Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 76 total)
  • Bummocks, Condemned Boiler. I have questions. . .
  • Sandwich
    Full Member

    The 30 year old condensing boiler has just been serviced and condemned as unsafe. Perfect timing for the oncoming winter.

    Options are looking like:
    Go all electric (possibly ruinously expensive and complicated by the enforced change to Octopus currently underway)
    New gas boiler from someone reputable.
    Wood pellet boiler with optional generating Sterling engine attached to knit my own power and sell some back to the grid.

    Over to the massed specialists here for some opinions.

    midlifecrashes
    Full Member

    Get thee to Boxt.co.uk, thou shalt be toasty by Thursday teatime.

    136stu
    Free Member

    Forget the boiler. Put a dynamo on your bike and put the bike in front of the TV. The pedalling will keep you warm and the dynamo can power everything else.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    @136stu That’s not going to work as I’m responsible for coffee and cake production at home, both of which are required to power my bike(s).

    sharkbait
    Free Member

    Do you have room for a pellet boiler and feed hopper?
    I’m not recommending then, just wondering (‘cos they’re big and require a lot of space)!

    footflaps
    Full Member

    The 30 year old condensing boiler has just been serviced and condemned as unsafe.

    Maybe get a 2nd opinion? BG Engineers were condeming perfectly servicable boilers in their 1000s as they got a commission if you bought a new one from them.

    tthew
    Full Member

    I’m sure all the other options would be great for different reasons, but they sound quite time consuming to organise and install. Not something to really do as a stress purchase.

    nixie
    Full Member

    Second boxt. New one installed within a few days a couple of years ago. Best the local firm we had used for years could do was 2 weeks (in January when we had a small child).

    maxtorque
    Full Member

    What does “condemmed as unsafe” actually mean?

    Sounds like “ohh, we can stiff you for a couple of grand to replace a perfectly good boiler with a new one” to me……

    northernmatt
    Full Member

    What does “condemmed as unsafe” actually mean?

    Probably a leak from the combustion chamber or similar. As it’s 30yrs old parts are probably no longer available. Though if it’s 30yrs it’s probably not a condensing boiler either.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    As it’s 30yrs old parts are probably no longer available.

    I can still get all the parts for our 30 year old boiler inc all the seals necessary to stop any leaks….

    Edit I believe the gas solenoid valve isn’t available new, but I could probably get one from a scrap yard.

    Ours also has a slight leak in a weld by the drain tap in the back of the chamber, which drips rusty water down the wall occasionally. One too many flushes with DS-40 acid to clear out all the limescale (very hard water region).

    wheelsonfire1
    Full Member

    Our first condensing boiler was over 30 years ago. Now got a Worcester Greenstar i, made in Clay Cross! Five year guarantee if serviced every year and it is very efficient with good hot water flow and quick heating start up.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    Boiler condemned as combustion chamber leaks and combustion is incomplete lots of CO output through the flue. The necessary seal is no longer available (we had the last blower unit in Eastern England 2 years ago). It’s an Ideal boiler which had to have new parts in the first year as they had a design fault that caused problems with combustion residue fouling the auto-pilot light. It doesn’t owe us owt and newer ones will be more efficient and hopefully more reliable out of the box.

    BG not involved in the servicing at all. They fitted it originally and I’m aware that they’re sharks. This was a recommended gas-safe chap who won’t be involved in the new supply/fit (no time until next year for that job).

    Yes it is a condensor about 1996 vintage though and cost a fortune as it was new tech then.

    big_n_daft
    Free Member

    I can still get all the parts for our 30 year old boiler inc all the seals necessary to stop any leaks….

    The way gas prices are going it might be time to replace, or are you holding out for grants for non hydrogen compatible boiler replacements?

    Mine is on the way out, parts not available, the circuit board that was replaced 12 months ago is getting stripped and flogged on eBay.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    Thanks for the Boxt recommendations. I’m currently awaiting fun & finance control review of the proposals

    Twodogs
    Full Member

    . It’s an Ideal boiler which had to have new parts in the first year as they had a design fault that caused problems with combustion residue fouling the auto-pilot light.

    Oh we had one of those piles of crap too. After having almost all it’s innards replaced several times in the first 2 years it actually lasted about 20 years.

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Ours hasn’t been condemned, however it’s been mended so many times now that we will have to get some other way of heating the house soon.
    All other options seem really expensive eg. ground source heat pump, air source heat pump, wood pellets boiler. Not sure if we could get solar panels and go all electric.
    Hoping that the more people that step away from gas heating, the cheaper the alternatives will become.
    Trying to be environmentally friendly when heating a home isn’t easy. We have a woodburner, but I’m loath to use it as every other person in our area has one now and the pollution in our area is noticeable.

    dannybgoode
    Full Member

    I have no useful suggestions to make but I am determined to make bummocks a much more widely used expression of mild annoyance…

    big_n_daft
    Free Member

    Anyone know anything about water source heat pumps? I’ve got riparian rights on a small tributary of the Irwell and an old house so airsource not enough and the back garden isn’t huge.

    northernmatt
    Full Member

    @sandwich – do you have the boiler GC number? I have some contacts in the gas spares industry, I can see if they can track a seal down for you

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    Thanks @northernmatt but it’s been faulty for a little while and there’s a fair amount of corrosion inside it. I suspect the brand new blower unit has broken things down with its better pressure. The recommended chap was pretty good as he did have a thorough check around for bits before he said it was dead. I was also sent a pic of the CO readings outside (>500).

    F&FC have told me to buy a new pack from Boxt. Fitting is at the end of the month. Day off tomorrow to fit a time-switch to the immersion heater and a bit of a bike ride (with mud) to get over the money spent.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    I can still get all the parts for our 30 year old boiler inc all the seals necessary to stop any leaks….

    The way gas prices are going it might be time to replace, or are you holding out for grants for non hydrogen compatible boiler replacements?

    It’s probably not the most efficient (75% IIRC vs 90 something for a brand new one), but that 20% on our gas bill (£600 / year) would give a payback of 10+ years to break even on the cost of a new one.

    I just figure I’ll keep it going as long as a I can as that’s probably the most environmentally friendly thing to do (a new boiler etc has a lot of CO2 baked into its construction etc).

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    Well it’s the job that keeps on giving. Timeswitch requires new wiring as idiot original electrician wired both the immersion and the boiler controls onto a 16A radial.
    Bits ordered from CEF (MCB and pattress boxes) and a day of cables and rewiring is in store! That leaves one spare way in the consumer unit and an electric car will use that for charging in the near future.

    stingmered
    Full Member

    I came across this last month whilst idly thinking of a new boiler – not having bought a boiler in the last 10 years I hadn’t come across BOXT. That lead me to Heatable which operate on a very similar model. 5 mins answering some questions, 2 or 3 boilers recommended, picked one and booked in for 2 days later. Have to say it was thoroughly pleasant experience – dead easy to book, local guys arrived on time, complete boiler switch out, clean out of system, new mag filter fitted etc. and re-commissioning – done by 3pm and it’s been perfect since. Heatable were also about £800 cheaper than BOXT for the same boiler. Just for comparison, for a new Worcester Bosch combi for a 5 bed/3 bathroom house it was £2350 (inc. a random £100 discount code I found online.) So… in short, if you need a new boiler – Heatable are definitely recommended.

    tjmoore
    Full Member

    Hoping that the more people that step away from gas heating, the cheaper the alternatives will become.

    Problem with ground/air source heat pumps isn’t the pump cost, but the cost of sufficiently insulating the home, plus upgrading rads and/or putting in under floor heating. My solid wall Victorian house would cost crazy money to get the insulation done properly and costs will only increase with popularity as it’s a labour and supply intensive job.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    A heat pump install would be a major job for me. All ground floors would have to come up for insulation to be fitted (wood over a void). Then finding room for the larger radiators and the associated pump. I expect that it will be an easier job when the newly fitted gas boiler expires in around 20 years.

    Bear
    Free Member

    Insulation upgrades are not needed in a lot of ASHP installs, however that is with current RHI funding, it will be different when the new scheme comes up although think the vouchers will be snapped up very quickly

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Just found this thread as our boiler is giving me the willies. It’s not dead yet but our radiators never fully heat up and the tap water isn’t as hot as it was.

    We live in a street of 12 year old houses and loads of people have already replaced their boiler. I’d rather not have to do it in an emergency, in the middle of January, with a screaming baby under one arm.

    4 story house with a big water tank on the second floor, boiler on the ground floor. Constant steam blasting outside so does that mean none condensing?

    No idea where to start choosing a replacement.

    EDIT: update- tap water is now freezing, showers are freezing. Radiators are only warm at the top. I’ve switched on the immersion heat on the tank. Xmas money is about to go down the drain.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    It’s not dead yet but our radiators never fully heat up and the tap water isn’t as hot as it was.

    Might just be the pump or a solenoid valve is on the way out, rather than needing a new boiler…

    We get through a CH pump every few years, must be on our 4th or 5th now (same boiler). Often giving it a whack with a screwdriver will get it spinning again when it’s on the way out, so buys a few more days before it refuses to turn at all.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Insulation upgrades are not needed in a lot of ASHP installs, however that is with current RHI funding, it will be different when the new scheme comes up although think the vouchers will be snapped up very quickly

    Do you mean the insulation upgrades are not needed to get the funding or not needed to keep the house warm in winter?

    Genuine Q as we’re in a drafty, solid walled Victorian house with voids under the floors etc, so we leak heat all over the place.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    Radiators are only warm at the top.

    That’s not a boiler fault. The system’s full of shit silt, needs flushing.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Might just be the pump or a solenoid valve is on the way out, rather than needing a new boiler…

    That’s not a boiler fault. The system’s full of shit silt, needs flushing.

    You might be right. The boiler sounds like it’s firing up and working as normal. The pump sounds like it’s doing something but when you move the power switch between levels 1,2 and 3 it cuts in and out and takes a while to come back.

    It fitting a new pump a DIY job? It’s just sitting right there, easy access.

    I’ve bled all the radiators but where do you start draining the system? Is there a big filter or sump somewhere?

    We’ve got heat and water now with the immersion heater but it’ll be costing a small fortune to run.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    It fitting a new pump a DIY job? It’s just sitting right there, easy access.

    Yep, very basic plumbing, you just needs a large adjustable spanner and some towels. You don’t even need to drain the system as the pump should be installed with shut off valves immediately above and below it. NB You will have to wire the new pump in, but that is also very simple.

    I’ve bled all the radiators but where do you start draining the system? Is there a big filter or sump somewhere?

    If there is silt in the system it will be sat in the bottom of the radiators, so draining the system won’t shift it. Most modern systems have a magnetic filter installed which slowly attracts the muck and you then clean it out every so often (every few years in our case). I added one to our 30+ year old system a few years back.

    The problem you have sounds like the pump isn’t working properly, not circulating enough hot water to get the rads properly hot; or, less likely, a solenoid valve is only part opening (they normally just fail and don’t open at all).

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Thanks for the tips as always chaps! I feel almost optimistic.

    Considering the price of pumps and the fact it’s probably never been touched or replaced I don’t mind fitting a new one. With any luck we’ll get some hot radiators on the top floor for the first time.

    I just need to find a replacement for this…

    I have Screwfix and Tool Station 5 minutes away. This could be sorted tomorrow if I pull my finger out.

    singletrackmind
    Full Member

    Could be the 3 way diverting valve shark attack. Cpuld be gummed up rads if bled thoroughly and still cold spots.
    Drain off valve is a swaged 15mm jobbie with a square 8mm top, usual outside or on a low rad near the boiler.if the boiler fires up ok then it cpuld be tje pump, or its full of crap

    Can you drain some ch fluid intp a jam jar and add some wire wool or steel nails. Use the bleed off on the top of a rad. If they rust then you jave been running the system with insufficient inhibitors. So you need a power flush and magnetic trap fitted. Might not be too expensive maybe £250 or less if your not dpwn south

    singletrackmind
    Full Member

    Yep, tjat looks straightforward enough.
    Adj spanner on the valves top and bottom, if you don’t have the handles. old towel and big adjustable on the pump flanges.
    Maybe crack the front nut to depressorise the pump first.
    Pick up sentinel x100 when your there as well.
    That munsen ring mount looks a little worrying, i guess its an aesthetic cover amd not a water tight jacket

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    Right, I’ve now got a jam jar full of radiator water and wire wool! So we’ll see how that goes.

    Just had a thought though, I know our radiators are patchy but we’ve got heat now with the immersion heater. With just the boiler we had nothing. The boiler might still be borked. Christmas might still be cancelled.

    singletrackmind
    Full Member

    Grundfoss pump from Scrwfix. just check the head (Mtrs) if your pumping up 3 floors.
    So your 3kw elec immersion heats the water tank and then the idirect ch fluid rund through that and heats up? which then evenly heats the rads ? abit slowly but it does something ?
    stuck diverter valve usually has a go -no go feedback wire if its not moved into the correct postion , but you boiler stills fires which does sound like pump but ianap. Bear is , he knows more than me , i just sell the bits and bobs

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Just had a thought though, I know our radiators are patchy but we’ve got heat now with the immersion heater.

    You shouldn’t get any heat in the radiators from the immersion, the systems are isolated (almost). The HW the boiler heats goes through a coil inside the HW tank and then goes back to the boiler. The water in the HW tank you use for baths never sees the boiler and is heated indirectly in the HW tank.

    or do you just mean you have hot water now?

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    I did not know that, thanks.

    We definitely have heating and water at the minute. The radiators came on when the timer kicked in but they didn’t get hot from top to bottom. This morning when we had just the boiler on it sounded like it was working but we had nothing.

    I’m at work all day tomorrow, I’ll turn off the immersion and have the Mrs put just the boiler on and see what happens.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 76 total)

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