Boiler Maintenance Tips

boiler-maintenance-tips

New boilers do not come cheap and therefore keeping your boiler and the heating system in good working order will help the lifespan of the boiler itself.

Furthermore, the costs of both the heating fuel and the costs involved with maintaining a heating system itself have been increasing over recent years, therefore keeping the boiler maintained will ensure the best efficiency possible as well as ensuring the safety the boiler for continued use.

We will be discussing boiler maintenance tips that can save a homeowner money as well as aiming to keep the boiler running smoothly for as long as possible.

Tip 1 – The Annual Boiler Service

It is important to arrange for the annual boiler service to be undertaken so that the Gas Safe Heating engineer can ensure that the boiler’s internal parts are in a good working order as well as ensuring the safety of the boiler itself.

Professionals can detect issues ahead of a boiler breakdown, ensuring that they are addressed in a cost effective and safe manner without the nuisance of a breakdown.

It is advisable to time the annual boiler service for the summer months as there is less demand to be able to book a Gas Safe registered heating engineer in a timely manner and address any issues found from the service before the winter returns.

Annual services are also essential during the boiler’s warranty period to keep the warranty valid, as well as being a legal requirement for rented properties.

However, if any issues are detected and a service is not due, do not delay and call a Gas Safe registered heating engineer to investigate further.

Tip 2 – Maintaining Suitable Boiler Pressure

Homeowners should keep an eye on the pressure within their boiler as if the pressure is out of the ideal range, there can be damage to the internal parts.

In order to find out more about the ideal pressure range for your boiler and the process to be undertaken should you find your boiler is not pressurised appropriately, please refer to the boiler’s manufacturer’s manual.

Tip 3 – Bleed the Radiators

Should it be noticed that the property’s radiators are not heating up evenly, for example they are cold at the top, there is likely to be air trapped inside reducing the efficiency.

In order to clear the blockage, prepare the area underneath the boiler with plastic sheets or old towels and use a radiator key in an anti-clockwise director to open the bleed valve.

Any trapped air will be released, and you are likely to hear a hissing sound and water may drip out. When the hissing stops close the valve back up.

Once the above process has been completed on all affected radiators, return to the boiler and check the pressure is within the ideal pressurisation range. Again, if this needs adjusting, please refer to the boiler’s manufacture’s manual.

Tip 4 – Prepare for Winter

During the summer month’s take some time to inspect the heating system both inside and out for any signs or leaks or damage to lagging.

If the pipework is either not lagged already or the lagging in place is damaged, arrange to install new lagging.

Lagging prevents pipework from freezing in the winter months by insulating the pipes and can be easily installed by purchasing the ready to use pipework insulation from hardware stores and following online videos of how to install.

If there are any signs of a leak detected when undertaking visual inspections of the heating system, wrap the pipe in rags and call a Gas Safe registered heating engineer for assistance.

If the visual signs of a leak are not spotted, however the boiler has a high pressure reading, this may indicate a leak out of view which will need the attention of an expert.

Tip 5 – Consider Boiler Insurance

Boiler insurance is a type of policy that is available in differing levels of cover, from protecting against emergency call out changes only to full protection covering the costs of annual maintenance as well as emergency call out changes, parts and labour.

There are various boiler insurance providers on the market, which aim to help protect homeowners and landlords from the unknown costs of call outs and boiler maintenance each year, however it is worth taking time to calculate the risk of such occurrences versus the cost of the policy. Once factor that may help aid the decision regarding the need for boiler insurance may be when the boiler warranty expires.

Tip 6 – Consider When Maintenance and Repairs are too Expensive and a New Boiler is Needed

Unfortunately, boilers, like any device are not built to last forever, no matter how well they have been maintained as over time, parts start to corrode and faults reoccur.

There is a tipping point when the maintenance and repair costs begin to build up and therefore it would be more economical to replace the boiler itself for a modern and more energy-efficient model.

Therefore always discuss the overall condition of the boiler with a Gas Safe registered heating engineer during a service or emergency call out to analyse whether it is time for a new boiler.

Summary

If you are responsible for the maintenance of a boiler, we hope that you have found this article helpful, discussing a number of tips that can help reduce the costs of boiler maintenance as well as the occurrence of any unwelcome breakdowns.

We have covered some basic DIY tips that a homeowner or landlord can undertake themselves in order to keep their boiler running smoothly, as well as discussing the option of boiler insurance that, at the higher-level policy can cover the costs of servicing, break down call outs, parts and labour costs.

We have also discussed the importance of being aware when it is time to replace a boiler for a modern, energy efficient model.

If you have any specific queries regarding your boiler, please contact a Gas Safe registered heating engineer to investigate further.

Read More

Should You Turn Off Your Heating During the Summer?

heating-off-during-summer

Home owners and tenants may consider turning off their heating more than ever this year due to the escalating costs of energy.

Obviously considering switching off the heating would be more challenging in the winter months when the heating is needed and pipework could freeze however when the seasons turn, should homeowners consider turning off their heating completely in order to save energy?

We will be discussing if this is the correct approach and what considerations should be reviewed before switching off the heating during summer.

What Boiler Settings Should be Applied During Summer?

During the summer months, households may not be relying on the heating system in the same way as during the winter, however these months provide the time to undertake the maintenance needed and ensure that a boiler is ready for the winter ahead.

This is one reason why a boiler should not be switched off for long period of time as internal parts may become stuck and therefore may not work again when the boiler is turned back on.

Instead of turning the boiler off completely, either the thermostat be changed or the programmed settings editing to reduce the duration of time that a boiler is due to be running for.

Modern boilers also sometimes have a standby mode which provides a low energy option where the boiler is running only the essential functions in order to protect the internal parts. Refer to your boiler’s manufacturer instruction manual to discover if your model has this eco-setting.

Advice for Older Models

Older boilers are likely to have a pilot light which consumes a significant amount of energy to run and therefore switching off the heating may be the most economical option.

However, even during warmer months, the heating system should be turned on regularly to ensure that it runs effectively and there are no boiler faults.

Whereas this is not the case for more modern boilers whose internal parts should be tested regularly to ensure that they are running effectively and that all parts and components are working as planned.

Older boilers are unlikely to have the standby setting mentioned earlier, however they may have a summer setting where the functions such as heating water are reduced to just a few times a day. Please refer to your boiler’s instruction manual in order to discover if this setting is available on your boiler model.

Hot Water Needs During Summer

During the warmer months, when the heating is turned down low or ran only sparingly, there is still a need to generate hot water in order to wash.

Some households with electric showers do not need to heat hot water in order to wash if, for example baths are not also taken by other household members as well as the electric shower itself provides the source of the heat.

However if baths are taken or if a water tank is in situ for example, the homeowner or tenant would need to plan when to heat the water in order to achieve a warm bath or shower.

Other household electrical devices such as dishwashers and washing machines also do not require water to be heated, as these also heat the water directly from the mains in order to perform their jobs themselves.

If a combination boiler is installed within the property, the most economical way to heat hot water only is to keep the thermostat at zero as a short term solution.

Always remember to check that the boiler runs effectively by turning it on with a sensible thermostat setting, with plenty of time before the winter returns so that any issues can be resolved before the colder months return.

Summer Boiler Maintenance

As we have mentioned, the summer months are the ideal time to maintain a boiler as there is less demand for heating engineers then during winter and there is plenty of time to address any issues found before the return of winter.

The ideal time to book in a boiler service with a Gas Safe registered heating engineer is August or September, providing ample time for diagnosis of any issues, ordering parts and getting the boiler up and running again before winter.

Not only does a service provide peace of mind that the condition of the internal parts has been monitored and is acceptable for the coming seasons, but also the annual maintenance ensures that the boiler is operating safely. In addition heating engineers perform maintenance tasks ensuring that the boiler will run effectively and therefore saving money on energy bills.

Furthermore, if the property is rented this annual gas safety check is a legal requirement and a copy of the gas safety certificate should be issued to the tenants. Ensure that only a professional Gas Safe registered heating engineer undertakes the annual maintenance and service for safety and insurance purposes.

Boiler Replacement

During an annual service, a Gas Safe registered heating engineer may find faults that would be expensive to repair or may even condemn the boiler for continued use. In these scenarios a boiler replacement would be needed.

Shopping for a new boiler can be undertaken in a number of ways from obtaining quotes from the heating engineer, approaching large companies such as British Gas or, taking the modern route of ordering a new boiler online.

In order to check prices, it is recommended that a number of quotes are obtained before choosing a supplier, and reviewing the optional extras suggested such as a chemical flush and heating insurance.

Summary

We have been discussing the best approach to keeping energy costs low during the summer months whilst also protecting the boiler’s internal parts from a complete switch off.

We have also covered why summer is the time to undertake maintenance within the heating system, ensuring that the boiler will be safe and in good working order for the winter months.

Should you need any further advice, please contact a local Gas Safe registered heating engineer.

Read More

How Long Should A Boiler Last?

How-long-should-a-boiler-last

A boiler’s average lifespan is 10 to 15 years before you need to replace it. Your boiler accounts for around 60% of your energy bills and is a vital part of your home.

Buying and fitting a boiler is one of the most expensive investments you’ll make in your home, so the longer it can last, the more value for money you get.

Let’s explore how much life you can expect from your boiler and how you can lengthen that lifespan.

A Boiler’s Lifespan Explained

The timescale between new boiler installations is usually capped at 15 years. You probably have an old boiler that’s survived a more extended period, but it’s the efficiency that matters.

In theory, most boilers, even modern ones, can last longer than 15 years. However, that’s how long it would take to become so inefficient that it becomes more cost-effective to buy a new one. An old boiler can also negatively impact the environment.

A boiler is a piece of complicated machinery with moving parts like expansion vessels, pumps, valves, several meters of pipework, various electronic components, and a burner. No matter the quality, all these parts wear out at different rates.

Additionally, the boiler is constantly going between hot and cool, meaning it’s continually expanding and contracting, leading to stress and fatigue on the joints and pipework. An older boiler will also be from a different time when technology and climate concerns were different, so it’s wise to consider a replacement.

How To Lengthen Your Boiler’s Life

Annual Servicing

When you buy and install a new boiler, you’re told to have it serviced one year later and at the same time every year after that. Annual servicing protects your warranty and keeps your boiler safe, maintained, and efficient.

The best thing you can do to keep your boiler working efficiently for as long as possible is to have it serviced by a professional annually. Annual servicing needs to be carried out by a Gas Safe engineer who performs efficiency and safety tests on the boiler to ensure it works effectively.

Manufacturers require annual services by Gas Safe engineers to ensure the warranty remains valid. The engineer also checks the system for leaks or faults to catch minor problems early before they develop into expensive issues.

Fix Repairs ASAP

Ensure you pay attention to your boiler and heating system to notice any changes or unusual noises that need quick fixing. Don’t ignore or put anything off longer than you have to if you see anything wrong. Minor problems can worsen over time and lead to hefty repair costs.

As mentioned before, boiler parts wear out, but it doesn’t mean the boiler becomes useless. Components can be repaired, cleaned, or replaced, so ensure you have your boiler serviced annually to maintain its efficiency and extend its lifespan.

Powerflush

The boiler’s heating system comprises water and metal, so, naturally, dirt, rust, and sludge build-up in your radiators and pipes over the years. Such build-up can create blockages that gradually decrease the efficiency of your boiler and heating system.

When left too long, such blockage can cause significant damage. With a Powerflush or chemical flush service, a professional engineer can add chemicals to your system and flush to clear any sludge or blockages.

Only Use A Qualified Gas Safe Engineer

It’s dangerous and illegal for unqualified people to work on appliances like boilers. Your warranty can also become void when you use anyone other than a qualified professional. Always the engineer you use is on the Gas Safe Register, which provides a list of heating engineers legally eligible to work with such appliances with the highest standards.

Using a qualified engineer from installation to any ongoing repairs or servicing can help you increase the life of your boiler by preventing damage to your boiler and heating system.

Choose A Suitable Boiler

Having a boiler that’s the right fit and size for your home is vital. A boiler that’s too small means you’ll be overworking it and putting excessive pressure on the system, resulting in frequent breakdowns and reducing the lifespan of your boiler.

On the other hand, a boiler with excessive power can lead to high energy bills. A good quality boiler that’s the right size for your home should meet your hot water needs perfectly without any issues for many years to come.

Should I Replace An Old Working Boiler?

Even when your boiler is over ten years old and is yet to break down, you may be tempted to keep it going for as long as possible. After all, a replacement is a significant investment that requires careful consideration.

Odd noises, faults, and regular repairs are good indicators that your boiler is on its way out, and you should start considering getting a new one. Other motivators that make a new boiler the best option for you include:

Low Energy Bills

A boiler gets less effective and efficient at heating your home as it gets older, meaning it needs to work extra hard and use more energy to produce hot water. You’ll immediately see significant reductions in your energy bills when you replace an old boiler with a modern, more efficient model. In some cases, savings reach up to £365.

Latest Technology

Modern boilers are more attractive and compact, and they also outshine their predecessors in terms of performance and cheaper running costs. Today boilers come with better controls and can be connected to the internet for enhanced control of your heating through an app from anywhere in the world.

You can control how you heat each room in your home and the temperature. Others come with weather compensation technology that automatically adjusts the heating according to the weather outside or maximum energy savings.

More Available Parts

Older boilers may require parts that are already discontinued. Your boiler may still be hanging in there, but the parts needed may not be around anymore.

It can be almost impossible and expensive to source them when your old boiler requires replacement parts. A complete replacement of your boiler may prove to be the better option.

Selecting The Right Boiler

You must ensure you’re making the right choice according to your lifestyle, home, and budget when it’s time for a new boiler. Factors to consider include:

Boiler Type

  • You can choose from three boiler types including:
  • Regular boilers – Also called traditional boilers, they’re usually found in older heating systems. With regular boilers, the cold water from the main supply fills a large tank in the attic, which feeds water to the boiler where it’s heated. Hot water is then sent to radiators and a separate hot water cylinder for the taps.
  • A combi – Combi (combination) boilers are the most common boiler installed in the UK today. They’re a compact unit that takes water supply directly from the mains and heats it on demand, removing the need for hot water tanks or cylinders. They’re usually not suitable for large homes with high heating and hot water demands.
  • System Boiler – The system boiler also takes water from the main supply. It produces hot water and directly sends it to your radiators. However, it needs a separate hot water cylinder that’s kept in an airing cupboard to store the hot water for use in your taps.

Final Thoughts

A suitable boiler should last you at least ten years or longer if you keep it well-maintained.

If your boiler is outdated, you should consider replacing it even if it’s still working to ensure you get energy savings not possible with an old, inefficient boiler. Ensure you only work with a Gas Safe registered engineer for your boiler needs.

Read More

Best Combi Boiler Under £1000

Best-Boiler-Under-1000

Combi boilers have dramatically increased in popularity in the UK, and with good reason. They’re economical to run, affordable and you can rely on them to keep your home nice and warm no matter the weather.

Although lower costs are often associated with low-quality, unreliable products, you can still find efficient and reliable cheap combi boilers available in the market. Here are some of the best combi boilers under £1000 from some of the leading boiler manufacturers in the UK:

Brand Model Central Heating Output Hot Water Output Price
Vaillant ecoFIT Pure 825 19.1 kW 25.2 kW £907
Worcester Bosch Greenstar 2000 20 kW 25 kW £730
Ideal Logic Plus C24 24.2 kW 24.2 kW £847
Baxi 624 21.8 kW 24 kW £750

 

Vaillant ecoFIT Pure 825

Valliant is a leading boiler manufacturer that has produced heating solutions for over 14o years. The brand is well established in the UK and has been manufacturing combi boilers for the UK market for decades.

Their ecoFIT Pure range has one of their cheapest combi boilers that maintain the brand’s reputation for efficiency, quality, and reliability. The Vaillant ecoFIT Pure combi offers up to 94% efficiency and is the only Valliant range to feature an aluminium heat exchanger.

Features include:

  • An ultra-quiet operation.
  • Clear and understandable LCD.
  • Installable within a cupboard.
  • Compatible with Valliant heating controls.

Valliant’s own VSsmart smart thermostat provides self-learning abilities to Valliant combi boilers. It can understand your home’s heating needs and make your boiler work smarter to reduce energy bills.

Costing £907, it comes with a two-year standard warranty that can be extended to 7 or 10 years when you register and install the boiler through a Valliant Advance installer.

Worcester Bosch Greenstar 2000

Since its establishment in 1962, Worcester Bosch has remained a permanent fixture in the UK boiler market. Worcester have an enviable reputation in the UK, and they’ve been offering high-quality combi boilers to their customers for many years.

The company has an extensive range of boilers, from high-end industry-leading heating solutions to more affordable options. The Worcester Bosch Greenstar 2000 range of combi boilers was launched in 2019. They were designed to provide more homeowners with access to the quality, efficiency and reliability of Worcester Bosch boilers.

Features include:

  • One of the quietest combi boilers manufactured by Worcester Bosch.
  • Increased reliability and efficiency thanks to a C6 heat exchanger.
  • Modulates down to 4.8 kW for minimised energy usage.
  • Designed to be easily and quickly installed.

The entire Worcester Bosch combi boiler range is compatible with smart home technology allowing you to control your boiler from anywhere through the internet. Smart technology increases the efficiency of your boiler by optimising your home heating and hot water schedules.

The Greenstar combi boiler model can achieve up to 98% efficiency with a smart thermostat. It’s available for £730 and comes with a five-year standard warranty.

Ideal Logic Plus

Ideal Boilers are a UK brand that produces over 10,000 quality units every year, and the popularity has snowballed thanks to the affordable and hugely popular Ideal Logic Plus range. They’ve built a strong reputation for delivering reliable heating solutions.

Features include:

  • Designed for compact cupboard installation. It has a width of 395mm, a height of 700mm and a depth of 278mm.
  • It fully modulates down to 4.8 kW to ensure energy consumption is kept at a minimum.
  • It has built-in frost protection to keep your boiler healthy even in the winter.
  • It has endorsements from the Energy Savings Trust.

Costing around £847, the Ideal Logic Plus comes with a lengthy 7-year warranty with a heat exchanger that’s covered for ten years. You can also add an extra £100 to £150 more for the 30-kW model.

Baxi 624

The Baxi range of combi boilers aims to make modern boiler technology available at an affordable price. The range of combi boilers have been developed further into the 400, 600 and 800 range, and they’re a tried, tested and trusted heating system.

Features include:

  • Small and compact and can be installed in a standard kitchen cupboard.
  • Provides flexible options for installation locations.
  • Installation is very straightforward, thanks to low lift weight.
  • Impressive outputs are available in 24 kW and 30 kW models.

With an efficiency rating of A, the boiler works at an efficiency of around 89%. It’s also compatible with smart technology, allowing you to control and operate your boiler from a tablet or smartphone. It’s compliant with current legislation and surpasses regulation guidelines when installed with the uSense Baxi smart thermostat.

Costing £750, the Baxi comes with a standard 7-year warranty for parts and labour after installation. That’s more than enough peace of mind at an absolute bargain price from a reputable brand.

What Determines The Cost Of A Combi Boiler?

Various factors can make one boiler more expensive than the other. Each manufacturer has its pricing structure, and different brands will have different boiler prices. Other things that influence the price of a combi boiler include:

  • The boiler flow rate

The flow rate refers to how much water your boiler can process every minute and is measured in litres. If the flow rate is 9.8 litres, the boiler can process that volume every minute.

  • The boiler output

The boiler output is closely linked to the flow rate. While the flow rate measures the amount of water the boiler can transport to the tap, output determines the water amount it can heat as the water passes through the boiler.

If you have a big home, you should select a boiler with a higher output. The general rule of thumb is 24-27 kW for small homes and flats with up to 10 radiators, 28-34 kW for larger semi-detached properties and 35 kW+ for larger detached homes with over 18 radiators.

It’s vital to get the output rate correctly. If you choose a boiler with a low output rate, it will struggle to provide water at your required temperature. On the flip side, if you choose a boiler with an output rate that’s too high, the running costs may run into any savings you expect to make on energy bills.

  • Efficiency

With higher energy efficiency, your boiler will be cheaper to run, meaning you’ll pay lower utility bills. Combi boilers can have two different energy efficiency rates. These include the ERP rating ranking efficiency from A to G, where A is the most efficient and a percentage that shows the exact amount of energy used by the boiler’s core function.

  • Boiler Size

The dimensions you choose will determine where you put your combi boiler. Do you plan to hide it behind a cupboard or fit it under the stairs? It’s important to ensure the boiler you choose can fit where you wish to put it. The installer can help you make an informed decision by taking precise measurements of the area you select to ensure everything, including pipes, fit comfortably and attractively.

  • Warranty

The warranty communicates what the manufacturer thinks of their product, and it’s never advisable to install a boiler with a short warranty period. Boiler repairs aren’t cheap, and a warranty may be the only thing standing between you and the hefty costs of fixing your boiler. The good news is that there are plenty of boilers from leading brands with warranties in the 5–10-year period.

Final Thoughts

it’s now very easy to access the best combi boilers under £1000 with many companies offering installations on finance. You can compare quotes and pay for your boiler monthly even when you don’t have the cash up front!

Read More

Changing From Conventional Boiler To Combi

Conventional-to-Combi

Only change is constant, which is true when it comes to technology. Changing from a conventional to a combi boiler can seem like a walk into the unknown, but it’s a worthy investment in most cases.

Combi boilers take up less space, require less maintenance, heat water on demand, and are generally more efficient. If you’re looking to change from a conventional boiler to a combi but don’t know what it entails, we’ve got you covered!

Read on to learn more about changing from conventional boiler to combi.

What Is A Combi Boiler?

A combi boiler refers to a conventional boiler. It’s a combination of a water heater and a central heating boiler system in a single unit. It heats water on demand as soon as you turn on the water tap, eliminating the need for storage tanks required in conventional boilers.

The combi boiler is a compact system without any external cylinder or tank. It uses radiators to warm your home and heat water. The combi boiler is constantly on standby, providing instant hot water when you turn on the hot water tap.

Once the hot water tap is on, a signal to start heating the water inside the system goes to the boiler. Hot water supply begins almost immediately as the heat exchanger inside the combi boiler transfers heat from the burnt gas inside the boiler to the cold water and delivers it as required.

The control valves direct the water through the central heating system or divert it to the hot water tap. Combi boilers also allow you to pre-set your desired temperature where the boiler works with the thermostat to ensure it heats your home according to your preference.

Deciding If You Should Change From A Conventional Boiler To Combi

A combi boiler is a suitable choice unless you have a high demand for hot water and heating where several hot showers are running at once or dozens of radiators. Here’s why:

Efficiency

One main reason for changing from a conventional to a combi boiler is energy efficiency. Thanks to condensate technology, you can save up to 40% on your energy bills by replacing a 12-15-year-old boiler with a modern A-rated condensing combi boiler.

A boiler’s internal components go through significant thermal stress daily, which gradually leads to corrosion. Through years of use, the corroded parts bring the efficiency of a conventional boiler down 70% or 50%. This translates to high energy bills where you spend more on heating your home and water.

A-rated condensing combi boilers are over 90% efficient and can provide you with substantial energy savings. You can even find brands that are over 98% efficient!

Saving Space

If you have a small home or want to save space on your property, the combi boiler is the right fit. While conventional boilers need a storage tank to store heated water, combi boilers don’t require a tank since they produce hot water on demand.

Combi boilers require less pipework than conventional boilers and are the perfect central heating solution for modern tiny homes and flats. Many manufacturers offer compact combi boilers that can comfortably fit on a standard-sized kitchen cupboard.

Durability

Because combi boilers require fewer components like pipework to work, they tend to last longer than conventional boilers. They suffer less from thermal stress and corrosion and come equipped with modern technology for increased durability.

You can easily preserve a combi boiler’s high-efficiency levels for many years with the proper maintenance.

What Is Involved In Changing From Conventional Boiler To Combi?

Changing from a conventional boiler to combi can take a day or a few days to a week, depending on your situation. It’s not advisable to try and change from a conventional to a combi by yourself. It involves more than plugging and unplugging boilers, and no DIY skill can prepare you for the task involved.

Doing it yourself or with unqualified installers is risky and overwhelming, and it’s easy for a poorly installed boiler to turn into a hazard. You even face possible jail time and hefty fines if you install your boiler without the help of a certified gas engineer.

General steps that a gas engineer will follow when changing from a conventional boiler to combi include:

  • Draining the existing heating and hot water system.
  • Uninstalling the existing conventional boiler.
  • Unplugging and removing existing controls and thermostats.
  • Removing old conventional cylinders and attic tanks.
  • Inspect the existing pipework to determine if any faults can compromise the combi boiler.
  • Installation of the new combi boiler and any required pipework.
  • Powerflush on the entire boiler system and installation of magnetic filters or limescale filters for hard-water areas.
  • Installation of new thermostats that can boost energy-saving efforts.
  • Testing of the new combi boiler system to ensure it’s running correctly. The gas engineer will also provide tips on best usage and maintaining your combi boiler.

Costs Of Changing From Conventional Boiler To Combi

The costs will differ depending on the system’s complexity. A more complex system costs more to replace and install than a simpler one. Installing a combi boiler system on a small house will cost less than a larger one.

Unless you choose flagship or high-end combi boilers, it’s the replacement or installation that accounts for a massive chunk of the cost and not the boiler itself.

You can expect to spend somewhere between £2,000 to £3,000 on average, but this is only a rough estimate. It’s recommended you get a combi boiler quote for a more accurate estimation. There are different types and sizes of combi boilers, and suitable one should factor in the size and cost of your property.

Here are some common combi boiler conversions and an estimate of the time and money it can cost:

  • System boiler to combi boiler can cost from £2,000 to £2,450, with the replacement taking two days to complete.
  • Regular boiler to combi boiler can cost from £2,200 to £2,500, with the replacement taking two days to complete.
  • Back boiler to combi boiler can cost from £2,400 to £3,000, with the replacement taking 3 to 3 days to complete.
  • Old combi boiler to new combi boiler can cost from £2,200 to £2,500, with the replacement taking around two days to complete.

Removing the water storage tank of the conventional boiler can also add to the costs. You’ll pay from £100 to £150 for removal of storage tanks while removing a cold feeder tank can cost between £200 to £300.

Choosing The Best Combi Boiler

You’ll find many reputable manufacturers and excellent models to choose from when looking for a combi boiler. Things to remember selection include:

  • Physical dimensions – the perfect size of the boiler will depend on the amount of space you have on your property. Will you need to fit in a small space like a cupboard?
  • kW output – is the boiler powerful enough for your household needs?
  • Warranty – does the manufacturer show confidence in their product in the included warranty?

Ensure you don’t sacrifice the warranty to save a few pounds on a new combi boiler. Go for brands with confidence in their products’ longevity, which should be evident in the warranty. A 5-year warranty should be the minimum and if you can afford it, go for brands with ten-year warranties.

Final Thoughts

Changing from conventional boiler to combi is worth it. Combi boilers are compact, efficient, easy to maintain, and provide hot water on demand. A combi boiler adds value to your home and saves you up to 40% on energy bills.

Read More

How Old Is My Boiler?

Boiler-Age-Explained

It’s always essential to know the age of your boiler to determine whether it’s still efficient or you’re paying more than you need to heat your home. The chances of your boiler breaking down become significantly higher as it gets older, and it may be time to upgrade or replace it.

Here’s everything you need to know to determine how old your boiler is:

Check Your Boilers Serial Number

One easy way to find out the age of your boiler is to look for the serial number. The serial number of your number will look like a long barcode, and you can find it somewhere on the outside of your boiler. The serial number includes numbers and letters unique to your boiler.

You can find the number on the side, the drop-down panel, the bottom of the boiler, or the installation manual. The serial number contains information on your boiler’s year of manufacture. Here’s a breakdown of the different boiler manufacturers and where you can find the installation year in the serial number.

How Old Is My Baxi Boiler?

It’s pretty simple to find the serial number of your Baxi boiler. They usually have a sticker with the number on the front of the boiler, or you can find it inside the drop-down panel.

If your Baxi boiler’s manufacture date is after 2003, the serial number’s 4th and 5th digits will represent the year of manufacture, while the 6th and 7th digits will represent the week within that year. For example, if the serial number is BCP061100298ZX, the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th digits are 0611. This means the date of manufacture is 2006 in the 11th week.

If your Baxi boiler is older than 2003, you can provide the serial number to Baxi, and they can let you know the manufacture date of the boiler.

How Old Is My Valliant Boiler?

The serial number is usually found on a sticker on the boiler itself or inside the front panel with Valliant boilers. Valliant boilers have serial numbers that are 20 or 28 characters long. The 3rd and 4th characters represent the year of manufacture, while the following two numbers represent the assembly week number.

Therefore, if the 3rd digit is 0 and the 4th digit is 2, your Valliant boiler was manufactured in 2002.

How Old Is My Ideal Boiler?

With ideal boilers, you can check the Benchmark Certificate found in the boiler’s installation manual. Depending on your model, you can also find the serial number on the top or underneath the Ideal boiler. The models include:

Ideal Logic And Ideal M

You can find the serial number in Ideal Logic and Ideal M on a barcoded sticker on top of the boiler. It’s a long 24- or 25-digit number split into three sections, with the last two sections showing the boiler’s age.

The very end of the serial number usually displays the manufacture date. Boilers manufactured pre-2015 usually have dates formatted as YY/MM/DD, while those manufactured after 2015 have a DD/MM/YY format.

Ideal Classic

The Ideal classic has a shorter serial number of 17 or 18 numbers displayed on a barcoded sticker at the top of the boiler. The third cluster of numbers on the serial number contains four digits representing the year and week of production.

For example, if the serial number is UZ 202034 0612 00149, you look at the 3rd cluster, 0612. The manufacture date, in this case, is 2006 in the 12th week.

Ideal Mini

The serial number in Ideal Mini boilers is shorter than most boilers, and instead of the year and week, it provides the month and year. You can find the month and year of manufacture in the last four digits of the serial number.

For example, if the last four digits read 0408, the boiler was manufactured in April 2008.

How Old Is My Worcester Bosch Boiler?

Despite being very popular, it can be challenging to determine the age of Worcester Bosch boilers unless you’re a professional. The serial numbers are designed for internal use only and have FD numbers that have production dates coded in.

You’ll need to contact the support team of Worcester Bosch if you want to determine the age of your boiler.

Signs That Your Boiler Is Getting Older

You can look for various signs showing that your boiler has aged and is becoming inefficient. These include:

Rising Bills

The main culprit can be your ageing boiler if you notice rising heating bills. As your boiler gets older, it will start burning through more fuel than usual, causing your bills to rise.

Boiler efficiency drops with age meaning it will require more energy to heat your home, costing you more money in the long run.

Your Home Feels Cold Despite The Boiler

If you’re still feeling cold in your home and the boiler is on, or it isn’t as warm as it used to be, then you need to start thinking about a replacement or upgrade. It may be time to get a new boiler that will do a better job and be more effective at heating your home.

Breaks Down Regularly

The chances of your boiler breaking down increase as your boiler gets older, which translates to regular, costly repair bills. The parts that break down in old boilers may also be challenging to find and replace. You can easily spend up to £1,000 looking after an old inefficient heating system. Instead, you should channel the funds towards investing in a new boiler.

When Should I Replace My Boiler?

The efficiency of a boiler drops as it ages, and a boiler that’s 90% efficient today may be less than 80% efficient in 10 years. This means it will use more fuel and provide less heating, leaving you with a cold home and mounting energy bills.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to replace your boiler at around the ten-year mark. A good time to start thinking about a new boiler is eight years after the initial installation. A heating engineer can provide a proper estimate of how many more years you can get from your boiler during servicing.

How Much Can A New Boiler Cost?

You’ll pay different prices depending on the type of boiler you want to install. You can choose from combi, system or regular boilers. You can go for a direct replacement of your current boiler, but if it’s outdated or your heating demands have changed since your last boiler, it’s worth considering an upgrade or a different boiler.

Here’s a rough estimate of typical boiler prices and their installation costs:

Boiler Price Cost Of Installation
System £500 – £2,500 £500 – £1,000
Combi £500 – £2,000 £500 – £1,000
Regular £500 – £2,750 £500 – £1,000

 

You may also have to factor in the cost of a replacement cylinder when you choose regular or system boilers because they must be installed alongside a hot water cylinder. The cylinder stores the hot water until you turn on the hot water tap.

It’s wise to get quotations from three to four different companies to ensure you get the best installation prices. Research on different boiler brands before deciding to understand which one is most suitable for your home.

Final Thoughts

Upgrading from an old and inefficient boiler can potentially save you up to £340 annually in energy bills. Such figures compound a considerable amount of wasted money you can use to pay off the cost of a new boiler quickly. If you’ve noticed any issues with your current boiler or it’s over ten years old, then it’s time to consider a replacement.

Read More

Boiler Installation Cost Calculator – Average Boiler Cost 2022

Boiler Installation Calculator

There’s no getting around it, installing a new boiler is an expensive task, however planning for such an upgrade can be tricky as the information regarding the exact costs to expect are hard to determine and there is not a set price that homeowners or landlords can transparently discover.

There are average prices published on a wide range of sites suggesting that the cost of installing a combi-boiler is between £1,600 and £2,500, whereas regular boilers installations tend to start a bit higher at £1,700 and range to £2,000 and finally system boilers often have a price range of £1,900 to £2,200.

Of course, boiler installation quotes can be obtained from a variety of sources including national companies, local firms or online boiler suppliers and compared, however this is quite an onerous task to complete this day and age.

Therefore we have drafted this article in order to calculate the cost of a new installation as well as discussing the various factors that impact the actual cost.

Factors that Impact New Boiler Installation Quotes

Within the range of the average prices mentioned above, there are still an array of factors that will be at play within every installation, adjusting the actual price paid for a boiler installation according.

These factors include:

  • The type of property that the boiler is due to be installed within
  •  The scale of the property – Eg, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and radiators
  •  The type of boiler required
  •  The location of the property
  •  Whether the boiler is due to be moved to another location
  •  The installer
  •  If any optional extras are selected upon ordering

Let’s now discuss some common scenarios that could occur including the above factors, and how they would impact the overall installation cost.

The Type and Scale of the Property

Both the type and scale of the property will impact the cost of an installation, however the differences are not easy to unpick on a general article such as this.

For a starting point it may be useful to complete a short questionnaire on one of the online boiler ordering sites in order to get a baseline of the cost of a boiler installation for the required property type and size.

Another method would be to request some quotes from national and local firms in order for engineers to establish the most suitable style of boiler for the property.

The Type of Boiler Chosen and Conversions of Boiler Types

As we have mentioned, the type of boiler will determine a large percentage of the overall price of the installation, with a top end combi-boiler being the most expensive for example.

Combi-boilers are currently one of the most popular types of boiler in the UK due to the space saving benefits as this type of boiler does not require a separate water storage tank, however there are limitations as combi-boilers are not suitable for all households such as properties with a heavy demand or weak water pressure.

The size of the boiler will also be linked to the demand within the property, often attributed to the number of bathrooms within the property.

Therefore in order to determine which boiler type and size would be most suitable for the household, a consultation with a Gas Safe registered heating engineer may be required.

The most common boiler installations are either:

  • Replacing an Existing Combi-boiler, like for like – As no changes to the pipe work are required with a like for like installation, quotes should be around £2,000 and the timeframe should be approximately one working day.
  • Upgrading from a Regular Boiler to a Combi-boiler – Such an upgrade would require the decommission and removal of the storage tank, pipe work changes as necessary and the installation of the new boiler time. Such a conversion would cost in the region of £2,500 and take slightly longer than a like for like replacement, possibly an extra half day. There may also be additional waste removal costs to remove the old tank, however this would depend on specific companies terms and conditions.

Another factor to consider would be if the tank can actually be physically removed in one piece as there may be sizing limitations such as loft hatches or, if the property has been adapted since built.

If not and additional deconstruction is required, this may add additional labour time and costs. Further more, if any asbestos is thought to be within the tank itself, specialised suppliers would be needed to safely undertake the works.

To possibly eliminate such concerns, some research could be undertaken into the type of tank and the date of installation.

Replacing a Back Boiler with a Combi-Boiler

Another frequent scenario that comes up is when a homeowner or landlord opts to upgrade their outdated back boiler with a new combi-boiler.

In 2005 the UK government introduced new regulations requiring all replacement boilers and new installations to be condensing boilers, and therefore since, manufacturing of back boilers and their components has grind to a holt.

Back boilers are now deemed a health and safety risk and keeping them going has become increasingly challenging due to the lack of parts available.

There is sufficient work involved with decommissioning a back boiler, removing the large floor standing unit and installing the necessary pipe work and flue for a new efficient combi-boiler, approximately two and a half days labour, costing around £3,500.

Moving Boilers

As we touched on earlier, a like for like replacement in the same location would keep pipe work changes to a minimum, however should the homeowner or landlord opt to move the boiler there will be additional costs and labour required.

The exact increase in cost would depend on where the new boiler is to be located and the distance between the old location and new location to amend the pipe work and flue as necessary.

As an approximate guide cost, to move a boiler within the same room could add around £600 to the installation price and additional half day of labour.

The Location of the Property and The Installer Chosen

There will be variations in the cost of installing a boiler up and down the country, depending on the cost of labour and accessibility of parts.

In addition, there are also variances in the charges between installation companies, for example large national firms are likely to provide higher quotes in order to cover their large overheads, whereas local firms or online companies often offer more competitive pricing.

Additional Extras

When ordering a new boiler installation the homeowner or landlord will likely be offered an array of additional extras including:

  • Chemical Flushes – A process of cleaning through the entire heating system to remove limescale and any debris that has been built up. The flushes are offered as preparation for a new boiler in order to protect the new boiler unit from any contaminated or dirty water within the system entering.
  • Smart Controls – Modern smart thermostats can assist with controlling the boiler remotely via a mobile phone app.
  • Boiler Insurance – Additional policies protecting the homeowner or landlord from any costs of emergency call outs.

Boiler Installation Cost Calculator Summary

During this article we have covered some of the most common scenarios of boiler installations and the differences in prices and labour times that each would have.

We have covered the factors which impact and vary the overall boiler installation cost and also the additional extras which a consumer will likely be offered when placing their order.

If you are ready for a new boiler or wish to discuss any upgrading requirements please liaise with a qualified heating engineer for expert advise and up to date quotations.

Read More

Potterton Boiler Troubleshooting – How to Fix Common Issues

Potterton Boiler Troubleshooting
From time to time boilers breakdown either due to a component fault, pressure issue or sometimes due to the external conditions. Boiler faults are not just a matter of concern for budget boilers or lower quality manufacturing brands. Even models by top brands such as Potterton boilers can suffer from problems.

We will be exploring the most common faults that occur with Potterton boilers, what the typical cause could be, as well as discussing the methods of getting them back up and running again.

It is worth noting that if the Potterton boiler is ageing, even if a repair could be carried out, it may not be cost effective verses buying a replacement boiler, therefore it is always worth consulting a trained heating engineer to discuss repairs on an older model.

Let’s dive into the most common Potterton boiler faults as well as the steps involved to overcome them.

Most Common Potterton Boiler Problems

Low Boiler Pressure

The pressure of the boiler itself is an essential factor for the unit to work effectively, however unfortunately all boilers can suffer from low pressure every now and then. Should a boiler have insufficient pressure, the safety mechanism will kick in, causing the boiler to lock out, stopping the heating and hot water in it’s tracks. The boiler will often not restart until the cause of the low pressure is resolved.

Low boiler pressure can occur for a number of reasons such as:

  • Leaks within the heating system pipe work, a radiator valve or from one of the parts inside the boiler
  • The heat exchanger develops a crack
  • Failures of soldering on the pipe work

If the boiler displays a low pressure related error code, in the first instance the occupier could attempt to top up the pressure within the unit by using the internal filling loop.

For further details of the error codes specific to the model of Potterton boiler or instructions on how to undertake the pressure filling procedure, please refer to the boiler user manual or if this has been misplaced, search online for a video guide.

If the pressure top up is only a temporary fix, the lockout process will reoccur and in this scenario further investigation will be required. The next step would be to undertake a visual inspection of the entire heating system looking for any signs of leaks.

If a small leak is deducted, there may be an easy fix either by tightening any loose joints or valves, or by applying DIY sealant. Meanwhile if a larger leak is discovered, assistance from a Gas Safe registered heating engineer may be required to replace pipe work or undertake soldering tasks.

If no leaks are spotted, the cause of the low boiler pressure could be an internal boiler component, therefore a Gas Safe registered heating engineer will need to be called in order to investigate further.

Radiators do not get up to temperature

A concern that often is related to Potterton boilers is when the boiler turns on and begins to heat up the heating system then turns off before the radiators are hot enough. This issue is usually caused by a malfunction within the sensors inside the boiler providing the wrong readings and therefore turning off the boiler and is often represented by error code E20 or E28 shown on the display panel.

Sensor issues are often caused by one of three issues:

  • NTC Thermistor – This is the technical name for the temperature sensors within the boiler. Should an NTC thermistor require replacing this should not be too costly, however an engineer would need to provide an up to date cost including labour that is accurate for the location of the boiler.
  • PCB – The PCB or printed circuit board is the main electrical motherboard within a boiler. If there is a fault with the PCB, this can be an expensive part to replace due, typically around £500 or more.
  • Limescale – A built up of limescale inside the boiler, in particular on the NTC Thermistor can impact the ability for the part to work effectively, resulting in incorrect temperature readings.

As all of the above parts are inside the boiler, it is imperative for safety that a Gas Safety registered heating engineer is called to open the boiler and investigate the cause.

If the issue is caused by a build up of limescale, the engineer will initially undertake a clean of the parts using specialised chemicals in order to assess the condition.

If once cleaned, the parts have been eroded by the limescale or have general wear and tear, the engineer will be able to provide a quote to replace the parts as necessary, or if the overall boiler condition is not deemed suitable to warrant repairs, the engineer can advise on the best options for replacing the unit entirely.

Return Pipe is cold

The next common issue to discuss is a cold return pipe. This fault occurs when the boiler is not circulating the hot water correctly around the heating system which results in cool water being passed through the return pipe.

On a Potterton boiler a cold return pipe could be represented by error code E125 or E193 on the display window, following by locking out.

There are two main causes of a cold return pipe such as:

  • Fault with the Central Heating Pump – The heating pump would perform the task of pushing water around the system, therefore if this is not being undertaken effectively the pump could have a fault or a blown seal.
  • Blockage – Blockages can develop anywhere within the heating system, causing limitations of the circulation of water. Often blockages are caused by limescale and debris and could be solved by a chemical flush undertaken by a registered heating engineer.

Again, as both of these issues are internal within the boiler itself or, within the pipe work of the heating system, a Gas Safety registered heating engineer would need to be called to assess the condition of the internal part, providing a confirmed diagnosis of the issue and make a plan of how to rectify the matter, leaving the homeowner with quotes to review.

Intermittent Fan

Another common fault with Potterton boilers is an intermittent fan. With any fan issue, the safety mechanism in-built within the boiler itself will kick in, shutting down the boiler to prevent any potentially dangerous gases being retained rather than pushed out into the flue via the fan.

There are often three main causes of an intermittent fan as follows:

  • Wiring faults – From time to time, wiring can become loose or damaged within the boiler itself causing intermittent signal faults between the PCB and other components. The costs of any fix will vary depending on the condition of the wiring and connections, however generally would be fairly low cost in comparison with other part replacements.
  • Issue with the Air Pressure Switch – The air pressure switch itself could have developed a fault causing incorrect signals being sent to the PCB.
  • Fault within the PCB – As we have already discussed, the PCB is the main brain of the boiler, which if this develops a fault, it will not send the instructions to the internal parts to function in a timely manner.

Due to the range of causes, there are a number of error codes that could relate to the fan including E131, E133, E151, E152, E160 or E151. If any of these error messages are displayed on the Potterton boiler, please refer to the manual for further details.

As all of the above possible causes are linked to internal boiler components, a Gas Safety registered heating engineer would be required to visit in order to investigate, confirm the issue and propose the solution.

Only Hot Water or Heating, Not Both

The final common issue we will discuss is where a Potterton boiler operates only one service; hot water or heating, but not both, which is often caused by a faulty or blocked diverted valve.

As the diverted valve is located inside the boiler itself this matter will require the assistance of a Gas Safe registered heating engineer will be required to investigate the condition of the valve.

Should a replacement valve be required, the costs may creep into the hundreds of pounds and therefore it is recommended that a discussion takes place with the engineer regarding the options of repair compared with replacing the boiler itself.

Potterton Boiler Troubleshooting Summary

We have discussed the top five most common issues that occur with Potterton boilers, as well as discussing the next steps in order to address the issues and get the boiler up and running again.

We have also covered when to consider if a new boiler may be deemed more cost effective rather than replacing specific parts, which may be fairly expensive.

Should you have any specific issues regarding your boiler, please do arrange a visit from a Gas Safe registered heating engineer.

Read More

Vokera Boiler Troubleshooting – How to Fix Common Issues

Vokera Boilers

Unfortunately, from time to time boilers fault, lock down or do not operate as needed to keep the property warm and hot water running effectively.

Often such breakdowns seem to take place at the most inconvenient of times when an engineer is hard to get hold of, or in the depths of winter!

Although Vokera boilers are very popular, mainly due to their entry price point within the market, sadly they do not have a great reputation for being very reliable and therefore a number of common faults tend to occur with Vokera boilers.

Due to the price-point of Vokera boilers, the internal parts are of low cost and quality, therefore not built to last for long. This is represented by the duration of the manufacturer’s warranty only of 2 years, whereas some competitors offer much longer warranties.

This article is here to help when needing to troubleshoot a Voker Boiler fault, aiming to help save time and money on boiler repairs.

We will cover the five most common faults that Voker’s are known to suffer from, detailing what is often the cause of the issue and the steps that can be taken to fix the fault, getting the boiler back up and running again.

Most Common Vokera Boiler Issues

Fan Problems

As we have briefly mentioned, Vokera is often described as a budget brand, with lower cost internal components installed by the manufacturer. This is also true where the fan is concerned, and therefore fan problems or broken fans are a common fault.

Any issue with the internal fan inside the boiler would usually be detected by the unit itself, locking out the boiler for safety purposes and displaying the error code A03 within the display window (on most Vokera models).

As the fan is located inside the boiler itself, a Gas Safe registered heating engineer would need to be called to safely open the boiler and investigate the condition of the fan.

If a replacement is needed the specialised engineer should be able to advise on the pricing of the necessary parts, source these and install them fairly cost effectively.

However, it is worth taking into account the age of the boiler itself before proceeding with replacement parts as sometimes it can be more cost effective in the long run to replace the whole unit.

If the heating engineer does not find an issue with the boiler’s internal fan, the same error code could also represent a wiring issue. The engineer would confirm such issues by the using a multimeter, and again advise the solution should a wiring issue be found.

Low Boiler Pressure

Low pressure is a common issue across a wide range of boiler makes and models, and the Vokera models are no different, particularly as they age.

The error codes attributed to pressure issues on Vokera boilers are either 40, 41 or A04, depending on the specific model.

The most common cause of low-pressure issues is a leak either within the boiler itself or somewhere else within the heating system.

The result of low pressure within a boiler can cause damage to internal parts, however boilers have an inbuilt safety mechanism that aims to protect from such damage by shutting down first.

The first port of call should a boiler be suffering from low pressure would be to undertake a visual assessment of the heating system, checking for any signs of a leak. Leaks can occur in a number of different places throughout the heating system such as on radiator valves or inside the boiler itself form the heating pump, the auto vent or the expansion vessel.

Should a small leak be found, there may be a cheap and easy DIY solution such as applying some sealant to the pipework however, if there is any doubt of the location or size of the leak, it is recommended that support is sought from a specialist heating engineer.

However, if no leak was found, the issue may be resolved by adjusting the boilers pressure by use of the filling taps. For instructions on how to re-pressurise the boiler, refer to the boiler’s manufacturer manual. If the re-pressurisation process only fixes the issue on a short-term basis, there may be another issue at play and therefore it is recommended that a heating engineer is called out.

Lukewarm Water

If the Vokera boiler is not producing hot enough water, the issue is likely to be caused by a problem with the boiler’s diverter valve. A Diverter valve is an internal boiler part that directs the water to either the heating system (radiators) or water system (taps).

In this scenario a Gas Safe engineer would need to be called to investigate the matter due to the location of the valve within the boiler itself.

A qualified heating engineer will check the valve for a blockage or damage. Should the part require replacing, it would typically cost around £250 plus labour for the fitting. However, should the boiler in question be a bit older and out of warranty, the landlord or homeowner may wish to consider upgrading the whole boiler to a more reliable brand.

Ignition Problems

Ignition failures can be down to a range of issues within a Vokera boiler and are usually identified with error code 10 or A01 depending on the model.

The most common faults are usually with ignition leads or gas valves, which are usually simple fixes. However, should the ignition issue be traced back to the printed circuit board or PCB, the costs to fix the boiler would escalate dramatically.

A PCB is the electrical motherboard within the boiler itself that monitors and controls each of the other components. The replacement PCB is often in the region of £500 plus labour to install, and therefore should this be the cause of the issue, the homeowner should review whether replacing the boiler would be advantageous in the long run.

Ignition problems would require a visit from a Gas Safe registered heating engineer who would be best place to discuss the best solutions depending on the location of the ignition fault.

Condensation Blockage

The last common fault that we will review is a condensation blockage, which can be represented by error codes on the display window of either 92, 93 or 95 depending on the model of Vokera boiler.

Condensation blockages can either accumulate within the boiler itself or within the condensation pipe and usually occur in the colder months due to the formation of ice.

Should one of the error codes be displayed, the first step would be to visually inspect the external condensation pipe for signs of ice. If an ice blockage is discovered, try to defrost it by running some warm water over the pipe to melt the ice. However, if the matter is inside the boiler, or the weather isn’t cold, a Gas safety engineer would need to be called to internally inspect the boiler for any blockages.

Summary

Throughout this article we have discussed the most common faults that can occur with a Vokera boiler, including the methods of getting them up and running again.

Should a homeowner or landlord have any concerns or doubts regarding the cause of the matter following reading this article, it is highly recommended that a qualified Gas Safe heating engineer is called in order to assess the matter and quote for any replacement parts or if this is not deemed economical due to the overall boiler condition, advise the options of a new boiler.

Read More

Best Floor Standing Boilers in 2022

Best Floor Standing Boilers

Nowadays, wall-mounted boilers have become very common, but that wasn’t always the case. Floor-standing boilers were once the most common type of boiler found in UK homes.

With household becoming and technological advances, wall-mounted boilers soon became the most popular choice. However, there are times when having a heating system on the floor is a good option.

Whether you need to replace your old floor standing boiler or need to decide whether keeping your heating system on the floor is better than a wall-mounted upgrade, we’ve got you covered! Here’s everything you need to know about floor-standing boilers and the best available models in the market:

What is a Floor Standing Boiler?

A floor-standing boiler is usually mounted on the floor and needs plenty of space. Some floor-standing boilers are often too bulky to hang on a wall. Floor-standing boilers come in various shapes, types, and sizes and use different fuel types. They include:

Conventional Floor-Standing Boilers

These are traditionally heaters made initially for heating the home. They require a hot water cylinder, a feed, boiler, and expansion tank to work, plus a pump that cycles the water through the radiators and pipes.

Such old heating systems are excellent for large families because they have high heating and water storage capacities. Since they require plenty of space, they’re better off deployed as floor-standing boilers. They feature massive heat exchangers that make them cumbersome.

System Boilers

Unlike conventional models, system floor standing boilers rely on expansion vessels for the water surplus instead of expansion and feed tank. Such an alteration makes the entire system more compact because there’s no expansion or feed tank. They operate similarly to conventional boilers and are suitable for households with significant water needs.

Despite the pipework taking up less space, system boilers can still be very bulky. You can get conventional and system floor-standing boilers that utilize gas, LPG, or oil. If you’re looking for a floor-standing boiler that can provide a lot of hot water to multiple taps simultaneously, conventional or system boilers are excellent options.

Biomass Boilers

Biomass boilers usually require plenty of storage space for biomass fuel, making them suitable for rural properties and large homes. Although they can vary in their combustion process and function, they’re large enough to be implemented as floor-standing boilers.

Most biomass boilers are meant to be installed outside or in particular housing outside. Some can fit in utility rooms or your home’s garage, and they need to be placed on floors. The fuel storage area and hoppers also need to be on the floor because hanging them on the wall would be challenging.

If a biomass boiler is your option for a sustainable heating option, then you must mount your boiler on the floor.

Suitability Of Floor-Standing Boilers

Most households choose the modern, compact combi boilers because they’re light and small and fit on the wall or in a cupboard-sized space. Living space is becoming more precious every day, so saving space with compact heating systems makes sense.

However, if your only choice or preference is something like a biomass boiler, then you’ll have no choice to set it up as a free-standing boiler. You may also prefer the arrangement of a floor-standing boiler over the other models.

The floor-standing boilers available today aren’t as massive as the previous models. They’re compact and can easily fit under a worktop making a floor-standing boiler more sensible if you have more space.

It’s also wiser to place your boiler in your utility room instead of hanging it in the kitchen, and this can be a reason to choose a floor-standing traditional unit rather than a wall-mounted boiler.

The convenience of simply swapping your old free-standing boiler with a new one is also a significant reason why they’re still in production. It makes things more manageable, and you don’t have to disrupt any of the pipework or find a new place to put it.

Replacing Your Floor Standing Boiler

Most major manufacturers still produce floor-standing boilers, and it’s very sensible to replace an old existing one with the same kind. You may want to upgrade to a combi, but such a replacement would mean that you have to disrupt the existing pipes with the installation.

Changing to a combi boiler may also mean that you need to remove your hot water cylinder and the expansion and feed tank from your loft. Such activities are far from free, and they can cost you close to £2,300 or more.

However, fitting a new floor-standing boiler in place of a previous one will not set you back a lot. You’re simply swapping your old one for a new one, and the cost difference is sensible since the infrastructure remains intact.

Changing from a floor-standing boiler can also be very invasive, and you may have to rearrange some cabinetry or remove some walls here and there. A straightforward swap is more sensible if you’d rather avoid the hassle of a change.

Pros and Cons of Floor Standing Boilers

Pros

  • Floor-standing boilers are the most economical replacement for existing floor-standing units because you’ll not require significant changes to the available pipework.
  • Flow-standing models are more prominent than the wall-hanging boilers, enabling them to provide better flow rates.
  •  If you’re worried about space, you can find models that can easily fit under a worktop.
  •  You can find floor-standing boilers to use with more fuel sources than before, and you can choose between oil, gas, biomass fuel, and LPG.
  • Most floor-based boilers use thick-walled cast iron or steel, guaranteeing a long service life.

Cons

  • Despite the modern models being compact, the space needed for a floor-standing boiler may simply not be enough to house one of these heating systems. They may prove to be impractical for people with smaller homes.
  • Some models may require the classic chimney type meaning you’ll have to punch a hole in the wall and introduce pipes, which can create an unappealing appearance.
  • You may also have limited choices since the demand for floor-based boilers is low.

Best Floor Standing Boilers Available

1. The Worchester Greenstar 30CDi Floor Boiler

If you have reasonable demand for heat in a sizeable home, the Greenstar can be an excellent choice. It’s a heat-only boiler and a modern, powerful replacement with a 30kW output.

It measures 850mm in height with a depth of 600mm and a width of 400mm. It can easily fit between your kitchen units or even under a standard kitchen worktop.

Excluding installation, the Greenstar is available for around £1,500, and you can choose different fuel types if you don’t have access to the main supply.

2. Ideal Mexico HE

Ideal boilers have been in use in the UK for a while. The Ideal Mexico HE is a heat-only, floor-standing model available in different power outputs from 16kW to 38kW. The range makes choosing a suitable model for your home needs easier.

The Mexico HE is compact and can fit nicely under worktops and in-between appliances. Unlike the heat-only boilers, you cannot convert the HE to run on LPG, meaning you need access to the main gas. However, the Ideal Mexico HE is compatible with solar.

3. The Grant 26kW Spira

The Grant Spira offers you a renewable heating option if you want to go all green and remain environmentally friendly. It’s a biomass boiler suitable if you have plenty of room and a large home to heat.

The model uses wood pellets as fuel and produces an output of 26kW.

Best Floor Standing Boilers Final Thoughts

A new and modern floor-standing boiler is a more suitable option if your current floor-standing unit needs replacement. It can save you on costs and provide plenty of heat to meet the needs of large households.

Read More