Advice - updating a CH system

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My existing CH boiler is now over 35 years old and I'm looking at replacing it and maybe updating the system.
It is gas fired, open vented, fully pumped with a fairly new indirect HW storage cylinder. The timer is digital, providing separate control of the HW and CH, and the room stat is a new digital programmable unit. There's a total of 10 radiators, varying between 3 and 35 years old, most with TRVs. The boiler is located in an old chimney breast in the middle of the house with a conventional flue up the old chimney, rising about 36 feet up (a replacement boiler will probably have to go in a quite different location - no access for a balanced flue).
The house is a Victorian semi, with kitchen, dining room, large lounge and hallway on the ground floor, 3 bedrooms, toilet, bathroom and landing on the first floor, and bedroom, study and shower room in a loft conversion on the second floor. The walls are all 9 inch solid.
I want to do some of the work myself, particularly replacing radiators where necessary, in a phased approach as rooms are redecorated, and any work associated with removing the old boiler (gas work excepted). I have in mind a Worcester Bosch boiler (not a particular model) and either an open vented, or sealed system if the existing pipework is suitable. I don't want a combi. Having had a couple of "silly" estimates for just supplying and fitting a new boiler, including British Gas and an independent CH installer, the approach I'm now considering is to commission a CH engineer to inspect the existing system and then produce a design for updating it, including a replacement boiler. Based on this design get estimates and then someone in to do the bits I can't do (like install the new boiler), with me doing any prep work, maybe the electrics, and "labouring", followed by me doing any further updating (eg new rads). An option might be for me to source the boiler. I'd certainly want the boiler installation properly certified.
I'd be grateful for any advice on:
1. Is this a sensible, viable approach? 2. Based on the info given what might a CH engineer charge for the design bit of the work? 3. Any recommendations on CH engineers in the mid Herts area (I'm in St Albans), a) to do the design, b) to undertake the work.
Apologies for the long winded post, just trying to give enough information so people can make sensible comment.
Thanks, David (remove _notme from email address)
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DavidM wrote:

Why should the new boiler have to be a balanced flue?

Hmm. worth comparing the cost of a new boiler to dry lining the outer walls.

Seems so.

Too much ;-)
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Most seem to, but that's what a heating engineer would advise me on anyway.

At 35 years old, and with growing piles of rust on the floor at the back each year I "spring clean" it, I suspect that the old boiler won't last much longer anyway.

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Now there's an optimistic statement if ever I heard one
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geoff

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No. Its a "silly price plus" approach. What you call "supply and fit" actually involves substantial work in relocating pipework and controls, bringing controls up to date, knocking through 9 inch walls for the flue, removing and taking away a heavy cast iron boiler, not forgetting the obligatory powerflushing of all these old radiators.
Anyway you didn't say what "silly" was but after enough quotes its the market price unfortunately.
Jim A
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Pump and valves will need renewing, but then these are all adjacent to the boiler. Timer and room stat are new anyway, and renewing a cylinder stat is trivial!. Knocking through a 9" wall...? The plumber at my sons house did it in 20 mins with a core drill! Anyway, if the boiler goes in the loft (an option) the vent can go out the roof.

4500 just to replace the boiler, pump and valves, and relocating it to an outside wall about 6ft away from present location. That equates to about 3500 just for labour. Even at 40/hour thats over 10 days work.....NO WAY!

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That's just the engineer's way of telling you he doesn't want the work. He's probably reckoned that 35-year-old pipework and rads are going to cause too much trouble even with power flushing and strainers, not to mention the likelihood of leaks springing out all over the place when the system is converted to pressurised.
--
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Mike Tomlinson wrote:

Yes I can speak from experience there!! Had exactly that happen to me at home once: both my two oldest rads experienced mid-panel bursts...
David
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This is a worry as I'm in the same position and going to replace the boiler when the weather gets warmer.
Had your system had inhibitor from new? I know for certain mine has, and it's been changed about every 5 years. The water on draining isn't a nasty colour either.
--
*The beatings will continue until morale improves *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Don't know but quite likely not. This would have happened about 6 years ago when we'd been living in the place 3 or 4 years; although I'd put inhibitor in myself the CH system was a lot older than that, and there was (is) plenty of evidence of neglected maintenance overall in the house.
David
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writes

Fair enough, but why not just explain that to me. Surely that's more professional, and I can't (wouldn't try) force him to take on the work!
Leaks - is it possible to do a pressure hold up test on the system, like you do on a gas installation (might have to block up the feed and vent but that's easily done). So maybe I should just stick with a vented system.
David.
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On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 14:34:00 +0000, DavidM wrote:

Yes. Cap off anything vulnerable and fill up to mains pressure (or stop at about 3-4 bar if your mains is much higher than that) with a pressure gauge (5 plus a few pence adapters from BES or silly money elsewhere) attached. Bleed so there's not too much air buffering it. Leave for a few hours or overnight - should be no major drop.
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DavidM wrote:

Because, Grasshopper, it is a Fundamental Truth that no tradesman in the history of the universe has ever told a customer they don't want work.
They will give you a piss-off price (as yours has done); they will tell you that they're busy until 2 years next Whitsun; they will ignore all your desperate phone calls and messages for weeks - anything to avoid saying the words "sorry, no can do".
David
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On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 17:13:33 GMT, Lobster

I did once, they told me it wasn't good enough and I was doing the work whether I liked it or not.

Works for me. ;)
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Stuart.
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On Sat, 31 Mar 2007 17:13:33 +0000, Lobster wrote:

In my ignorance I have been known to use those words.
It is amazing the anger they generate, it is better to use them as early as possible but probably simpler to not use them at all.
--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
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Would you like to replace the word "engineer" with "fitter" there, please ?
--
geoff

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Not another pillock who thinks only someone with a benny badge is an engineer.
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No - someone who considers that someone who fits parts is a fitter
an engineer is someone who engineers things
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And in this case a heating engineer will design the system and fit it. Or do you think it would be likely to be a direct swap new for old? I don't.
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In boiler repair, modification is a no-no, they can only swap the faulty part (and any other bits they swap along the way until they get it right)
As for designing a system, don't make me laugh - educated guesswork is the best that most can manage, it's mainly a matter of turning a well worn handle
The boiler they fit tends to be the one they can get the best deal on
Of course, I don't include all fitters in this category, but it does account for a fair proportion of those I encounter

No idea what you're prattling on about there, sorry

--
geoff

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