Ask Us Anything

Whether you want more information about our insurance cover and how to make a claim or have a leaking tap and need to know how to fix it, all of our FAQs are below to help.

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All Your Questions Answered

Get protected today with our comprehensive range of home insurance cover. Let us look after your home, so you can look after your family, giving you the peace of mind that we’re there when you need us.

Your Heating Questions Answered

How long does a callout take?

This very much depends on what you are calling us out for. An annual boiler service will typically take around 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. A repair can take much longer, depending upon how serious the issue is.

Do I lose boiler cover if I switch energy supplier?

No, your cover relates to your boiler. Your energy supplier has no bearing on your cover.

What happens if my boiler breaks down?

Never, ever try to repair a boiler yourself. You should always contact a Gas Safe registered engineer. If you have Boiler Cover with SES Home Services, simply contact us (our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year), and we will arrange for one of our expert engineers to visit. If it is an emergency, we will often be able to attend the same day you report the issue.

What if I move house?

When you move home, you can normally move your cover to your new property. SES Home Services cover properties throughout the southeast of England. If you are moving out of the southeast area, please contact a member of our friendly customer services team who will be happy to help you.

What if my boiler can’t be fixed?

If your boiler cannot be fixed, or is deemed beyond economic repair (BER) most boiler cover policies will offer their customer a contribution towards the cost of a new boiler installation.

What types of boiler cover are there?

There are two types of boiler cover:
1. Cover for the boiler itself and it's controls.
2. Cover for your whole central heating system, including your hot water.
There are also more comprehensive cover options that include your plumbing and drainage. Some may even add electrical wiring and appliance cover and pest control.

What is boiler cover?

Boiler cover is an insurance that offers you protection if your boiler breaks down or it's controls stop working. It will help to pay for the cost of repairs. Depending on the type of cover that you take out you may not incur a call-out charge and all engineer labour and replacement parts costs will be covered by your boiler cover.

What about the CORGI scheme – don’t gas fitters need to be CORGI-registered?

CORGI gas registration is no longer valid or recognised in Great Britain and the Isle of Man. To work legally on gas appliances and installations, you must be on the Gas Safe Register (GSR). Look out for the GSR logo, or alternatively visit the Gas Safe Register website to find your nearest accredited installer

What features should I look for in a boiler?

To make sure that your boiler is correctly sized for your property, consider the following questions:

How many radiators do you have?
How many bathrooms do you have?
How many rooms are in the house?
Do you have double-glazing?
How much heat does your home lose?
Are you planning to build an extension to your house?
A Gas Safe Registered listed installer will be able to help assess your answers to these questions and determine the type of boiler most suited for your property.

How can I find a trustworthy installer. fitter or engineer?
Your boiler must be installed by a Gas Safe Registered listed installer. Installers must carry their ID cards with them. This will list the gas work they are certified to carry out. You should always check that the person who comes out to see you is qualified to carry out the work you require.

What type of boiler do you recommend?

This depends on the needs of your household. Now you have a choice between a combination boiler, which provides heating and hot water on demand, or a conventional boiler, which operates the central heating, but has a separate cylinder for hot water storage.

Combination boilers can provide a continuous flow of hot water, require less space and avoid heating water unnecessarily, but are less suitable for houses where there are simultaneous demands on the hot water, such as multiple bathrooms or showers, or where there is poor mains water pressure.

Conventional heat-only boilers take up more space than a combination system – as they include a feed and expansion tank and a cylinder, but they are able to provide hot water to several sources at once and are more suitable for larger houses.

How often should I replace my gas boiler?

A boiler should last up to 15 years, with regular inspections and servicing. Over one million boilers are replaced each year within the UK. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average domestic boiler is only 70 per cent efficient. Even then, after a decade of use, this efficiency is dramatically reduced.

I can smell gas leaking – what should I do?

If you can smell gas leaking:

Turn off the gas lever at the mains
Do not operate any electrical equipment, use any light switches or use a mobile phone.
Open windows and put out any cigarettes or naked flames.
Treat the suspected gas leak as REAL until further notice.
Avoid any rooms with a strong smell of gas and call the National Grid on 0800 111 999 for professional help.
A National Grid agent will ask you to report all the appropriate details, including how many people are at the property, how long the smell has been noticeable and whether any neighbours have been affected. Once all the information has been gathered, it will be sent electronically to a National Grid engineer for action. Following the leak, all electrical appliances (e.g. cookers, boilers or fires) will need to be checked by a Gas Safe Registered engineer to ensure they are safe to use.

Are SES Home Services gas and central heating engineers regulated?

Yes, all our engineers are on the Gas Safe Register. The Gas Safe Register is the official body for gas safety in Great Britain and the Isle of Man – it replaces CORGI. If you’re looking for a gas engineer to carry out work on your property, always make sure they are Gas Safe Register listed – it’s illegal for an unlisted person to carry out repairs or boiler installations. Find out more at

Your Plumbing Questions Answered

Are there any restrictions with plumbing and drainage insurance?

Depending on the type of cover you get, restrictions will apply. If you are unsure about what is restricted and what isn't then please give us a call so we can advise you.

Does plumbing and drainage cover include call-out charges?

This depends on if you hold a policy with us and the level of cover that you have taken out. To find out the full details of what is covered by your policy, click here.
If you don’t have a policy with us or the coverage level does not include a no call-out charge, then you will be charged £96 for the first hour our engineer is at your property. After this initial hour, any additional time will be calculated in 15 minutes increments.

What are the most common plumbing problems?

The most common plumbing and drainage problems include dripping taps, blocked toilets, leaky pipes and low water pressure. If you are suffering from any of these please give us a call and we will send one of our expert engineers out, as soon as possible.

What are the most common drainage problems?

A blocked drain is the most common drainage problem, not only do we service this, we service blocked toilets and general drainage issues depending on your cover.

What might plumbing and drainage insurance not cover?

Some home insurance policies offer some cover for accidental damage caused by water. It's important that you check the detail of your insurance. Some policies offer very comprehensive cover, while others cover very little and have a lot of exclusions. It is unlikely that leaking pipes and related wear and tear will be covered by standard home insurance.

Does my home insurance cover plumbing and drainage problems?

Some home insurance policies offer some cover for accidental damage caused by water. It's important that you check the detail of your insurance. Some policies offer very comprehensive cover, while others cover very little and have a lot of exclusions. It is unlikely that leaking pipes and age related wear and tear will be covered by standard home insurance.

What can I do to stop the leak?

As the leak is underground and on a high pressure pipe, it requires specialists to fix the problem. If it is a major burst, you can turn off the water at the outside stop-valve to reduce the loss of water until help arrives.

What problems can a leaking supply pipe cause?

A leaking supply pipe can cause many serious problems including: damp weakened foundations and subsidence, waterlogged gardens, damage to driveways, valuable water wastage and metered bill increase.

How can I tell if I have a leak in my supply pipe?

There are tell-tale signs that give supply pipe leaks away. If your water pressure is slow, your garden is waterlogged or your meter reading is much higher than you’d expect, then you may have a leak in your supply pipe.If you think you have a leak and you have an external water meter, you can do a simple test by turning off the inside stop-valve of your property, opening the external meter and taking a reading. Then leave the stop-valve closed and do not use the water for at least 30 minutes. Check the meter again – if there has been an increase in the reading, it is likely that you have a leak.

Is it my responsibility to check for my supply pipe for leaks?

Yes it is. You are responsible for maintaining the underground water supply pipe from the boundary of your property into your home. We recommend that, if you have a meter, you take regular readings to check for possible leaks.

I share a supply pipe, what am I responsible for?

The supply pipe is the pipe coming from the principal stop-valve into your property. Most modern houses have an independent water supply pipe into the property, which is the householder’s responsibility. In older properties, there may be a shared supply pipe for one or more properties. You are responsible for leaks and the maintenance of this pipe. If the pipe is shared, so is the responsibility

Who is responsible for water supply pipes – me or the water company?

You may not know it, but the water supply pipe that runs to your home is your responsibility. Below are some of the most popular questions and answers relating to water supply pipes, who’s responsible and what to do in the event of a problem

My toilet cistern is overflowing – what should I do?

An overflowing cistern is usually due to one of three possible causes:

Water levels may be too high
The ball-valve may be damaged
The washer may be worn out
You can easily determine the real problem behind the overflow by checking the water level in the cistern.If the water level is too high, you will need to bring the water down to the level indicated within the cistern. Simply adjust the screw on the valve and washer assembly, until the level of water has fallen. If the ball float is damaged or the washer is worn out, you will need to replace the broken part with a new one. However, remember to turn off your water supply before starting on any home repairs.

If you aren’t confident fixing the problem yourself, why not consider getting our plumbing team in to help?

What should I do if water is leaking through my ceiling?

Water leaks in any home can cause lots of damage, from rotting wood to peeling paint. Mould thrives in moist environments, so it is important to find the cause of the leak as soon as possible to prevent further damage being caused.

If you notice a water leak, catch the drips in a bucket. Remember to move all valuables away from the water damage. If the ceiling begins to bulge, punch a small hole in the ceiling to let the water drain out. This can prevent the ceiling from collapsing.

In the meantime, call a plumber to get to the root of the problem as soon as you can – water damage can get structural quicker than you might imagine, so it makes financial sense to address the situation promptly.

If my sink, basin or bath waste is draining away slowly, what can I do?

Slow running drains are usually indicative of a partial blockage, so the first step is to find the obstruction. In baths and showers, the problem is normally due to the build up of hair and soap scum. If you see hair in the bottom of the drain, you might be able to simply reach in and pull out the blockage. Alternatively, you should use a pair of tweezers or pliers.

If you can’t find the obstruction, it’s time to call in the professionals – visit our drainage page for more information.

You can avoid obstructions building up in the first place by taking the following steps:

Use strainers in all your drains to stop hair from going down the drain.

Don’t drop small pieces of soap down the drain. This causes soap scum to build up in drains and pipes.

Once a month, pour a kettle full of boiling water down the drain. This will help melt any greases or oils and wash them away before they can build up (do not do this for your toilet, as the hot water may crack the porcelain).

Every three to four months use a half-cup of baking soda in the drain while slowly adding half a cup of vinegar. Let the liquid drain for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water.

What do I do if my water pipes freeze or burst?

Plumbing emergencies such as burst and frozen pipes do happen, and the best thing you can do is call for a plumber as soon as possible. While you wait for professional help, the following steps can help minimise damage:

Frozen pipes

When thawing or repairing burst water pipes, safety is the greatest concern. The first important step is to turn off the mains water supply at the stop-valve and ensure that the boiler is switched off. Some basic steps can be taken to minimise the damage including carrying out visual pipe checks where possible and moving any belongings that might be damaged when the pipe thaws. It’s best to let nature take its course so switch it all off and wait for things to warm up.

PLEASE REMEMBER – although taking this advice will help stabilise the problem, an expert is still needed to fix the problem securely. For your own peace of mind, get an expert in to trace all the pipework for splits. Otherwise, when the weather warms up and your pipes thaw, you may have a costly water leak to deal with.

Burst pipes

When a pipe bursts, the first thing you will need to do is prevent the water passing the point of the leak. You can do this by turning off all the stop-valves and opening all cold water taps so that the pipe work and storage system drain quickly. You will also need to switch off the central heating, immersion heater and any other water heating you may have. If water has leaked near your electrics or electrical goods, switch them off at the mains and don’t touch them until they have been checked over by a fully qualified electrician.

Is SES Home Services a member of a trade body?

We’re proud members of some leading trade bodies:

Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC)

The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) is the leading trade Association for the Plumbing and Heating industry in England and Wales. Find out more at

Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE)

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is the professional body for the UK plumbing and heating industry. Find out more at

Water Industry Approved Plumbers Scheme (WIAPS)/ Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) The purpose of WRAS is to contribute to the protection of public health by preventing contamination of public water supplies and encouraging the efficient use of water by promoting and facilitating compliance with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Byelaws in Scotland.

Your Electrical Questions Answered

What happens if I discover an electrical problem?

If you discover an electrical problem in your home, it's important to take immediate action to mitigate the risks. First, turn off all power to the affected area. If you're not sure how to do this, call a professional. Once the power is off, do not attempt to repair the issue yourself. Contact an electrician to assess the situation and make any necessary repairs. Taking these steps will help to ensure your safety and keep your home in good working order. If you find a problem with your electrics, please call us on 0208 722 7072 and one of our team members will advise you on the best solution.

What to do if I smell my electrics overheating?

If you smell your electrics overheating, it's important to act quickly to avoid a fire. There are a few simple things you can do to try and rectify the issue. The first thing you should do is unplug all the devices plugged into the wall. Do not touch anything with wet hands, as this could increase the risk of an electric shock. If you can safely do so, try to locate the source of the smell. Once you have identified it, switch off the power supply to that appliance at the fuse box.

If the smell is coming from a plug socket, remove the plug and check for any signs of damage such as melted plastic or scorching. If there is any damage, seek advice from an electrician.  If the smell continues, or if there is any sign of a fire, call the fire brigade immediately.

What are the main causes of a tripped circuit breaker?

There are a few things that can cause a circuit breaker to trip. One of the most common reasons is too much load on the circuit. Another reason could be a short in the wiring or if you have any faulty appliances such as a kettle microwave or toaster these can cause your electrics to trip.

What should I do if my circuit breaker keeps tripping?

If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, it’s likely you have too much electrical load on that particular circuit. You can try to remedy the situation by either removing some of the appliances or lights on that circuit. If it continues to trip after you have removed as many appliances as you can, then please call an electrician who will be able to try adding a new breaker to the circuit.

My electrics have tripped how can I get them back on?

If your electrics have tripped, it's likely because there has been a power surge or spike. To get your electrics back on, you'll need to reset the circuit breaker. To do this, locate your fuse board and find the switch that is in the "off" position. Once you've found it, simply flip the switch back to the "on" position and your electrics should come back on. If they don't, then you may have a more serious problem and will need to call an electrician.

How can I turn the electrics off for my whole house?

If you need to turn the electrics off at the mains, start by finding your fuse box. The fuse box is usually located in your home's main electrical panel. Once you've found it, open the panel and locate the main switch. This switch controls all of the electrics in your home, so make sure it's turned to the "off" position.

Why do I have no electricity?

If you have no electricity it may mean that your electrics have tripped. The first thing to do is to check for any local power cuts in your area, you can do this by doing a quick search online. If there are no reported issues in your area then this could mean that some of your appliances may have caused your electrics to trip. You will need to locate your fuseboard and find which fuse has tripped, there should be a label on the fuse to tell you where abouts in the house the electrics have tripped, this will help you to identify which object has done this. If the label on the fuse just says downstairs, then you will need to unplug all of the downstairs appliances. Once you have done this then turn on the fuseboard and put each of the appliances back on, one by one. This will help you to locate which item has tripped the electric.

Where can I find my fuse board?

The fuse board is usually located under the stairs or in a cupboard. It may be located near your water main and will be separate to your gas. It will have labels listing the circuits that are served by each fuse. You can find more information on your specific fuse box by checking your owner's manual or by calling an electrician.

What People Say About SES Home Services

Why not see for yourself, click here formore Testimonials.

Bob The Builder
Hopeless DIY Enthusiast

SES is an excellent companywith whom to deal. Theycommunicate well, efficientand all staff helpful andcharming.

Bob The Builder
Hopeless DIY Enthusiast

SES is an excellent companywith whom to deal. Theycommunicate well, efficientand all staff helpful andcharming.

Bob The Builder
Hopeless DIY Enthusiast

SES is an excellent companywith whom to deal. Theycommunicate well, efficientand all staff helpful andcharming.

Bob The Builder
Hopeless DIY Enthusiast

SES is an excellent companywith whom to deal. Theycommunicate well, efficientand all staff helpful andcharming.

Bob The Builder
Hopeless DIY Enthusiast

SES is an excellent companywith whom to deal. Theycommunicate well, efficientand all staff helpful andcharming.

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