Boiler replacement or repair

For some people who have ageing boilers the question of whether to replace or struggle on with the old one is sometime a tricky one. As well as all the “technical” issues associated with an old boiler such as a constant pilot light, obsolete parts and a lower thermodynamic efficiency there is also the thought that the boiler could breakdown at any point leaving with you in a difficult position.

We believe the best course of action is to calmly assess your priorities and make a decision without the pressure of having no hot water or heating in the middle of winter.

Boilers that have a constant pilot light have been in houses for over 20 years and if that is associated with a pump and motorised valve of a similar age then they haven’t got long before they fail. Like cars, parts and components wear out and can be replaced during regular maintenance. However if you want to prevent a breakdown in the midst of winter you should think about having your boiler properly services before the winter. As we have stated in other blogs this means a thorough strip down and clean not just a test of the flue gases.

Finances

In terms of economics, if your heating bill is about £100 per month you are likely to save £ 200-300 per year by installing a modern condensing boiler. If you are also paying £30 per month for a “service contract” then this is another £285 that could be saved for the next 10 years as many boilers now have a 10 year warranty if you have the boiler serviced regularly.

Boiler comparison

The spreadsheet above shows that after 10 years the new boiler has easily paid for itself, in fact it has broken even after just 5 years when the spend on the old boiler equals the total cost of a new boiler. If you don’t have a boiler service plan with a national provider then you may find that the cost of spares and engineers time is less or more but there will be a cost as well as the uncertainty that you may not get the call out service you need at the time.

2016-01-25 08.06.58We are constantly repairing and replacing boilers as and when they are needed, this week we have a Potterton Prima B to replace which has a faulty gas valve. The cost to replace the gas valve would be £350 so it made sense to replace the boiler. Last week we replaced a similar boiler with a Baxi EcoBlue Advanced 13KW. In addition we installed a magnetic filter, flushed the system and replaced the main pump and diverter valves as a preventative measure.2016-01-11 17.49.03

The new Baxi shown left was also fitted with a new ErP compliant dual channel controller which is also covered by Baxi’s 7 year warranty. The customer, Kelly, posted, “Responded extremely quickly to email posting. Could complete installation quickly. Richard is very polite and professional and kept me informed of the installation progress at all times. Would definitely recommend and intend to use for future servicing”. On Rated People.

Controls

Many manufacturers are keen for you to use their boiler controls, that’s a room thermostat and a 7 day timing clock that will automatically switch your boiler on and off at pre set times. This is a very efficient way of managing your boiler as it means that you are only burning gas when you plan to; it also means that your house will be nice and warm when you wake up or come in from work.

Another great idea is the emergence of internet based controls such as Nest or Hive. With these controls you can still set a schedule of when you want the heating / hot water to come on but you can also see what temperature your house is at because the room thermostat is connected via the internet to your smart phone app.

Having this information allows you to switch the heat / hot water on or off as you desire. So if you plan to leave work early to “work from home”, then you could switch your heating on before your leave work so that the house is nice and warm when you get home.  We have fitted a number of these units, they tend to work out at about £300 fitted.

If you are in any doubt about the long terms reliability of your boiler then please get in touch and we can make an assessment of its condition and look at the availability of spare parts.

plumber@macoungroup.com

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