As the sales of copy and counterfeit parts are increasing within the heating industry, we asked our Chief Technical Officer Elaine Lancaster about the issues surrounding these products, and the importance of buying genuine parts.
“We work in a heavily regulated industry because safety is paramount, so it seems strange to me that we don’t have a kite mark scheme for parts, to ensure installers know precisely what they are buying and installing.
As things stand, it can be difficult to make a distinction between a genuine part, an equivalent approved part and a copy part, something that I, and many of my colleagues in the industry, believe needs to change.
Ideal invests a lot of time vigorously testing every component and sub-assembly to ensure full reliability. These tests, carried out at our Research & Development and Quality Centre of Excellence and Innovation in Hull, are equivalent to 10 years continuous use.
Every boiler must conform to gas safety rules, and many of the parts inside are deemed gas safe critical parts. Genuine parts that belong to the original equipment boiler approval will face a high degree of scrutiny, but there is no guarantee other parts have faced the same level of scrutiny. A copy part may on the face of it be fit for purpose, but if it hasn’t been specifically tested for use in our boilers, reliability can’t be guaranteed, that makes any warranty invalid and may put both our reputations on the line.
This is not about protecting our spares business and charging high costs for parts; this is about protecting the consumer from poor and unsafe practices. It would be better for the industry if there was more transparency on approved and copy parts, so installers can make informed choices. Copy parts are sold all the time within the white goods and automotive industries, but people know what they’re buying.
Under the Sale of Goods Act if we sell a boiler, all its parts have to be approved for use within that product. Therefore, you can have supreme confidence in our boilers and enjoy the benefits of extended warranties.
After all, you bear the wider responsibility because ultimately you are judged, both legally and in terms of your professional standing, on the work you carry out. Therefore, it’s in your interests to use genuine parts.
There is growing backing for the kite mark idea, but we need to increase the support of wider industry stakeholders including installers, merchants, and component suppliers. We believe this is the best way to ensure consumer safety and your peace of mind.”
To ensure our installers and customers can rely on the quality of their Ideal boiler’s and the replacement parts they purchase for them, we now sell our spare parts directly to the installer through our new website.
For genuine Ideal spare parts visit www.idealparts.com