Old Boilers

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Monday 24 November 2008 5.10pm
Actually it's not that old but hey...

My neighbour had a new gas boiler fitted about three years ago. He died several months ago and the house is in the process of being sold. The boiler has started to make the most horrendous noise - sounds like a massive lawnmower or a huge lorry at idle.

Since the ownership of the house is in limbo (couple have "bought" it but they want it as an investment and funds are taking longer than they should) I'm more concerned about the safety. If a boiler is making so much noise that you an hear it clearly from the street outside (it's set back up from a wall and a small rise) and very clearly from the next door house, is that boiler likely to blow up anytime soon? Mine and my son's bedroom back onto the house...

Any advice appreciated. I could be being my usual "feck it's gas so let's be really over careful" self, but every time I hear it it worries me.

Monday 24 November 2008 7.47pm

Although the house is for sale - someone owns it. That someone has a legal responsibility for Gas Safety as Owner/Occupier.

I would contact the estate agent in the first instance and tell them of your concerns. If that brings no joy, you could try the council - they have a number at the bottom of this page.
Tuesday 25 November 2008 6.30am
If you think there is a real health and safety risk arrising from a private property a letter from the Council can work wonders. We had this in our street where an absent landlord had had a row with his builder leaving a half finished job, scaffolding up and lots of rubble in the front. After six months the elderly neighbour told me that he was really unhappy not only because rats were living in the rubble but that he was worried that the scaffolding next door left his house art risk of burglary. After being passed around a bit I spoke to a really helpful man (I can give you his name if you are in Lambeth)who had a responsibility for private housing. He wrote a fierce letter to the landlord and within a week the problem was solved.

A letter from the Council pointing out a possible health and safety risk (as well as unacceptable noise) would presumably mean that the owners insurance would no longer work if there were a later problem which ought to galvanise them into action. You could also try the health and safety side.

From your point of view modern boilers are very much more likely to stop working if there is a real problem than make a noise. Noise seems to come from things like air bubbles causing vibration.
Tuesday 25 November 2008 2.55pm
Thank you. Am popping into the estate agent this afternoon. It's started to wake me and the boy up at night (why would you set the heating to come on randomly at night when no one lives there???)

I just always panic when it comes to gas - many, many years ago I nearly bought a dutch barge to live on. I'm extremely lucky I didn't as the couple who eventually bought it died of carbon monoxide poisoning a few months later: faulty boiler in the kitchen area ...

Now there are carbon monoxide alarms all over the house!

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