cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

These new fangled boilers

petertuson
Grafter
Posts: 39
Registered: 10-03-2012

These new fangled boilers

In our wider family there are two homes with condensing combination boilers. One is a Potterton and is less than 3 years old, the other is about 10 years old by I don't know the make.
Both of these boilers break down at least once a year. They then generally cost about £200 to repair. Then they still get their annual service at about £60 a time
By comparison our boiler is a standard open flue Potterton, with hot water tank with gravity feed system and pumped heating to radiators. This costs £40 annually to service and it has only once broken down in 20 years (the gravity feed valve) which cost about £70 to repair. The previous boiler had been in since the house was built in 1950.
Can anyone explain why a condensing combination boiler is preferred in comparison with a standard boiler. What it may save in lower gas usage it more than makes up in repair costs. I know we can't buy standard boilers any more - I'll be hanging on to mine as long as I can.
56 REPLIES
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: These new fangled boilers

Law
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,181
Thanks: 19
Fixes: 2
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: These new fangled boilers

Tin foil hat mode, they are made to break to keep supplies of parts supplied by the maker.
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,584
Thanks: 206
Fixes: 14
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: These new fangled boilers

I am in much the same position, my old boiler (the gas one not SWMBO  Wink) is a standard one, just keeps going*, don't know how old it is but we have been in the house for 19 years. Now I can't afford a new boiler but should this break down then I will nave no option but to replace it with one of these condenser ones that break down all the time  Crazy
I had to replace my back boiler about 18 years ago and re-plumbed the system to use an indirect tank and a couple of valves rather than the direct tank that was in it but with elf&safety as it is I can't just replace the boiler I have to get some cretin in to connect it to the gas assuming I can buy a new boiler (?).
*In the past 19 years it has had 2 new pumps and one replacement thermostat, one replacement valve along with several check-ups etc.(& I replaced the original 2 time clocks with a new one I got at a boot sale)
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,282
Thanks: 218
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-08-2009

Re: These new fangled boilers

Get a Viessman boiler. Had ours for seven trouble-free years (fingers crossed!).
Heloman
Grafter
Posts: 519
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: These new fangled boilers

This  e-petition could do with a few more signatures:
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/1005
"Scrap the law which allows only condensing boilers in British homes.......
The law should be scrapped, not reliable, long lasting, conventional boilers."
Smiley
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16,525
Thanks: 1,780
Fixes: 124
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: These new fangled boilers

Quote from: Hairy
*In the past 19 years it has had 2 new pumps and one replacement thermostat, one replacement valve along with several check-ups etc.(& I replaced the original 2 time clocks with a new one I got at a boot sale)

Reminds me of the scene in Only Fools and horses where Trigger says he is still using the same broom after 20 years. 17 new heads and 14 new handles Grin Grin Grin

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
Thanks: 44
Fixes: 1
Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: These new fangled boilers

Quote from: Mav
the same broom after 20 years.

Often wondered how Trigger managed to keep a straight face.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,314
Thanks: 462
Fixes: 1
Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: These new fangled boilers

The condensing boilers are more efficient and payback in about 10 years provided you don't pay maintenance.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,908
Thanks: 588
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: These new fangled boilers

We have a Baxi condensing boiler (about 10 years old) Fortunately I purchased extra cover on my house insurance in case it broke down (which it did) The problem was it kept cutting out at irregular intervals and the guy who came out to fix it was clueless, kept changing a few small parts but a day or two later it continued to cut out, not good in the middle of winter when you get up to find no warm water or central heating.
After his fifth and final visit he managed to fix it, the problem was on one of the two circuit boards or to be more exact it was a selenoid on the board, it was inside a small clear plastic case and it looked like the points had burnt out (bit like points on a car) If he had taken the board out and looked properly he would have seen this first time.
Cost of the board was £160 but being insured cost me nothing but imagine the total bill for call outs and other bits fitted in place of ones with nothing wrong with them.
This was 3 years ago and everything has been ok since, possible everything that could be replaced has been.
My advice is check with your home insurance company to see if there is additional cover for home emergencies, it will cost you extra but not as much as companies who offer this as a stand alone insurance cover.
pin2011
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: 09-06-2011

Re: These new fangled boilers

We have a Vaillant gas boiler and it has only had a replacement diverter valve in 10 years so not too bad. I am resisting the temptation to ask BG to service this boiler as  a neighbour has had nothing but problems since the BG man 'fixed' their Vaillant boiler.
Oh and the programmer went caput after 2 years but this was a hard to find fault and eventually a new one was installed for 50 pounds. Could have done it cheaper but kept the same make and model to save redecorating.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: These new fangled boilers

If you have to replace a programmer now it may be worth considering a Programmable Room Thermostat. With these you set what temperature you want at different times of the day.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,459
Thanks: 274
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: These new fangled boilers

[quote=itsme]it may be worth considering a Programmable Room Thermostat
I did that a couple of years ago and it has made such a difference to the comfort level at different times of day and fuel saving because of the lower temperature settings during the day and over night.
The one I got also has a predictive capability, so you set when you want each given temperature (morning, daytime, evening, night) to be achieved and it works out (from previous days) how long it should take to get that level, and then starts the boiler earlier or later depending on the actual temperature preceding the timer event.  This is a great feature on frosty nights, as you can rely on the correct temperature first thing in the morning without having to set the radiators to come on too early (and thereby waste fuel heating the house unnecessarily when it isn't so cold).
I just wish I had done it sooner, as it only involved removing the old mechanical room thermostat and simply screwing the new electronic thermostat in it's place.
Being electronic, it also gives you features like frost protection, starting the heating & hot water the day before you get home from holiday, and different timed thermostat programmes for weekdays and weekends.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: These new fangled boilers

and the way they handle hysteresis is better than mechanical thermostats, especially this time of the year. With the heating off the mechanical thermostats once it's gone below the lower limit it has to pass the higher limit. With the Programmable thermostat it look at the room temperature at the time it switch the heating on. This mean that if the room temperature has gone below the lower limit but has came back above it before the heating come on it will not switch the boiler on.
As I said earlier this time of the year you notice this feature as the room temperature can drop overnight and below the lower limit but a couple of hour of sunshine before the heating is required can bring the room back up above the lower limit but below the higher limit. With a mechanical thermostat the boiler will come on but not with the electronic.
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: These new fangled boilers

Our conventional wall mounted Stelrad boiler was condemned March 2011 as case was distorted and leaking CO - we installed it in 1985 so it was 26 years old.
Fortunately, being ancient ( me not boiler), I was able to get a free Worcester Bosch installed last October - not combi.
Too early to really comment.