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So many different opinions

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Richhen, 2 Sep 2020.

  1. Richhen

    Richhen

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    Hi,
    So I have a 33 year old gravity fed system powered by a floorstanding ideal Mexico. 4 bed detached, 14 radiators. Good enough mains pressure.

    Decided to upgrade.

    Had some professionals round and got very different advice from each which is leaving me mega confused, not to mention the vastly differing prices!

    1. One suggested changing to an unvented cylinder and upgrading conventional boiler (no quote but advised it would be most expensive option)

    2. Another suggested swapping to a high flow floorstanding combi (Worcester 550CDI) at cost of £5400

    3. Another suggested swap like for like with a conventional Worcester 8000 style, keeping the original cylinder and loft tank, but having to upgrade pipework, valves etc to fully pumped. £4300

    4. swapping for a standard combi, Worcester 8000 style, £3950

    5. Finally, swapping for a Worcester 36CDI, £4400

    Im keen to go Worcester to get the full 12 year warranty and due to having accredited installers in the area. Also, it’ll be on display so “style” boiler has a nicer look.

    What to do? So many variations and thousands difference in price! I’d prefer not to spend above £4K.
    In the end I just want something to heat the house well and give hot water in the taps!

    Please help with your experience!

    Thanks
     
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  3. muggles

    muggles

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    There are much better boilers on the market for less money if you're prepared to consider a different manufacturer. WB accredited installers are accredited based on the number of boilers they fit, not the quality of their work, and so someone with a higher level may actually do a worse job because they're rushing to get more boxes on the wall in a year to maintain that level. Worth bearing in mind.

    Have any of those who visited measured your mains water pressure and flow rate? This is essential to do before specifying any kind of mains pressure hot water system - either combi or unvented. How many bathrooms / other hot water outlets do you have?

    Obviously we can't see the job so we don't know about things like pipe runs etc, but if your budget is £4k max then the unvented cylinder option is probably out, although it could be the best system for your home (again, more info about hot water requirements needed).

    Cheapest option is always like for like, so a heat only boiler in place of the heat only boiler you have now, but h/o (aka regular) boilers tend to have shorter warranties and much reduced functionality.

    If you want a long warranty then a system boiler will provide that, but is likely to be more expensive. You can keep your existing hot water cylinder with either option, and it gives you the option of upgrading to an unvented cylinder at a later date to spread the cost, if that appeals.

    Answer the points above and that'll help us to help you...
     
  4. Richhen

    Richhen

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    Thanks Muggles, very much appreciated.
    Nobody really did any form of proper test. Couple guys turned the tap on/off. I’ve since done my own test - get about 1 litre in 3.6-4 secs so mains at roughly 15-16 litres/min. This is from the downstairs bathroom tap.
    In terms of outlets, I have a main bathroom with shower over bath, en-suite with shower and a downstairs toilet. House was build in 1987 if that helps with the impression.

    Like you suggested, I’m trying to avoid a like-for-like replacement. Apparently due to building regulations I need to upgrade my valves and pumps and pipework so I can control hot water and heating completely independently - this was an extra £975 making like-for-like as expensive as a new system but keeping the old cylinder and tank. I guess the only advantage here is that I won’t run the risk of pressurising a gravity fed system then having to rip the house apart looking for the pinholes!

    I’m quite interested in these high flow floorstanding combi’s - seems the best of both worlds and a happy compromise with multiple outlets being possible apparently. My worry here is that on these big boilers the equipment flow rate is much higher than my mains, so do I just waste money as I’ll never see the benefit?

    With all these complexities, I’m thinking I just strap a standard good combi to the wall, live with hot to only one output and make do!
     
  5. muggles

    muggles

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    I'd advise that you avoid any installer who doesn't carry out basic surveying tasks when visiting your home to provide an estimate. If they can't be bothered to spend 5 minutes doing that, what corners will be cut on the installation?

    £975 sounds like an awful lot to convert your existing system to fully pumped. Obviously as mentioned previously we can't see the job so there may be particular challenges involved, but I'd have said a third to a half of that price would be more realistic as part of a boiler replacement.

    You're correct that it's pointless putting in a combi which is more powerful than your mains can keep up with. You might find that your existing system provides a higher flow rate than a combi can.

    If you're concerned about the strength of the pipework on your system, but still really want a combi, look at Intergas boilers. The ECO RF can be run open vented, so you keep your heating system at low pressure but still have a combi delivering mains pressure hot water. 12 year warranty when fitted with an Intergas system filter.
     
  6. Mr.B

    Mr.B

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    I see mention above of a 12 year Intergas warranty (provided their filter is fitted) but when I go to the Intergas site there's no, obvious, menton of it. The Intergas Shop only mentions 10 years too. I'm not saying it's not on there, it's just not obvious (to me, anyway).

    I didn't know the warranty had changed ( and I do keep an eye on these things as I anticipate a boiler change in the not too distant future) and I'm certainly not disputing that it now has a 12 year warranty ... Muggles is better versed on these things than the rest of us ... but it's not helping Intergas's cause if they don't make it clear to a casual visitor to their website.

    Is Muggles the only one advocating Intergas on the site now? He used to be joined by Razor and Dan - but I don't seem to see either now ... certainly not Dan, anyway.
     
  7. muggles

    muggles

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    The official launch is on the 10th but there's a press release here https://www.intergasheating.co.uk/consumer/products/system-filter/

    There's still plenty of Intergas fans here, and Razor is still around although he mostly hangs out in the closed gas engineers section of the forum now. Dan has withdrawn from pretty much all forms of social media, but still fits Intergas boilers.
     
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  8. StephenStephen

    StephenStephen

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    Something we had done when we recently had our system replaced was to have the pipework zoned, so that we're not heating the downstairs just before going up to bed and not heating the bedrooms when we're downstairs. Heating costs have plummeted, and I suspect in large part because of the zoning.
     
  9. Mr.B

    Mr.B

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    All received, ta.

    (do we know who makes the filter for Intergas?)
     
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  11. muggles

    muggles

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    Fernox - it's sort of similar to the Omega, but not quite the same.
     
  12. Mr.B

    Mr.B

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    Ah. right you are.

    My present one is the Spirotech MB3 and, whilst it really easy to clean out, and doesn't, ever, leak, I sometimes wonder if other makes/types are more efficient at trapping gunge - and the Omega is one that I thought I'd consider if I was going to swap it for another.
     
  13. Richhen

    Richhen

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    Thanks.
    I must say I’m coming round to the idea of a floorstanding high flow boiler - seems to be a good compromise all round for my needs.
    I believe it’s flowrate is rated higher than what my mains will be, but the installer is selling the idea that it has an inbuilt cylinder which allows hot water supply to multiple outlets - so sort of the best bits of a combi but without the main disadvantage.
    Is the thinking here correct?

    Thanks
     
  14. Richhen

    Richhen

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    I will take a look at the intergas website too though - cheers for the signposting.
     
  15. muggles

    muggles

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    No. You can't get out more than you put in. If you're only getting 15 litres per minute going in to the boiler, that's all you'll get out as hot water. There's no point spending all that extra cash buying something which can never work to its full potential - it's just a waste of money. A standard wall mounted combi boiler will give you the same performance at half the purchase price.
     
  16. Razor900

    Razor900

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    The Intergas boiler is a good unit you just have to bear in mind they only have around a dozen direct labour engineers in the UK and they are in the process of making some of them redundant....
     
  17. Richhen

    Richhen

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    Yes but with the storage combi I understand I get the best of a system boiler and combi boiler together due to the inbuilt cylinder. Therefore whilst my flow will be at 15-16l/min I’ll have much more hot water and will be able to service several outlets, whereas a standard combi would struggle in a large house. Prices are probably coming in at about £500-600 difference for standard combi install vs storage combi install, so thinking its worth the extra investment to get something more suitable for larger house.
    Is my thinking correct here?
     
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