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Discuss How long it takes on average to service an oil fired boiler? in the Oil and Solid Fuel Forum area at

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  1. OFTEC

    OFTEC Guest

    Hi Folks

    Wandered how long on average it takes to service an oil fired boiler? and how many you service in a day?

  2. dontknowitall

    dontknowitall Guest

    I reckon on around 3 hours generally. Sometimes quicker, sometimes longer, but never shorter than 2 hours.
  3. tamz

    tamz Guest

    Between 1 and 2 hrs depending on when it was last serviced or how dirty it is, how experienced he is, access etc etc.
    Never did them on a how many per day basis but i would recon with traveling 3 or if you like 12hr shifts 4 or 5.
  4. OFTEC

    OFTEC Guest

    Cheers for replies,

    so if you could get three a day it would be a good days wage if say you were making and average £30 - £35 per service. Thing is bringing in enough trade to average 3 a day.
  5. dontknowitall

    dontknowitall Guest

    I do about one a month.
  6. lightfoot

    lightfoot Guest

    Hi there guys,ive been out plumbing on my own now for nearly 3 years,and im going to do the full oftec course in 2 weeks time. would like to know how much the course equips you to do a full boiler swap install,and if im gonna need a power flushing machine cos i think its common sense to clean the system as sludge cant be good for a new boiler. many thks.
  7. OFTEC

    OFTEC Guest

    Dont know do you service boilers as an add on to Plumbing but not really push the service?
  8. dontknowitall

    dontknowitall Guest

    Lightfoot - In my experience OFTEC courses do not teach you much about heating systems or diagnosing problems with oil boilers. They're much more interested in covering their own backs by teaching you about safety issues (which, of course is understandable) and they seem fixated on regulations and asking questions like what colour is Document J printed in when found in the southern Aberdeen area.

    More practical questions such as What does soot around the flue indicate? are ignored and advice about cleaning out central heating systems is not covered unless someone happens to ask - then the course tutor is looking desperately around the room hoping someone else might know the answer.

    Perhaps I'm being a little harsh but one of the main reasons I do these courses is to learn how to do plumbing properly. I appreciate the rules and regulations need to be adhered to but I feel it's much more important to learn how to do the job properly first and foremost.

    The same happens with the G3 regulations on unvented cylinders. Libraries of rules to be learned and about 8 words on how to diagnose a problem.

    Most customers I know want you to fix a problem, not be able to tell them that the fall from this pipe must be at least so much and the terminal of this pipe must be here and if you live in the south east corner of the Scily Isles then you have to do this and if you live in the north west corner of Norfolk but have a customer in Manchester who has a Grannie in Liverpool then this rule applies .

    I'd arrange a course with an oil boiler manufacturer after your OFTEC course. (I went to Worcester for a one day £50 course and learned how to diagnose problems with a multimeter). The OFTEC course won't teach you a thing about the plumbing inside a combination boiler either. (This is something I call in a manufacturer to sort out now as there's a risk I'd order and fit the wrong part and still find it doesn't work!)

    Went a little off topic earlier but hopefully there are some pointers here for you.
  9. OFTEC

    OFTEC Guest

    Can I be blunt and ask does anyone make a living only from servicing and comissioning boilers and not doing any other plumbing/heatring work and would you regard it as a good living?

  10. dontknowitall

    dontknowitall Guest

    This is why I said above, "I do about one a month".

    Much of that is my choice as I enjoy bathrooms (including painting, tiling, woodwork, etc) and also general central heating problems.

    Where I live I think there's one person who seems to service boilers (oil and gas) and that's all he does. The rest of us - are cowboys [cough!!] - I mean the rest of us do general plumbing and most do gas and some do oil. I think there's a much "better" market for gas as more people have it (even in the sticks with LPG).

    I felt there was plenty of competition with gas and that I'd do better with oil but the only reason I did it was I didn't want people phoning me up saying "My heating doesn't work" and me not knowing the fogiest about how a boiler worked. Although I pass my gas work to someone else (about 1 call every 2 months) and he passes me his oil stoves (about 1 call every year) I'm happy with my lot of 8 boilers to service and 2 installations a year.

    The number of electrical showers I install and taps I fix and .

    You could make a good living but it won't happen for a good year or two or even five. If there's one thing I've learned it's most jobs come from recommendation and it takes half a lifetime to build up a good reputation. People also don't think that servicing an oil boiler is a high priority and unfortunately for us plumbers, oil boilers are very reliable so don't show any faults for a long time. And if they make funny noises they still keep going!!

    Not really answered your question because how you market yourself could turn my negative points on their head. If you tackle the safety and economy aspect of oil boilers and keep plugging away encouraging customers to get them serviced regularly there's no reason why you shouldn't make a good living. You probably won't be a millionnaire but no reason why you can't earn enough for a few nice holidays.

    Hopefully this week will be busy as the weather is going to be cold .
  11. moony

    moony Guest

    the way to go is get doing your installs whilst young - keep a record and remind people of services as and when theyre due - then concentrate on the services when your older and get your sons on the installs :) well thats my plan anyway
  12. OFTEC

    OFTEC Guest

    Makes it all a bit clearer, might have to go for it.
  13. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    You do speed up with xperience. i'm at them all the time, and, believe it or not, i can sometimes strip a 4-500kW boiler down faster than a 21kW one.

    Couple of tips.

    Get yourself a pair of welding gauntlets, custards always forget to turn the boiler off before you arrive, these will buy you a bit of time and you can handle the baffles a bit sooner.

    Carry a sheet of Cera board. You'll quite often need to make new seals where the old one's perish or become water damaged if the flue's not been weathersealed properly. (that's a nice little earner off the back of a service)

    Get some copper ease grease from halfords. a dab on the threads makes dismantling next year a doddle.

    Carry plastic polypockets and a preprinted sheet giving your contact details, and somewhere where you can record details of work done (full service, replaced 0.60/60s nozzle and oil line, cleaned filter etc) and date next service due. You can also leave a print out of your fga results in it. Leave on site. Custards like looking at stuff like that.

    Use the web, find as many MI's as you can.

    And use this forum!
  14. OFTEC

    OFTEC Guest

    Cheers Croppie

    Im at final stages of making my mind up, I see your from Portadown I dont suppose youd consider taking me out on a few jobs if I do decide to do the training, Im in Tyrone so wouldn't be taking your trade if started up?
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