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Should I replace my (possibly 20 y/o) Ideal Mexico 2 boiler with a modern combi?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by cluelesscitizen, 15 Apr 2019.

  1. cluelesscitizen

    cluelesscitizen

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    The boiler is working fine but is an old conventional boiler, and what is quite annoying is that the central heating system has no 'y valve' so you can't have hot water without turning on the heating (in the summer we put the thermostat on minimum but it still comes on). I had some plumbing work done and the lads did a good job so I asked them to quote for a new combi boiler while they were there. The total cost to supply and fit a Worcester Greenstar 30i combi boiler would be £3576 - which I think is probably average for the London suburbs.

    The boiler existing conventional boiler has been here since I moved in 10 years ago, and was not brand new then, so it's maybe 12 to 20 years old. The model is an Ideal Mexico 2 B.E.D. which is a generic designation (unfortuantely all that I could find on the boiler itself and I spoke to Ideal too), but I have a manual which covers CF 40, CF 50 , and CF 60 which I assume are largely similar but have an increased capacity. As I have a 3 bedroom townhouse, I'm prepared to go with CF 50 as a likely candidate for a mid size house.

    I'm just wondering how long is the Ideal boiler likely to last before packing it in, and is it worth replacing it now? It appears to be working without a problem, and although it is annoying having to have central heating on to get hot water, with the thermostat turned down I have lived with it for 10 years. I know the efficiency savings from a combi boiler against a 15 - 20 year old conventional, will not remotely justify it; but with the piece of mind of a new install and separate hot water maybe it is worth it. Just would like to know what people think. Thanks
     
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  3. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    A combi is not the only option, and remember that installing a combi has several dis-advantages, some that become apparent only after you start living with it.
     
  4. muggles

    muggles

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    You've almost answered your own question - a new boiler won't pay for itself in terms of savings on gas, and if your current boiler is pricing to be reliable then a new one won't give you savings there either. You can add controls to your existing boiler to convert it to either an S-plan or a Y-plan so that you can have individual control of heating and hot water, and even an Internet-connected thermostat if you want one. That should increase comfort and gas savings for a fraction of the cost of a new boiler.
     
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  5. FiremanT

    FiremanT

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    Not a fan of Combi's then, Bernie.?

    I wish you had mentioned that earlier.




    ;)
     
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  6. FiremanT

    FiremanT

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    There is very little to go wrong with the boiler - but, for example, the thermostat is obsolete, although tracking one down may not be impossible.

    The thing to consider is the implicatinons of a fatal breakdown. If you are a single man and maybe have a gas fire and electric shower, a loss of the boiler may not be an issue, and you will be able to bide your time. However, if you have 17 kids, dogs, cats and a moanie wife, you may find a boiler failure will be at least a temporary hindrance to your peace of mind. There are a lot of points in between.

    Seriously, if a fatal brakdown will be a problem, then it may be better to plan to change it, rather than be forced in a hurry. Planning will give you the opportunity to consider every option, get proper quotes, and be selective as far as your labour is concerned.

    Although Bernie is well known for being a clueless waste of space regarding real life heating issues, he is correct that a combi is not the only option. Space and other factors permitting, I am more of a fan of unvented DHW, with a sealed heating system - but one has to be careful with ensuring the integrity of the existing fittings.

    If you change in January, in a distress scenario, you WILL end up with a combi, and probably a poor one, along with the dire possibility iof poor workmanship and higher charges.

    All IMO, of course (except for the Bernard stuff, which is universally accepted)
     
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  7. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    They were designed for supplying heating and hot water in flats and apartments where there was no space for a hot water cylinder.

    As muggles has just posted about a boiler short cycling when heating a house
    When the heating is not ON a combi goes through a "short cycle" every time a hot tap is turned ON and then OFF

    There is a wider universe beyond the DIYnot plumbers clique
     
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  8. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I would suggest as a minimum adding a 3 port valve, plus actuator and better controls to the system. For peace of mind if the worst happens, I would see if I could source a set of spares for the boiler so you have them to hand. I tend to keep a set of common spares to hand for my own system, including a complete spare 3-port valve and actuator. You can pick up parts cheaper, when you have time to look around for them, than when it becomes a distressed purchase and you have the distinct advantage of being able to get things back online quickly.

    I have an open vented system with header tanks for the heating and HW cylinder. 10 years ago I made the error of allowing myself to be persuaded into swapping my 25 year old none condensing boiler, which was reliable and easy to repair, for a condensing heat only boiler.

    The new boiler wasn't nearly as reliable or cheap to repair, though it saved a bit of gas. I have since replaced that boiler with another even more efficient heat only one and another control system. I wouldn't want a combi system, I hate the faff of not having lots of HW stored and the thought of losing all HW if the boiler fails. At present, if the boiler fails, I can just switch on the immersion heater in the cylinder.
     
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  9. muggles

    muggles

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    I feel like you're trying to make a point here, but I don't know what it is


    Indeed there is, and if you could spend more time in it rather than posting nonsense on here, that would be very much to everyone's benefit
     
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  11. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    You said that short cycling is not good for a boiler. ( I missed that from the quote... sorry ). You said it uses more gas and increases wear and tear.

    Surely the same applies to a combi when it fires up each time a hot tap is turned ON.
     
  12. Mike2007

    Mike2007

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    It's a bit like needing an operation that could be put off for another couple of years. If you have money to go ahead then crack on before that quote inevitably increases.
    Get a system boiler and unvented cylinder installed, like the previous poster said combis aren't the way forward for your situation.
    I have an ancient system but it's getting replaced regardless, because of the old system is inefficient and sluggish.
    My boiler of choice is going to be Intergas (Dutch/German).
     
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  13. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    If you are looking to upgrade the controls best check that you do not have a Gravity HW system, if you do its not a simple as just having a y plan valve installed
     
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  14. cluelesscitizen

    cluelesscitizen

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    How does a gravity hot water system prevent a y or s plan system? The hot water tank is in the loft, but the boiler is on the ground floor of my townhouse. Thanks.
     
  15. cluelesscitizen

    cluelesscitizen

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    Could the cost be less if I replace a conventional boiler with another ? I dont doubt there will still need to be backend changes for regulatory compliance and to provide HW seperately.
     
  16. ianmcd

    ianmcd

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    Gravity HW means that the HW is exactly that , the boiler heats the water and it pushes up to the cylinder as heat rises then when the water cools as it transfers its heat to the water that comes out of your taps then the cold water returns to the boiler to be heated again, when you want CH the pump comes on and circulates the water through the radiators, on a Gravity HW system you can have HW on its own or CH and HW together but not CH on its own without HW, if you have a gravity HW system you cant have an S or Y plan without altering your pipework, do not confuse Gravity HW with an open vented system which some call a gravity system , they are not the same , post a pic of your boiler with the pipes leaving it and I will tell you if you have a fully pumped or gravity HW system
     
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  17. jeff the gasman

    jeff the gasman

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