Mid range boiler suggestions please.

26 May 2016
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United Kingdom

I need a replacement combi boiler but for reasons I wont go into, I cannot stretch to what appears to be the most highly rated boilers (Vaillant and Worcester).

From the quotes I have had and as far as I can work out, the Gas Safe installers seem to have fairly similar labour charges so in that regard I will go with my gut instinct. They have also quoted for different boilers and seem to be more than happy to fit any boiler I would like.

As mentioned above, apart from Vaillants and Worcesters, the other options given to me are a Glow-worm Ultimate 30c (with 7 year warranty), a Baxi Duo-tec 33 Boiler (with 7 year warranty) or for an extra £109 a Baxi Platinum 33 (with 10 year warranty) and a Main (I don't know the model) with a 2 year warranty.

I will probably discount the Main simply because of the shorter warranty but which of these boilers are likely to cause the least problems and equally important, which provide the best customer service in the event of things going wrong and also the cost and availability of spares.

In this mid rage sector, is there anything else I would be better off considering?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Look at Intergas boilers and have a filter fitted if you don`t already have one, boiler manufactures are double quick to reject any warranty if they find what they call "dirty water" in the system so either treat the system for a couple of weeks before the boiler swap or have the system powerflushed.
Intergas every time, better than any of those listed above and cheaper than most too - I'd take one over a Wooshitter or a Faillant any day of the week. You could have the Rapid, which comes with a three year warranty as standard but can be upgraded to seven years at any time during those first three years, so you can spread your costs by going for the three year warranty now then spending £125 in a couple of years' time for the extra four years warranty. Just £565+vat for the Rapid 32, and they only have four moving parts so there is hardly anything to go wrong with them. The next boiler up in their range is the HRE, which comes with a seven year warranty as standard and has just won the industry H&V Awards Product Of The Year. Differences between the two? The HRE has some more flexible installation options, has a ten year warranty on the heat exchanger (seven years as standard for the Rapid, which uses a slightly different HEx), is a bit smaller in both depth and height, and the case has rounded corners instead of the sharp square edges on the Rapid, and it's a little bit more expensive than a Rapid with a seven year warranty. That's about it really.
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Baxi Duotec been out a good while, decent warranty and parts will be reasonable after the warranty expires.
Bit like an Intergas then ;) only it's got loads of extra parts in a Duotec, so more to go wrong ;)
Out of the list given, Duotec. But it makes a bit of a racket when running. I am neutral on Intergas but if you have a local Intergas installer then you have probably found someone who cares about what they do for a living - it is not a cowboy's first choice (that is Worcester).
Thanks MikeCip and Hooting Owl; how noisy is "a bit of a racket" ..... the boiler is in a bathroom next to a bedroom! Is the Platinum quieter or is it basically the same boiler but with a longer warranty?
The dutec and platinum is the same boiler just pay xtra for warranty, i have a platinum and would highly recommend it. They are not really noisy, just compared to say a worcester or vaillant you cant really hear anything.
My Johnson and Starley Reno 16 HE ( heat only but they also make combis ) is very quiet, almost silent. It is in the kitchen and one wouldn't know it was burning if it were not for the little red light.
Your Reno is just a Gianonni heat exchanger, just like Vaillant, Baxi, Glowworm, Broag, etc Bernardgreen. Hardly the choice of someone who thinks alternatively?

but which of these boilers are likely to cause the least problems and equally important, which provide the best customer service in the event of things going wrong and also the cost and availability of spares.

Worcester have the best customer service, bar none. Many of the regulars on this forum like the Intergas. By the sound of your post, you've had so many tradesmen round, everyone else in the UK will be indirectly paying for your small domestic job.
Your Reno is just a Gianonni heat exchanger,
Not quite.... there is also a fan and a few other parts.

Hardly the choice of someone who thinks alternatively

Well it is an alternative to the most advertised makes of boiler.

Stainless steel tube heat exchanger as a alternative to a heat exchanger made from pressure cast aluminium and silver soldered copper tube. Both have their pros and cons. Based on my experience in industry ( control systems for food processing and electronics design and manufacturing ) a stainless steel heat exchanger is ( in my opinion ) likely to be better than one made from several different metals. Differential themal expansion of different metals had to be considered in large heat exchangers. Agree that stainless steel does not conduct heat as well as copper so a stainess steel heat exchanger requires a larger surface area to the water than copper for the same thermal transfer. With a good tube structure that extra surface area is achievable.

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