In the latest edition of his regular column, heating engineer Andy Gibbs looks at spare parts, and where they come from:
In this edition, I want to talk about boiler spares. Recently, a customer asked me to fit a refurbished PCB to his boiler. I had quoted him for a new one, direct from the manufacturer, but he wanted to save a few quid by getting one online from an unknown source.
Now I declined his offer, but it led me to think about this whole subject. So I ran a quick Twitter poll and more than 300 people responded, 75% of whom said they would only use new spares supplied by the manufacturer. I’m not entirely sure about the wisdom of using essentially second-hand parts for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it may not work, or it may not last as long as a genuine spare part. Secondly, and more seriously, it could damage the appliance, and potentially the property. Who would be liable then?
Let’s take a worst-case scenario and imagine the PCB you fitted, subsequently caught fire, and burned down the house, and even worse, your customer was in the property and is now deceased.
If you had fitted a genuine part that caused this, you would have a route back to the manufacturers to investigate.
If you had fitted a refurbished part that caused this, you are on your own, and possibly in very serious trouble. So why risk it? All to save a few quid, it’s just not worth it. I think the customer who asked me to do it would have saved £40.
I just can’t see how it’s worth risking your property and your family to save that amount.
Customers just don’t realise the boiler is not a toy, it’s a dangerous thing that needs to be properly dealt with.
I’ll leave you with this thought: would you be happy getting on an aeroplane with a dodgy refurbished PCB from eBay looking after the autopilot? No, nor me.
More next time, thanks for reading.