Should I replace the boiler

The kitchen is due for a refit, which I will do quite a lot of myself, but we're trying to decide whether to replace the boiler which sits in the corner. It's an old Potterton and has been there since we moved in 20 years ago, so it could be up to 25 years old. It's a floor standing model with a big fat chimney and works very well - it's had a recent service.
The question is, should we replace it with a modern wall mount boiler, which would give more space in the kitchen, but would be quite expensive? If we keep the old one, it may not last too much longer. If we replace, what advice can you give on going about it - it's not a job I would do myself. Is it just a matter of finding a good plumber?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Peter.
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Snowman wrote:

It will probably last for ever with minimal expenditure on parts! But boilers like this are hopelessly inefficient by modern standards so if you change it you could expect your fuel bills to drop by at least 20%, 30% or more if you install a condensing boiler, and the system should warm up a lot quicker from cold. You do the sums ...
If freeing up the space is going to make for a better kitchen layout then I would definitely do it. Many wall-hung boilers can have longish flues so don't have to go on an external wall if there is a better place elsewhere.
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Is this really true? When my father asked about replacing his 30 year old boiler he found that the same model was suggested as a replacement - the only change seemed to have been that the clockwork timer was now electric.
Robert
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Was it a back boiler?
If not, I'm surprised. Are there any non-back boilers with continuous pilot etc. still available?
In any case, I'm sure it would have been a poor choice of replacement, probably suggested by a Luddite plumber in his 60's who can't even work out how to use his mobile phone, let alone install a modern boiler.
Christian.
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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

As you say, a new boiler will take up a lot less space - so you might end up with a hole in your new kitchen if you delay replacing the boiler until later.
A new boiler will also be a *lot* more efficient than the old one - so you should recoup the costs in a few years due to using less fuel. However, it will also produce less waste heat - so if the current one heats the kitchen without needing a radiator, the new one won't!
Assuming that you have and wish to retain stored domestic hot water heated by your current boiler, you will need a conventional boiler rather than a combi. However, it would make sense to convert to a non-vented system, and to fit TRVs to all but one radiator at the same time. [Fitting TRVs may even be compulsary in order to comply with the latest building regs - others will clarify this]. You should also consider a condensing boiler, since these are the most efficient type.
With regard to getting someone to do it, ask around your friends for recommendations of local plumbers who have done a good job for them, and get several quotes. Most people in this NG advise avoiding British Gas like the plague! It's well worth educating yourself about different types of boilers and different types of system before you start. You are then far less likely to get ripped off. A good source of education is the FAQ at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/plumbing/plumbingpage1.html
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which
Yeah. Do it. My old boiler was exactly where I wanted my integrated fridge freezer tower. I'd have seriously regretted not removing the old one, particuarly if it had knackered a few months later (quite likely, given the noises it started to make just before it was removed).
Largely, though, the decision depends on what money you have and what value you place on the space it is taking up. Also, an old Potterton (presumably Kingfisher) is likely to be pretty poor on efficiency (i.e. 65%) to a modern 90% efficient one, so you'll make some money back on that. If the Potterton looks ropey, it becomes a no brainer, as you'll have to replace it soon anyway.
Christian.
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See www.sedbuk.com for boiler efficiency database. You may even find your old boiler or one like it listed.
I suspect this table ignores the benefit that you get from heat irradiated from your present boiler and its flue.
If you are planning a wall mounted boiler you should check that your desired location is suitable. Boiler installation manuals which you can get free from manufacturers, or suppliers/installers can help you.
Now days you have a choice of conventional, 'system', combi and condensing boilers. See http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/contents.html
Personally I am a convert to the modern electronic thermostat/programmers. These allow you to automatically vary the temperature during the 24 hour day, rather than just switching the boiler off for a set period. They also provide a much more precise temperature control than conventional thermostats.
Michael Chare
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Thanks for the suggestions - and I have found our boiler (actually it's a Glow-worm - now why did I think it was a Potterton?). The table shows its efficiency at 65% - so it's not so good.
I did install an electronic programmable thermostat a year or so ago, which varies the temperature - I think it's great.
Peter.
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We just had our warm air unit replaced yesterday, and the work was done by British Gas, and I have to say I found them excellent. They did a very good job; they were a bit dearer than the other quotes I got, but I was given a quotation (not an estimate, and with no disclaimer!) which meant that any extras would come from their pockets - I only paid for the price that they gave me. One quotation I requested was 1000 cheaper that BGs when looked at properly I realised that they would come close to BG with the amount of work done. For me BG gets thumbs up.
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