Author Topic: Boiler replacement advice.  (Read 616 times)

Boiler replacement advice.
« on: September 01, 2019, 06:11:34 pm »
Hi all,

Some of you may remember a few weeks ago I had some fun with a diy plumbing attempt which ended in my boiler failing to light  :facepalm: and given it has wanted replacing for a good while it wasn't worth getting the piezo unit fixed/replaced.

Well since then I've only managed to get one quote so far for a new boiler and wondered if those that know would sanity check it for me. I know I ought to get some more quotes but I'm away on holiday the week after next and the better half is keen to have someone ready to get cracking upon my return as it's starting to get chillier in the mornings. The price is roughly what I was expecting but a couple people have thought it sounds quite high so I dunno  ???

Our current boiler is a Baxi Bermuda inset boiler/gas fire which is in the living room.

The plumber did ask what brand of boiler I'd like to which my only reply was I haven't a clue - he suggested Baxi citing their having a 7 year parts and labour warranty. We've been happy enough it the current Baxi but trying to find reviews online, well you get half saying brand x is the best thing since sliced bread and the other half saying brand x kicked their dog  ???

The next question was combi or conventional which is something I'd been mulling. He's suggested a Baxi 630 Combi boiler with Baxi's Sense smart control - I have a query with him to check whether the control always needs to talk to their servers or if it has a fallback manual mode for if our internet is ever not behaving - I don't want to be cold because the broadband is on the blink.

Plus side of conventional =  if the boiler goes wrong, like right now, then a backup immersion heater is rather handy. Then again we've only had problems twice in ten years with a boiler that was old when we moved in.

A combi on the other hand means when we have guests round we can all shower back to back one after the other without somone getting the tail end of the tank. The plumber reckoned with just the two of us and one bathroom a combi would be best as we wouldn't be drawing enough to tax the boiler and we wouldn't be heating a whole tank and not using it all. Which all makes sense I think. One thing I hadn't realised is that a combi would mean not just getting rid of the little top-up header tank in the loft but also the big cold water tank which would be nice to get a bit more space up there as it's right by the hatch.

Regarding our shower it's a Salamander 1.5 Bar pump that's next to the hot water tank which feeds up into the loft across a couple meters and drops down to feed a mixer tap to shower head. Mr Plumber reckoned that we'd be able to dispense with the pump and run off mains pressure with a combi boiler - is that right?

The plan was to get a replacement wall mounted boiler in the downstairs loo but the plumber reckoned the airing cupboard would be a better place as all the pipework pretty much meets there. A bit of shame to lose the storage space but if it makes it a bunch easier I guess it makes sense.

Anywho, long wall of text later, the given quote is just over £4000 for:
  • Disconnect old back boiler , cap gas and leave out of commission.
  • Strip out tanks and airing cupboard and any unneeded pipework.
  • In airing cupboard fit a Baxi 630 Combi boiler with 7 year manufacturers parts and labour warranty on the boiler.
  • Fit an external weather compensation sensor to further increase efficiency.
  • Fit a Baxi I sense smart control , internet enabled , etc more details if required.
  • Run new gas supply up from meter cupboard to new boiler location , run new discharge and condense pipework.
  • Supply and fit new magnetic system filter.
  • Supply and fit new magnetic water conditioner.
  • Supply and fit new rads as discussed (4x ) with new try and lockshield valves.
  • Chemically flush system , refill with inhibitor and leave working.
  • Test commission and balance system.
  • Register with gas safe and warranty with Baxi.

Whilst it's a chunk of money I'm sure I've heard that a like for like simple boiler replacement is about £1.5-2k so didn't think it seems absurdly high.

The four radiators are the downstairs ones which are all looking a little sad and rusty. They are single rads one of ~0.8m, one ~1m and two somewhere between 1.2m and 1.3m. I think he said they weren't quite standard size but hopefully not too much pipework wiggling will be needed as the groundfloor is solid concrete.

I'm currently waiting to hear back as the bathroom rad upstairs got missed of the quote, hoping to replace with a towel rail and the incoming and drain stopcocks are seized and weeping respectively so probably want replacing.

If anyone can other any advice or thoughts on the above it would be most appreciated.


Miles cycled 2014 = 3551.5 (Target 7300 :()
Miles cycled 2013 = 6141.4
Miles cycled 2012 = 4038.1

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2019, 06:16:04 pm »
The quote sounds pretty good to me. As to conventional vs combi, my wife would never forgo her airing cupboard  :). I think decent mains pressure will be ok for your shower through the combi.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2019, 06:20:33 pm »
My preference personally if having a new system with new rads would be a sealed system keeping a cylinder with a new system boiler, but getting rid of the header tank etc. Installation costs likely to be in the same region. There are many pros and a few cons using a sealed system which your supplier will outline with older installations. Baxi have a bit of a mixed history in terms of reliability ime but I am going back some years now. The old back boilers were amazingly long lived but very inefficient. Quite how Brexit will affect boiler supply and access to the associated maintenance bits I havn't a clue, but could possibly be a factor to consider. Worcester Bosch/Vaillant are generally well thought of. As always get at least two and preferably three quotes. The new radiators should be more efficient and you could probably put smaller sized rads in, again supplier should advise they will be metric rather than imperial. Think about what you are going to do with the old fireplace. IANAP/HE.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 06:36:10 pm »
I'm generally a fan of combis, but the thing about having a tank of cold water in the loft is that you've got something to flush the bog with when the water's cut off.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2019, 06:37:50 pm »
About four years ago I had a combi boiler fitted to replace a boiler and hot water tank. From memory it was around £2000 and was a Worcester (unfortunately can't tell you the model as I've since moved, but it was for a four bed house, so a large output one). I didn't have wireless whatever but a magnetic trap was fitted.
Given you're having radiators replaced and gas supply re-routed that quote sounds about right. I have no knowledge or experience of Baxi though.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven.

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2019, 06:45:07 pm »
If you live somewhere prone to getting cold, if whatever you choose has a condensate pipe, get them to do it so it joins up with a sink waste or something indoors.

Lest you suffer as many people did during the Great Condensate Pipe Disaster of a year or two ago.

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2019, 06:50:24 pm »
I did mention fears of that and he said he was going to run a larger bore pipe and it'll drop practically straight down the front of the house from outside the airing cupboard to the handily placed outside-the-kitchen drain.

And we're on the south coast so it doesn't often get cold cold.
Miles cycled 2014 = 3551.5 (Target 7300 :()
Miles cycled 2013 = 6141.4
Miles cycled 2012 = 4038.1

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2019, 09:25:47 pm »
Something to keep in mind is that the manufacturer's warranty apparently often states something about minimum access dimensions to the boiler for servicing/warranty.  We had a Baxi*, and they had to  reroute some of the pipes so that the boiler had straight-on access to comply; previously the old boiler that died (installed by a different plumbing firm that actually went bust) was sited on the side wall of the cupboard, with difficult access.

* Conventional Advance Eco Blue
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2019, 09:59:37 pm »
As far as I understood it the plan is to put the boiler on the back wall of the airing cupboard which is the front wall of the house but I will check this with the plumber as well.

Just realised the quote doesn't specifically mention the exhaust/vent going through the wall but surely that's part of fitting the thing right? Right?
Miles cycled 2014 = 3551.5 (Target 7300 :()
Miles cycled 2013 = 6141.4
Miles cycled 2012 = 4038.1

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2019, 01:04:34 am »
That quote seems a bit high to me. In June we replaced our 30+ year old floor mounted Ideal Mexico system boiler. We paid £2700 which included:

Supply & install Atag Economiser 35 Plus ( 10 year manufacturers warranty )
Supply & install horizontal flue terminal
Supply & install magnetic filter
Supply & install 1m flue pipe extension
Supply & install built in filling loop
Supply & install wireless programmable room thermostat
Connect to localised hot and cold pipework
Upgrade gas supply
Core new flue hole
Run new heating supply pipes to loft and connect to existing radiator circuit
Connect boiler electrics and test
Condensate pipe to be routed to kitchen drain
Remove existing boiler and seal off flue hole from inside leaving outside terminal in place
Remove existing hot water tank
Remove existing pump valves and redundant pipework
Commission boiler in accordance with manufacturers instructions
Chemical flush of system

I've been impressed with the ATAG, really good build quality with lots of metal rather than plastic inside.

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2019, 08:29:03 am »
Seems slightly high to me.

Baxi aren't expensive boilers.

I would check he has included cost of cutting flue pipe access - that can be a long job, don't be surprised if it takes most of a day to drill the hole, place flue and mortar in.

Get him to check gas pressure. Combis require a good gas flow.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2019, 12:40:21 pm »
Bear in mind the boiler is in a totally different location, thus increasing piping costs.  Mrcharly, dunno where you get the idea that cutting the hole in the wall is a long job.  Usually about 10 minutes with a big core drill does it.  No mortaring required, as the flue is a damn close fit in the hole, usually a heat resistant sealant is applied, and the flue terminal totally covers the outside of the hole anyway.

Combis do indeed need a pretty decent gas flow, as when heating the water they emulate a tornado taking off (no, not the steam locomotive).  Personally I don't like combis, due to added complexity, and lack of stored water, which makes it impossible to ever heat your water with solar PV.
Wombat

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2019, 12:48:19 pm »
Personally I don't like combis, due to added complexity, and lack of stored water, which makes it impossible to ever heat your water with solar PV.

Not strictly true: You can heat the water on the input to the combi.  Needs a boiler that's good at modulating.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2019, 03:52:42 pm »
Bear in mind the boiler is in a totally different location, thus increasing piping costs.  Mrcharly, dunno where you get the idea that cutting the hole in the wall is a long job.  Usually about 10 minutes with a big core drill does it.  No mortaring required, as the flue is a damn close fit in the hole, usually a heat resistant sealant is applied, and the flue terminal totally covers the outside of the hole anyway.

The ease of cutting depends on the brick type.

If you have nice, soft bricks and soft mortar, the core drill will go through smoothly and quickly.
If you have rock hard colliery bricks, the core drill is likely to skip, chatter and crack bricks. Then the 10 minute job becomes an all-day job.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2019, 03:50:41 pm »
Mrcharly, that's true with TCT core drills.  Decent diamond ones don't seem to notice much.  My own wall was clinker block inner skin, which varies from soft as brie to incredibly hard, and fairly hard baked Crowboroughs.  The diamond ones don't seem to balk at dense concrete walls, as we found when fitting new boilers in a few hundred "lovely" concrete houses at work.  Not sure what the chap who cut the hole for the vent fan in my new house used, but I think diamond because of the narrowness of the cut (detectable only because the lazy sod left the cores in the roof space).  The bricks are nasty modern factory pressed Blockleys thingies, and are bloody hard, but at least consistent in texture.
Wombat

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2019, 05:56:44 pm »
I put an extractor for the kitchen on the outside wall of our bungalow and had to drill about a 9 inch hole for the ducting in the attic for it. We have a random stone wall which is literally rock hard. a diamond core drill did the job without too much pain. I seem to remember having to leave a hefty deposit in case I buggered the drill up, big diamond core drills are not cheap.
If you hire one remember to hire the drill to put it in as well as the core bit, you don't want to use a normal domestic DIY drill to spin one of these up.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2019, 05:39:17 pm »
Your quote seems very high to me for a Baxi

For that type of money in Nottingham you can get a Valliant with a 10 year guarantee- which are outstanding IMHO


https://www.vaillant.co.uk/homeowners/

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Boiler replacement advice.
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2019, 08:50:49 pm »
Hello

4k seems alot for a baxi.  Suspect baxi have an offer on of buy a certain number and get something free.

At a guess the rads are imperial sizes and modern are metric.  Go for stelrad as they are guaranteed for 10 years.

Will update later.

Are the plumbers replumbing the house as they are replacing the back boiler and moving the boiler to a new location.