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What Qualifications Are Required to Service an Unvented Cylinder Safely?

Unvented cylinders offer better pressure in the shower and at the taps. They also offer numerous other benefits over old, vented styles. However, because they are not vented, they must be installed and maintained by qualified, licensed engineers. As a homeowner, it’s important that you understand what qualifications are required to service an unvented cylinder safely.

G3 Qualification

First, it’s important to understand that only plumbers who hold a G3 certification can install or maintain an unvented cylinder. Those certified for gas systems, or general plumbers, should not be allowed to install or maintain such a cylinder in your home. However, they are allowed to install and service vented cylinders.

What Is the G3 Qualification?

The G3 qualification is actually based on the mandates spelled out in the G3 section of the Building Regulations Approved Document published by the UK government. It’s also known as an Unvented Hot Water qualification. Earning certification requires that the plumber complete a qualifying training course. Training courses are offered in a number of ways and through many different sources, including unvented cylinder manufacturers such as Gledhill. The training should include three elements at a minimum. These are as follows:

  • Education in how vented and unvented systems operate and how they differ
  • The design and installation requirements for unvented cylinders
  • The maintenance steps and compliance requirements that apply to unvented cylinders per Building Regulations

Requalification and Retraining

Earning their G3 qualification is not a once and done thing for plumbers. Instead, it’s considered professional training, much like the training that nurses and other professionals must complete. As such, plumbers who install or maintain unvented cylinders must go through retraining and recertification every five years in the UK.

Additional Considerations

It’s not enough to find a plumber that claims to have their G3 certification. Make sure to ask for proof. They may show you a paper certificate, or a card. Either one is acceptable. Once the installation or maintenance service is finished, the plumber should put their G3 number on the certificate for the cylinder. Failure to do this (or working with a plumber who is not G3 certified) may mean that you lose your warranty if a problem arises or that you are not covered by your homeowner’s insurance in the event of a water heater-related claim.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, there are many skilled plumbers operating in the UK. However, experience and knowledge do not automatically make them qualified to install or maintain your unvented cylinder. Only qualified plumbers who have earned their G3 certificate should be allowed to do so. If you are not sure that your usual plumber has his or her certification, ask for proof. If you’re unable to find a qualified plumber, we’re happy to help.

Get in touch with EasyFlow on 0161 941 5571. All of our engineers are fully trained and qualified for unvented cylinder installation and maintenance, and they’ll happily show you their G3 card on arrival.