Gas at the moment has a bee in it's bonnet about being the best at customer service, so a complaint via them is the way to go at first, don't go through home care or anything like that.

Kick up a big fuss about the fact they have been out multiple times at a cost to you, without even fixing the issue, yet as multiple(only a slight exaggeration) independent gas safe engineers have stated the issue is not the fact the system
needs a pf but that it needs a new heat exchanger, you would like the engineer to actually investigate this and replace it. Add that you feel the engineers are not listening to you.

You should then be marked down as a VIP customer, meaning only an engineer who is a supervisor or highly experienced and has one of the best customer service records will be sent. Fingers crossed that you get it sorted. If I was still an engineer for them I'd see if I could get hold of someone for you, but I'm afraid I don't have any of my contacts there now.

MatildaTheCat Wed 30-Nov-16 19:15:29

Cuppa thanks for that. I will do exactly as you suggest.

bigbluebus Wed 30-Nov-16 19:21:53

My elderly parents had a BG service plan. I'm pretty sure they were twice convinced that they needed the system power flushing - although I've no idea how much they paid. What I do know is that on neither occasion did it improve the way the heating system worked. They are con merchants who prey on vulnerable people who don't understand heating systems - as if you did you wouldn't use BG.

Topseyt Wed 30-Nov-16 19:42:12

When we were with British Gas years ago they always pushed this one, at astronomical cost. We were sceptical and never did it.

Then one night in December water began dripping out of the bottom of the boiler. They came out when we called the emergency number and admitted that the problem was the heat exchanger. It was covered by our maintenance contract, was delivered and fitted within two or three days and we had no more problems.

Not impressed with British "Power Flush" Gas. They tout it as the panacea to everything. As if their plumbers are one-trick ponies, which I am sure most of them are not.

LIZS Thu 01-Dec-16 10:24:48

We've just had this suggested for £780 or a magnetic filter for the boiler for £320. However we have a 12 radiators so op quote seems very high. Admittedly the engineer was somewhat half hearted in his pitch. He was actually here to replace a leaky radiator under our Homecare contract which incidentally isn't working properly so have had to rebook . I expect it will come up again.

ineedabodytransplant Thu 08-Dec-16 17:21:45

I would trust an independant much more than the cowboys/conmen that BG employ.

A PF should cost between £300-£400. When necessary.

I paid more as I had a magnetic filter fitted. The filter was about £120

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