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Gas Engineer Allen Hart and Viva Training Work Together to Promote High Standards
Posted by: Richard Firth on: 3 September 2020
Allen Hart has become something of a sensation on YouTube, with nearly 30K followers and over 87 million hits, he regularly uploads practical videos and reviews on his channel. We’re delighted to be working with him on a series of how-to videos, some of them with one of our senior trainers, shot in our training centre in Halifax.
Allen runs CCH Leeds a successful plumbing and heating business in West Yorkshire and has lots of great experience to share. Like Viva, Allen is determined to raise industry standards, and says his videos are designed to educate householders as well as new gas engineers.
His aim is to demystify the industry so that people understand what’s happening when they employ an engineer to service, fit or repair their appliances.
“Working with Viva is the icing on the cake for me. I’m delighted to be helping Richard Firth in all he’s doing to support new people coming into the industry. I hope we can continue working together to promote the very highest standards and ensure those coming into the industry are properly trained and fit for purpose”
We suggest you give Allen’s videos a watch. There are lots of good hints and tips from him as well as other people in the business and expert trainers. If you’re currently going through your ACS training, watching videos like these is a great way to cement what you’ve learnt in the classroom.
In this video Allen supervises two Viva Academy trainees, Jamie and Kulbir, on their first boiler installation at a property. The trainees begin by stripping out the old Valiant boiler and its accompanying water heater which has sprung a leak. Although he’s there to support them, Allen tests the trainees throughout the whole procedure and offers some great safety tips and hacks on dealing with the removal of an old-style boiler before the whole heating system is flushed out and the new Viessman 050-w combi-boiler goes in. The installation ends with a final round of tests with the flue gas analyser, then the job is complete.
This is another great video for trainee gas engineers. It shows Allen putting a trainee through his paces with a boiler. Kulbir is asked to identify all the boiler’s components and then take the appliance to bits before putting it back together again. In the second half of the video, Allen runs through some of the safety equipment you’ll need to keep yourself and your customers safe.
Allen introduces Paul Kelly from Worcester Bosch who highlights some of the great features on the Worcester Bosch CDI, a flexible boiler which can be range rated to suit smaller heating systems as well as large. Paul suggests engineers download their Service Manual, which is available as a free PDF on the Worcester Bosch website, and Allen recommends that new recruits to the industry enrol on as many manufacturer training systems as they can to ensure they are getting experience working on the latest models.
This video was made at Viva Training Academy. Allen is joined by Viva Training’s Richard Firth who explains what ACS training is and why it’s a necessary safety standard for the industry. Allen and Richard then go on to explain the various areas covered by ACS training and what you’ll be expected to know in the assessment. They look at a number of appliances including cookers, boilers and gas fires and piping, and show how they should be set up. Finally, Richard runs through the requirements you’ll be expected to know for the installation of each appliance, based on manufacturers’ instructions and recognised safety procedures.
Allen introduces Russell Holdsworth, one of our trainers, with more than 40 years’ experience in the industry and 20 years in teaching. Russ explains how to use a Flue Gas Analyser and looks at two different models, the Testo 310 and Kane 456. He demonstrates how to set up the Testo model ready for the test, taking you through the process step-by-step. Russ’s demonstration ends with an explanation of the figures and ratios displayed on the unit’s automatic print out. Allen ends the video by showing how to put a Potterton boiler into service mode.
Another demonstration video, where Allen introduces our expert trainer, Russell Holdsworth, to demystify the subject of gas ratings. Russ talks us through making a gas rating on a gas cooker from start to finish and then analyses the figures produced during the reading.
Allen introduces Russell Holdsworth who runs through an important procedure which is sometimes overlooked in training. Russ begins by giving the cooker a quick look over – particularly the fit and seal of the door – before he moves onto the control taps. Once the taps are revealed, he shows how to check and carefully re-grease the barrel with high-temperature silicone grease.
In this video Viva Training’s expert trainer, Russell Holdsworth explains how liquid expansion controls work. Starting with a series of diagrams, he explains the mechanical principles of liquid expansion and how they are used to control valves in gas appliances. He then moves to a control rig in one of our workshops to show how the valves work in the thermostats of a gas cooker and a boiler. These controls often trip people up in their ACS assessment, so this video is a must-view if you’re assessment is coming up.
Allen introduces Russ Holdsworth who demonstrates Tightness Testing on various rigs in Viva Training’s workshops. Russ begins with a quick visual check of each installation, to check all is as should be, before shutting off the gas supply and starting the test itself which follows Institute if Gas Engineers’ standards IGUP1B. In Russ’s demo, a Let-by Test is the first step, to test the integrity of the main valve, before the gas pressure is increased for the Tightness Test itself. Before the demonstration ends, Russ recommends checking the system’s earth bonding and explains how to perform a bubble test at the test point, with leak detection fluid.
Finally, Allen signs off with an introduction to the facebook group he and Viva Training have set up to support new learners. Click here to join.
Allen and Russ explain in detail how to perform a tightness test on a medium pressure system. Traditionally these systems were used in rural areas, but they are becoming increasingly common in housing estates where higher mains pressure is required to feed a greater number of properties. Although the basic test is similar to that used on low pressure installations, the addition of a Meter Isolation Valve (MIV) which converts the higher pressure from the mains to low pressure before it meets the meter adds additional requirements. The end of the video has a useful section of notes detailing what Russell shows in his demo.
In this video, Viva Training’s Russell Holdsworth set out the steps involved in purging a natural gas system after Tightness Testing. He explains how to work out the appropriate purging volumes for each appliance so that the the system can be safely recommissioned and tested before the job is complete.
In this useful video, Allen compares the heat exchangers from different makes and models of boilers. Some are made of stainless steel and some of aluminium. Some have metal sumps and others sumps made of plastic. He looks at the strengths and weaknesses of each design and assesses how easy each one is to service.
Here Allen talks about why he set up the Facebook group Plumbing & Gas Training. He wants new entrants into the sector to feel supported and calls out for experienced engineers and moderators to join him in helping provide the back-up and advice they need.
If you’re able to offer friendly support or you’re a new recruit to the gas engineering industry or a trainee or apprentice keen to join, please click here.
Allen introduces Nick, one of the moderators from the new Facebook group who introduces us to press-fit copper pipe and MLCP pipe which has an aluminium lining and is far superior to plastic piping. He also shows the press fit guns and tools required to make the necessary joints and how easy they are to use.
As a gas engineer you’ll need to understand the potential dangers or electricity. In this short video, Allen runs through the necessary steps to carry out the safe isolation of a boiler before work can be carried out on it.
Safe isolation involves disconnecting the appliance from the electrical supply and is a crucial first step. Allen stresses the importance of checking that all the tools used for the isolation are working properly with an acronym – PUP – Prove: Use: Prove. He then recommends that anyone involved in working on boilers should attend an appropriate training course so that they can carry out the safe isolation correctly and understand the pitfalls of making short-cuts in this area.
One of Allen’s subscribers has sent in a video taken up on the roof. He surveys the condition of the flues he can see from his vantage point, some of them are in poor condition, others unsuitable for the appliances they serve and potentially hazardous.
Allen uses this video to discuss Part 1 of BS5440 and how important it is to undertake a full flue inspection.
He explains why flow, continuity tests and spillage tests are necessary and the video ends with a summary of the different flues available.
Allen uses this video to stress the importance of power flushing a central heating seating system once a new boiler is installed.
He watches two Viva Training Academy trainees remove a badly installed boiler and replace it with a new appliance. The trainees rectify several issues relating to the previous installation; replacing the plastic pipework with copper piping and the original condensate pipe which was badly positioned and too narrow.
After a proper system flush, they test the water quality within the boiler, to prove the water in the central heating system is clean and the system can kick-off in perfect working order.
In this video, Allen tackles a tricky installation, demonstrating how to replace an open vent boiler with a more modern combi-boiler.
He goes into detail about updating all the pipework, much of which needs to be removed, and the safety checks that are necessary before work commences. It’s important to ensure the water pressure is correct and the gas supply has been checked.
With live footage and a set of drawings he makes on a whiteboard, Allen talks through the whole installation, from start to finish, showing how to safely and tidily remove the old water tanks and cylinder before the new boiler is fitted.
Allen demonstrates how to empty a hot water cylinder.
He begins by showing the basic principles of syphoning, using a bottle of Vimto. He then moves on to emptying the cylinder and draining down the heating system using a drain-off valve.
Once the cylinder is empty and isolated, Allen shows how it can be safely removed.
Here Allen introduces an engineer from Ideal Boilers who has made a video about identifying issues with an Ideal Logic/Vogue boiler that isn’t heating the water.
The engineer demonstrates how to test the flow turbine and sensor with a multimeter, in order to come up with a successful diagnosis, before the faulty part is removed.
After running through the safety checks Allen starts work on removing the expansion vessel situated behind the boiler. He drains the boiler down, closes off all valves beneath it and loosens the components at the front so that he can lift it off the wall to access the expansion vessel.
This is easily removed and a replacement made, before the boiler is put back in situ.