SNOW! better time to check your heating system

2018-02-28 07.38.30Thankfully the snow has gone for the moment. It was a very busy time for us with calls every hour asking for help. We were able to answer many of them and were happy to give people advice on how to get their boilers working again. One local customer even left us a kind review on Checkatrade for helping him out.

“Very kindly offered advice which overcame boiler failure meaning a visit was not necessary, without charge.”

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Now that temperatures are above freezing its an ideal time to review your systems and plan in a little bit of preventative maintenance to save the discomfort and worry next time the Beast comes from the East. 

Having a heating system that doesn’t effectively heat your house is worse than useless!

New Picture (51)We can review your heating system and make improvements such as refiting or rerouting your condensate pipework so that it doesn’t freeze, we can review your radiator outputs and look at the amount of sludge there is in your system to give your boiler a fighting chance of circulating some real heat on colder days; and we can install Smart Controls that learn when you want your heating on and take account of the external weather conditions.


Correct cleaning of your system

Many people will be getting new boilers at this time of year because this is when they are most likely to fail and with the pressure and stress of the cold weather its sometimes best to opt for a new boiler. I many cases the replacement is due to the old system being tired and exhausted and clogged up with years of dirty water in the system.

When a new boiler is fitted it is part of the Building Regulations that the system is flushed out in accordance with BS7593. This means flushing the system with either a fresh water approach or a power flush approach, details of each can be found at the Domestic Water Treatment Association’s code of practice –

We normally opt for the fresh water approach as we feel it places the system under less stress and with many manufacturers they provide an installation jig for easy flushing, pictured below you can see how the filling loop is used to introduce fresh water into the system and a exit pipe is attached to the flow connection thus allowing water to be introduced and flow round the whole system with out going through the boiler – which isn’t fitted at this stage.

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The process is further refined by then shutting of all but one of the radiators so that it can be heard that the flushing water is running through that radiator, this is continued for all the radiators in the system. The exiting water usually turns a darker colour as each new radiator is opened up.

If you are having a new boiler fitted and the fitters are suggesting that they don’t need to flush the system as the magnetic filter will remove all of the dirty walk away!! This is not correct, don’t let them pull the wool and contaminate your new boiler with years of old sludge.

Derek’s Diary – “House Warmer” not that warm!!

Derek’s been out and about buzzing around looking to help folks in this cold weather. We were contacted by one young man who had just moved into a new house with a young family, in Tyneside, but had no heating or hot water. It turned out that the “Thorn-Myson House Warmer 30/45” wasn’t doing its job and so we set about fixing it.

This is a dear old lady who ceased production in 1988 so we are looking at a 30 year old boiler.

The first problem as a blown capacitor in the wiring centre, this was easily replaced. 2017-12-13 22.01.50The picture opposite shows the capacitor exploding as voltage is sent across it.

Then the pilot light didn’t work so this was also replaced. Finally it began to work but the circulation pump had sheared off, so that had to be replaced. The pump hadn’t been supported very well so we added some supports and new valves and now it works perfectly! It just goes to show that with a little TLC you can bring an old dear back to life.

2017-12-09 09.04.31Our client, Paul, commented – An excellent job on an old, dated boiler and heating system which had not been maintained prior to me purchasing the property and had several issues. Richard was open and clear with expectations of potential issues and cost and endeavoured to sort it as quickly as possible, including coming out at weekends and evenings. I cannot fault the service provided at all.

We were delighted to has been able to assist Smile

Derek’s diary – Boilers and Gas Cookers

We don’t just fix boilers, but you probably know that!

Bee3 cleanerThis week Derek has been busy fixing a lot of boilers, replacing pumps, finding leaks and getting gas ovens to work.

2017-11-23 12.44.24In one job the gas oven’s automatic sparker would start all by itself and just keep sparking, this was driving the customer mad!!

We found out that the flame was lifting off the burner because the burner was dirty and so we sent Derek into the hot oven to give it a good clean; after that it worked great.

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Bee3 cleanerIt just goes to show that cleaning your oven is important and can say you the cost of calling out a gas engineer to clean it for you.

On another day Derek found himself in a loft with a few wasps and the odd bat! While he was up the, at the property in North Shields, he replaced the gravity feed central heating pump on an old Apollo boiler which was installed about 30 years ago.

2017-11-21 10.33.17Unfortunately just as we replaced the main pump the thermocouple went as well so we replaced that too.


New 300 Review milestone

Bee3 cleanerWe are delighted to announce that we have passed the 300 Checkatrade reviews milestone. That’s almost 1 review per day since we started advertising our business on Checkatrade –

300So thanks to all our wonderful customers, we have been delighted to have serviced you and look forward to providing a quality service in the future. Why not check out what our customer say at


Derek’s diary

Bee3 cleanerDerek’s been a busy bee this week. We’ve been all over the North East fixing boilers and central heating systems.

Our best job was to help out Nancy who had no heating at all. We arrived to find her boiler in about 100 pieces – not ideal; this is how the last gas fitter has left it. On closer inspection of the Ideal Icos HE24 we found that the condensate trap with clogged with boiler debris. 2017-11-19-PHOTO-00000004

This would have made the combustion chamber fill up with water and eventually stop the boiler because it was under water! The solution was quite simple – the trap needed to be cleared of all the black sludge and then the whole boiler needed to be flushed through with 10 kettles of boiling water. And that’s what we did.

After it was flushed out and a quick clean of the electronic sensors we fired it and it worked! Nancy said in her review, “The boiler stopped working. I asked quite a few plumbers for fixing but no one was sure to get it fixed. I asked Boiler Bee for a quote of a new boiler but he said he could fix it. What a surprise! And he did! We really appreciate and would recommend him to my friend!”

Bee3 cleanerDerek’s also been busy fitting Nest internet thermostats this week. We’ve fitted two actually. One was used to Nestcontrol the under floor heating at a terraced property in North Shields, the second was a traditional heating system in Whitley Bay, both customers were delighted with the operation and control they have of their heating systems.

Boiler Bee – New name new challenges


We are delighted to announce we are changing our name and placing a greater emphasis on our domestic plumbing and heating business.

Macoun Energy Limited was formed in 2015 as a business designed to offer energy consultancy and then later plumbing and heating services to business and domestic customers in the North East, we have now decided to narrow down the business to offer just plumbing and heating services and felt that the name Boiler Bee would be a better name to demonstrate the type of business we are offering.

Over the past 3 years we have worked on hundreds of boiler, central heating systems, radiators and gas appliances such as gas fires and cookers. In that time it has become evident that there is shortage of businesses who can skilfully service and repair gas appliances. Far too often we have heard from customers that they have been told their boiler or gas fire is unsafe, obsolete and at the end of its life. As a gas safe engineer I know that if a boiler is unsafe it must be either repaired or replaced. However, all too often, the easier and more expensive option of replacing is chosen. In some cases this may be because the gas engineer doesn’t feel confident in repairing the boiler or it may be that the company strategy is not to repair.

My background is as a Mechanical Engineer, I have been taking machines apart and trying to put them back together for over 40 years! I believe everything can be fixed and so I promise to explore every angle and implement every repair before condemning a boiler.

So our new philosophy is:-

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BEE SMART – Fix your boiler


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BEE WISE – Maintain your boiler


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We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Quality Plumber Week 2017

Quality Plumber Week 2017The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors Ltd (APHC) has launched “Quality Plumber Week 2017”, which will run from 2 to 8 October, aims to promote high quality plumbing and heating services by educating customer how they can find a reliable plumber or heating engineer.

They offer various guides on their website, at as well as having their own directory of members who are quality checked.

Our own advice would be to search Checkatrade for a plumber or heating engineer in your area and if it within our local you will find Macoun Energy popping up near the top of the list where you can read the 271 reviews we have, of which 99% are over 9/10.image

WE are supporting this initiative as the industry braces itself for the winter months when business volumes rise as people place greater stress on their heating and hot water systems.

As a special offer we are offering 5 boiler services for FREE on a first come first served basis, just click on this page INFORMATION to log your interest and email us at


No such thing as obsolete!

Are you signed up to one of the big utility companies and getting your annual service for £25/month? If so then you should taka closer look at their business strategy, which is:-

1. Do as little work as possible at the annual service in order to:-

2. Allow parts to breakdown causing the customer aguish, which:-

3. Adds weight to their rhetoric that the spare parts are hard to get and :-

4. Therefore you should install a new boiler in order to give british gasyou peace of mind, oh and :-

5. Continue to pay us £ 300 per year for breakdown cover which is already provided by the manufacturer’s 10 year warranty. 

This is a scam…..

Obsolete boilers

Don’t fall for it, listen to Mr McArdle of Whitley Bay:- Related image

“Boiler declared full of sludge and a new one required by a heating engineer sent by Corgiplan. In the process of getting quotes I called Richard. He had a look and stated it was repairable. During the process he removed the heat exchanger and pipes to show me there was no sludge present. After extensive investigation Richard identified the problem and fixed it. The life of boiler has been extended by at least 10 years. I have no hesitation in recommending Richard who will be servicing my boiler from now on.”

0020068957-Vaillant-Connection-Tube-zoom[1]Mr McArdle’s boiler had the classic fault of decaying rubber hoses inside his boiler, this is a common fault and certainly not a death knell. Vaillant make replacement parts which are easily fitted in about an hour. Unfortunately the diverter valve had also packed in so this was replaced as well. In changing the valve I had to remove most of the internal  ’organs’ which proved to be fortuitous as I could show Mr McArdle that there was no mysterious sludge.

Or hear what Mr Pearce had to say in New York:-

“Richard at Macoun saved us approx. £1,600 after advice we had from other gas fitters was we needed a new boiler, Richard was very honest and said this wasn’t necessary and with a few replacement parts would be fine, his workmanship is excellent and most importantly he is very honest, reasonably priced and always on hand to speak to whenever needed I would strongly recommend using Richard at Macoun, and he is who we’ll be using for any issues we encounter all the time in the future.”

Mr Pearce has an old Ideal RS30 which had been installed when the houses were built in Image result for ideal rs30January 1993, so 24 years old. The boiler has a permanent pilot light and feeds its heat via an open vented system to the cylinder and radiators. The boiler has a seasonal efficiency of 79% and with regular maintenance should last for 30 years.

The customers where having problems restarting the pilot light after it had gone out. I dismantled the whole assembly and cleaned the jets, reassembled it and it worked fine; it looked like it had not been properly serviced in 23 years!

If your boiler is unreliable its probably because its been neglected for many years, call us and we’ll fix it.

Gas Safety Week

This week is Gas Safety week. Its a chance to elevate the importance of gas safety and broadcast to the public what is meant by gas safety.gas safe man

What is it?

What is Gas Safety? – there are two main areas:-

1. Gas leaks – is gas escaping into your house? If so there could be an explosion which could kill or seriously harm you, your family or passers.

2. Poisonous fumes – when we burn gas we produce fumes, usually CO2 and water vapour but if a boiler or gas fire is not burning properly it can produce CO (Carbon Monoxide) which is very poisonous. The production of CO is much more common than a gas leak because flues can get blocked (by builders or birds nests) or careless actions such as using a disposable barbeque in a tent are carried out by the public.

CO can easily come from car engines, small petrol generators, gas fire, gas cookers and any form of fire be it wood, plastic or paper when used in unventilated spaces. As soon as the fire uses up all of the oxygen in the room it starts removing oxygen from the CO2 leaving CO, which is deadly.

CO poisoning symptoms –

CO symptoms

Risks in our area – NE30

Gas Safe Register has found a significant number of unsafe appliances over the least 12 months. As the graphic below shows there are appliances at risk and people’s lives in danger.


The website – is designed to allow you to call in a Gas Safe Engineer or remind you to do so in the future when you’re next at home. We would certainly urge you to seriously consider getting your appliances checked and a CO detector fitted.