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Most reliable boiler today - free boiler -Open vented system

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by potterton678, 23 Dec 2018.

  1. potterton678

    potterton678

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    Hello
    My father is qualifies for a free boiler.
    He wants to keep the system as it is; he doesn't want to get rid of the hot water tank.
    Which is the most reliable boiler on the market today?

    Can the new boiler be located in the garage?

    Can he keep his old boiler connected to the system as a back up, so if the new boiler ever goes faulty he can quickly switch over to the old boiler whilst the new boiler is being repaired?

    He has an Open vented system with a pump (similar to the diagram below).
    Feed and expansion tank in loft.
    Hot water cylinder on 1st floor in airing cupboard (next to the system pump and 3-port valve).
    Boiler on ground floor in kitchen. Used to heat up water and the central heating system.
    Cold water tank in loft.

    Thanks


    PS-1 - forgot to say, he would be willing to contribute to upgrade the boiler and system in order to improve the current setup.

    Are there any boiler makes he should avoid due to poor reliability?

    PS-2
    So the general view seems to be that free boilers are bad overall. Tend to be low quality boilers, usually badly installed, etc.
    Would be interesting to here from anyone who has actually had a free boiler installed in their house.

    Any how, to open the discussion a bit wider, and forgetting the free boiler thing, which boiler(s) would be the most reliable?
    He wants to keep the hot water tank in the airing cupboard.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 24 Dec 2018
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  3. muggles

    muggles

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    Intergas HRE OV - very well-proven heat exchanger with over 20 years using the same design and very close to zero failure rate, and only two moving parts so virtually nothing on it to go wrong.

    Whether the new boiler can go into the garage is very site-dependent. We can't see where the current one is or whether the garage is a suitable location. In theory it can, but in practise only the person surveying the job can tell you that.

    He could keep the old one connected, but it's quite likely to create more problems than it solves. If it's very old, it may be on the point of springing a leak, for example, and just firing it up without a safety check after a number of years lying dormant isn't advisable. There's also no guarantee it would actually work - boilers don't like being left unused for a long time. Much better to scrap it and trust that the new one will be reliable.
     
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  4. McCombi

    McCombi

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    Good points above.
    Also worth noting, very unlikely a new “free” boiler is going to be relocated to a garage without you paying extra.

    There may also be a cost to upgrade system to fully pumped s plan, not sure how the “free” boilers work. You currently have a gravity hot water cylinder, they may want to replace this also.
     
  5. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    Afraid you are wasting your time on this post, if it is a free boiler he will not get a choice of which boiler it is
     
  6. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    Free boilers are decided by the biggest brown envelopes.
     
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  7. fixitflav

    fixitflav

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    No, it's fully pumped. His drawing (assuming it's correct for this installation) just shows a tee where it splits between rads and HW cylinder, but presumably there is an auto valve there (W or Y-plan) or 2 valves (S-plan).
    It's piped the old-fashioned way - vent on boiler flow, cold feed on return. While he's at it, better to change to boiler - open vent - cold fill (piped up-and-under) - pump. That gives much less "seesawing" between the vent and fill pipes when the pump starts/stops, reducing the corrosion risk.
     
    Last edited: 23 Dec 2018
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  8. OvertonPlumber

    OvertonPlumber

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    Free boiler !! Just means the rest of us are paying for it. Fitted a few free ones over the years. Some terminal guy with lung cancer got a free one. Boiler lasted longer than him though.
     
  9. McCombi

    McCombi

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    Ahh yes. For some reason I glanced over and thought I saw two flows from boiler one going to cylinde. Oops
     
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  11. potterton678

    potterton678

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    PS - forgot to say, he would be willing to contribute to upgrade the boiler and system in order to improve the current setup.

    Are there any boiler makes he should avoid due to poor reliability?
     
  12. flameport

    flameport

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    That isn't how 'free' items work, whether it's a boiler or anything else.
    You generally get whatever they provide, with the lowest cost, simplest possible installation and nothing else.

    Probably, but ask 10 people and you will get 10 different answers.
    How it's installed is far more important than the actual make of boiler. The world's best boiler installed badly will still be a pile of useless junk.

    What's actually wrong with the existing boiler and system?
    Rushing to change the boiler just because it's 'free' may not be a sensible choice.
     
  13. Gasguru

    Gasguru

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    One of the worst boilers ever designed was the Ideal Isar (it led to the manufacturer almost going bankcrupt after a series of hopeless models..they are now French owned).
    It was installed "free" but left a terrible legacy for many owners in terms of appalling reliability and significant cost of repairs.
    If it wasn't for the corrupt schemes that promoted that particular boiler it's doubtful the manufacturer would have survived.
    Buyer beware even when the boiler and install is apparently "free".
     
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  14. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    when the company doing whatever scheme that your father qualifies for the do a thing called contract support, the rep comes in and says if you buy x amount from us you get them at Y, they will not negotiate on you with different makes
     
  15. muggles

    muggles

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    As above, a badly-installed boiler is always going to be less reliable than a well-installed one, regardless of brand. Unfortunately the installers who get involved with free boiler schemes tend to be at the lower end of the skills table.
     
  16. ServiceNumpty

    ServiceNumpty

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    You don't generally get a choice if it's a 'free' boiler. So pointless asking any questions.
    That's a bit of an unfair assumption Muggles. The guys I know have been in the trade a long time and are quick and neat. So there skill set is somewhat different rather than lower end.
     
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  17. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    Must be different in different areas, around here some of the installs are atrocious, 2 man team doing 2 combi swaps a day, system never drained and certainly never flushed
     
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