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How long can I expect a combi boiler to last?
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# 1
carol june smith
Old 22-05-2008, 10:31 PM
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Question How long can I expect a combi boiler to last?

As soon as our Glow worm 30cxi combi condensating boiler ran out of guarantee things started to go wrong. In the 13mths since the guarantee ran out we have had to have a new plate heat exchanger, water filter cap, condensate cap and tap on the condensate tank.
Our local plumber who recommended and fitted the boiler has rectified all these things at our expense and advised me to complain to Glo worm. When I phoned all they could say was it was out of guarantee. i wrote to them and they have replied that they will send an engineer on a chargeable basis and if he finds anything wrong due to a manufacture or design fault they may refund charges How can he find something wrong now we have had it mended? Should I just give up on this and hope nothing elase goes wrong with the boiler. Does anyone agree that I should be able to expect a boiler to be more reliable than this. Our last boiler was 25 yrs old and never gave us any bother
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# 2
Cardew
Old 23-05-2008, 8:04 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

There have been several articles in the media about the inherent un-reliability of modern condensing boilers.

Stuffed full of electronics, some informed opinion is that you will be very lucky to get 10 years life out of modern boilers; with breakdowns in that period.

I wonder if that is not the reason why British Gas' servicing plans have increased in price so much in recent years.

Many of us with older boilers(mine is 20 years old) hang on to them because, with their simple design, they rarely go wrong and whilst they are less efficient(mine is 65%) the gas savings of, say, £200 a year does not justify spending £thousands on fitting a boiler that is prone to breakdowns and 'built in' obsolescence.

The difficulty is there is no way of determining which manufacturers/models are reliable. A boiler manufactured by (name your firm) 10 years ago that has been reliable, is no guarantee that their current model is reliable.

It is like saying that Skoda cars are totally unreliable(as they were 20 years ago) or Mercedes are totally reliable(as they were 20 years ago)

It really is time that boiler manufacturers started offering decent guarantees - 10 years parts and labour for a start.
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# 3
carol june smith
Old 23-05-2008, 1:33 PM
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Default Thank you for reply about boilers

Do you think it is worth persuing under 'not fit for purpose'?
They want £215 to come and look at it to determine whether they can find a manufacturing fault but since we have paid our local plumber to mend it they won't find anything wrong so where do we go from here?
Carol
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# 4
Cardew
Old 23-05-2008, 3:14 PM
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Although I sympathise with you, I suspect that you have no chance of successfully pursuing a 'fit for purpose' claim outside of the warranty.

You have, IMO, equally the same chance of a Glow Warm engineer admitting that there is a manufacturing fault - especially as the faults have not been the same and have been repaired. In fact the usual tactic will be to try to insinuate your plumber was at fault in the installation/repair.

What I would do is take them to the small claims court - it costs very little - for 'not fit for purpose'. As said above I don't think you will win if they defend it, but rather than the resultant publicity and bother of getting legal representation, they might do something for you free of charge.

Essentially a bluff, that just might work.
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# 5
mech
Old 23-05-2008, 6:00 PM
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What rotten luck, sounds like a Friday afternoon job at Glow-worm..

I don't think it's the electronics that determine the life expectancy. The achilles heel of an electronic device is always the mechanical parts. In the case of a boiler: the fan, valves etc, and if it has an aluminium heat exchanger then that's liable to corrosion.

My boiler's 3 years old. No faults yet. Fingers crossed...
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# 6
Canucklehead
Old 24-05-2008, 8:49 AM
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[quote=Cardew;11139785

It really is time that boiler manufacturers started offering decent guarantees - 10 years parts and labour for a start.[/quote]

Good morning: To the best of my knowledge, Viessmann offers one of the best parts and labour warranties in the industry i.e. 5 years parts and labour if the boiler is installed by a Viessman trained CORGI according to manufacturer's specifications, and 10 years on the stainless steel heat exchanger. My OH will be attending Viessmann training sessions in Telford next month in order to offer his clients a 5 year P&L warranty. If boiler manufacturers extended the warranty to 10 years, this would be reflected in the price i.e. in the same vein as certain Miele appliances and would be subject to terms and conditions. It has been suggested on trade-only forums that some boiler manufacturers view the UK market as 'price sensitive' i.e. we are 'tightwads' and produce 'alternative' versions of their products for the UK market. There are very few products in the marketplace sold with an inclusive 10 year P&L warranty.

HTH

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Ask to see CIPHE (Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering)

Last edited by Canucklehead; 24-05-2008 at 8:55 AM. Reason: Added link
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# 7
Cardew
Old 24-05-2008, 9:44 AM
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Canucklehead,

Nice post – as usual.

I accept that we would have to pay more for the boiler itself to get a long guarantee, and many of us would.

Taking your analogy about appliances there is one important difference.

I can make the decision whether to spend £200-£300 on my cheaper w/machine/dryer/dishwasher or £600-£700 on a Meile appliance with its 10 year warranty

When the cheaper appliance is clapped out, a replacement costs me another £200-£300. So going for a Miele or a cheaper machine is simply a question of what I feel is cost effective.

With a CH boiler the situation is different. The cost of the boiler itself is only a smallish part of the overall cost of replacing that boiler.

As you have posted in the past £3000+ is a reasonable price to replace a boiler, where the boiler itself might cost ‘only’ £1,000.

In those circumstances I suspect many of us would be happy to pay several hundred pounds more for a ‘Meile’ type boiler that we had some confidence would not be clapped out after a few years.
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# 8
Canucklehead
Old 24-05-2008, 12:38 PM
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Good afternoon: Yes...boiler replacement is a labour intensive process (as are other activities in the building industry) and the boiler is usually only as good as its initial installation and overgoing annual servicing. The best protection the customer can get at the moment is to ensure that the Benchmark Log is completed, the installation meets Best Practice , select an appliance with the longest possible warranty and maintain the boiler via annual servicing (and perhaps start lobbying the government/boiler manufacturers...I've heard consumer action does have an impact )

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Last edited by Canucklehead; 24-05-2008 at 12:43 PM. Reason: added link
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# 9
amtrakuk
Old 24-05-2008, 2:55 PM
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I moved into my house which had a reven heat combi boiler installed. Lated about 5 years until autumn last year - Kept going out and couldnt relight it. I thought Id be OK as I had british gas homecare. Phoned them up, 3 days later someone came round, after 2 cups of tea I thought id see whats going on thinking it was just a therocouple gone, he'd stripped it down and told me these cheaper boilers only last about 5 years. Turns out the heat exchanger had got clogged up and the boiler was overheating - hense it cutting out. Said he could do a power flush but Id have to pay for that. He warned my on a boiler of this age it could do more damage than good so I didnt go for that option. Expecting him to replace the heat exchanger I was told it was the only thing that wasnt covered under british gas homecare so I would need a new boiler. I had a quote for 3.5k for a suitable replacement and fitting, I didnt have that money and I was not going to line BG's pockets with interest.

The bloke at B&Q also said the cheaper ones sub £600 are Japanese imports rebadged and would only last about 5 years. He recommended a worcester Bosh at 1200.00 and would last about 10 years. Working out the depreciation thats a tenner a month and have anything upto 1k to fit and certify it. I guess if you want to stay with gas then you've goto pay it, thats why I ditched it and went electric. The running costs for heating, cooking and hot water only seemed to ad about 40.00/month to my electric bill and no complicated electronics to go wrong
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# 10
Sol00
Old 24-05-2008, 3:05 PM
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We've just recently (2 weeks ago) had a new condensating combi boiler fitted, Ideal IS30. I read a lot of problems from customers of this also on the internet, so I'm hoping we don't have the same problem a couple of years later.

Can I ask, what exactly is the difference from a normal combi boiler and a condensating combi?
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# 11
amtrakuk
Old 24-05-2008, 3:25 PM
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I dont fully know but there is this on wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condensing_boiler
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