Baxi works

Stand the test of time


7th March 2016 - 12:30pm

When it comes to choosing a boiler, reliability ranks higher than any other factor for installers and their customers. Here, Paul Clancy, managing director at Baxi Potterton Myson, explains what manufacturers are doing to ensure installers can depend on the products they recommend.

Ask an installer what matters most to them, and top of the list will be reliable products. While efficiency, purchase incentives and ease of installation can make what’s on offer more attractive, installers ultimately want a boiler that will reliably provide the right heating and hot water 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With boiler faults costing homeowners unnecessary discomfort, wasted time and money, it’s not surprising that a dependable boiler is also at the top of their list. With this in mind, installers need to be recommending reliable products to keep their customers happy, whilst protecting their own reputation.

A good place to start when sourcing a reliable boiler is to look at the testing processes that different manufacturers put their products through. Some companies open up their factories for installers to experience first-hand the processes that all products go through before they even leave the factory floor. At Baxi Potterton Myson, for instance, we welcome lots of installers through our Preston factory doors each year to see our foundry, press shop, paint shop, assembly hall and R&D testing facilities in action.

Reputable manufacturers invest an incredible amount of time and money in testing a new boiler. Once a product has been designed, its components, sub systems and complete boiler will be life tested. This is where they are put into ‘real life’ scenarios simulated in a laboratory and subjected to aggressive, extreme conditions that can apply many years of use to a boiler and its components in a very short time frame. We also replicate every conceivable environmental factor that might occur – including heat, humidity, wind, cold and frost – as well as testing how a boiler would perform on an old dirty system.

Life testing goes a long way to seeing how a boiler will perform, however it’s just as important to take the product out of the lab into the real world to ensure it can hold up there as well. During field trials, boilers are installed in real properties by real installers across the country, are used under normal conditions and are continually monitored for performance and reliability.

A field trial is valuable in the testing process and provides insightful data if carried out correctly. A successful trial will include many factors that can affect a boiler’s performance, such as property location, age of building, demands for heating and size of household.

Field trials can last anywhere from six months to two years, but should always include a heating season to ensure the boilers are put through their paces during the most demanding period of the year.

End user competence should also be taken into account in the testing process too - some homeowners will be able to easily navigate menu systems, whereas others might need simple controls. Installers’ experiences of a product may also differ. An installer who regularly fits a make of boiler and has been on training courses will be comfortable with the technology used, and will have a very different experience of fitting the boiler compared to an installer who hasn’t fitted them before.

With increasing pressure put upon our heating systems, it’s important installers are recommending products that can continually keep up with these demands. The thorough and rigorous testing processes that leading manufacturers put their boilers through mean that installers can guarantee the products they install can be relied upon for years to come.

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