Further to my queries about the Vaillant brand, I have just seen an advert
TV where British Gas offer £100 trade-in on your old combi. Whilst my
present VCW 242 is dead, it has some nice parts on it that still work.
Should I expect a trade-in price? I am using a local chap who runs his own
business to supply and fit a new combi, he hasn't mentioned anything about a
trade-in price (yet).
I'm wary of letting him cart of the old combi for nothing, only to
find that he strips it for spares and sells them on. Fair's fair!
You pays' yar money, you makes' yar choice. A small local company is going
to take your old boiler and bung it in a skip to get rid of it quick, before
anyone can strip it down. Second hand gas and water parts are not really
made to be guaranteed in anyone else's boiler, so I can't see any good
installer taking that sort of chance when they can buy new parts for a few
pennies and pass the cost on to their customers.
British Gas only make this offer because the boilers and systems they supply
cost them pennies to procure, but the scheme sounds brilliant to anyone who
doesn't know just how cheap BG can obtain their equipment and then pass
their mark-up costs on to the customers. It is called an incentive scheme
and is made to make you think you're getting something back from something
that's buggered, when in fact, you're actually paying a much higher mark-up
price for the equipment in first place, so you're actually, literally,
paying yourself back the hundred quid.
I'd personally stick with the local lad, who'll more than likely charge a
lot smaller mark-up on his costs than BG ever will.
You can get a new boiler fitted locally for, say, 1100* quid. Or you could
get BG to fit it for 3200* quid, with a 100 quid cashback. You pays your
* These are the actual quotes I received for a condensing heating boiler 2
From my experience with British Gas, I suggest you get a quote from
them. Then you will find that the cost is considerably greater than
your local guy and it will wipe out the £100 trade in offer. To be
honest if British Gas cannibalise boilers and use second hand parts
that is another good reason to avoid them.
If you think your local guy is getting something for nothing then
tell him you will dispose of the boiler. If it were me I'd be glad
for him to take it away and save me the hassle.
Give me a local guy with a good reputation any day over a large
company that's just interested in profits.
Yeah. I've never found central heating installers to be keen to remove the
old stuff. They have to pay at the tip. Quite a lot too, which would be
passed on, along with their costs in waiting in the van.
A mere £100 wouldn't tempt me anywhere near British Gas. They're
damned expensive on the basic quote, and their reputation for quality
is pretty dire too.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Yup. Yet more anecdotal evidence....
My missus has just passed onto me thanks from one of her work colleagues who
was put onto a local plumbing supplies shop/registered fitters 'cos her
boiler had packed up and was without heating.
Not knowing who to turn to she'd initally rung BG for someone to come and
fix the thing (she's not on any contract from them, fortunately). "We can
get someone out within a month" they said. "But I have no heating". "Oh.
We'll try and get someone round within a week then".
Well, person arrived. Looked at the (slightly ancient) installation and
immediately diagnosed complete failure, only solution would be to replace
the boiler. Quote left for £4,500.
She contacted local shop. Fellow was out the same day, took a look ,
diagnosed the fault, returned with the part at about 6pm, all fixed, tested
and working. Total charge about £45. Advised that she was on borrowed time
with the boiler though, but ought to see her through till next year at
Guess who'll most likely be getting the replacement work?
email me at
richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
British Gas ? Because they're also offering 3 years interest free credit on
all installations carried out before the end of April next year, so it's
handy to put it on your credit card. :-))
OK......I know I'm wrong again. :-))
I've received excellent answers here on the NG on the questions I've
asked to do with combis.
Things are becoming clearer. My local fitter wants about £1200 or so, so it
seems he is a better bet than
BG, never mind the trade-in. Even so, since he hasn't quoted me properly for
the job yet ( says he needs to inspect the
crawl-space under the floor for access first - I'm moving the combi from a
bedroom to an outhouse ),
and he can't start the job for another week, so I'm disconnecting the old
combi ( except for gas ), and
capping the hot/cold water and the supply and return CH pipes below the
I know my fitter has a living to earn, but soldering end-feed
pipe-joints isn't rocket science, and I should
like to stop washing in cold water and wearing two pullovers at home sooner
rather than later!
He gets to put in the new combi, flue, pipework, gas etc. Can't see what
problem there would be,
I expect he'll need to do a pressure test before he is happy about my work,
he'd need to do a pressure test before he is happy about his own work......
He can't complain about the hot and cold water pipe work since I've
done all the other
joints in the house too! I laid a twin and earth power cable to the old
outside loo some time ago
anticipating the need to move the combi there eventually; will he insist I
remove it and use one
he lays in? Ditto for a capped cold water tee I fitted for the same reason;
will he not proceed
unless it is replaced by one of his own?
To be honest, without a good technical reason, if a plumber refused
to accept that I'd
capped a few pipes whilst waiting 10 days for him to put in an appearance,
I'd fit the new
combi myself. He has already seen the proposed new position ( old outside
toilet ) and
pronounced it suitable.
ps; He never turned up on Monday ( as promised ) to inspect the crawl space;
did he 'phone
and inform me? No. Same with a builder I contacted two weeks ago, "Yes mate,
I'll come round tomorrow
to give you an estimate, I'll phone first...", ......I'm still waiting for
the call........gnash, rant, moan!
What I meant Andy, was, why can't you do the pipework through the crawl
space section for him, and then let him do all the connecting up at both
ends of the new pipework you've laid in place for him. You don't have to
connect anything, you only need to place the pipe needed to extend the
boiler to the new position. Maybe it's the crawl section that is putting
him off because of the time needed to do this part of the work, but if he
knew he could come in and just do all the connections, then he might just
have time enough to do the job.
Sorry Big Wallop,
I misinterpreted your comment to mean he would be unlikely to want to
work on a job where someone not-in-the-trade had done a bit of the less
technical work, an attitude I would find odd since it's my house ( hence the
Yes, I am between-jobs at the moment and have lots of time but
to conserve money money so I will suggest it to him ( if he answers his
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