Thorn M54 boiler - any good?

The house I recently acquired has a Thorn M54 boiler which I want to move to a more out-of-the-way location in the same room. It's a floor-standing boiler and I'll have to butcher my kitchen units in order to reloacate the boiler. I realise this would be the perfect opportunity to buy a modern wall mounted boiler, but frankly, I don't have the spare cash. So my question, really, is: how many more years of life will I be likely to get out of this Thorn M54 boiler? I gather spares are getting more difficult to obtain as it's about 30 years old...
Thank you,
Al
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AL_n wrote:

When I bought my house in 1982, it had a M54 that had been converted from town gas to natural gas as the town gas parts were stacked up beside the gas meter. I don't know how that old makes it but it is still going strong 28 years later. Our gas bill is still not excessive so I can't see me replacing for some time to come.
I've taken the casing off and built it into a kitchen based unit with a suitable thermal lining and ventilation.
I've had no problem with spares but it has hardly needed any. Universal thermocouples fit it and I made an electronic igniter out of a motorbike coil for it when the naff piezo pilot lighter failed 25 odd years back. The pilot jet clogs up now and then but soaking it it in acid soon clears it and I have a spare one that I keep clean ready. To be honest it is so simple that it would easy to repair with improvised parts. I service it each year but if I were to get BG or similar in they would possibly find some reason to condemn it.
Bob
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Thanks for the input on that. Looks like I should keep the boiler, although the efficiency rating that John Rumm kindly mentioned concerns me a bit.
Al
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130.133.4.11:

Sorry, my mistake; it was Michael C who mentioned the seasonal efficiency rating.
Al
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AL_n wrote:

I agree the official efficiency figure is not brilliant by modern standards but even knocking 40% off by gas bill is unlikely to make it worthwhile changing until it is impossible to repair it. Given the typical life and high maintenance/ cost of spares of modern boilers. I suggest you hang on to it.
Bob
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Bollox!! Modern quality boilers will go and go.
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>Bollox!! Modern quality boilers will go wrong and go wrong again.
--
geoff

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Maxie, was that you who wrote that? You have never come across Atmos or ATAG I see. tsk, tsk.
How is the Paddy band going? Have you had your donkey jacket cleaned yet>?
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On 30/09/2010 11:44, Bob Minchin wrote:

We got rid of ours just before we would have been forced to install a condensing type. It's main failing was having to renew the rubber seals between the access panel to the heat exchanger. If the rear one had gone, it became a major job to stop it leaking. The front one drips onto the pilot light and puts it out. The timer was a problem as well, I wired ours up for a Set5 digital timer made by Danfoss Randall. I also ended up changing the gas control valve, thanks to some friendly plumbers at the merchants telling what to ask for.
As you don't have the cash for a new one, I would keep an eye on it and start saving for a replacement. I was glad to see the back of ours. It was installed about 1977 or 1978 and like you say the spares are becoming a bit scarce.
Moving the M54 might/will give you problems with the flue.
Dave
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How long is a piece of string? I would go with Bob - it's a good, well made boiler. Move it and see how it goes. Little to lose except time and some inconvenience in the worst of cases. Nick.
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This boiler is an antiquated, expensive to run, crock. It should replaced with a modern real boiler.
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It has got a seasonal efficiency of 55%. A modern replacement could be more that 91% efficient.
--
Michael Chare




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Hi Michael,
That sounds poor. Does that 55% mean it will cost almost twice as much to run as a modern boiler?
Al
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AL_n wrote:

Sort of, but it's easy to be blinded by such exaggerations. "Twice as much" would be 100% more, but in fact 91 is only 65% more than 55. So it should reduce your annual fuel bill by only about 40% (as opposed to 50%) if you switched to a modern boiler. Against that you have to set the cost of acquiring and installing the new boiler.
Let's pluck some figures out of the air. If your gas bill is 1200 a year, the modern boiler would save you some 475 a year in fuel. If the boiler costs 2000 to put in, that means it would take more than 4 years to pay for itself.
These modern things are more complicated than the nice simple old ones which "last forever", and this means three things: (1) More goes wrong with them, (2) You can't fix'em yourself when they go wrong, (3) They're not designed to last very long.
(1) and (2) probably mean you'd have to budget for a maintenance/service contract where you needn't have bothered before. That might set you back 250 per year, which brings your annual savings down to 225 a year, and increases your break even time to nearly 9 years.
(3) might mean the damn thing's expected life is only 10 years.
So until your existing one starts showing signs of giving up the ghost, don't even think of replacing it.
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That's very helpful - thank you. Thanks in particular, for elucidating the real implications of that percentage figure. I have to say, this was the advice I was hoping to hear. I installed a combi boiler in my last house and it was constantly giving problems requiring expensive maintenance. Meanwhile, the old 1970s system boiler in my parents' house kept purring away, decade after decade, never needing the slightest attention. They had a contract with British Gas to send an engineer around once a year to check the system. Needless to say, he always tried his utmost to get them to scrap that excellent boiler and buy a new one!
Al
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It isn't it is bollox.
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NURSE
He's been hiding his medication under his tongue again
--
geoff

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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
something like:

He just likes the taste of used suppositories.
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saying

How do yours taste?
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Maxie! It is bollox indeed. Now keep away from the Guinness.
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