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on 27 March 2009
This is a good book if you have a conventional system, with a cylinder tank, but not much use with a combi system.
I have had two problems with my combi CH system over the last year,
and these are
(1) CH works fine, but no hot water
(2) Hot water flowrate is very low
and although I have long-ago fixed these problems, just for curiosity, I checked to see what this book suggests, and it was no where close to giving the correct answer, and it kept referring to conventional CH system.
So, if I was relying on this book to guide me, I would have left high and dry.
I give it 2 stars, because it is probably very good for someone dealing
with a cyclinder storage tank system.
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on 8 October 2003
As a DIYer I have often been frustrated by the cost of employing a plumber / heating engineer to fix simple problems with the central heating at home. I bought this book to see if I could cut down on these costs and do more of the work myself.
This book has already allowed me to understand, diagnose and fix a radiator problem. It gave me the confidence, through it's step by step approach, to tackle the job (even down to helping me get the right tools out before I started) and saved me another call out charge (and has therefore already paid for itself).
A last point is that the book has a strong safety theme - allowing me to know which jobs I can handle, and when I would need an expert.
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on 14 December 2010
I bought this book when my central heating at home refused to get hot this autumn. After using this book I was able to get the central heating all fixed myself for a fraction of the cost of the expensive professional options.

I had already had BG out. They changed a pump but said it really needed a powerflush. This was an expensive proposition so I thought I would have a go myself. I had heard a rumour that powerflushes can often lead to getting leaky radiators a few months later, due to the harsh chemicals that might be employed and then not fully washed out by the powerflush.

Using the above book, I was able to drain and refill my system several times, I also changed my pump gate valves and three port motorized valve, and cleaned out a lot of sludge. I didn't know how to do any of this before I started, but now I feel quite knowledgable. The book helped explain what to do because it has clear diagrams and step by step instructions. It doesn't get too heavy on theory, and so is perfect for maintenance tasks. Where the book was light on detailed instructions in some specific tasks, I supplemented with those handy little youtube video clips of plumbing tips.

This book is for maintaining and fault finding existing systems. It would be of less use for someone planning to install a brand new central heating system. If I factor in the cost of the book plus tools and parts I bought whilst fixing my system, I would say it was a fraction of the cost of a powerflush, although it did take a few weekends.

Overall I would say the book is excellent for it's intended use. I would recommend it to anyone looking to tackle their own central heating maintenance.
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on 29 December 2016
Absolutely amazing and fantastic book.. an absolute MUST for all engineers.. I have 3 copies, one stays in my van and used almost every day.. definitely the best book I've come across through my years of working in the industry.. but buy buy, well worth the money..
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on 8 June 2004
I am not by nature a plumber.
I live in a two bedroomed apartment with a gas powered central heating system, which I inherited when I bought the place (my first) four years ago.
When it starting playing up I did what most people do, I ignored it.
Eventually, I had to either call out a plumber before it stopped working altogether or figure out why the pilot was lit but the place was cold.
I used the technique that I learnt in my younger days. A technique that I learnt to use to fix my first two cars . I bought the equivalent of the Haynes manual.
Haynes don't do a Central Heating Manual but these people do and whilst it doesn't have the oily photograph so that you can see exactly what the part really looks like, it covers the range of systems, rather than one model in an easy to understand way.
Took me back to the days when I replaced the piston on my Suzuki TS100 and got a re-bore. When I had finished, it worked.
A great book that I will make oily myself in time.
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on 1 August 2017
As a Gas engineer found it very basic! having said that is good for someone that is willing to know the basics!
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on 6 January 2012
I have to say that I am an ex British Gas Service engineer. I bought this book and the book on Combi's because I am looking to take my 22 year old son on in my business this year. I thought these would be good introductory readings for him. I must say the author is a credit to the industry and the way the books have been written is very informative and full of really good professional advice. I am glad I bought these and would recommend them.
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on 13 January 2005
This taught me loads of things I had expected to learn on my NVQ course but didn't - and some of it was new to the tutors as well!! (Backfilling a sluggish system saved me hours of frustration with radiators that wouldn't fill).
This book pulls together a lot of very useful information from various sources, combines it with a practical approach to diagnosis gained from years of experience, and puts it all together in one place in a logical, structured way.
It really "does what it says on the tin", basically covering in some detail:
1) What Central Heating is
2) What can go wrong with it
3) How to diagnose the fault
4) How to repair it
Fault finding diagrams are v. useful.
This book will be invaluable for DIYer and professional. Okay, if you've been in the business for 40 years you probably know all that's in here (and more), but then you wouldn't be looking for a book like this, would you?
To the rest of us, buy it now and keep it in the van!!
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on 3 June 2015
Bought this for a plumber/gas fitter friend who loves it. Had a look at it myself before giving it to him and it certainly looked a very practical book with brief clear information and instructions.
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on 21 February 2014
Comprehensive fault finding guide with flow charts and detailed sections, it has been fluffed up a bit with basic stuff but , there are gems of info that had been forgotten. Excellent book that I'll keep in the van for reference as required.
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