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Tim Cooke
Tim Cooke,
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My parents have a gravity fed Trianco solid fuel boiler

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My parents have a gravity fed Trianco solid fuel boiler which over heated last night. Can you advise of a service engineer who may be able to look at it and advise whether it is safe to relight
JA: Are you getting any error codes or blinking lights on your boiler? How old is it?
Customer: It is at least 50 years old and there are no computerised system on it
JA: How long has this been going on with your boiler? What have you tried so far?
Customer: It went out the night better, so we relit and seemed to work fine, I refilled the hopper and emptied the ash yesterday afternoon, in the middle of the night it overheated, the hopper was also full of hot coal
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: My parents are both in their 90 s and at this moment have no form of heating or hot water. Do you feel it is save for me to try and relight it

You're right to ask with an appliance that old, as there may no be any working safety features. A couple of questions, if I may?

1. What were the indications of it overheating?
2. Did it shutdown itself, or did you have to do it?
3. What kind of flue does it use?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It was fine yesterday afternoon, however in the early hours my mum felt the house was getting hot and the was a smell of something being hot. As far as they are aware the boiler didn’t cut out. It has a straight flue with a butterfly flap

Does the flue go straight out through a wall, or does it use a chimney?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It is a chimney

Since it uses a chimney, my concern would be the risk of any overheated fuel vapour and/or exhaust gases leading to a chimney fire. For that reason it would be prudent not to light the boiler until it's inspected and, if necessary, repaired.

To find a qualified engineer who can visit, this web site is a good starting point.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I am unable to find anyone on the list of technicians, service engineers who work on gravity fed coal fired boilers. Can you advise

Whereabouts in the UK are you?

You could call Trianco on 0114(###) ###-####/a>, since they still make solid fuel boilers and might be able to provide a qualified engineer.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We are in Atherstone Warwickshire. I have just messaged Trianco

You could also call this company. They deal mainly Aga and Rayburn, but might have someone who can work on your Trianco appliance.

Tim Cooke and 2 other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your help. We are now looking at needing to replace my parents heating system, as the boiler has been deemed obsolete. It looks like we will be having gas installed, however Cadent lead times are 6 to 8 weeks

Gas will certainly heat the house, but it sounds like the installation might be expensive.

You might consider greener alternatives, such an electric flow boiler. They're quicker to install, need no flue, and more reliable. And in years to come as the UK veers towards net zero carbon emissions, you won't be affected by gas price hikes.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It is a 3 bed detached house. We have looked at electric combi boilers, however there is not that much difference cost wise for instillation, as all radiators and pipework will also need replacing, and from what I have read, electric are more expensive to run and at the moment are not advised for larger properties. Flats and small houses would benefit.

An electric flow boiler (or a set of them) doesn't require different pipework or different radiators, so what you've read elsewhere sounds very odd. It (or they) would need a dedicated electrical supply, but apart from that the installation work is less than for a gas boiler. And you mentioned a gas installation, from which I inferred that the house does not have gas at the moment.

Gas might be cheaper than electricity at the moment, per unit of energy, but that's not likely to be the case for much longer.

I'm not trying to persuade you to go electric, but I do want you to have the information that supports an objective decision.