The Price of Ignoring Commissioning

The commissioning of a heating or hot water system is the vital, final job to be completed before handing the system over to a building’s owner, manager or tenant. Whilst it may signal the conclusion of a building project, it will typically mark the commencement date for the manufacturer’s warranty and service plans for an appliance, and a new ongoing partnership between the manufacturer and customer.

Commissioning not only considers the gas appliance, whether water heater or boiler, it will also look at the broader system, including the gas supply, pipework, pumps, ventilation and the flueing. This has a twofold purpose, to ensure that the installation has been approached correctly in order for the appliance and designed application to work correctly and efficiently, and more importantly that the installation meets regulations and is safe to be signed off for operation.

Adveco’s commissioning engineers not only bring specialist knowledge of its products, they are all independently trained and retested every five years to ensure they are enrolled on the Gas Safe Register. This is a legal requirement under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations in order to be able to carry out gas work and every installer and commissioning engineer must have this. If you like, the commissioning process can be seen as a peer check of any new system.

We do come across examples of installation where gas pressure into the system is low, for example, in which case the system is going to be inefficient and you are going to lose the advantage of cost savings that efficient operation had originally been modelled to achieve. But errors can creep in that are far more serious, such as a flue venting too low or into a location that is unsafe for those using the building. An example of such practice would be venting a low-level flue into a school playground, or close to an opening window or an enclosed area. This can happen on occasion, typically due to confusion or changes in plans or lack of awareness of regulations, in which case the commissioning engineer will have to halt the process and the system will not receive final sign off for use. That can have serious implications, as it could halt the final handover of a project which can be costly to the developer. It also means the heating and hot water system, which will often see their as business-critical service, is going to be unavailable to the owner/tenant until problems with the installation are rectified, at which point it can only then be recommissioned. So, it becomes extremely problematic. The simple fact is that the regulations are there for the safety of a building’s occupants and our engineers will, as a matter of course, to adhere to them, so using a knowledgeable and accredited installer is always going to pay dividends in terms of achieving successful commissioning on that first visit.

If the commissioning process is avoided or carried out by a third party not associated with the manufacturer it will always be detrimental in the long term to the tenant. Uncommissioned systems or those not commissioned by Adveco’s engineers will breach the manufacturer’s warranty on parts and service for appliances we have supplied, so that can quickly become costly when additional engineering visits are required. It is also worth observing that you cannot retroactively commission a system that has been installed and in operation in order to ‘resurrect’ a manufacturer warranty. Consider that Adveco’s latest range of stainless-steel boilers and water heaters come with comprehensive service and parts replacement warranties that can extend with commissioning for up to ten years. So long term that is a fair-sized additional, unplanned cost to have to find, for the sake of saving on the relatively small upfront fee that commissioning costs.

Opting to commission through Adveco is truly advantageous. You gain access to expert, specialist engineers who will provide a thorough inspection, ensuring correct operation and that all-important safety check and approval. Once a system is commissioned by Adveco, the warranty period for the appliance only then commences, otherwise, it will begin from the date of delivery. Depending on the scale of the project, a standard warranty can be severely impacted if there are lengthy delays to the project’s completion.

To discuss your options or to request commissioning services from Adveco, use the form here or call us on 01252 551 540 Option 6, or alternatively, send your request to spares@adveco.co