Am looking at replacing an old Baxi solo 60 wall mounted boiler that
feeds a vented indirect CH/HW system. We want to re-site the new boiler
to get it nearer the gas supply and away from the back yard - flue
outlet stinks and we have small child.
We also want to add two new radiators to warm a couple of cold spots
(half-landing and utility room) and - hopefully - get the house warmer
this winter (solid brick victorian semi that gets rather cold this time
of year even with heating on).
A friendly local plumber has recommended upgrading to a condensing
combi boiler and ripping out the HW tank, feed tanks and associated
gubbins. He has recommended installing the Baxi 105e instant or a
Halstead ACE 30 boiler and doing all the plumbing and removal of old
stuff for £1750 inclusive.
I have a few questions:
(1) Although these seem like good efficient boilers (90%+) we like to
have both bath and shower (small child) as well as wash lots of dirty
kiddie clothes so are combis really up to the job or should we just be
upgrading the current boiler for a condensing version and leving the HW
tank in place ?
(2) I haven't heard of Halstead although they do seem to offer 2 yr
warranty and appear high up the SEBDUK listings - is this a good sign
of reliable and efficient boilers ?
(3) Would anyone recommend better boilers for the job and is £1750 a
little steep for the boiler, some piping (we are supplying the rads)
and about 1.5 days of labour for 2 men ?
hoping I can get some answers (if not all) as we have to decide in a
week or so.
The combi versus boiler+hot water tank argument rages all the time on this
The advantages are limitless hot water, no space taken up by tanks etc and
mains pressure hot water, but when someone turns on the HW in the kitchen
the shower can run cool.
The disadvantages are no airing cupboard, flow rates below what can be
achieved with stored hot water and the loss of all hot water if the combi
goes down ( with a tank you can have a standby immersion heater available ).
There are hybrid solutions but I expect you don't want to get too
First off you need decent mains pressure, a flowrate at the kitchen cold tap
of 20 litres/min or very nearly is often mentioned.
Second you can avoid the cold shower syndrome ( if you live in a busy
household ) by having a pressure equalisation valve put in on the shower
As for baths, showers and washing clothes you can do all of this with a
combi but not necessarily at the same time. If you have only one bathroom
Some people gripe about it taking 10-15 minutes to run off a bath with a
combi, others don't care or get in after five minutes so they can adjust the
temperature as it heats up.
The actual time it takes to fill a bath, and the flowrate achievable on a
shower depend on the power rating of the combi. 24kW is at tle low power
end, 28kW is medium and 30-35kW is high power. I'd go for at least 28kW for
a half-decent shower in winter ( much better than electric ) but others will
beg to differ.
As for the Halstead and Baxi, I expect they're efficient, as they are
condensers, but the SEDBUK rating does not indicate reliability. I've only
heard anecdotal stuff about these makes but I don't think they're synomyous
with quality, I think the Halstead certainly is a fairly cheap make. If you
go back through the uk.d-i-y archives ( use Google Groups ) you will find
many a thread on this subject.
I'm not sure about the price, its not outlandish but it could be a little