Condensing or NoN Condensing Boiler for old House

My existing floor standing boiler has now died on me and I have now the opportunity to buy and install a more efficient boiler. The problem is that the house (1901 circa) has the original single pipe system (mild steel pipe work) that is gravity fed and runs throughout the whole house servicing 20 rads.This in itself seems to be a problem if, as per building regs I go down the line of purchasing a condensing boiler, as I believe there are a number of issues. British Gas have a policy where buy they won't touch the system as far as the installation of a condensing boiler is concerned and GASFORCE quoted 10k to install a 65 kw commercial boiler (the new boiler would be sited about 6ft from the old boiler) which to me seems a rip off. My preference would be to for a condensing boiler if it can be installed and provide the efficiency over a non - condensing boiler, although I have yet to speak to a plumber who can give consistent advice. Would it be better to go for a high efficient gas boiler assuming I get an exception cert.
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AFAIK, that is immaterial, you can only fit a condensing type, since the new regs.
-- Mike W
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Not entirely correct, the intention is that most boilers will be condensing, but there is scope in the regs for exemptions for some situations
--
Chris French


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SMPW wrote:

I can't think of any additional problems that a boiler being a condensor will add over and above those you will find with any modern boiler trying to drive a single pipe system. With a large system you will probably need to run a high flow and return temperature to get enough heat out of the last few rads in the system, and this will in turn reduce the efficency gains you get from a condensing boiler - but it in itself won't be a show stopper. You would need to choose the boiler with care if you want to keep it as a vented system since not all modern ones can drive an open vented system.

'kin ell as they say! Did that include an upgrade to the gas meter etc to supply that amountof gas? (i.e. just over the official limit for most domestic meters).
How muc heating capacity do you actually require? Have you done heat loss calcs for the whole house? (if not, now is the time!)
How difficult would it be to upgrade to a two pipe system? If that sounds idfficult, what about with microbore?

The only difference between a modern condensing boiler and a conventional one is the use of a larger heat exchanger (or secondary one if you buy a scabby boiler), and a condensate trap and drain. Both will otherwise be stuffed full with electonics, fanned flues, and other stuff. So it is not the same argument as say sticking with an old cast iron lump because "it is simple, and there is not much to go wrong".
--
Cheers,

John.

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Have a look at Archie Kidd boilers, simple, old-fashioned, suitable for open systems, high efficiency and build quality.
So old fashioned they don't do "that internet thing", and not much web info via other companies:
http://www.hwch.co.uk/kidd.html
Very good postal literature (lots of general guides and independent revues) and free on-site surveys.
Archie Kidd (Thermal) Ltd, Poulshot, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1RT
Phone: 01380 828123
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SMPW wrote:

Commercial boilers are very expensive. I would consider using 2 domestic boilers. I would have a separate pump for each with a non-return valve in case one of the boilers goes out of action or choose to run just the one.
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I'm afraid that you may need to bite the bullet and replace your pipework.
This will, though, have the advantage of enabling you to subzone your heating requirements. You should, at the least, have zones for the bedrooms and living areas (and preferably the kitchen). This way, you don't need to heat your bedrooms during the day.
Basically, much better to throw your money at bringing the pipework up to date than waste it on inefficient old-fashioned expensive commercial boilers.
Make sure you do it in S-Plan plus, with sufficient sub zones, as stated above.
Christian.
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On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 15:39:05 -0700, SMPW wrote:

See the BoilerChoiceFAQ.
--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
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