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When recycling can be bad for health Beware the spare parts from condemned boilers

Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 11:02 AM into recycling heating spares by HSP

There are many issues impacting on the heating spare parts sector, many of them  to do with contributing to the safe provision of heat in homes, businesses, schools buildings, churches and in fact any building that requires warmth.  Most householders, business owners and those responsible for maintaining a suitable environment in any kind of facility do not think specifically about the component parts of a heating boiler, even less the tiny parts joining all the large parts together.  They simply trust that the person who fixes their boiler – is fixing it with parts that are fit for purpose, safe and long lasting.   Sometimes that trust can be misplaced.

A growing concern for many in the heating industry is the increasing momentum toward recycling component parts of boilers and making them available for sale. There are now several supplier sites online which - and we do not want to name names - boast they have recycled parts for sale for heating engineers to use in the repair of boilers. This is, of course, a clever sales pitch as we all know that recycling is a term associated with eco-friendly activity, and saving our planet. This is all very well if the spare part is reliable, long-lasting and safe, in which case it is a good buy and has helped our carbon footprint!  

However, recycling of boiler components in the gas heating sector really can mean the re-use of spare parts from boilers that have been condemned for use as unsafe.   Sadly, there are some website suppliers who are using their gas safe registration number to imply that any component part sold by them is guaranteed to be safe.  A neat trick that might fool many. Of course, those with good reputations in the industry know that gas safe registration is for engineers to accredit their qualification to work on gas appliances. It says nothing about a particular spare part!

An unsafe boiler is, at worst, a potential death trap or, at the least, a machine that has become irretrievably unreliable. If spare parts are from condemned boilers then extreme caution is advisable when considering using them onwards into the future – and best not to use them at all.  Any gas appliance, by its very nature, must comply with the safety standards that our health and safety laws and regulatory environment provide, and this would of course include that the spare parts used for repair and maintenance must be safe and compliant also.

Generally speaking, boilers which are condemned are condemned for good reason, usually on the grounds of safety.  Nobody wants a dangerous boiler and nobody should recycle its parts for sale without ensuring those parts are tested for use and being prepared to guarantee them as for any other spare part.   Customers, whether engineers or end-users in the home or place of business, would not be happy to know they have paid for a spare part that was last in a boiler that was considered unsuitable and unsafe for use. This is a major trust issue for all clients of the heating industry.   Suppliers and engineers should, of course, always guarantee that any heating spare parts supplied and installed are compliant with legal safety requirements and never from discarded boilers.


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