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.

2017-11-23 12.49.00

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


Bee3 cleaner


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.

Getting to grips with the 3 port valve–gravity system

Motorised Mid-position Valve - 3 Port 22mmMany houses use a traditional gravity system where there is a water tank in the loft for the hot water cylinder usually located on the landing. This system was very common before the combi boiler came along about 30 years ago. To make matters even simpler the heating companies devised a 3 port valve to allow the use to set heating, hot water or heat and hot water programmes on the mechanical timer.

The wiring of these 3 port valves is quite straight forward but with there being so many combi boilers in existence now the skills and knowledge have faded away as older heating engineers have retired. These wiring systems were called Y plan systems because the “Y” looks like the way the hot water flows.

If you have problems with your heating or hot water is worth knowing what is supposed to be going on so you can give a heating engineer a reasonable explanation of what’s happening.

Open all hours

The first thing to know is that that the valve is set to be open to the hot water cylinder when its off. This means that when ever the boiler is running the cylinder will be heating unless it has reached its temperature. The controller can be set to heating off which powers the 3 port valve to close the route open to the cylinder.

When the three port is valve is used on an unvented cylinder, as this a closed, pressurised system, there is a secondary safety device which is a zone valve fitted after the 3 port valve and before the cylinder. This is a normally open valve like the 3 port valve but accepts a “heat satisfied” signal from the cylinder stat which then closes the valve to make sure it doesn’t overheat, this is a G3 Building regulation.


 Visio-Y plan with Unvented cylinder with wires

You can see from the above wiring diagram that the boiler is switched on via the cylinder stat and not by the zone or 3 port valve. It also shows that the cylinder stat controls the zone valve and switches it to closed when the cylinder heat is “satisfied”, the black wire.

Once this principle is understood it’s relatively easy to fault find what’s going on with the system and will lead the engineer to either the cylinder stat, controller or 3 port valve.

Good luck.

Macoun become Worcester Accredited Installer

We are delighted to announce that we are now Worcester Accredited Installers. Worcester imageThe qualification means that we now offer 1 year’s more warranty on Worcester boilers that other plumbers not accredited.

The qualification process, which was a one day residential course in Wakefield, was a mixture of technical understanding, knowledge of the Worcester range and understanding of the Worcester Customer Service experience.

As we are already Gas Safe registered and have fitted almost every boiler in the range we easily qualified for the technical part of the assessment. The Customer Service offering from Worcester is especially unique for a boiler manufacturer. Their approach is to fix the problem and ask questions later; unlike some (contractors and boiler manufacturers) who will start looking at the small print and trying to evade their obligation. This approach is very much in line with Macoun’s ethos as we believe that everyone can make mistakes and its best to minimise the stress to customers as soon as possible. Usually there is a very simple reason for a problem and an open and emphatic approach releases much of the stress and tension.

We hope therefore to be selected as a boiler installer of choice and if you need a new boiler we hope you might consider Macoun Energy Limited.