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Benchmark link to extended warranties

The UK's major gas boiler manufacturers, with the support of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC), have launched a campaign to rid the industry of incompetent installers.

Consumers are often confused by how to ensure that their installer is suitably qualified, but the new initiative will see warranty claims becoming invalid if a commissioning checklist was not completed when the heating system was installed.

Commissioning checklists are issued through schemes like the Benchmark quality standard. Benchmark is the mark of quality for the installation, commissioning and servicing of domestic heating and hot water systems.

Benchmark checklists are included within the installation instructions of all products supplied by Benchmark members, covering all the mainstream boiler manufacturers, making it simple for the competent installer to comply.

Commissioning checklists are also recognised by the government as an effective means of demonstrating compliance with Building Regulations and are increasingly important for customers for future reference and as evidence of a competent installation.

By linking the completion of a commissioning checklist to the warranty of a new boiler, the boiler manufacturers are giving support and encouragement to the large majority of heating installers who carry out their work competently and professionally. They are also sending a clear message to illegal and cowboy installers that manufacturers will no longer carry the cost for installations that have not been carried out in line with the manufacturers' instructions.

In order to be able to install a gas boiler, the installer must as a minimum be Gas Safe registered, a member of a competent persons scheme and follow the manufacturer's installation and commission instructions. By completing and signing the Benchmark commissioning checklist, the installer provides the customer with reassurance and evidence that these requirements have been met.

The industry is taking this action to support the majority of competent installers and because it firmly believes that householders should have the right to expect that their new boiler and heating system should be installed professionally, safely and competently.

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