Boiler probs

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Any help will be appreciated.
Got a combination boiler,it started leaking all over the place last night.
Got an emergency plumber in today at 57 / half hour plus VAT.
He told me it's the heat exchanger ( will confirm this with Ideal Boilers tomorrow) although he didn't pinpoint the leak.
He's quoting 1500 all in for a new boiler.
Our house is a small 3 bedroom end terrace - the current boiler size is 90,000 Btu/h and the one he recommended is exactly the same size, this is despite telling him we are extending next year and would need a bigger boiler.
So.......any recommendations? Should I get a new boiler now (condensor or combi) or should I get a new heat exchanger fitted as we'll be extending next year and will have to get a new boiler anyway?
Thanx, Lod
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On 7 Dec 2003 14:51:01 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk (lodtop) wrote:

Not necessarily.
BTUs are a deprecated unit, but 90,000 of them equates to 26kW which is a fairly powerful boiler for a small house.
Having said that, if it is an older property with solid brick walls with no cavity or no cavity insulation, it may be close to its limit. The only way that you could tell properly is by calculating the heat losses and doing so properly. For an older property, by far the largest losses are through the walls so it is important to check properly and not rely on some plumber looking around and guessing with a ready reckoner. The radiator manufacturers have programs on their web sites to help calculate the heat losses. All you have to do is measure the surfaces (floors, walls, windows) and plug them into the program, room by room, choosing the correct material for each surface. You'll then get a total heat loss for the property. Add about 20% to this for boiler sizing.
When you add an extension, modern building regulations are going to require cavity walls and double glazing and the heat losses in this part are going to be a lot less (could be only a quarter) of the equivalent size of existing house.

I would draw a line under the existing boiler and get a new one. Generally the heat exchanger is one of the most expensive parts.
Are you happy with the hot water performance of the combi? If not, and the water flow is adequate you could go for a larger one with more output to hot water.
Modern condensing boilers (and you can get condensing combi boilers) tend to have control systems which result in the boiler running at a lower than full output (called modulation) to the heating when there is less demand on a warmer day. For the hot water, and when required for the heating, it will run at full power.
So it doesn't matter if you oversize the boiler for heating purposes particularly. You could go for a 30-35kW boiler for example.
Whether the 1500 is a good price depends on what you would be getting. It's worth spending a bit more for a decent condensing product like Vaillant or others with a stainless steel heat exchanger since these have a longer lifetime than most other materials. You would most likely not get one of those fitted for 1500 though,
Certainly it is worth going for a condensing model as you'll shave approx 25% or so off of your energy consumption if the existing boiler is a fairly old type. Do make sure that the system is properly flushed and dosed with corrosion inhibitor as this may have been a contributing factor to the demise of your existing boiler.
Also, if you do have an older property, and it is practical, consider insulating the insides of the outside walls. Something like 50mm Celotex sheet would have an enormous difference with solid walls.

.andy
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Indeed, I've heard of cases where adding a two storey extension has actually resulted in reduced calculated heat losses from the house. This is because an uninsulated solid wall was appended by the heavily insulated 2 storey extension, which had considerably lower heat loss than the original wall, despite have many times the surface area.
Christian.
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On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 17:32:29 -0000, "Christian McArdle"

The area doesn't need to be much for there to be an improvement.
The U value of a plastered solid double brick wall is about 2 W/m^2.K
For a new wall it's 0.35 or 0.25, so almost a 10:1 difference.
For old single glazed windows the improvement with double glazed, low emissivity glass is about 2.5:1, although the areas are smaller of course.
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On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 18:31:34 +0000, Andy Hall wrote:

part of the total heating demand.
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wrote:

Very true. Air leakages account for 42% of heat loss in a modern house. An old Victorian solid walled house with modern sealed double glazed windows and doors is much tighter than the modern equivalent, which, with cavity walls leaks far more. A prime leakage point is the window reveals and where the joists penetrate the inner wall. This should be fully sealed up, but never is.
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The old external uninsulated solid wall then becomes internal with a lot of thermal mass. This, once charged with heat reduces the peaks of heat demand.
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writes

dormer windows for the upstairs to maintain the same cill height) which means you have a nasty cold radiator where by part of the original gable wall is exposed but connected the rest of it which is now within the house.
PS In all the house makeover, 'get rich quick' etc program, how come I never hear Ms Beeny and others mentioning the magical word 'insulation' to make the property more comfortable?. Lets face it, if you are replastering the walls, why not put up insulated PB and skim that instead ?

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Ms Beeny know anything about building? Please! She knows about kitchens and paint colours, that's all. A well insulated house is far more attractive to a buyer.
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I think that that depends on the buyer. I have not seen many estate agent's particulars on properties emphasising insulation. I've seen plenty extolling the virtues of a Smallbone kitchen. Whether that is right or wrong or not is one thing, but it would appear that they find that their customers find fixtures and fittings important as purchasing criteria.

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wrote:

Tell them the bills are 50-100 a year and see their ears prick up.
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.andy
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wrote:

The client instructs the estate agent and what points to highlight. Most agents are technically brain dead. There is a famous case in Milton Keynes, when one of the country's first superinsulated houses went up for sale in Energy Park. The stupid agent dropped the price by 2.5K as it never had a heating system. He had to be taken to one side and have it explained to him, even then he couldn't see it. Duh!
If there are two well appointed identical houses in the same road, and one has heating bills of 500-600 a year and one only 50-100, guess which one would attract most attention, sell very quickly and command a higher price.
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This was part of my point.

The other was that most purchasers are brain dead as well.
You and I might think that energy saving is important, but most purchasers don't.
It's not that marketable because energy is still cheap

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[42 lines snipped]

It is? Gulp.
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On 11 Dec 2003 12:25:47 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

Relatively, and not to the point of pain for the average punter.
If it were, everybody would be fitting condensing boilers and double glazing and we wouldn't need legislation to encourage better insulation.
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writes:

They are!! Try selling a house without double glazing. Relatives of mine have a 20 year old detached 4 bed, two bathroom house. Gas bills were approx 600-650 per year. That IS NOT cheap. It might be for you, but not to the average person on the average salary. I zoned up the house to upstairs and down, installed a condensing boiler, they put extra lagging in the loft and installed double glazing (the old windows were ugly and shot anyway). The bills are now half that, maybe less. The neighbours heard of it and many are now doing similar.
They are all on water meters and many now have low flush cisterns fitted, with aerated taps and water butts etc. Why? Because water is not cheap either, so they want to keep those bills down too.

Legislation is to drag the building industry out of the 19th century.
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I just did, and for a higher price than one close by with double glazing that has been on the market for weeks.. The one that I sold had a better kitchen and a better posiiton.

That's all very nice, and I don't disagree with doing these things. I simply don't believe that they are a big seller. Yet.

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writes:

It is getting that way, that is the point, and that is for certain. The insulation regs are getting higher, boiler efficiency is getting higher, all pushed by Two Jags (God bless his left hook). Once this becomes the standard then it drags the less old homes up, as it did with double glazing, insulation in lofts, high efficiency heating. Then it will be the norm and anything less will sell for less and not even be looked at. It is all coming soon, very soon.
Worst case example. Take a bog standard, structurally sound, in excellent order 3 bed never been modernised in any way 1930s detached house, with original kitchen, coal fires, doors, bathroom, etc, and NO insulation in the loft. See how many people would interested to buy it at full price, the same price as a new house in insulation to current building regs and high efficeint heating system. NONE at all. Some will want a knock done price to "renovate" it, to modern specs. Comfort conditions and expectations are rising and expectations of low running cost are too. The point? Improved comfort and running costs "do impact".

But still related.
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Certainly people will expect to buy a fixer-upper at a lower price, but the renovation budget is going to go on structural issues, wiring, a heating system if there wasn't one, new windows if the old ones are beyond economic repair (not for insulation reasons), the bathroom, the kitchen and decorating, and then maybe the garden.
Loft insulation may be done since it's easy and cheap, although not the major loss of heat. Cavity insulation? probably not, yet that's likely to be the largest heat loss.
I don't see lower energy costs as a major motivator at this point.

.andy
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