Raeburn to replace boiler/hob/oven

The wife hates our current oil boiler, as it blocks access to a significant amount of cupboard space, and is annoyed that our fan oven has nowhere to warm plates. All would be great, goes the argument, if a Raeburn was installed, which would replace the boiler, the oven, and the gas hob, and be placed in a location which frees up the blocked access. That is easy to do. Before I go and talk to the local dealer, are there any pros. or cons. to this, as in 'No chance!', or even 'Great, works a treat'. Such Raeburns clearly exist, to judge by their online catalogue.
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Davey.

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On 29/08/2014 00:33, Davey wrote:

Look pretty, some love them. We had a house with one in, lovely in winter. I'd not get another though.
Can your kitchen cope with a massive lump of hot iron in the summer, or would you need a spare cooker? If you did turn it off in summer, would you be happy to have electric hot water?
You'd probably need a second hob anyway for quick stuff. They don't do quick response.
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Davey wrote

Annual service can be expensive.
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On 8/28/2014 10:33 PM, Jabba wrote:

Yes.
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On 29/08/14 12:06, S Viemeister wrote:

£100 for the aga, but I do it myself now. Takes an hour or two.
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On 8/29/2014 7:51 AM, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

No longer a problem for me - the lovely old Rayburn and the back-boiler in the fireplace have been disconnected, and their functions are now performed by a combi and a dual-fuel cooker.
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On 29/08/14 18:49, S Viemeister wrote:

which presumably also get an annual service.
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Had one for years. Hugely inefficient and expensive to buy and run. Very slow hotplates even if the thing is running. Can't be used in Summer unless you have the doors open (so much lost heat)
They were a solid fuel device for places where there was no gas. Now you can get gas and oil options. People who can't afford an Aga buy thm. They always have another cooker as well. The lump after a while is never used just admired by the ignorant. Literally a waste of space. Don't let here have one on any account, you will regret it.
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writes

The three main makers are Aga, Rayburn and Esse, although I think Aga and Rayburn are the same company now. There was Stanley, but they are now part of Esse.
How much thought have you given this? Fuel? Oil, gas or solid? Are you looking at purely cooking, or cooking and hot water, or cooking, hot water and central heating?
Our last house had a solid fuel Stanley, which also heated hot water, but not CH. We adored it. Would have another one with pleasure.
We did buy the cheapest gas cooker we could find, to supplement the Stanley, but only used the cooker very rarely, apart from high summer when we let the Stanley go out, for cleaning.
The Stanley was in the middle of the house, and kept the whole house warm in winter, due to the warmth from the chimney, upstairs. Not warm enough to do without heating all winter, but enough to take the chill off.
I emptied ash and stoked the boiler twice a day. You do need to plan, though. Open it up before you think about cooking. Our son was a baby at the time, which meant plenty of washing, but everything would dry quickly whatever the weather, with an airer in front of Stanley.
I'm not sure that it would suit a family out at work all day, who wanted to come home and cook immediately. Even gas or oil fired models will take time to get up to heat. Having said that, if you like casseroles and baking generally, leave them in all day. Baked apples are divine. I made toast directly on the plate. Frying bacon was fine, but I'm not sure you'd get the heat for stir frying, for example.
Before committing thousands of pounds, buy a Mary Berry Aga book, which will give you a good idea of how ranges work, and what is possible, or realistic.
--
Graeme

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So long as you don't mind sharing your house with several tons of red hot scrap metal. Everyone I know who has one also has a "proper" cooker, since they have to turn the damn thing off in the summer because of the kilowatts of waste heat.
I was quite keen on Agas, until we rented a holiday house that had one. Now I think they're a stupid idea.
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On 29/08/14 11:33, Huge wrote:

My aga puts out 600W of USEFUL and relatively EFFICIENT heat.
More without the insulating pads on top of the burners.
Its jam packed with insulation.
Its enough to heat most of the house in spring and autumn, gets turned off in BBQ season, and needs CH on for winter.

They are pretty efficient space heaters that you can with practice cook on.
And if oil coal or gas, don't need electricity to work. And that is pretty handy out here at the end of many miles of overhead line.
They won't grill and they are pretty pathetic at stir fries
But they are amongst the best ovens made.
I too have electric stove and microwave as well.
The electric stove is used occasionally, the microwave daily.
A typical meal like a roast/pie and two veg is a piece of piss. On the top to prep up, into the oven to cook, and steam the veg on top. Hot plates in the warming oven ready to serve and stand the open wine on top as well to warm it.
The most important cooking aid is three 2p coins, that you flick onto the cooler of the two hot plates to reduce heat input to the pan on top for slow simmering of curries and stews.
You need to play to its strengths, not to bitch that its 'not like gas or electric'
Apart from grilling there really isn't any cooking I can't do on the thing. But you need a boit of planning.
I.e. I put the pasta water on the hotter late to boil BEFORE I make the bolognese sauce on the cooler. Then the pasta goes in when the meat sauce is all simmering and reducing and the water is already boiling.
There isn't enough peak output to boil a big paste pan in a few minutes, so accept it, and put it on earlier.
Likewise don't expect to use the ovens at full temp with the tops open.
Brown off your roast early in the oven, so that it can then cook a little slower as the oven temp drops whilst the veg is on.
By the time the blackberry and apple pie goes in, its at a good pastry temp anyway!
(We run our aga pretty hot so that fast roast is available: we have moire uses with actually reducing temps for more sensitive items. Foil is good).
As a heater its expensive to buy but very good. As a cooker its expensive to buy but dirt cheap to run..and it is very good at cooking if you understand cooking and what an aga does.
Having got thoroughly used to it, I'd be sad to not have one.
So they are NOT fuel wasteful at all if you can make use of the spare heat anyway, and unlike 'proper' stoves they don't make the kitchen extremely hot when cooking, and damp and cold when not. Nor fill it with steam in an instant, because they aren't capable of driving a boil that hard.
:-)

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On Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:33:21 +0100

Thanks for all the replies. Some love 'em, some hate 'em, it seems. But it looks like a thumbs down overall, at least as envisaged by my wife. I'll forget to do any research at the local dealer, then.
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On 29/08/14 12:24, Davey wrote:

I wouldn't write it off just yet.
There's a deal of bollocks being talked, here.
Mostly from people who never actually owned one.
Read my post. You need to adapt to a range cooker, but they are NOT expensive to run. 600W leakage is typical for a new unit. They DO provide heating for a large part of the house. And with intelligence, you CAN cook extremely well on them.
What they are not, is a gas or electric cooker.
And if you expect a direct replacement you WILL be disappointed.
However a combined microwave and grill unit will do all the stuff a range cooker cant, and can be tucked into a corner.

Best do it here first as you have done.
I am not so sanguine about a range stove as a CH supplier. The boiler equipped ones are good for hot water, and they do reduce the CH needs overall., but the peak output is not great, and you may end up needing something for the coldest winters as well.
But a combi style boiler strapped to a wall may solve that problem. Use the range cooker for hot water with a decent hot water tank, and a stupid combi to run radiators.
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On 29/08/2014 00:33, Davey wrote:

I really can't recommend it.
It's all very nice in the middle of winter, but becomes a useless piece of iron in the summer and you will need another cooker and heat water another way during the warm months. Unless she likes saunas?
They are totally impracticable.
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On 29/08/14 12:24, Fredxxx wrote:

Not our experience at all.
this year it was only off for about 4 weeks before summer evaporated.
And if its that hot we BBQ anyway. Or eat cold salads.

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Well said that man :-)
Yes, I agree, they do require certain adjustments, so for the 'now' generation, they would be useless, but for anyone willing to make a little effort, they are wonderful things.
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On 29/08/14 13:05, News wrote:

I think 'wonderful' is topping it a bit.
What they are us a heat store that represent a longterm 600W or so of available heat input to a room.house , and a bit more to a boiler.
And you can tap that heatstore to cook, given that its a store, with a low input feed, not a high peak output device.
And its a 24x7 store.
So:
IF you have high occupancy - wife and kids at home all day, house needs heating, kids need feeding wholesome meals of slow cooked cheap meat etc then its fits that lifestyle very well.
If you are a metrosexual yuppie who always eats out except when he flash fries his beansprouts, its a totally useless bit of kit.
In today's low thermal inertia houses a combi that bangs the house up to temp when you get back from work, and allows enough for a shower, plus an inset hob and electric oven, is what you need.
Unless you like fast baked potatoes, when a 24x7 oven beats an electric hands down...
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On Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:33:21 +0100, Davey wrote:

Most of it has been covered already :-)
In the late 1970s I rebuilt a solid fuel two oven Rayburn to go in our 3 bedroom detached house in rural Derbyshire.
This 1896 (non-cavity) brick built property was just the kind of house that the Rayburn was designed for.
The back boiler provided plenty of hot water, but not enough heat for full central heating.
The cooker kept the big kitchen toasty in the winter, but was too hot in the middle of summer. We also had a 3 ring Belling electric cooker for summer and emergencies.
When we converted from partial to full central heating we installed a solid fuel boiler which worked the radiators and shared the heating of the hot water.
As others have said, it is a lifestyle thing and we loved it. Solid fuel was a pain, though.
If you want to do everything with one device you might be looking at a four oven Aga instead of a Rayburn?
The problem is obviously the location of the boiler. [You say you have oil heating and a gas hob - I assume that it is LPG not mains gas, otherwise why would you have oil?]
So perhaps you could look at:
Moving or replacing the boiler to free off access to the shelving. [I assume that this is the really tricky bit.]
Upgrading to a dual oven so you have somewhere to warm the plates, or installing a combi microwave in addition to the oven - our new kitchen has a single oven and a combi microwave installed in the same footprint as a double oven. I use the combi to warm plates all the time.
I would keep the gas hob because I rate gas hobs as the best for cooking on. YMMV.
I think you are coming at this from the wrong direction. You install an Aga or Rayburn because you know the limitations but the benefits outweigh them and you really, really want to cook on a range.
If this solves other problems then this is a bonus.
Initial requirements analysis suggests that the request for a range cooker is driven by a need for somewhere to warm the plates :-)
Oh, and <http://www.homebuilding.co.uk/advice/key-choices/heating/range- cookers-heating> is interesting reading.
Cheers
Dave R
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On Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:59:29 +0100, The Natural Philosopher
All would be great, goes the argument,

The OP asking about Rayburns naturally got replies from those with Aga experience as well, which is fine. But if I recall correctly an Aga is designed primary as a cooker and having much more from it like some hot water is a bonus where as Rayburns were designed to do both and if a lot of hot water or heating is required may be the better choice.
Only a rough generalization but before both got adopted by those who are influenced by Sunday Colour supplements and taken beyond their natural habitat to become fashion Icons and a bad name because of unsuitable user expectations Agas were seen in the larger genuine farmhouse kitchen and the house would have had other heat sources as well. Rayburns were found in smaller places like the farm workers homes, and in many places in the 1950's they were fitted in council houses in rural areas when people were more accustomed to solid fuel and women stayed at home all day to tend them. For many the hot water cylinder fed by them was the first plumbed hot water they had replacing a copper on a much older range.
You can revive a frozen Lamb* in the warming compartment of both. * Newborn in a Field that is, not from the freezer at Waitrose.
G.Harman
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We rented a holiday home in Cornwall with an oil Aga in the kitchen. We were instructed not to turn it off by the owners, since the previous renters had done so and the owners had subsequently had to send for an Aga engineer to get it alight again(!) The house was like a sauna. Every time we returned from a trip out, we had to open all the windows & vent lots of expensive hot air. It was significant that the kitchen also had a "real" cooker. I cooked on the Aga, and it was OK, but no more than that.
During that holiday I went from the standard middle-class "wouldn't mind an Aga" to "this is a stupid, wasteful piece of crap". If you have to have a real cooker anyway, why not just not have the Aga to start with?
OTOH we rented a house on Harris one September which had a solid fuel Rayburn, providing heating and hot water. It was fairly chilly, and I ran that sucker flat out for a week. The house was very toasty, but I was putting two coal scuttles worth of fuel in it a day.
I think I have enough experience of these ranges to know that they're crap.
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