The Plumbers Mate random chatter from the plumbers wife


ATAG Boilers Whitstable- Customer feedback

Our customers who have chosen Atag iC boilers have seen a decent reduction in their gas bills and have been quick to review the new boiler. The last 5 boilers were fitted in Whitstable, Canterbury and Ramsgate.
These customers have remarked on the boilers noise level 'being very quiet indeed' and how pleased they are with how the boiler responds to hot water demands (very Quick). All iC range combi boilers come with a 'weather compensation sensor' as standard unlike many other manufacturers. If fitted, this sensor can increase gas savings of 25% by an additional 15%.
Customers have remarked on how well the Atag has integrated their chosen controls whether Atag or not. Whilst the Atag ONE controller is possibly the best controller on the market, customers chose what they suits them best and this way the boiler integrates easier into the home and caused fewer or no problems. 2 of the last 5 boilers have One controllers allowing faults and notifications to be displayed on the controller for home owner remedy and at the same time emailed to the installer to notify them of the fault. We have no faults on any Atag boiler at present and only know how this system works as a result of setting up a fault on a top of the range 'Economiser' boiler.
Simply put, The customers are very happy with their choice of boiler with its great build quality and excellent backup service, not to mention its 'Lifetime Guarantee' (on Heat exchanger) - no other manufacturer offers this guarantee. We are so happy with these boilers, build, quality and performance that we are asking our customers to review them 'honestly' on #trustpilot


ErP event last night – Law by september 2015

The ErP rules are coming in. They mean that heating appliances must be rated and calculated in order that the national measurement office can calculate just how efficient the nations heating/hot water is becoming (probably to offset the fact that we will have to build nuclear power stations as we haven't invested in alternative power forms in the time we had) in order to calculate national efficiency/ carbon savings.

ErP labels state the efficiency of the appliance such as a-rated,b,c,d...etc just like on a TV or a Fridge. Heating engineers will have to add appliance calculations together in order to create a 'Fische' which will reside with the home-owner presumably until the sale of the home (if ever).

The big trade suppliers such as Wolseley  (plumbcenter) are telling installers that this is an opportunity to increase savings for customers and make money at the same time. Unfortunately Wolseley don't live in the real world. In my fantasy plumbing world, I can make everyone have a A-rated boiler, efficient controls, new radiators, home insulation and other energy saving devices. Sadly most customers don't actually take that much notice of their boiler (a shock to wolseley!) and 50% of (new) customers request a service when the boiler has gone into a fault state! A fault state is a time for a 'Repair' not a 'Service'. A service is a 'maintenance schedule' delivered to a working appliance. More importantly though, this call is possibly the first time that, the customer has noticed that appliance in a long time.

A large proportion of People generally just want a cheap, reliable and efficient boiler that gets fitted and forgotten. The ErP seminar would suggest that most customers are actively seeking to make efficiency savings. They are not. If they were, then 8 million UK homes that don't have room thermostats would change that over night (saving themselves £120pa) and would be actively saving for an A-rated boiler.

Unfortunately, boilers are not TV sets and are not a priority for many people, it is something in a white box that hangs in the corner of a room or lives in a cupboard in the kitchen. Only boiler engineers ogle boilers and ooh at the bits and bobs, for a lot of customers it could be magic that the radiators heat up or the taps get hot, and only when the magic fails do they find the boiler!

'It wasn't magic! We didn't pay attention to it, We didn't look after it! let's get it serviced!!!'

ErP is good but it isn't the opportunity that the sellers of products would have us believe.


Atag point proved today – Whitstable

Atag are aiming to make installers lives better by supplying boilers direct to engineers and cutting out the middle man and the internet.
For small family businesses to survive we all have to make a profit. This profit comes from a margin/percentage of price being added to a sale. This offsets to some degree but not always the costs of advertising, insurance, training, membership of federations (legally required), fuel, tools and many more factors. Without this margin, small companies would go under. Profit is a necessity and not a dirty word as some would believe. Yes some co's put a margin of 40-50% on sales yet others put a lower rate of say 15%. The smaller the company the less pressure should be put on their margin, they have lower overheads but on the flip side they also have fewer people & jobs and therefore are more vulnerable to the internet and margin erosion.
Atag want to protect that margin for Gas installers and at the same time deliver the best boilers in Europe with the highest efficiencies.
Only today was that point proven when a quoted job has decided to buy a boiler themselves thus taking away our margin (which equated to £120.00). In so doing, they are hurting the local community & us because for every £ they spent with us we spend 75% back in our community whereas bought on the internet, that money is no longer in our community or county, or even country in some cases, resulting in a near 0% recycling of that finance locally.
The next boilers specified will be #Atag if only to start protecting our business. Maybe one day my daughters will take it over and have a decent life out of it, or maybe they'll just work for Tescos stacking shelves and buying things from the internet. I've told them to become hairdressers, you can't buy a decent haircut on the internet.


Our boiler line up confirmed – Swann Plumbing.

We have sought to differentiate the best boiler brands and offers for a while now and have finally and correctly arrived at a budget and premium list of the brands that we supply.
Our premium range consists of 3 Brands, Viessmann, Atag & Intergas.
These brands are widely known for their excellent quality and attention to detail. They represent the best products available from Germany and Holland.
Our budget range consists of 3 Brands, Vaillant, Ideal & Worcester. These brands are good but not excellent and due to cheaper components and higher failure rates are deemed as 'Budget'.


ATAG boilers in new move that supports Gas engineers.

Atag boilers are best known in the UK for their specialist boiler applications and very clever technology. The Dutch brand have had a small but faithful installer base. Their latest boilers are less cumbersome and more suited to UK homes. They have been specifically designed for the UK market and the idea of a cupboard fit. With this they intend to increase their installer network and interest in the product. The product is good, very good and the boilers are some of the most efficient on the market.
The energy saving trust say 'ATAG compact boilers are the most energy efficient in Europe and can significantly reduce your energy bills by up to £570 a year'. Atag are also offering a 'lifetime replacement guarantee on the iCon heat exchanger. With all parts made from A-grade materials there are no cheap, poor quality parts on the product.
With the arrival of new products came a change in policy aswell. Atag previously supplied installers as well as trade suppliers. The major change is that Atag now only supply their boilers to Gas Safe Registered installers. That's correct, not the public, not plumbers & not builders. Whilst i'm not entirely sure how clever a move it is to cut the trade suppliers out of the equation, it is a brilliant move to insist that only Gas Safe registered engineers may purchase their boilers.
Gas engineers in the UK have always moaned about the amount of training and insurance they have to undertake and yet are undercut by illegal installers and the internet. Now we have a brand that won't sell to people who undercut us. In a strange way this move actually gives some kudos and teeth to being a GSR engineer. If all boiler manufacturers did this then we'd have a sustainable industry which would have the potential to employ many more apprentices than it already does.
Gas engineers have always wanted this level of protection. The Govt and Gas Safe register have done nothing to stop the rot in the industry. It is not illegal to sell a gas boiler to the non-qualified but it is illegal for the non-qualified to work on a gas appliance. Atag are doing their bit to cut the nonsense out of the equation.
Well Done Atag.


Intergas Boilers warranty up to 7yr & 10yr.

Fantastic news for the future owners of the 'bulletproof' Intergas boiler. The HRE combi now comes with a 7yr guarantee and the new 'Eco' Model comes with a 10yr warranty.
Both boilers still only have 4 moving parts, (taking their reliability into a league of its own) meaning that existing owners shouldn't worry. You still have one of, if not the, most reliable boiler on the market.
It may not have a well known name such as Worcester or Vaillant but for what intergas lack in brand exposure, they certainly make up for in Quality. They never 'Thought outside the box' (I detest that phrase), they totally rethought everything inside the box!



When installed correctly a Vaillant ecotec boiler is one of the most robust and reliable. The initial cost of the product may be 5-10% higher than its cheaper rivals but the gift to householder comes when boiler needs a repair. The replacement parts are very reasonable and unlike the cheaper boilers, the parts are easy to replace. This keeps parts and labour costs down and ultimately keeps the lifetime costs of the boiler low.
Based in Whitstable, we offer the latest Vaillant boiler products at the best prices.
Our prices reflect our service. If you are one of our customers who we've installed a boiler for in Whitstable, Canterbury, Herne Bay & Faversham then you can expect to pay no extra if you phone us on Christmas, boxing or new years day. Thats right its still £45+vat ph on monday, tuesday, Christmas day....
A new Vaillant boiler with a 7yr guarantee can be installed for as little as £1500! no need for a huge loan or taking up a contract with a national supplier. Vaillant Pro combi supplied and fitted from £1600 and Vaillant Plus combi supplied and fitted from £1750! #ShopLocal


Viessmann vitodens 050 Combi

Viessmann, (the best boiler manufacturer in europe and in my view, the world) have recently released their budget offering, the 'Vitodens 050' combi. This boiler has budget features all round, but still keeps its head way in front of the competition. Despite being mainly plastic inside (hydraulic components) and having very limited controller options it is a very very good boiler. The Viessmann vitodens Range is 10yrs in advance of the Worcester & Vaillant.  The tech of the Viessmann means that it is able to cope with bad and dirty gas unlike the Worcester or Vaillant which suffer from poor gas quality. The Viessmann boiler range has the jewel in the crown of all boiler manufacturers, a high quality heat exchanger! The Best Heat exchanger in Germany, The best heat exchanger in the world, Available to customers in Britain at realistic prices.

The Viessmann 050 budget boiler has a few gems such as a easy wire system, a hinged plate2plate heat ex and the immense Viessmann 10yr heat exchanger as standard. It lack the full controls of the 'vitodens' 100 range but at 3/5 the price it really does offer a fantastic opportunity for a customer to own a Viessmann product.


Boilers in a Cupboard cost 25% More to Repair.

A boiler fitted inside a cupboard will on average take 25% more time to repair. Our repair times are lowered by cupboards. This doesn't take into account kitchen cupboards and combo boilers. Boilers and cupboards are not best friends. They bring together two trades who are odds with each other, The heating engineer - concerned with access & safety and the kitchen fitter - concerned with aimlessly following the kitchen plan given to them by magnet, howdens, b&q ...

More and more boiler manufacturers understand that British (vast majority) customers want to hide the 'engine' of the house inside a smaller and smaller enclosure. Therefore many boilers have become 'front access' in order to accommodate this trend. However many older boilers are adversely affected by being inside a cupboard. Potterton, Baxi, Alpha, Vokera, old Vaillant, old Worcester etc hate being inside cupboards. They need space around them in order to repair and therefore they cost 20-30% more to repair due to their location. Heating engineers need space to work. The boiler is the heart of a home and should therefore have an adequate space allocation.

We know heating engineers who offers a 10% discount for a boiler repair to a boiler that isn't fitted inside a cupboard. I can fully understand this, as I recently went to a Worcester boiler service where I had to remove 2 cupboards in order to remove the boiler cover and access the boiler. So not good!

Points are awarded for a free range boiler, : D


Vaillant ecotec boilers – Whitstable

Vaillant boilers have been a favourite with the British for generations. As with Worcester boilers, the parts are largely made overseas and assembled at a Vaillant plant. Most of the British stock of Vaillant boilers are assembled in Belper, Derbyshire. Vaillant Group of Germany are one of the world leaders in heating technology and as such produce a very high quality offering.

The Vaillant ecotec has undergone a face lift over the last few years but has still held on to the quality and reliability of the older units. The 'ecotec' is the best boiler Vaillant have ever made and as such we have no hesitation fitting them because we know that once fitted, this boiler will have fantastic reliability that we can rely on.

The 'ecotec' boiler is Quality. It sits in the highest company alongside the likes of the Worcester Cdi (Classic), The Intergas HRE range, The Atag A-series and the Viessmann vitodens boiler range.

All boilers have a time when they fail. The Vaillant ecotec is one of the easiest boilers to repair, which makes it a brilliant long term boiler. They do cost 10% more initially to buy than the competition but what the customer gains from this brand is quicker repair times, easier repairs and quality (parts) components that generally complete the fix first time (no repeat visits as is the case for the likes of Broag Remeha, Alpha, Baxi etc).

We have fitted the entire range of ecotec boilers in whitstable over the years and to date they are all still going strong. We have also fitted the biggest units of the ecotec range in Devon. Customers who have left our area have asked if we would fit a boiler or two for them in their new home and it proved a temptation for us.

The ecotec range has a 'standard' & 'premium' range. The standard range is known as the 'Pro' range and has all of the components of the premium range minus the control interface and brass fittings (generalisation) whereas the 'Plus' range has more brass bodied components and has a more adaptable controller interface. Whilst the 'Pro' version is more plastic than brass, it is every bit as reliable as its more expensive stablemate.

We are so confident of the reliability of the Vaillant ecotec range that we offer it the same stature as the Viessmann boilers that we fit. If we fit a Vaillant ecotec in Whitstable or anywhere else within 10 miles of our base then we offer a 'no charge' - call out for the lifetime of that boiler. That means that if your guarantee is for 5yrs and the boilers breakdown in yr, then we will come free of charge and see what is wrong.

Vaillant made this boiler over many years and didnt copt it unlike ideal boilers and their 'vogue'. Whilst the vogue has an immense guarantee of 10yrs, we have heard of many many vogues failing and their quality is definitely not comparable.

Don't chose an imposter? buy the original and get a fantastic boiler installed by installers who understand the 'Vaillant' quality and ethos. Vaillant of Germany understand that a living wage is important and pay way way above that to their employees. Both women and men get the same wages at Vaillant if they are of the same pay grade (not like some in the uk?!), they are also employers who understand commitment. The average age (in 2013) of the worker at the solar and renewables plant was 48 and 45 at the Gas boiler factory.

These values mean something to us and we are proud to promote them without reward.  Long may it continue.

Filed under: business, News Comments Off