Replacing Old Non Condensing Boiler

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by AndyNewBuild, 16 Jan 2010.

  1. AndyNewBuild

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    Hi All,

    I have a small rental flat which has a 10 year old non condensing boiler which needs replacing. The boiler is for a small two bedroom flat and is a combi boiler which is what the replacement will be. I'm looking at several options but would appreciate some advice on a few issues which have come up.

    The current boiler is in a cupboard located against a party wall with no easy access to outside from the cupboard. The vertical flue rises about 3 to 4m from the boiler to the pitched roof terminal. Obviously this will need replaced with a flue suitable for condensing boilers. However I've been told the length may cause problems. Also there is an issue with getting the condensate away as there is no nearby outside wall.

    One option to solve the above problems is moving the boiler into the loft directly above it's current location. This would reduce the flue length substantially but also allow the condensate an exit via the eaves or similar.

    I assume the condensate would have to be taken back down to ground level via pipework? Are there any issues with having a combi boiler located in the loft?

    Has anyone any other suggestions as moving the boiler to an outside wall would be very tricky and expensive.

    Your advice is appreciated.
     
  2. D_Hailsham

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    When you say you have a "rental flat", I assume you are talking as the landlord. If you are the tenant, it's the landlords responsibility to deal with boiler changes.

    I assume the flat is immediately below the loft space. If so, you should have no problem with the flue. The boiler manufacturers will specify a maximum flue length in their literature.

    You can't just use any flue which is "suitable for condensing boilers; you have to use the boiler manufacturers own flue. If you don't, it will invalidate any warranty.

    One solution to getting rid of the condensate is run the pipe through the loft to the stack pipe for the toilet etc. You would have to fit a condensate pump to lift the condensate a metre or so into the loft.

    My son had a similar problem when his boiler was replaced before Christmas and this was the solution used. The boiler is in the airing cupboard in the bedroom. The boiler is inaudible and the pump only runs every 15 minutes or so for a few seconds.
     
  3. AndyNewBuild

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    Thanks for the reply,

    Yes I'm the landlord! I also know the flue needs to be from the boiler manufacturer, I was just emphasising that the current flue could not be used as the current boiler is non condensing.

    The flat is directly below the loft space which is self contained for the flat and not accessible by any of the other flats.

    Unfortunately there is no stack pipe in the loft from the toilet. I think there is one main stack pipe for all the flats and is centrally located but there isn't one in the loft of the flat.

    If I moved the boiler to the loft, which is fully boarded and lighted, can the condensate not discharge from a pipe through the eaves?

    Thanks again for the replies.
     
  4. D_Hailsham

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    As the loft is already boarded and lighted there is no reason why you should not put the boiler there. Presumably you have a proper loft ladder and not just a pair of steps and haul yourself up! The condensate pipe could exit the eaves and go down the outside and discharge into a drain. There could however be problem with the pipe freezing up. If you cannot pick up the stack pipe, you can always come back down into the bathroom and connect into the bath or basin waste pipe.
     
  5. AndyNewBuild

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    Yes there is a properly fitted loft ladder. I would probably need to put a rail round the hatch though for safety but this wouldn't be a problem.

    Hadn't thought about the freezing problem, thanks for that. I could come down into the bathroom waste but hiding the pipe would be a problem although all the internal walls are studwork. However the bathroom is at the opposite end of the loft so getting the required fall may be tricky. The kitchen is a little closer but again hiding the discharge pipe would be difficult. The other option would be to discharge into the top of a drain pipe - is this acceptable though? Would reduce the run which is outside and hence reduce the freezing problem.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. slapper

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    As long as it discharges into a foul drain,no probs. Bear in mind the winter we have just had with alot of condensate pipes freezing up,if it can be run inside then all the better,if outside step the diameter of the pipe up to 32mm minimum,and lag with a good waterproof insulate.
     
  7. fullyuntrainedplumber

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    My condensate pipe froze up last weekend (42mm dia) I insulated it and it froze again thus boiler would not operate.
     
  8. linkyplumb

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    What kind of fall has the pipe got on it?
    Graham
     
  9. Axel

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    If your tenant is either on benefits or even just claiming child tax credits, you can get Warmfront to pay the costs to replace boiler, although many are not impressed with the contractors that are appointed
     
  10. fullyuntrainedplumber

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    Pipe has about 5ft drop, then thru 90 degrees horizontal to grid.
     
  11. AndyNewBuild

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    Yes she is on benefits so will check out the Warmfront scheme. I thought this would only apply if she owned the property, not just rented it.

    Thanks for the information.
     
  12. Axel

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    No, it also applies if tenant is elegible. They might say they won't fit a new boilunless the old one is knackered, but that's not hard to arrange!

    It takes them a few months to respond.
     

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