Home and Garden

Boilers, Plumbing and Bathrooms

In Bathroom, Plumbing, Workmen and Trade on May 1, 2012 at 4:25 am

I’ve been on the receiving end of many visits from boiler and plumbing engineers recently. Every person who visits has a different take on what to do. Yes, it’s utterly befuddling.

It’s ok though, because it will enable us to install “The Basin of Joy”  eventually. In the meantime here’s a summary of what I’ve been told.  Perhaps it may be of use to you, or perhaps you have an opinion.

Sfera Yellow Bowl Sink

The Sink of Joy

Here’s our situation:

1. We currently have a large Concord WRS boiler. They stopped making them before I was born, but it is working fine.

2. The current boiler is illegally vented at the moment as the flu goes into an open carport, which still counts as enclosed.

3. Our pressure for showers is, well, let’s just say I’d get cleaner using a watering can.

The options presented to us have been the following:

1) Replace the boiler and keep the hot water tank, adding a pump for pressure.

  • Some say pumps give better pressure than mains and combi, some say not
  • Some say pumps are noisy

2) Replace the boilers with a 30kw combi boiler.

  • Could use an electric shower to stop hot water/pressure drain when using more than one tap. Some say it’s an issue, some say not
  • Put flow regulators on taps to solve pressure / water sharing issue

3) Other variations in advice

  • Whether or not to powerflush the system (this could highlight leaks unnecessarily. Some combi boilers have magnetic sludge filters built in)
  • Whether or not radiatiors will need replacing

So, all in all there’s basically every permutation of the above open to us and every time someone comes, we are persuaded that their option is best….until the next person comes.

Excitingly though I have discovered that some combi-boilers have weather meters that monitor external happenings and adjust pre-emptively to drops in temperature. Swanky.

  1. You can give many different variations to customers as to how to give better flows, temperatures, efficiencies etc. Bottom line is, if you have a knackered old dray horse of a boiler and heating/hotwater system, you will never get thoroughbred racehorse results! It seems that you have inhereted a dog of a system. Your Concord boiler will probably go on for a long time, not much to go wrong with them (very basic). It boils down to, horses for courses and budgets to achieve your personal requirements. Upgrading existing systems are fine, however, your pipework is probably as old as your boiler. Copper pipe manufactures today, usually give a 15yr guarantee, so, to pressurise your existing system with a combi or system boiler, it may compromise the integrity of any existing pipework and may prove costly in the long run. My personal recommendation would be too (in an ideal world) have a system boiler, upgrade the pipework, fit a mains pressure hot water cylinder with a back up immersion heater, (this would rule out the need for a shower pump), good controls, including external weather compensator (weather meter). It all boils down to money! Trusting and belief in your installer. A lot of so called Plumbers/heating engineers can “talk the talk” get one on recommendation that can “walk the walk”. Good luck, hope I didn’t blather on too much…
    Andy O.

  2. Thanks Andy,
    We had one guy come in and say we should put an Atmos Intercombi HE32 without using a powerflush but fitting a magna clean, and that would be brilliant. Then British Gas came and said that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about and that would be a) no good with our pressure and b) a waste given the size of our house (3bed). BG recommend a Potterton Precision High Efficiency Boiler and a 1.0 bar pump under the bath to boost the shower (though they say we’d only need that if we want a big shower head as the new hot tank and pipe clean will help with flow) BG reckon we have 6 litres p/m flow. Both quotes are 4k

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