How to Choose a Boiler for Your Home UK

Getting a new boiler is probably one of the biggest purchases you can ever make as a UK homeowner. This is why it is a must to ensure that you pick the best and most reliable boiler that suits both your home and your budget.

However, the good news here is that switching your old boiler with a new and more modern unit can help improve the energy efficiency of the central heating system of your home. This will help you save more money when it comes to your heating bills.

But, how should you choose the right boiler for your home in the UK?

The specific needs of your home and the load that the boiler will carry will affect your decision on what will be the best choice for you. Using the right boiler can help with effectively heating up your house and put a limit on the produced waste at the end of the day. Aside from efficiency, here are other things you need to consider:

Type of Boiler 

There are several factors that will affect your decision on the specific type of boiler you will use for your home. The first consideration is the system you are currently using. Getting the same type as your old one will make it easier to make the chance and may also lower your costs as a result.

 If you prefer a model different from what you used before, the necessary infrastructure might not yet be in place. The boiler installer will be able to give you recommendations on what will work best for you when they visit your home. Blueline Plumbers have excellent engineers that can install all types of boilers. Make sure you only work with gas registered installers!

Aside from this, how you plan to use the boiler must also be considered. There are boilers that are not meant for homes with heavy or excessive use. Some boilers may also be unsuitable for the outlets it will cover. All in all, the type of boiler you choose will be best determined by how you will use it.

Dimensions and Size

You also need to consider the size of the space where the new boiler will be fitted. The heating engineers may suggest moving the location. But, it may also mean that the time frame for the installation process will also take longer. Boilers are now getting smaller because of technology advances. The size is also going to depend on the type of boiler you need.

Price 

Price is one of the major considerations for many people because of the required initial cost outlay. The good news is that there are now boiler manufacturers that offer financing options for their products. It is also important to remember that the price is not always an indication of quality so don’t assume that cheaper is better or a more expensive price tag also means higher performance.  

Choice of Brand

Finally, the brand of boiler you will choose is another factor you need to consider. There are now many boiler brands in the market and all of them have their own strengths and weaknesses. It is best to do your research first and compare several makes and models to find the best value for money.

source https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk/blog/how-to-choose-a-boiler-for-your-home-uk/

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Can a Plumber Replace an Electric Shower?

Is your electric shower starting to lose its sparkle?

Does it seem tired and dull lately?

If these questions get a yes for an answer, then, it is about time for you to get a replacement. But, who can and should replace your electric shower, then?

Who Can Install or Replace Electric Showers?

Both electrical and plumbing experience is necessary during the installation of a new electric shower, especially since there is a chance that the new shower system has higher wattage compared to the previous one.

Instead of trying to do things on your own and put yourself at risk of injuries, it is best to get the help of a qualified plumber to ensure a safe reinstallation or replacement of your electric shower.

If you don’t have the proper qualifications for doing the job, it is a must to get in touch with a qualified electrician or a Part P certified plumber. When looking for an installer, you have to check and make sure that you hire someone who is registered with any of the relevant trade bodies. 

There are various qualifications that the plumber can have and these can range from being Chartered, apprenticeships, NVQs, and City & Guilds.

Any electrical job performed in shower rooms, bathrooms, wet rooms, cloakrooms, and kitchens are deemed as special cases under the existing legislation. It is for this reason that this kind of work must only be done by part P certified electricians who must issue the part P certificate for the job done.

To answer your question, if the plumbers are part P certified, they can fit electric showers and if not, they should never fit it at all and it would be better for you to look for an electrician instead.

How About Replacing an Electric Shower on Your Own?

Can you replace your electric shower all by yourself? Well, the answer is actually yes. This might not be the easiest and simplest job out there. However, it is still very much possible with lots of preparation, attention, and care. 

Now, even if you can replace your electric shower on your own, you need to be suitably qualified. Never, ever take the risk if you are not qualified or trained in electrics in the first place. Although the price of electric shower installation is often higher than the price of the shower itself, it will never be worth it to put yourself at risk just so you can save some bucks.

How Much Will It Cost to Replace an Electric Shower?

Now that you know that it is best to hire a qualified professional to replace your electric shower, your next concern is probably how much the job will cost you.

As expected, the costs will vary based on your location and the present demand for electricians and plumbers. However, for like for like replacements, the cost of installation can range somewhere between £150 up to £1,000 while you can expect to spend as much as £700 to £2,500 when the replacement involves some tweaks to your electrics or plumbing systems.

source https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk/blog/can-a-plumber-replace-an-electric-shower/

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Cost of Moving a Boiler in Your Home UK

Info provided by Blueline Plumbers:

There are times when boilers are initially installed in not so convenient places. When the time comes that you decide to move your home’s boiler somewhere else, it is important to consider how much the job will cost you.

The cost of moving a boiler in your UK home typically costs £300 to £800. This often takes 1 to 2 days although it will vary depending on the distance between the current location of your boiler and where you plan to move it.

Cost of Moving Home Boilers

You can typically expect to pay anywhere between £250 and £500 for moving an average central heating boiler. But, you have to be ready to pay more if there is a need for the engineer to do some significant flue work or pipework. Here is a quick rundown of the prices of the materials that will be needed for the job:

  • Boiler flue – £100 to £150
  • Controls – £80 to £700
  • Flue pipes – £45 per meter
  • Pipework – £300 to £700
  • Magnetic filter – £120 to £140

You can expect to pay somewhere around £350 up to 750 for moving your boiler to another location. This cost will already include the labour and parts. You also have to be ready to pay a maximum of £350 to move your boiler a couple of feet. An average move will cost £500 and up to £750 for moves involving lots of pipework such as drilling through the walls and others.

Cost of Replacing and Moving Your Boiler to Another Location

The cost to replace your boiler and move it to a different location can range anywhere from £150 up to £500 that will already include the installation cost of the boiler.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Moving Your Home’s Boiler

  • Materials used and total time taken to complete the job

If more materials were used and the job takes longer to finish, it only makes sense that moving your boiler to a new location will also cost you more.

  • Extra pipework needed

Copper is used for pipework for boilers and this material is not really cheap. If the gas fitter uses more copper, the cost will also be higher to move the boiler. You will not just pay for the additional copper since you will pay for the time of the gas fitter as well.

  • Additional extensions and flues required

A different flue is necessary if your current flue is coming out of the wall’s side or a horizontal flue and you like to move your boiler into your loft. A vertical flue together with 1 to 2 extensions will be needed for it to penetrate the roof. 

Aside from laying pipework, there are still other things that will affect the cost of moving your home’s boiler to a different location. Some other things that will cost money and take time depending on the job include the following:

  • Patching up existing holes
  • Drilling holes through the walls for the flue and pipe
  • Relaying and lifting floorboards

This explains why moving your boiler several feet within the same room can be almost half the cost of moving it another room. 

source https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk/blog/cost-of-moving-a-boiler-in-your-home-uk/

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Cost of Plumbing a 3 Bedroom House UK

Your home’s plumbing system removes waste and provides water. It also helps transform your house into a cosy and comfortable home.

The costs of bathroom installation will depend on different factors including the types of fittings and fixtures you choose, your property’s current condition, and the size of the job.

How Much Will It Cost You to Plumb a UK Home with 3 Bedrooms?

It can be a very expensive and complex job to plumb a UK home from scratch. The average cost of installing plumbing in a new house with 3 bedrooms is £15,000.

This quote includes the labour for installation of new pipework all over the property, getting it connected to the mains services such as drainage, sewerage, and water wherever necessary.

Your choice of fittings, fixtures, and pipes will also affect the price together with the style and size of your property and your location.

Call Out Fees, Minimum Charges, and Hourly Rates

Majority of plumbers follow a minimum that is usually a call out fee or the amount that is equivalent to an hour of work.

Any additional time will then be charged that can either be per 15 minutes, per half hour, or per hour.

The hourly rates may differ all over the country and another factor is the size of your chosen company.

A bigger business with layers of middle management staff and shareholders will expected have more overheads compared to a small one-man type trader.

Average Plumbing Costs

Establishing an average cost for plumbing is not really easy since prices tend to vary a lot based on several factors that include the following:

Size and type of the plumbing job

For instance, a simple job of drain unblocking will just take a maximum of two hours and will be cheaper compared to installing an entirely new plumbing system for a bathroom that can take several days.

Your area of residence

The cost of hiring plumbers will also vary based on the area where you live. For example, hiring a plumber in London will likely cost you more because the prices for all the services are typically higher in the capital than other parts of the country.

If you will pay an hourly or fixed rate

Getting a fixed quote is better before your plumbing work begins. Most plumbers, however, charge their clients with per hour rates.

Plumbing materials

It is also important to consider the cost of the materials that will be used in addition to the labour prices when you plan your budget for your plumbing needs. Plumbers often get their materials at discounted prices.

If it is an emergency

In case you will need emergency plumbing services, expect that you will be charged extra, particularly if you will call out the plumber on holidays, weekends, in the middle of the night, or during busy periods such as winter. 

Knowing the cost of plumbing a 3 bedroom house is important so you can set your budget accordingly.  

source https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk/blog/cost-of-plumbing-a-3-bedroom-house-uk/

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How Do Plumbers Unfreeze Pipes?

There are times when the UK weather can be very unpredictable, especially as far snow and freezing temperatures are concerned. The moment winter storms kick in, frozen pipes are among the most common plumbing concerns that UK homeowners often face.

When the winters turn colder, it is important to know what you should do about your frozen pipes. Unfreezing pipes is easy and quick as long as it is done properly. 

Here are some of the steps that plumbers take to thaw frozen pipes:

Identify the Frozen Parts of the Pipe

The pipes that are most likely to freeze in the house include the exposed pipes below your sinks, in crawl spaces, around the water meter, outside, and near the exterior walls. The plumber will check the pipes first for obvious signs of freezing. These can be frosted over and cold and the attached fixtures won’t function. 

The pipes may still be frozen even when you don’t see obvious signs. The plumber will look for the pipe’s frozen section by testing all the faucets in your home. If one faucet doesn’t work, this means that you are near the frozen part. Follow back that faucet to the uninsulated part of the pipe to find the frozen pipe. 

Turn On the Faucet That the Pipe is Feeding Into

The plumber will identify the faucet that the frozen pie is meant to supply water into then open it up.  They will turn both the cold and hot knobs. It will serve two primary purposes. The first one is that it will relieve pressure within the pipe to help with damage prevention. The second purpose is that once the pipe has thawed, water will start flowing out of the pipe. This is how the plumber will know that they have successfully unfrozen the pipe.

Determine What to Use for Unfreezing the Pipe

When thawing a frozen pipe, some plumbers can also use towels soaked in hot water then wrap them around the pipes. The closet faucet will be thawed first. The plumber will turn on the faucet to let the melted water drip out. Plumbers don’t use fans, torches, or hair dryers around the frozen pipes due to risks of electric shock. They will keep the heat moving to prevent overheating any section.

Plumbers can tell if they have already thawed the ice within the pipe since the water will begin to run again out of the faucets. They won’t use open flames for thawing pipes since it can lead to drastic results. Calling plumbers is also a wiser decision for pipes that are out of reach or hidden inside walls.

Stop Your Pipes from Freezing Again in the Future

Once the plumbers have successfully unfrozen the pipes, you will want to ensure that they don’t freeze ever again in the near future. In order to do this, make sure you turn on the heating of your home the moment temperatures drop. Interior doors should also be kept open to allow the flow of warm air throughout the house. Water fixtures must also be used on a regular basis, particularly in parts of your house where pipes are directly exposed to the cold weather.

source https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk/blog/how-do-plumbers-unfreeze-pipes/

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How Much Does a Heating Engineer Charge Per Hour UK?

A heating engineer installs, repairs, and services boilers, controls, and pipework that are used for heating your home. Keeping your home warm and cosy can make a big difference between having a fun and comfortable time in your home and feeling the need to put it up for sale in the market.

This is why it is important to hire the best and most reliable heating engineer who can do the job right from the first time. To do this, you need to set your budget first before anything else. 

How much do heating engineers in the UK charge per hour?

Typically, the hourly charge of heating engineers ranges from £27 to £75.

What Do Heating Engineers Do?

A heating engineer, as the name suggests, focuses mainly on jobs related to commercial and residential heating systems. This field still has many other varieties.  A heating engineer can be busy with the installation of a gas boiler or the repair of a central heating system today only to find themselves called over the next day to fix the ductwork in a commercial establishment the next.

Heating engineers usually work side by side with gas engineers as they carry out as much work as possible on the heating systems that don’t need to work with gas. The heating engineers typically hold an NVQ or the equivalent that is the second step up from being a plumber.

However, it is important to take note that while heating engineers may also a plumber, as is the case most of the time, they don’t have the license, competence, and qualification to deal with any gas-related work. The law also doesn’t allow them to do so. But, it has now become a trend among heating engineers to still sign up with the Gas Safe Register.

Factors That Affect the Hourly Rate of Heating Engineers

The amount that a heating engineer charges the clients will depend on the specific task at hand as with all types of tradespeople out there. These can include factors such as the following:

  • Urgency of the job
  • How long the job will take
  • The parts required

It can be a bit difficult to reach an accurate quote for a heating engineer, particularly for boilers. This is not until the heating engineer personally sees and inspects your boiler and determines the specific issue. It is usually because you might have reported a symptom instead of the problem itself. For instance, you might have reported that your hot water doesn’t work. A big part of the job of a heating engineer is diagnosing and fixing the problem.

Take note that a heating engineer must also be Gas Safe Registered and must be able to present evidence of such qualification once asked. It can be very risky to deal with a malfunctioning boiler so never take the risk when hiring a person who will work on your unit.

Try to compare several heating engineers first to get the best hourly rates that suit your budget.

source https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk/blog/how-much-does-a-heating-engineer-charge-per-hour-uk/

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How Much Does It Cost to Move Kitchen Plumbing UK?

If your home renovation is underway, there might be a need for you to move plumbing to make the most out of the quality space and create the home of your dreams. It doesn’t matter if you will rearrange the appliances in your kitchen or create a completely new kitchen that needs plumbing, it is imperative to plan in advance to be sure that this important part of your home will be fully functional. Choose a reliable plumbing contractor to help with the works.

But, it doesn’t mean you should hold back and delay your plans. To be sure that you set out on the right foot, the first thing you should do is to know how much it will cost you to do the job.

How Much Will It Cost to Relocate Kitchen Plumbing?

The average cost of relocating an existing kitchen can range from £14,000 up to £19,000 and this depends on how intricate or complex the job that needs to be done. Builders typically charge £150 as a daily rate.

If your plan is to move your kitchen to another part of your home or property, the overall cost can reach as much as £16,000. Out of this amount, £12,800 will cover the materials, £2400 pays for the tradesmen’s fees, while the remaining £800 will account for waste removal. 

What to Expect When Moving a Kitchen

In order to move your kitchen, the existing kitchen must be removed and this will include dismantling all the cabinets in the room and disconnecting all the plumbing and appliances. The former kitchen space will undergo renovation to transform it to your preferred alternative space. Some of the works involved to overhaul this space include making updates on the flooring and repairing the walls.

To create the new spot for your brand new kitchen, new plumbing pipes will be laid, new fittings for the kitchen will be installed, with the flooring, walls, and other necessary spots decorated and repaired.

It is a complicated job to move a kitchen and it involves various tasks. It is important to hire a licensed and experienced plumber to perform the range of drainage and plumbing works for you. You also need to work with a decorator, painter, and plasterer for repairing the walls. An electrician might also be necessary during your kitchen renovation. 

Drainage and plumbing is obviously a critical area that must be done properly right from the first time. Depending on the distance of your new kitchen from the available pipes, this can significantly affect your overall costs. More effort and time will be required if the pipes are located further from the new kitchen. It will accordingly incur an increase in cost. Considering the importance of good quality plumbing for your kitchen, it is advisable to talk about the available options for the pipe and request for several quotations from different plumbers. 

Moving your kitchen is a complex job that involves lots of work, various tasks, and the need to hire several tradesmen aside from plumbers alone. This is why this is one of those projects that you should never attempt doing all by yourself.

source https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk/blog/how-much-does-it-cost-to-move-kitchen-plumbing-uk/

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How to Stop Bathroom Pipes from Smelling

It is rather unfortunate that there is often no way to know that there is a problem with your bathroom pipes unless they give off a foul odour. More often than not, pipes may look fine and free-flowing from the outside yet there might be an internal problem that can easily go out of hand if you don’t deal with it right away. It is important to hire a plumbing company to take a look if you are unsure.

Here are some tips that can help you prevent those unwanted smells coming from your bathroom pipes:

Use Hot Vinegar

Some of you probably know that white vinegar can fight off smelly odours but did you know that you can use hot vinegar, too. Yes, hot vinegar is an excellent remedy for cleaning your drains. In fact, this is also a great cleaning product for your coffee maker.

All you have to d is pour equal amounts of water and white vinegar in your coffee maker’s water chamber. Let it run a half brew first before you turn it off. Finish the brew cycle after one hour. Don’t throw away this hot vinegar. Instead, pour this down the drain and let it work its magic in getting rid of those gunky odours coming from your bathroom pipes.

Let Hot Water Do Its Job

Boiling or hot water is yet another great remedy for smelly bathroom pipes. This can help in melting away any hardened dirt that may be the culprit behind the unwanted smells coming from the drains. Even just boiling water is already a powerful method against the mild odours that come from the pipes in your bathroom fitting design.

The best thing here is that you can use any of the leftover boiled water from your food preparation or cooking and simply pour this down the drains. Doing so will help you ensure that fat and grease don’t harden inside the pipes that can lead to clogging.

But, what is even more important here is that since boiling water is nontoxic, this won’t cause damages on your pipes even if these are already weak and old. The next time you boil some pasta, don’t throw away that hot water just yet and put it to good use on your bathroom pipes. Nasty smells can also emanate from your boiler, so it is important to get a boiler repair specialist to take a look if you are facing this issue.

Sprinkle Some Baking Soda

Just so you know, sprinkling some baking soda every now and then down the bathroom pipes can help remove the foul odours coming from them. It is also a great way to ensure that the pipes stay odour-free for as long as possible. Allowing some baking soda to sit in the drain will help absorb the smells and dissipate these instead of escaping into your house.

Baking soda should be sprinkled at least once a week after you wash your dishes. It will also be a good practice to sprinkle baking soda down the pipes before leaving for a vacation.

No one wants to deal with smelly bathroom pipes and no one deserves to be dealing with this problem for a long time. Follow the tips above so you can keep your house smelling fresh and clean all the time.  

source https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk/blog/how-to-stop-bathroom-pipes-from-smelling/

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The Cost of Plumbing a House Per Square Foot, UK

Info provided by Blueline Plumbers Gillingham:

Plumbing is a tricky process and even the smallest mistakes can easily cost you damages worth thousands of pounds on top of some major and serious inconveniences. This is the very reason why hiring the best plumber to do the job is an essential step you need to take.

How Much Does It Cost to Plumb a House Per Square Foot?

The cost of repairing plumbing issues actually depends on the size of the job.  As expected, the cost will be higher if the job is also bigger. For example, fixing leaky faucets or drain cleaning has an average cost of £100 to £250. You can expect to pay about £160 to £310 for larger jobs like repairing leaking pipes. It is important to note that plumbers in the UK have fixed charges or hourly or daily rates instead of pricing the job per square foot.

Plumbing is known as among the most varied of all trades out there since it requires an excellent technical knowledge and a plethora of capabilities and skills. The job of a plumber goes beyond fixing your leaky taps. Most of the time, plumbers are hired to handle more complex issues such as installation  of new appliances or repair works on leaking pipes.

The costs of plumbing are impossible to estimate since each job is unique and different. There are some jobs that need a specific amount of time with the plumber quoting you accordingly. Plumbing costs generally depend on the following:

  • Size and type of the plumbing job
  • Any heating servicing or boiler installation needed
  • Your location
  • Plumbing materials required for completing the job
  • If the plumber will charge per hour or provide a fixed rate
  • If it is an emergency situation with public holiday and weekend rates per hour costing you more

Hourly Rates of Plumbers

The amount that plumbers charge per hour depends on the time of day or night and on your specific location. The average rate per hour for plumbers in the UK is around £40 up to £60.

Daily Rates of Plumbers

Plumbers in the United Kingdom may also charge per day and this can go between £320 and £375 plus VAT. But, you can expect to spend around £400 to £475 plus VAT.

Labour Costs for UK Plumbers

Plumber rates can vary a lot and this will depend on whether the plumber will charge you per hour or by the total cost of the project. Make sure to always ask for a quoted price to help you budget for your plumbing costs. Plumbing repairs are commonly charged based on an hourly rate. It is recommended that you also ask the plumber how long it normally takes him to complete the job and ask for the price this job is going to cost you.

Plumbers often have a minimum charge and this is known as the call-out fee. This is the fee equivalent to one hour of work. Extra time can be charged per 15 minutes, per half an hour, or per hour. The average rate per hour in the UK is £40 per hour. But, based on the size of your chosen company and your location, you should be ready to pay 10% up to 30% more.

source https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk/blog/the-cost-of-plumbing-a-house-per-square-foot-uk/

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What Do Plumbers Use to Unclog Toilets & Drains?

What Do Plumbers Use to Unclog Toilets & Drains?

Isn’t it amazing how plumbers seem to work like magicians when unclogging your toilets and drains?

But, here’s the thing. Plumbers and heating engineers don’t just magically fix your problems. They actually have an arsenal of tools that help them do and complete their jobs.

Most plumbers conduct a pipe inspection first the moment they enter your home. These pipe inspections must be done at least once every couple of years. Through these, plumbers get to know how water runs in your home. This may also alert you, the homeowner, if repairs are necessary or if there are leaks anywhere.

As for clogs in drains and toilets, a pipe inspection will help the plumber determine the cause of the blockage.

If you have always wondered what plumbers use to unclog their clients’ drains and toilets after a pipe inspection, here is a quick overview of each one of them:

Cable Cleaners

Cable cleaners work for both large and small plumbing jobs. These machines use spinning blades at the tip of the cable for cutting through clogs. The blades will also help in scraping out build-up of residues on the pipes.

Drain Auger

A drain auger is meant for bigger pipes such as those in showers or toilets. Drain augers are available in motorized or manual designs.   

Hair Snake

Hair has always been one of the top culprits when it comes to drain blockages. Most shedding occurs in the shower so those 50 to 100 hairs that an average person sheds daily will find their way down the shower drain.

A hair snake is the tool that plumbers use for hair removal and these are usually available in various sizes and are made of plastic.

Hydro-Jet

Plumbers use a hydro-jet for the toughest kinds of clogs. It is a tool that sends out pressured water through the pipes for breaking down build-ups in the drain. A hydro-jet is usually faster and more efficient than typical drain snakes. It not only removes the clog but also cleans the drains at the same time. 

Pipe Cameras

Pipe cameras are video cameras connected to the cable that allow plumbers to get a good view inside the pipes. The plumber will manoeuvre the cable all over the drain system to see those pipe parts that are otherwise unreachable. It helps them determine the right tool to use for fixing the clog.

Plunger

Plungers are often used for unclogging toilets but these can also be used to fix light clogs in showers and sinks. Plumbers may try to use a plunger first to unclog a drain. If it doesn’t work, this indicates a heavier clog that needs a different tool.

Manual Drain Snake

Manual drain snakes resemble a long cable with a tip that looks like a corkscrew. A handle is attached to the cable used for cranking the cable through the drain. The plumber will first put the cable’s end in the drain’s opening and use the crank for pushing the cable down through the drain. Upon reaching the clog, the plumber will manoeuvre the cable until he breaks through the clog.

source https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk/blog/what-do-plumbers-use-to-unclog-toilets-drains/

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