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Copyright 2016 Michael Bryant

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Boiler types
New boiler?

New boiler cost?

Condensing boilers
Combi boilers
Boilers in which I specialise
Older boilers - worth fixing?
Boiler servicing
Expected life of a boiler
The boiler temp control

What is "SEDBUK"?

Boiler descaling
The Powerflushing MYTH

Asbestos risk in boilers

Concealed flue duct risk
Boiler Reviews


Central heating:

How does it work?
Pipework layouts
Open-vented or sealed?
Thermostatic valves
Warm air heating

Unusual boilers:
PulsaCoil, BoilerMate
  & other thermal stores
Electric 'flow boilers'

Range & Potterton PowerMax

Ideal iStor
GEC Nightstor


Hot water:
Four types of HW system




Avoiding the rogues
Plumbers not turning up
Building Regulations
Common faults
Dangerous appliances
Mains hot water
DIY gas work
The Gas Regulations
Plumber or Heating Engineer?
Boilers in lofts




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My other websites



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I'm Mike Bryant, also known as "Mike the Boilerman". Welcome to my website. 

I specialise in mending boilers - central heating and hot water boilers that is, not steam engine boilers! In particular I specialise in fixing 'vintage' boilers - those which are old, unusual, or difficult-to-get-fixed, and often all three. I particularly enjoy fixing those really well-made boilers from the 1980s and 1990s which other technicians are prone to declaring "can't be fixed mate (or Luv), can't get the parts". This is rarely true and sadly results in many perfectly servicable older boilers being scrapped.

Anyway getting back on topic, I have decades of experience as a general plumber and heating engineer but I find fault-tracing in boilers strangely interesting so these days I specialise in maintaining and repairing hot water and central heating systems. 

Just to be clear, although I'm Gas Safe Registered I don't do installation work. I'm a repair specialist. I don't fit new boilers, radiators, cookers, hobs, gas fires or new anything, I fix things that have been installed by others and have now stopped working.

I'm qualified for, and happily deal with, almost all domestic gas, LPG, and warm air central heating systems. I'm also qualified to work on mobile homes, and on river and canal boat installations. The only class of domestic heating appliances I don't work on is oil-fired appliances. (Although you'll find me listed as OFTEC qualified oil technician I haven't accumulated a good range of experience with oil boilers. Nor do I carry the stock and tools needed to provide a really good repair service, so I no longer offer oil boiler repairs.) 

This site is a collection of my comments on subjects I regularly get asked about, in no particular order. Perhaps you'll find them useful; perhaps not :-) just use the links on the left to see what I have to say on each subject.

And finally, a quick bit of background about me. I live in Reading, Berkshire UK. I left technical college to become a mechanical engineer but I quickly became dissatisfied with the corporate environment and left to be a self-employed technician repairing boats. I gravitated into plumbing and joined the Institute of Plumbers (now the Chartered Institute of plumbing and Heating Engineering) in 1984. More recently I specialised in bathroom design and renovation. I made another change is 2001 when I re-registered with CORGI (now Gas Safe Register) in order to specialise in boiler fault-tracing and diagnosis. Fault-tracing and repairing the older, the more awkward and the unusual boilers which other technicians seem unwilling to deal with is virtually all I do these days!

I'm happy to answer questions and queries about plumbing and heating by email (even if you are not a customer) There's no charge, but during busy periods there may be a delay, and during REALLY busy periods no answer at all. In addition, simple and well-framed questions usually get answered ahead of vague or complicated ones! Ask me at miketheboilerman@gmail.com

Thanks for visiting.

Mike Bryant
Associate of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, Registered Plumber, Gas Safe Registered gas technician





First pubished 16th January 2004
Last updated 9th October 2016


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