vaillant Turbomax 824/828 combi boilers

Not a query as such, but my old Vaillant combi, a veteran of 14 years has failed ( with three separate faults - the pump failing was the critical one ). Rather than repair the beast, I propose to buy new, and was wondering if anyone has any comments on Vaillant, and its Turbomax combi boilers. My info is that they're a good make, and mine lasted 12 years without a service. NB; The house is a three bed semi, one bath, one shower. I'm thinking the 824 at 24 kilowatts is sufficient......
Andy
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On Sat, 01 Nov 2003 00:54:23 +0000, andrewpreece wrote:

Well your existing boiler (VCW 242 most likely) did not last that long and might well have gone longer with occasional maintenance. I'm have reapcled these when they are aged 17 years+ with others nearby installed at the same time still going strong.
You are already aware of the pros and cons of combis so I'd go for a Turbomax+ 824e or 828e (the latter is around 50-75 quid more), and give 1/6 more flow.
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Ed, It was a VCW 242. You're right, if it had been maintained I would not now be facing a bill of such a magnitude that I would consider a new boiler an option. The combi was not mine to maintain ( my parents' house ) and for some reason they gave up after only two servicings ( '90 & '91 ). Fourteen years doesn't strike me as a poor lifespan for a neglected combi. The pump has failed ( fatal ), there is a valve/actuator coupled to a microswitch that has failed ( valve siezed and the actuator very slow in making the microswitch leading to a wait for hot water ), and the system loses pressure over a day or two, possibly due to the air charge in the reservoir vessel being gone ( leak or whatever ). Had these faults been dealt with one at a time I would expect some years more of service, but there you are. Worst case I'm looking at 400+ for parts and labour, with a new 824 combi costing 650 plus labour. Wonder if what my parents saved in servicing costs offsets the cost of a new combi being needed a little early??!!
Andy
PS My heating chappie said Vaillant are best, then Worcester, but Chaffoteaux combis are dismal.

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I would go along with that.
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Please dont top post - reply below.
On Sat, 01 Nov 2003 23:52:11 +0000, andrewpreece wrote:

You will almost certianly need to make sure that the old pipe work is flushed out really well. I would suspect that the failure mode of the existing system was: 1) Failure of expansion vessel. 2) Operation at little pressure and/or frequently topping up primary circuit. 3) Corrosion of primary circuit due to addition of oxygen and dilution of inhibitor. 4) Sludge ingress into servo and diverter valves (VCWs have a stack of 4mm pipework in them), leding to problems. 5) Impellor detachment /pump failure followed by catastrophic failure.
On one I met like this the resultant kettling cause the releif valve to open and the heat exchanger to start leaking.
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On this point. Boilers which have separate expansion vessels - or even those that them internally - that do not have low pressure lock-outs can be in big trouble if the vessel fails and the householder does not notice, or know about the low pressure on the pressure dial.
Pressure vessels are not expensive at all and if an additional one can be fitted, it is wise to do so. If one fails then the second will take care of the system. The failed vessel should be picked up on the next service and then replaced. The knock on effect of a failed vessel is quite expensive.
Or alternatively fit a low pressure electrical cut-off device on the system. These are available from boilers that have them installed as standard. There are stand-alone versions around, but will take some hunting down.
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Hiya
We had a Vaillant Turbomax fitted in February (not sure of the model number), but it's great so far and both the Corgi fitter and a British Gas engineer (who recently serviced it as part of an existing maintainance contract) sang it's praises. The fitter reckoned it should have a lifespan of at least 15 years if it's serviced yearly.
The combi that it replaced was a 20 year old Vaillant that was on it's last legs and beyond economical repair ...plus I suspect that the previous owners of the house never had it serviced.
Our house is also a 3 bed semi, with bath & water mixer shower. There's 1 radiator in each bedroom, 1 in the bathroom, 1 on the landing, and 2 in the front room. At full temp, the radiators are almost too hot to touch with the Turbomax :-)
regards Davey P
On Sat, 1 Nov 2003 00:54:23 -0000, "andrewpreece"

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