Glow-worm condensing combi - any opinions?

Does anyone have any knowledge of the Glow-worm 24cxi condensing combi. Price is right (637+VAT) and equally importantly for my application the heating output modulates down to 4.9kW. My present boiler is an 8-year old Potterton Envoy 30 which works pretty well after a problematic adolescence, but will shortly need to be moved or replaced. I'm not inclined to throw out something that works, but getting the new all in place and moving pipes is obviously easier, plus if I move an ageing Envoy is not likely to be a selling point! New open plan layout dictates something quiet.
If I swap to a combi because of the layout I'd probably install it heating a cylinder as at present but use the combi bit to feed the sink tap (kitchen and bathroom are a long way apart and I hate dead legs)
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Tony Bryer SDA UK 'Software to build on' http://www.sda.co.uk
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Sounds good. A 24kW combi is a little low in power for a bathroom, but will run a kitchen tap no problem. If you are changing the cylinder, consider using an unvented cylinder or heatbank instead of a gravity system. It is a lot more expensive, but gives loads of mains pressure hot water.
Christian.
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On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 16:35:59 +0000, Tony Bryer wrote:

I would expect the Glow-worm to be an acceptable no frills product. I would not expect it to be as well made as the Vaillant product which is around 500 more. Neither is it the bottom of the range.
I am currently evaluating which model condensincg combi to fit when I can no longer fit Vaillant T/maxs.
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Why will you not be able to fit Vaillant boilers? Is it because you need to be CORGI registered for the warrenty? If someone could confirm if this is the case I'd be most grateful as I am about to fit one myself and am not regisered!
Thanks Phil
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Phil wrote:

Ed is CORGI registered: I think his point is that ATM the Vaillant TurboMax is his preferred combi, but once all (with few a exceptions) boilers have to be condensing (a year from now?) he will have to decide what his new first choice is: the Vaillant EcoMax is one of the more expensive condensing combis so may not be the obvious successor.
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 11:18:07 +0000, Big Phil wrote:

See my Gas Fitting FAQ about whether or not you may fit any gas appliance. The guarantee requires (in theory at least) the benchmark logbook to the be filled in by a registered fitter. You will be able to get a registered fitter to check over your work (if you so wish) by requesting a Landlords' gas safety inspection, this would not normally cover filling in the BenchMark form. Finding a fitter who will simply commission the boiler for you (and fill in the book) may be harder (but some here have certainly managed that).
The reason for my comment (which has been discussed a bit in another thread) is that the Turbomaxs (cf Ecomaxs) will not meet the minimum standards for overall efficiency. The Vaillant Ecomax would be a possibility but they are currently several hundred quid more than the non-condensing version. It is possible (probable even) that as we approach the deadline for non condensing boilers a new pricing structure will emerge which places the Vaillant in a more competitive position. Failing that The Glow-Worm cxi series are in the frame together with the Ideal Isar.
Due to the nature of my customers (mostly Landlords) and the properties I maintain (mostly small flats in low rise blocks) I repair, service and fit mostly combi boilers. I am not innately conservative by nature, but in this matter choosing one boiler that I have had good results with makes sense even if rather too conservative.
At present my boilers of choise are: Condensing System : Keston (although the one C40 I fitted has had a lot of trouble the two C25s have been faultless). [A] Non-condensing system: Vaillant Thermocompact 6xxe series. (2 fitted) Non-condensing combi : Vaillant Turbomax+ 82xE series. (15 fitted). Condensing-combi: ???? Vaillant Ecomax > 1000
[A] In retrospect a twin C25 system would have been only slightly more expensive, probably worked reliably, had built in redundancy...
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On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 16:35:59 +0000, Tony Bryer wrote:

I wanted to also say that IMHO 8 years should not be thought of as 'ageing' (in the usual sense of having already substantially aged as opposed to the technical sense in which everything is ageing).
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Bit worrying if 8 years *and* paying for fixes in that time is average for a 'modern' boiler with a total replacement cost of well over 1000 quid. Makes a fuel saving of 10% or so pretty pointless.
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In the case of the Envoy, which was one of the first generally available condensing boilers it's definitely a case of bleeding edge. Do a Google search on "Potterton Envoy" and you'll find some real horror stories: at 8 years old mine is probably one of the oldest survivors! The gas savings have been everything that the numbers suggest, but for a medium size flat have been more than cancelled out by the parts bills over the years. And I suspect that more than a few installers who want nothing to do with condensing boilers take this view because they burned their fingers on Envoys and got no end of abuse from their customers.
The problems though are largely Envoy specific: I've been spared heat exchanger leaks, fan failure or PCB (more components than some PC motherboards) failure - all effectively write-offs because of the parts costs. Envoys have a unique somewhat fragile ceramic igniter that glows to ignite the gas: these can have a shortish life (at one point I was going through one a year @ 25) though the present one has been in a long time (probably because I bought a spare which now may never be used). They have a premix burner, but unlike the modern designs it's upfiring so any debris falls back into the burner unlike the downfiring ones which are effectively self cleaning. Flame sensors seem to be somewhat less than durable too: I came back from a holiday one December to find the place a few degrees above freezing and blinking ignition failure.
If I wasn't changing anything I'm sure that I'd get several more years at least from the boiler, but as the current works necessitate moving it anyway, it probably makes more sense to replace now, and going combi frees up the cylinder space. Since my previous post I've decided that all-combi DHW makes more sense: long dead leg to bathroom will be balanced by better shower. I have no hesitation in going for a downfiring condenser.
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They are sell designed and cribbed from a Dutch design, Hepworth bought a Dutch company. I think the boiler may be made in Holland. Glow Worm are part of Vaillant. I have heard a few good reports about them. No horror stories - yet. All make have their horror stories even Vaillant.
Have the shower off the combi, despite dead leg pipe, waiting for the shower to come through is not a big irritation, as is a tap. The shower is off the mains then and powerful. Ever thought of using a combi (Fortic) cylinder and eliminating the tank, or putting it in the loft and releasing cupboard space. The Fortic does the bath and the combi the shower and most used tap.
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Thanks. Anyone who has had an Envoy has had enough horror stories for a lifetime <g>.

Having thought about it, I've decided to go all combi, despite the fact that during the numerous Envoy downtimes I was very glad to have the backup of a cylinder and IH. What I realised of course is that if the DHW is mains you only need 15mm so the dead leg at the bath is half what it would have been under a gravity system.
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Not quite. Because the water comes out much more slowly than a storage system, it negates that advantage.
Christian.
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