Air flue duct leak

In September 2011, just over five years ago, we had a new gas boiler installed in our small utility.  On the other side of the wall on which the boiler was fixed, an air flue duct was placed to run near the top of the extension of the kitchen.

P.J.Bryer, a plumbing company based in Yate, Bristol, carried out the work.

A wall-mounted display cabinet had to be taken down to give room for the duct.  (The filled-up hole on the right wall was a failed initial attempt.)


In August last year, four years after the installation, we discovered that there had been a fluid leak from a joint of the duct.  As we had been using the cabinet for storage of extra food, we did not notice the leak…

1b  1c

1da  1db

…until the fluid appeared under a container on the bottom of the cabinet.  The fluid seemed to have dripped on the top of the cabinet, come down along the vertical right side board expanding the edges of each shelving along the way, and eventually started to ooze out.

1de  1df

We had had P.J.Bryer to service our boiler every year since the installation.  As the annual service was imminent, we waited until the next month, and told the serviceman about the leak on the 28th of September last year.  A serviceman came twice to replace the seal afterwards, but it did not seem to stop the leak.  The second serviceman witnessed the leak immediately after the change of the seal, and he left promising that he would report it to the office.

As we needed the heating constantly on by then, we did not actively contact them during the winter.  When the spring arrived, my husband Peter emailed Mr. Bryer, the boss of the company.


Another serviceman came to change the seal, which failed to stop the leak.



Reply from Mr. Bryer.  A surprising discovery for us!




Nothing more had been heard from Mr. Bryer.  Peter emailed him again in August.



Reply from Mr. Bryer.


As amateurs, we could not work out why the amount of the leaked fluid was so different.  On the 17th of the last month, we found the bowl nearly full to the rim.


For the first time since the installation, we did not receive the reminder of the boiler service from them last month.  When October arrived, Peter decided to get someone else to have the leak sorted.  So I emailed Mr. Bryer for the first time.


To my surprise, I received a reply within hours.


Next morning on the 4th of October, Mr. Bryer rang to confirm that his servicemen would come on the 5th to work free of charge.

The next day two men came, enlarged the hole on the wall, replaced parts of the duct and repositioned it.

Before and …

4a  4b

… after.  It is a little hard to see, but I believe the angle has improved.

5a  5b

We just hope that there will be no more leak.  If there is, we would definitely get someone else next time, as we believe Mr. Bryer has had enough of us.

Although we kept the glass doors of the display cabinet, we will never be able to use it again.  It is lucky of us, that the cabinet was a left-behind piece from the previous owner of the house, and therefore we are not too attached to it…


So, the points of this lengthy post is:

If you have to have an air flue duct, please be careful!

Because –

There could be a fluid leak, even from a newly installed duct.

The flue is not covered by the manufacturer’s guarantee.

Unless discovered swiftly, things underneath can be damaged badly.

It could take a long time to have the leak resolved.


The picture above shows the heating control unit fixed on the wall by P.J.Bryer’s workmen.  This is so refreshing to me, as no Japanese workman would leave a finishing touch like this…

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