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Old 26 May 2011, 06:10   #11
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There are four Worcester Bosch combi-boilers in our complex, all now 12 years old and counting. They are serviced annually by WB themselves who occasionally change a part at no cost to us "just in case" but other than that, nothing to report. There's a 5th boiler - not a combi - which is a Valiant, also 12 years old. The owners of that one are on first name terms with the Service Engineer.
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Old 27 May 2011, 10:27   #12
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Related subject, has anyone looked into the latest air source heat pump systems to replace a gas/oil boiler? Some new systems now provide enough heat to directly run normal radiators (e.g. Daikin Altherma HT). They're supposed to be now getting competitive with off-grid applications like oil.
Gerry
The air source heat pumps seem to be very noisy (a neighbour has one) and not very efficient when compared to the ground source heat pumps - so I started to look at ground source heat pumps, but gave up because it would appear to cost over 10x the most expensive condensing oil boiler - so oil prices need to be a lot more expensive to justify the installation cost.
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Old 27 May 2011, 10:35   #13
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So after a few more suggestions, I now have a shortlist of regular gravity fed oil burners:
Worcester Bosch
Potterton

The only thing that I haven't yet investigated is a possible repair of the current heat exchanger/ boiler jacket or replacement with a stainless steel heat exchanger.
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Old 28 May 2011, 06:12   #14
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So after a few more suggestions, I now have a shortlist of regular gravity fed oil burners:
Worcester Bosch
Potterton

The only thing that I haven't yet investigated is a possible repair of the current heat exchanger/ boiler jacket or replacement with a stainless steel heat exchanger.
Our current oil-fired boiler is a Boulter. It's been in the property since it was built (1999), so now 12 years old. We're at the point that we're having to consider all options as oil-prices are going through the roof.

The annual maintenance has kept the boiler running, but we've still had problems. At one point it was smoking like an E-Class Frigate, and then died. That was Christmas Day a few years back. Think we've had water-pumps go, thermostat, etc.

We've considered solar panels, but we don't have enough roof space (due to Velux and dormers), besides it was going to cost 7k and all it would heat was the water.

Then we looked at a wood pellet burner. The automatic hopper ones start at 12k. Now we have someone coming on Monday to explain the benefits of switching to LPG. Absolutely no idea about how much they cost to run, but what I do know is there is a monthly tank rental, and that the tank has to be 3m from the house, boundary fence, etc. You can bury them of course. Don't think they're as fuel efficient as oil.

Kind of brings us back to oil-boilers. The new versions on the market will probably be more fuel efficient. Even although our current boiler is only 12 years old, and should theoretically last another 8 years, we've decided to replace it now with something that will save us long-term. We're looking at gravity fed oil-burners.

Anything with Bosch in the name gets my vote.
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Old 04 June 2011, 09:51   #15
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Our current oil-fired boiler is a Boulter. It's been in the property since it was built (1999), so now 12 years old. We're at the point that we're having to consider all options as oil-prices are going through the roof.

The annual maintenance has kept the boiler running, but we've still had problems. At one point it was smoking like an E-Class Frigate, and then died. That was Christmas Day a few years back. Think we've had water-pumps go, thermostat, etc.

We've considered solar panels, but we don't have enough roof space (due to Velux and dormers), besides it was going to cost 7k and all it would heat was the water.

Then we looked at a wood pellet burner. The automatic hopper ones start at 12k. Now we have someone coming on Monday to explain the benefits of switching to LPG. Absolutely no idea about how much they cost to run, but what I do know is there is a monthly tank rental, and that the tank has to be 3m from the house, boundary fence, etc. You can bury them of course. Don't think they're as fuel efficient as oil.

Kind of brings us back to oil-boilers. The new versions on the market will probably be more fuel efficient. Even although our current boiler is only 12 years old, and should theoretically last another 8 years, we've decided to replace it now with something that will save us long-term. We're looking at gravity fed oil-burners.

Anything with Bosch in the name gets my vote.
If you think oil's expensive, brace yourself for LPG At least with oil you don't pay rent on the tank & you can shop around. With LPG they have you by the danglies.
Re: oil boilers, look at Trianco, empire built in Sheffield like proverbial brick s****house, spares easy & cheap to come by & you don't have to sell a kidney to buy it in the first place.
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Old 04 June 2011, 14:04   #16
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If you think oil's expensive, brace yourself for LPG At least with oil you don't pay rent on the tank & you can shop around. With LPG they have you by the danglies.
Re: oil boilers, look at Trianco, empire built in Sheffield like proverbial brick s****house, spares easy & cheap to come by & you don't have to sell a kidney to buy it in the first place.
Had the sales representative from Calor around at the start of the week. Thought oil was expensive. Once we dig up the garden to bury the 2,000 litre LPG tank, and then pay their annual monthly rental - I'd be cheaper having a cocaine habit! No thanks.
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Old 04 June 2011, 16:45   #17
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Aye, and when the snow comes and they won't call because of H&S rules, try carrying a few jerry cans of LPG in the car....


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Old 05 June 2011, 17:42   #18
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Thanks - the dead one is a Trianco from 1993 - I spent a few hours taking it apart today and the mild steel welded heat exchanger had rusted through (I was hoping that it might be a cast iron one). I have seen an equivalent Trianco Eurostar condensing oil burner which would fit into the same space, use the same lined vertical flue and nearly the same water connections - so I'm toying with just fitting the newer equivalent myself (oil pipe, 2 water connections, mains cable and cut out valve - so far from rocket science).
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Old 28 July 2011, 16:26   #19
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Thanks - the dead one is a Trianco from 1993 - I spent a few hours taking it apart today and the mild steel welded heat exchanger had rusted through (I was hoping that it might be a cast iron one). I have seen an equivalent Trianco Eurostar condensing oil burner which would fit into the same space, use the same lined vertical flue and nearly the same water connections - so I'm toying with just fitting the newer equivalent myself (oil pipe, 2 water connections, mains cable and cut out valve - so far from rocket science).
Any update since you last posted?

I stopped by a local heating supplier today. All they sell are condensing boilers. The only makes they have are Worcester Bosch and Grants. Apparently Worcester Bosch bought Boulter (my existing boiler), so they're now part of the same group.

After a quick discussion with the salesman - (who seemed to be more interested in finishing an email than selling me anything) - he said the condensing boilers need to be hooked up to a waste outflow, whether a drain, etc. That's a big of a bu**er as the boiler is in the garage. I suppose it can be done - but I was hoping it would be a straight forward cut 'n' shut job of out with the old and in with the new.

No idea of true costs, but somewhere in the region of 1500 for the boiler using existing pipework, however there's the commissioning, waste-pipe, labour and not to mention VAT at 20%. Remind me why I live in the UK?
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Old 28 July 2011, 17:22   #20
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Not yet - I've managed to spend all my time working, gradually sorting out the boat and out on the water - which all seemed more important (until the cold weather returns!).

Luckily there is a waste pipe nearby.
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