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  • FIRST POST
    • marlasinger
    • By marlasinger 31st Dec 17, 6:59 AM
    • 465Posts
    • 373Thanks
    marlasinger
    Oil fired boiler in empty house
    • #1
    • 31st Dec 17, 6:59 AM
    Oil fired boiler in empty house 31st Dec 17 at 6:59 AM
    We viewed a house yesterday which has been unoccupied for a while. The estate agent couldn't give me exact timescales but I think over a year.

    The house uses an oil fired boiler, which I have never had before. I've always been connected to mains gas. I don't think the boiler was turned on, as there was no hot water. The oil tank in the garden didn't have a gauge (that I could see). Not knowing the boiler (it looked old and very different to a gas one) I didn't want to try turning it on and the estate agent was pretty clueless too.

    Is there anything we can do to further check this out? ie. go back with someone who can check if the boiler is working? Is there any other way of seeing how much oil is in the tank? If the heating system hasn't been used in a long time, are there any risks (ie. will the oil need replacing - does it go off?) Would a surveyor look at whether the boiler is working, or do they only look at the building structure?

    Many thanks.
    marlasinger

Page 1
    • tintin00
    • By tintin00 31st Dec 17, 7:38 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    tintin00
    • #2
    • 31st Dec 17, 7:38 AM
    • #2
    • 31st Dec 17, 7:38 AM
    Get a plumber in to give it a service and check everything is ok. Should not cost more than 40 /50.


    Regarding the oil, there should be a filling port. Open the port and shine a torch down to see what in there.
    • reeac
    • By reeac 31st Dec 17, 7:38 AM
    • 1,203 Posts
    • 490 Thanks
    reeac
    • #3
    • 31st Dec 17, 7:38 AM
    • #3
    • 31st Dec 17, 7:38 AM
    The easy one is tank ccontents - I use a length of tiling lath long enough to reach to the bottom of the tank which I've marked at 500 litre intervals but you just want to see if there's ANY oil in there.
    Regarding the system as a whole you need to get an oil boiler servicing man to assess it. Ours charges around 70 for an annual service and I chose him because he used to work for the boiler manufacturers who recommended him when I phoned them. Lacking such local knowledge you may have to rely on the Yellow Pages.
    • FestiveJoy
    • By FestiveJoy 31st Dec 17, 2:19 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    FestiveJoy
    • #4
    • 31st Dec 17, 2:19 PM
    • #4
    • 31st Dec 17, 2:19 PM
    We viewed a house yesterday which has been unoccupied for a while. The estate agent couldn't give me exact timescales but I think over a year.

    The house uses an oil fired boiler, which I have never had before. I've always been connected to mains gas. I don't think the boiler was turned on, as there was no hot water. The oil tank in the garden didn't have a gauge (that I could see). Not knowing the boiler (it looked old and very different to a gas one) I didn't want to try turning it on and the estate agent was pretty clueless too.

    Is there anything we can do to further check this out? ie. go back with someone who can check if the boiler is working? Is there any other way of seeing how much oil is in the tank? If the heating system hasn't been used in a long time, are there any risks (ie. will the oil need replacing - does it go off?) Would a surveyor look at whether the boiler is working, or do they only look at the building structure?

    Many thanks.
    Originally posted by marlasinger
    Yes you can instruct any number of specialist surveyors to look over any aspect of a property you intend to purchase.
    Usually the general building surveyor will also advise in his report that you get this carried out on the specialist things he does not cover.
    e.g. electrics, heating & plumbing, drainage, etc

    • marlasinger
    • By marlasinger 31st Dec 17, 6:49 PM
    • 465 Posts
    • 373 Thanks
    marlasinger
    • #5
    • 31st Dec 17, 6:49 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Dec 17, 6:49 PM
    Thanks for the replies. Great idea on the 'dipstick'....I didn't think of that!
    marlasinger

    • G_M
    • By G_M 3rd Jan 18, 10:38 PM
    • 44,433 Posts
    • 52,741 Thanks
    G_M
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:38 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:38 PM
    Long garden bamboo pole for dipstick.
    There may be an electronic wireless system in place. look in the house for a a small receiver plugged into a socket. eg
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watchman-Sonic-Oil-Level-Monitor/dp/B0032Q8Q64

    No, you can't turn it on yourself without the owner's permission. And you'll need the owner's permission to get the boiler inspected and/or serviced too. It's not your boiler!

    Use an OFTEC registered engineer if you want an inspection done.
    https://www.oftec.org.uk/Consumers/FindTechnician

    Is it an old rusty metal tank, or a reasonably new-looking plastic one?
    • marlasinger
    • By marlasinger 7th Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    • 465 Posts
    • 373 Thanks
    marlasinger
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    It's a plastic tank, looking a bit tired but it still seems ok. The label was half ripped off it so I couldn't even see the brand or the capacity (and I'm not very good at guessing!). No wireless system in place. We saw one in another house that we viewed so I know what they look like, and this house definitely didn't have anything plugged into the socket.

    Looks like I will have to see if I can get an inspection done, if I want to pursue this property further.
    marlasinger

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