View Full Version : Old gas boiler TUp

20th Aug 2010, 20:18
My old 'New World' gas boiler (circa 1974) has gone TU local company says they cannot get parts. So my question/info is.....If a new gas boiler is fitted what ancillary parts would be required for the new boiler?

Local company are sending a surveyor to check out new boiler installation and all that:{
Any feed back from others who have been down this road would be appreciated.


20th Aug 2010, 20:28
I was going to say I actually like my old boiler Tup, but actually I wouldn't dare!

20th Aug 2010, 20:47
Not possible to be explicit without knowing a lot more about your system. But expect at least:
- a new timer/controller: your hot water will be 'pumped' rather than 'gravity fed', or you will be pressured to choose a 'combi' boiler which only heats domestic hot water when you want it. (more economical, never runs out because the tank is empty, but restricted flow.)
- an obligatory flush of your existing system.
- a strong recommendation to fit thermostatic valves on all but one radiator; the omission being the one in the room where the main thermostat is fitted.
- a boiler which will last - if you're lucky - a quarter of the time the old one did.
- greatly reduced fuel costs: about the only bit of good news here :)

This assumes that your existing c/h system is up to scratch.

(Oh, and it will probably be a condensing boiler, so insist that the pipe for the condensate is in a position least likely to freeze. A nice little earner for heating engineers 'repairing' this with hairdryers on cold days.)

20th Aug 2010, 20:51
And a couple of thousand pounds!

Standard Noise
20th Aug 2010, 20:54
I've never known an old boiler whose tits went up!

20th Aug 2010, 21:05
Thanks for your reply Jim, yes I understood timer/control would need to be installed. Do you think I'd get much change from 2.5k?


Sir George Cayley
20th Aug 2010, 21:15
British Gas quote 4500 whatever the installation. My local Gas Safe plumber did the same job with the same boiler quoted by BG for 2700.

A combi boiler is the default position but be aware that when drawing hot water the CH side shuts off. So if loads of you want a shower in turn the last one will have a cold towel rail!

My advice would be to find the nearest plumber then talk to his previous customers. If he won't put you in touch - that should tell you something.


flying lid
20th Aug 2010, 21:22
1974 gas boiler ? You certainly have had your moneys worth.

Jimtherev has some valid points - so beware.

Replace it with a Worcester-Bosch boiler, the best, also with a 2 year warranty. You will also save alot in running costs as new boilers very efficient. Downside is all modern boilers are full of electronics, so you will need either a service contract or trustworthy, reliable local guy.

Try not to use British Gas - good service but too expensive. Ask around for reputable local installers - they have to be corgi (or whatever they call themselves now) registered by law. Probably around 1500 - 2000 for a straightforward exchange.

Get it sorted now - before the heating season starts, early October, every gasman will be busy then repairing faults observed when all & sundry switch on their heating during the first really cold snap. I speak here from experience !!


20th Aug 2010, 21:23
Yup, I too had a quote from BG that was twice as expensive as a local company. They were having a sale too.

Expect to pay up to 2K, but also expect to make considerable savings on your heating bills compared to the old one. Also, make sure you get a magnetic filter fitted. It will prolong the life of your system.

20th Aug 2010, 21:27
Got mine serviced yesterday. Fifty quid, brilliant engineer, had me on my hands and knees (ooh er) to show me how to work this & that, fifty quid all in & absolutely naff all wrong with it into the bargain.

Sorry to rain Daz but that was a good central heating day.:O

20th Aug 2010, 21:27
Thank you Sir George for info. Not BG, local company in Eastbourne.


Loose rivets
20th Aug 2010, 22:30
My 60 out-of-the-local-rag boiler, was installed as an oldie in 1973. Maybe 15 years old then. I took it out in 2002 in perfect working order. It was like taking the heart out of the house - never the same with the new one in.

Twas just too big, and I was trying to make the boilerhouse a work of art. I bet the new owner's gone modern.

Thing is, the right sized boiler really struggled, and only saved about 20% while running. So, given that it was on much longer....well, you get the drift.

Another thing is that I could throttle the big one - while keeping the flame the correct colour - and flatten the cycle curve.

20th Aug 2010, 22:33
Down in Essex, our former excellent gas maintainer bloke retired, and the new chap we found told us we needed a new boiler which would have to be condensing, and that the gravity fed hot water system would have to be replaced by a pumped system, and that he could do the lot for 8,000.

British Gas quoted 7,000.

The former bloke told us who to call. He came, charged 50, and the boiler carried on fine. It was still working OK when we sold the house.

The experts tell me that condensing boilers, if fitted well, are good for about 8 years (give or take a bit). That old one was over 30 years old and still accling fine.

Condensing boilers may be more efficient, but with an 8-year life I suspect the old "proper" ones work out more efficient overall.

Up here in rural Suffolk where there's no gas, we have an (old, non-condensing) oil heating system. The man who services it measured it and reported that it's around 85% efficient. A new condensing one would be about 92% and would last 8 years. We use about 800 worth of heating oil a year, so the condensing boiler would save maybe 70 a year. The savings wouldn't pay for the a boiler every 8 years.

Let's hope the Guvmint gets real on the condensing boiler twaddle soon!

20th Aug 2010, 22:50
The service contract is a must, these condensing boilers do not have the robustitude or the life expectancy of the old cast iron ones, plus, as already said, they are full of electronics and you can spend a lot buying replacement bits and swapping them out trying to fix them. The condensate drain is a major pitfall for the unwary - the installation guide says it should be run where it will not freeze or it should be insulated. It is unusual for this to be done. As previously stated, this is a goldmine for heating 'engineers'. If yours freezes then the installer should be responsible for costs unless global warming has caused a major change in your local climate. you may die of old age before you succeed in claiming on this one. Having your existing system flushed will not be much different to your draining and refilling it a couple of times (and adding Fernox or similar) but if you do not do it then the service company will have wriggle room if you have problems. Be nice to the service man, offer him tea, and listen to his boring chat about problem customers. He can use discretion in what he reports about your system. (I am not a service man or a plumber but I do have experience of these guys).

I had an old cast iron boiler for 25 years. I replaces the timer once and the thermocouple twice. I have had a condensing boiler for three years, and have had two service visits and four repair visits, involving replacement of parts costing about 200. Unfortunately the old boilers are not legally available any more.


20th Aug 2010, 22:57
We installed a Servowarm system in 1963 and replaced it with a modern boiler 2 years ago. How's that for a long life? Don't expect the current boiler to last as long but at almost 73 of age I doubt it will matter.

Things aint as good as they used to be. It was only serviced once, and the pump lasted for 39 years. It also operated on a high/low flame system, similar to industrial systems so the radiators didn't cycle between hot and cold as modern systems do.

Lon More
20th Aug 2010, 23:00
Is rental not an option in the UK?
45 per month gets me the boiler, an annual service and no costs if and when it breaks down.

Pugilistic Animus
20th Aug 2010, 23:48
Unfortunately the old boilers are not legally available any more.


the UK health penalty:}:}:}

can you buy an old model privately?...'instant/direct boilers' are nice for low demand operations:)

Rather be Gardening
21st Aug 2010, 06:00

We're on an oil heating system and when it came time to upgrade we asked our boiler service man what he had in his home. He recommended Grant - and it came out best in the recent Which survey of boilers too. Had ours fitted last year and so far (fingers crossed) trouble-free and with a noticeable reducation in oil use too.

Solar Water/Renewable Heating-Oil Boilers-Solar Panels PV Thermal-Weather Compensation, Solar Electricity Power Supplier (http://www.grantuk.com/)

21st Aug 2010, 07:48
Just had two boilers installed.

Buy a Vaillant Ecotech combi boiler for around 1200. This will get rid of your hot water tank as well. A plumber should be able to do the whole job, fix only - you supply the boiler, in a couple of days. Around 250 per day. total cost around 2k including sundries condensate drain flue bits etc.

Where do you live? I can recommend someone near LHR. PM me if interested.

21st Aug 2010, 09:14
A reccomendation from someone you know who has had this sort of work done is the best way to find a good installer. Failing that go to The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (Ciphe) web site and look in the find a plumber section. This does at least guarantee that the installer will be fully qualified in addition to Gas safe registered. You also will have someone to belly ache to (Ciphe) should things not be done to your satisfaction.
To update your system to meet current part L of the building regs you will have to ensure that it is now: Fully pumped. That any old hot water storage cylinder is updated to a part L compliant one. Fit thermostatic rad valves throughout except in the room where the room stat is positioned. Have a programmable stat/timer fitted. These can be radio frequency type making positioning variable should you wish and cheaper to install. less hard wiring .
Also get the system thoughorly flushed first. This is vital as modern boilers are low water content meaning that they do not have the larger waterways through the boiler heat exchanger the older ones had and therefore are more likely to get blocked by debris in the system. A good idea is to fit a gadget called a Magna clean to the return to the boiler. This will pick up any crap remaining in the system that can then be removed easily before it can do any damage. Well worth an extra 100 in my opinion. Your installer/commisioning engineer should also use a commisioning cleanser in the system in its first use before flushing with clean water refilling and adding inhibitor. This removes any traces of solder and flux that inevitably will be there.
If you opt for a combi over a systems boiler( the type with a conventional hot water cylinder) Fit a water conditioning device if you do not already have a water softener. This is probably in the installation instructions for the boiler anyway. The flat plate heat exchangers on combis will scale up very easily and performance on the domestic hot water side as opposed to primary heating will be lost. Either as reduced water flow or boiler cutting out on the high limit to protect itself when the thermistor senses an overheat as water is passed too slowly through the heat exchanger.
As for choice of boiler make. Vaillant was mentioned a few posts back. I would say that someone there has chosen well as I think they are very good quality and fit them myself. The back up from vaillant is also very good. Back up and after sales from Worcester is also A1 and the boilers of good quality but with an alloy heat exchanger as opposed to stainless steel in the Vaillant.
Hope this may help. Sorry it was most likely quite boring to read. I can bore for England on the subject as I love my work!
Regards. Heather. (yes thats right a girly plumber!):ok:

21st Aug 2010, 10:31
Depending on such things as how flush you are, future plans for the residence, the likelihood that you will end up with a completely new system and then redecorating after the installers have ripped the place to shreds, you might like to try a bit of google research for the supposedly unavailable parts.

I have had a couple of occasions of finding replacements for such ageing domestic appliances supposedly requiring new installations at great expense that are actually very available from reputable suppliers and not necessarily at any extortionate cost.


21st Aug 2010, 13:57
Just to add... The current issue of Which arrived this morning, with a review-ette on boilers. A bit superficial, but worth a read, if only to see what not to buy. PM me if you can't get hold of a copy.

21st Aug 2010, 14:12
Some libraries hold copies of Which?

Standard Noise
21st Aug 2010, 14:14
Had a Vaillant Ecotec Plus installed two years ago, house heats up very quickly now (we used to have a Baxi back boiler - previous owner's choice), with TVs on all but the bathroom rad. Heating engineer loves Vaillant, he reckons they don't go wrong very often and they're easier to fix than most.

I do hanker after the OFCH though, big lump of a boiler which used to keep the garage warm and dry in the winter.

21st Aug 2010, 14:23
which (hwch, wch) Noun. Middle class hysteria.

21st Aug 2010, 16:59
I have thermostatic valves on all rads, room thermostat turned up full and a pump bypass fitted to deal with occasions when all TVs are closed.
If the thermostat controlled room reaches set temp then that will shut off CH in all rooms, even those demanding heat.

Quite. Room thermostat should be removed or turned permanently to its maximum.

An automatic bypass valve should be used because they maintain a set flow rate irrespective of radiator valves being open or closed. This more sophisticated valve is very important with most modern condensing boilers which require a minimum flow to prevent possible overheating and damage.

Temperature differential between flow and return is also important.

The life of a condensing boiler is very much dependent on the quality of the stainless steel used for the heat exchanger. The boiler creates condensation by nature of the way they function efficiently. The condensate is corrosive. The manufacturer of my boiler (Quantum , who have since stopped making boilers) guarantee the heat exchanger for 10 years, The technical bod I had a long conversation with knew his subject and it is clear from observation that there are some awful pieces of kit on the market.

What I find disturbing is that the technical design requirements of a modern boiler are probably poorly understood by 90% of the so called heating engineers working today.

Edited for spalling.

22nd Aug 2010, 10:11
Re: Auto bypass valve. Most boilers have them as an integral part thesedays. This will be in the manufactureres literature.
Differential temperatures between flow and return should be around 11oC of each other. Time should be taken to balance the system on commisioning to achieve this.
Do 90% of heating engineers not understand the product they work with? Some might not but they will be a very small and un successful few. The industry is very tightly regulated with the pass mark for gas safe registration exams set at 100% no less. Re-examination at five yearly intervals and inspections from formally Corgi and now gas safe. I would find it hard to believe that 90% of us are that bad.........

22nd Aug 2010, 10:57
Top tip. Fix your old one. Parts here - brilliant.

PartsArena (http://www.partsarena.com/baxi/)

22nd Aug 2010, 11:15
If that engineer did not do a tightness test before and after working on the system he should be removed from the gas safe register! Health and safety (not a dirty word as it is there to protect us from our stupidity!) should have been informed of an "unsafe situation".
Fortunately the inept are few.
I am thankfull you came to no harm.

22nd Aug 2010, 11:44
Something that is becoming difficult and expensive to find is the Maclaren unit which was fitted to most conventional installations.

Without a working one it's all a pile of junk.

22nd Aug 2010, 12:28

I admire your spiited defence of your industry and, of course, my 90% is an off the wall and subjective figure.

I have no doubt that you know your stuff and carry out your work with skill and care but after many years observation I do not share your confidence in the effectiveness of the regulatory regime and if you speak to many professed heating engineers the level of ignorance is staggering.

The most recent abomination I have come across was three weeks ago when doing some work for my sister. The condensing boiler, installed 18 months ago by an apparently reputable firm, utilised the old by-pass valve (simple gate valve, no internal valve on this boiler). The 50mm flue and air intake pipes were passed through a piece of the old 100mm flue which went through the flat roof and were 'sealed' by several inches of mastic slapped in the gaps, funny old thing but it leaked when it rained. The most heinous was the fact that the programmer and valves in the airing cupboard were wired from a switched spur but the boiler was fed from a plug into a kitchen socket. The boiler was triggered by a feed from the airing cupboard i.e. two sources of power to the boiler! The pump was NOT wired from the boiler hence the pump overrun facility required by the boiler designers was not in place.

The installer was CORGI registered.

22nd Aug 2010, 12:44
M.Mouse. I had a similar cock up by a registered installer. Boiler needs two live feeds, one 'switched' that feeds the various on/off bits and one to keep alive the brains of the machine. T:mad:r needed four core cable but had none, so used a bit of twin and earth from a socket near the boiler with neutral and earth cut back as the 'permanent' live. consequently when the fused spur that feeds the CH was switched off the boiler stayed live. B:mad:d!


22nd Aug 2010, 15:07
M.Mouse. It is installers like that that get the rest of us a bad name. It is maddening as good people like yourself will have little faith or trust in those who strive to do a good and safe job. If such a shoddy job was done that obviously does not comply with gas saftey regs report them right away to gas safe.
By the way Corgi have not been the regulatory body for the gas industry for over two years now so if they told your sister everything was O.K. as they were Corgi registered and were NOT registered with gas safe then they can be prosecuted and even imprisoned!
I am sorry that your experiences have been so poor when dealing with engineers.
Regards. Heather.

22nd Aug 2010, 16:39
Something that is becoming difficult and expensive to find is the Maclaren unit which was fitted to most conventional installations.

Use PartsArena

Then this
GLOWWORM NEW AND OBSOLETE BOILER SPARES PARTS (http://www.justmystock.net/plumbing_spares/GLOWWORM.htm)

I'd be surprised if you don't find what you want.

Heather, you're right. The 97% of cowboy plumbers give the rest a bad name.

22nd Aug 2010, 18:18

You are, of course, correct CORGI have been superceded.

The installation was not dangerous just shoddy. Except for the wiring that is. I would imagine they did that themselves (in itself no longer allowed unless Part 'P' qualified) because I cannot see even a poor electrician doing what was done.

22nd Aug 2010, 18:38
Absolutely. No self respecting electrician would have. I am very saddened that people here have had such bad experiences from installer engineers.

Pugilistic Animus
25th Aug 2010, 22:29
Heather your not boring me:8
Love it my grandfather was a master plumber

26th Aug 2010, 20:25
Thank you for that P.A. I think I would have loved to talk shop with your grandfather!
There is always something to learn and that keeps the work interesting for me. I hope I might be able to get into teaching when heaving boilers up onto their brackets gets a bit much.:)

31st Aug 2010, 19:39
Due to non availability of spares for my old 'New World' boiler, any idea what the installers of a new one are going to hit me for?

I presume some new electrical fittings may be needed. Any experiences/cost?


31st Aug 2010, 19:49
There was a recent thread here that discussed this very topic (including sources for 'unavailable' parts) though I cannot locate it . . .

It would help the discussion if you would describe your current system (ie do you have hot water storage?).

31st Aug 2010, 19:51


Guess who the OP was.

31st Aug 2010, 19:53
:ok: . . .

Guess who the OP was.:ugh:

31st Aug 2010, 19:58
Maybe it is for a different house. ;)

Loose rivets
31st Aug 2010, 20:07
Or another personality. :bored:

31st Aug 2010, 20:07
I believe many new boilers can be had from various East European dating sites. Not that I have any experience of this you understand... mumble mumble

31st Aug 2010, 20:38
Sorry:ouch: Please forgive, yes, did post topic here. I'll do a search in future, when not sure of previous postings.


31st Aug 2010, 20:48
Thanks for all info/help guys/gals. Sorry for the double post.

Loose rivets
1st Sep 2010, 02:30
If you didn't remember that you posted a post about something as heavy as a gas boiler, maybe you shouldn't play with things that explode.

I know of what I speak.

I know, I've posted this twice before, but it helps ameliorate the pain.

Twenty odd years ago I took the oil unit out of my house and liberated the space in the garage where the 500 gall tank was. "Used gas boiler 60 quid" in the local. 5' tall and 400+ lbs., it took three of us to heave it into the little boiler house. Lining the chimney with 5" pipe was the worst job......I like black pipe plumbing cos I've got a mate with the thread cutting tools that I can borrow. (Is it me, or are people mad using soldered copper on gas?)

Fantastic. Huge brass tap let me throttle it back to a reasonable flame without losing the flame colour I needed. Good old clunking technology.

But, after one stay here, I came back to a cold, cold house. We kept warm under an electric blanket, and I staggered down with the dawn to make the house a bit welcoming for Mrs R. The odd thing about my home was that the original pipe snaked round the entire house, and for some reason the pipe needed bleeding. It would have taken a month to do it through the pilot tube, so I undid the huge brass conical coupling. Well I was zoned close to spaced-outness. Bad mistake...especially when you have left a candle burning on top of the boiler case.

There was a big ball of orange flame that lifted me quite gently out of the boiler house and plonked me into what was to become the laundry. I lifted myself up by what was to become the butler's sink, and ran out of what was to become the door.

I carried out fire drill with a newly found alertness.

When I took tea to the missus. Her eyes went from a sort of zone-bleary...through to a question mark...and then to saucers. "What the have you done to yourself?" I went to the mirror.

"Fat lot of use getting a suntan when you don't have any eyebrows or significant hair."

6th Sep 2010, 19:03
I've had quote...Boiler Replacement & System Chemical Cleanse.

Supply Band A Rated Glow-Worm Flexicom 12HX wall mounted boiler.
Pick up on all existing controls and all existing pipework.
Wire in new boiler.
Refill system with Sentinel X100.