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Mr_530i

How to pick a good boiler

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What do I need to look for in picking a good decent reliable boiler for a good price? 

 

I've got a few plumbers coming around to give me a quote for a having a new boiler installed and the existing plumbing moving to an external pantry. Our house is a 2 bed semi with 7 radiators. 

 

All the plumbers have asked me if I have any type of boiler in mind and I don't have a clue. I want to make sure I don't get ripped off. 

 

I did tell one of the guys that I might like a Worcester boiler, to which he replied that they are S**t.   

Edited by Mr_530i

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Bollocks, Worcester Bosch & Baxi boilers (Main boilers in some locations) are about as good as they get

 

I'm not a plumber, nor a boiler specialist, but when we had a brand new central heating system installed into a 3 bed semi (8 rads) we went for the Baxi Eco 3 as it was about the best at that time, with great reviews, 7 years warranty and at a daft price!

 

That plumber, more than likely, is saying that as he'll probably get preferential rates on other systems, so will bad-mouth all others to direct his customers that way (could be wrong though)

 

There is loads of info out there, so worth a half days research etc :) 

 

Our Eco 30 is very good and works faultlessly, I'd highly recommend it or a similar version (it is 5 years old now)

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We have a vallient combi fitted 6/7 years ago, its just been serviced and plumber was complimentary about them.

 

Only issue was a failed diverter valve which i fixed with a £40 part.

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Why don’t you upgrade to a Mitsubishi heat pump/recovery system? 

Very expensive but you get cash money back on the government scheme (same type of thing they do with solar). 

Vailliant are very good boilers as well, you can expect to pay anywhere from £1200 (that’s mates rates really) fitted to £2/3/4/5k fitted.

 

we bought a vokera combi boiler over 4 years ago from plumb base, it was cheap as chips £560 (I think?) and paid a mate of a mate £250 to fit, they did say they wouldn’t expect any more than 3 years out of it but touch wood it’s still going ;) 

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Have you decided on combi or system boilers with condensing boiler yet?

 

We were always big fans of combi's but the pressure drop if someone else used a different bathroom or toilet would be irritating. New house has a system boiler with a 320litre tank, bliss! Wouldn't go back to a combi now

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2 hours ago, d_a_n1979 said:

Bollocks, Worcester Bosch & Baxi boilers (Main boilers in some locations) are about as good as they get

 

Not if you have a look @ the plumbers forums etc, they used to be good.

 

I have one in a rented property and I've had to take out the Worcester extended warranty due to issues with some internal plastic parts cracking.

 

Brother in law is a gas plumber and he said to swerve them, all marketing nowadays apparently

 

Valliant (although I hear these are turning to plastic components too) are OK but plumbers will all have a favourite.

 

I'd be asking the specialist advice, not the other way round, they should be recommending something they are happy to work with and support and more importantly something that will not harm their reputation (Gary the gas man fitted a shite boiler, I wouldn't use him)

 

Do you want condensing, heat only or system boiler, what's currently fitted?

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The gas lads in work swear by the Potterton ProMax.

I work in social housing and we maintain 13,000 properties and whenever anything packs up they get replaced with these at their recommendation.

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I went for a vaillant combi 2yrs ago.

 

And very pleased with it i am as well. I'd over spec'd it on size so to avoid it always running at full bore. Instead of  28/30kw i fitted a 36kw. 

 

Typical 1930's property running 7 rads, its more than capable and very quiet with ample capacity should the need arise to increase. The only thing i would do differently would be a filtered/softened water supply since the water here (Nth london/herts) is as hard as nails.

 

I have been told the Worcester bosch product has fallen down severely on quality with plenty of internal components made of plastic. The baxi, which i also considered,  was until a few years ago, primarily equipped with brass fittings but possibly now similar to the WB internally. 

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Viessmann 'German' products are second to none and don't cost the earth either, Valliant still have good cred, baxi , bosch etc stay away from....the Potterton are interesting but do search for domestic reviews.

Viessmann also do a solar hot water system with outside temp controls as part of their outstanding reputation for economy too. .check them out.  If it's a combi then it should be slightly cheaper, but go with these guys unless you can them to be straight up.  

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/renewable-energy/heat/solar-water-heating

 

Without solar part, 3k and check for grants too which will be around....don't jump in with these guys. Do your research, speak to friends of friends of friends or ask on here in your local ….

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I had a Alpha fitted,

i was going for the bosch but I acquired an Alpha for a silly price. 3 of my close friends are heating engineers. The Alpha was not a market leader but they come with a free 5 year guarantee. 

 

I was worried about pressure with the combi as i like a shower to almost take a layer of skin of with the force. The alpha i had fitted was rated way more than I required for house (3 bed semi)  and have not been disappointed with pressure and performance. 

 

Fitted 6 years ago never skipped a beat, around 1/2 price of the bosch and according to my friends in the know p*ss easy to work on too. 

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I can only go with my experience of the Worcester combi boiler fitted as a replacement some four years ago.  Quiet, and very economical compared to the last unit.  The warranty is for six years after purchase.  It was bought through a scheme for replacing old gas guzzling boilers and would have paid for itself already, with two years full warranty left.  Yearly service is vital to maintain the warranty as two parts have been diagnosed as suspect and replaced instantly without cost.  I can only suggest you ask neighbours, friends etc what their experiences have been and proceed accordingly. 

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I was told by a good friend and plumber Viessmann and on this forum Atag was another mentioned..

Have a search in the general forum for CH boilers..

 

I bought and installed a Viessmann system boiler last summer. My Gas Safe ticket has run out now..

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The biggest point to grasp is if you want a conventional boiler, combi boiler or system boiler.

 

conventional boiler has a hot water tank to supply taps/showers and a tank in the loft to supply water to keep the system topped up.

 

Combi boilers heat mains pressure water and supply the radiators and direct to hot taps/showers etc. You don't need a hot water tank or a tank in the loft.

 

System boilers heat mains pressure water to supply your radiators but still need a hot water tank to supply hot taps/showers etc.

 

We replaced our conventional  Baxi (15 years old and the service plan was costing a small fortune a year) with a conventional Worcester, which comes with a 10 year guarantee. I have cancelled the extortion racket of a service plan with Scottish Gas and will pay the boy who fitted it once a year to service it at a fraction of the price. The other parts of the system are now totally accessible and if they fail I can replace them myself.

 

A 2 bed semi is ideal for a combi boiler. Esp if it's just the two of you.

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We moved into our current house in 2001 - 3 bed detached, 2 small kids. Fast forward to today, the house is now 4 beds, extended up and down, with 3 much bigger kids! The house had that awful warm air heating when we moved in which, we planned to change when we bought the house, and within two months of moving in it was gone and replaced with a Worcester Bosch combi boiler. 18 years later it's still going strong, with only a couple of minor hiccups over all those years. However, I know that it will need to be replaced soon, just for the sake of ongoing reliability and economy. 

 

Worcester Bosch again? I don't know and can relate to the comments above concerning the current build quality of WB boilers. So, it may be a chance to shop around for a different brand.     

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Anything with "Greenstar" on it makes me lots of money as the plastic hydraulic components degrade and finally leak. Viessman can be good if you get the right one and it's fitted by someone who knows how to set them up correctly... Alpha are pretty good too but the parts can be pricy. If you want a conventional style combi then I would say fit a Baxi600 series (Or equivalent Potterton as they are both owned by the same bunch) 600 series still has brass hydraulics and is a doddle to service and work on.

 

My choice would be and is an Intergas.. They are the product of engineers having a spliff and deciding that a lot of parts that we think that we need are surplus to requirements, so no secondary heat exchanger or diverter valve, the hydraulics are all brass, the water inlet will accept pre heated water up to 80c so fine if you decide to have a wet solar system or in my case, feed it from a wood boiler in the shed. Even a combi can be configured to change with your needs, so it can be a heat only system boiler, multi point water heater, or open vented boiler. They boast that there have been no main heat exchanger failures in the last 20 years and have only four moving parts.... Best of all, they are well cheaper and better built than the German owned shyte.

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Yeah, Gas, Oil, Biomass and the odd aircon.. Worcester have a really great marketing strategy. The installer becomes a Worcester accredited installer and then to maintain that accreditation and to get Worcester kick-backs they have to sell a set number of boilers so clearly the installer will tell the punter that a Worcester is the best boiler in the Universe....

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Good one Karl, spot on about the Viessmann systems and needing a fully trained up engineer to fit them, not the mickey mouse ones they give out now. Very interested in your suggestions so appreciate that pal. Cheers. 

Had my solar hot system 10 years now and missed a beat. Prost! 

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To be honest, I'm not a big fan of Viessmann, for me their only real advantage is the excellent turn down rate on the 200 series, down to around 1.7kW i think.. Problem with Viessman is that, like many German manufacturers, they like to give options that no one needs and try to make sure that only their own controls and cylinders are used with their kit, I like to mix and match to get maximum bang for the customers buck..... the 200 series has a lambda sensor so that it will burn varying qualities of gas.. Just in case Mad Vlad Putin pulls the plug on Germany and they have to heat their homes with gas made from reprocessed potato tops but in the UK, we will have a decent supply of Natural gas for some time to come so it is just another component to fail.

I like the Dutch Intergas boilers, one boiler can be any kind of boiler that you might need, a combi can be a combi, a system boiler, an open vented boiler or a water heater and will connect to any control system or cylinder without spitting its dummy.. ATAG are good boilers too but they are as ugly as sin.

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I have the 200 Vitodens unit with solar vaccum hot water 10 years now.....I've checked out the Intergas systems and impressed and have suggested this system to someone currently....

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