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Anyone had a back boiler removed?

in N. Ireland
36 replies 24.2K views
As per title.

Looking to get the open fire back boiler/wrap-around boiler removed in order to get a stove installed. This includes dealing with all the associated pipes etc.

I've had one quote but it seems quite steep. Has anyone had this done recently and how much did it cost?

Many thanks
I got ham but i'm not a hamster.....
«134

Replies

  • thetopethetope Forumite
    897 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    why not get a stove that has a boiler function as well? that way the pipework is still useful
  • Why do you want your wraparound boiler removed anyway? Is it because you think a stove is more fashionable?

    If so you might be interested in what a plumber said to me last week.

    He said that an open fire with a wrap around boiler is a much more effective way of heating not only the room the fire's in, but also the entire house, than any stove could every be.

    So if we're talking about moneysaving the most cost efficient thing to do would be to keep your open fire with its wraparound boiler and spend the money on updating your fireplace as a fashion statement? That's exactly what we did and that has maintained our home as dual-fuel, allowing us to have the joy of an open fire but also very effective heat in the property when it's lit.
  • lauralandlauraland Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    thetope wrote: »
    why not get a stove that has a boiler function as well? that way the pipework is still useful

    That was what I was planning on doing, although it would mean replacing the hot water tank, which I just replaced a few weeks ago, to a double coil one - an added expense I just cant afford. The plumber was kinda talking me out of getting a boiler stove also, so maybe I've just let him sway me too much and I'd be best getting another opinion.

    GlynD, yeah to be honest it is mainly the look of the stove that attracts me, but also the powerful heat they give out compared to open fires.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone. FYI the quote for removing the back boiler was for £500, am I right in thinking thats high?
    I got ham but i'm not a hamster.....
  • edited 2 December 2013 at 12:04PM
    GlynDGlynD PPR
    10.9K Posts
    edited 2 December 2013 at 12:04PM
    GLYN D i disagree with your plumber. More heat all round from a wood burner in my opinion

    If it's not connected to a back boiler though that wonderful heat will be confined to one room only. That's a waste. How much heat do you need in one room too? If a fire heats a room well then why upgrade to a stove? If it doesn't then use the money to upgrade the fire and back boiler so your heat is used in all the rooms in the house.
    lauraland wrote: »
    That was what I was planning on doing, although it would mean replacing the hot water tank, which I just replaced a few weeks ago, to a double coil one - an added expense I just cant afford. The plumber was kinda talking me out of getting a boiler stove also, so maybe I've just let him sway me too much and I'd be best getting another opinion.

    GlynD, yeah to be honest it is mainly the look of the stove that attracts me, but also the powerful heat they give out compared to open fires.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone. FYI the quote for removing the back boiler was for £500, am I right in thinking thats high?

    I've no idea if your quote is good or bad. It's quite a job I know as I've seen it done once - pretty dirty too. I do know that for £900 we got a very attractive limestone and black granite fireplace, including fitting. We kept the high output back boiler and the Baxi Burnall fire and the heat we get in the lounge and in the rads is superb.

    The only downside is that the back boiler does require cleaning on a regular basis or else the heat in the rads very quickly diminishes to lukewarm. It's really surprising how the rear gap in the back boiler can be closed off with soot and tarry deposits. I've been asking on the forum and elsewhere on the site for any tips. I've now bought a heavy duty 18 inch scraper with a good blade and I'll be usuing that from now on. Hopefully that'll make an easier and better job of it. Up til now I was using a bit of garden hose which was useless. :(

    If fashion's what you're after then good luck to you. There's nothing wrong with being trendy. I'm just a bit stuck in the mud about energy efficiency. :)
  • lauralandlauraland Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    GlynD wrote: »
    If it's not connected to a back boiler though that wonderful heat will be confined to one room only. That's a waste. How much heat do you need in one room too? If a fire heats a room well then why upgrade to a stove? If it doesn't then use the money to upgrade the fire and back boiler so your heat is used in all the rooms in the house.



    I've no idea if your quote is good or bad. It's quite a job I know as I've seen it done once - pretty dirty too. I do know that for £900 we got a very attractive limestone and black granite fireplace, including fitting. We kept the high output back boiler and the Baxi Burnall fire and the heat we get in the lounge and in the rads is superb.

    The only downside is that the back boiler does require cleaning on a regular basis or else the heat in the rads very quickly diminishes to lukewarm. It's really surprising how the rear gap in the back boiler can be closed off with soot and tarry deposits. I've been asking on the forum and elsewhere on the site for any tips. I've now bought a heavy duty 18 inch scraper with a good blade and I'll be usuing that from now on. Hopefully that'll make an easier and better job of it. Up til now I was using a bit of garden hose which was useless. :(

    If fashion's what you're after then good luck to you. There's nothing wrong with being trendy. I'm just a bit stuck in the mud about energy efficiency. :)

    Thanks Glyn, I'll chat to a few installers and see what they recommend before making my mind up. Heads melted with all the different info out there :)
    I got ham but i'm not a hamster.....
  • lauralandlauraland Forumite
    1.7K Posts
    lauraland wrote: »
    Thanks Glyn, I'll chat to a few installers and see what they recommend before making my mind up. Heads melted with all the different info out there :)

    Oh, by the way, how do you work with the open fire? I know with the boiler stove you can leave them burning overnight in order to have hot water in the mornings, is it the same with the open fire? And how long does it take all your rads to heat up once the fires going?
    I got ham but i'm not a hamster.....
  • Have you not lit the fire yet to see? Backboilers are gold dust nowadays, and I know huge numbers of people regret ever getting them out which is the position I fear you'll find yourself in, particularly when you realise that stoves are not tremendously more efficient than an open fire, and have setbacks that open fires don't.

    Also, coal is cheaper than oil, and a solid fuel system can be run cheaper than gas if used imaginatively. The ash from a stove is unreal. The heat from them, if not sealed with a register plate, causes parts of the chimney to degrade down and leave an ashen mess below. They can more easily warp, costing you down the line for parts which may become unavailable for your brand of stove.

    The backboiler on the fire will work exactly the same as the boiler in the stove ie it's possible to have hot water in the morning. The only difference is it's riskier banking up an open fire overnight, though certainly I've heard tales of old grannies doing this with slack, a fireguard, and promptly shuffling off to bed without a care. You can also do as others do and have a bath in the evening, thereby avoiding this problem.

    Stoves are a fad - they're basically a reconjuring of the 1970s glass fronted fire. In fact that's all they are.
  • Coal is more expensive to use for heating than oil. Oil is more expensive than natural gas. Modern closed in stove fires are more efficient than open fires because of the degree of control with them. Using a back boiler is not an efficient way to heat water.
    Remember plumbers are not always the best people to seek advice from about heating costs and efficiencies.
  • edited 4 December 2013 at 12:43PM
    GlynDGlynD PPR
    10.9K Posts
    edited 4 December 2013 at 12:43PM
    lauraland wrote: »
    Oh, by the way, how do you work with the open fire? I know with the boiler stove you can leave them burning overnight in order to have hot water in the mornings, is it the same with the open fire? And how long does it take all your rads to heat up once the fires going?

    You can set an open fire to last all night. We don't. we set the oil fired to come on in the morning before we get up. We also have it running to heat the rads while the fire's warming up. I'd say an hour to an hour and a half though before the rads are running at peak with a coal fire.

    Is coal your only source of heat?
    Coal is more expensive to use for heating than oil. Oil is more expensive than natural gas. Modern closed in stove fires are more efficient than open fires because of the degree of control with them. Using a back boiler is not an efficient way to heat water.
    Remember plumbers are not always the best people to seek advice from about heating costs and efficiencies.

    I wouldn't disagree with your assessment on costs but, as I've said often enough, it's a Baxi Burnall open fir we have. I find it more effective that the Safona closed fire I had some years ago because it heats the rads to the same temperature but gives us the benefit of the open fire too. That's with a high output back boiler though, not your basic wraparound.

    Our coal fired system is seen by us as a backup. Oil fired is our main central heating and we can run both at once if it gets really cold. The way the Baxi is working at the moment though we don't need to run the OFCH at all once it's up and running. The trick is keeping the apertures in the back boiler clean and that's pretty messy to say the least.

    From personal experience I would say the most effective (and cost effective) dual system is natural gas and coal. Followed obviously by coal and oil. That's only if you want or need a dual system of course.

    LPG is just too costly for most of us bar the high earners.
  • Coal is more expensive to use for heating than oil. Oil is more expensive than natural gas. Modern closed in stove fires are more efficient than open fires because of the degree of control with them. Using a back boiler is not an efficient way to heat water.
    Remember plumbers are not always the best people to seek advice from about heating costs and efficiencies.


    Coal is cheaper than oil and indeed gas. Stoves, or glass fronted fires to give them their unfashionable name, are not necessarily more efficient than an open fire, and whether a backboiler is efficient or not depends upon your idea of 'efficiency'. If you talk about the energy which can be extrapolated from a particularly fuel type, then of course a backboiler is not going to be efficient, in comparison to a modern gas or oil boiler.

    If you are talking about the efficiency of capital, ie how much it costs to run such a system, how far your money goes, how much it costs to service, maintain, repair, and replace, I'm afraid the 'archaic' solid fuel wins everytime, unless you can demonstrate to me how to feed pallets, logs, twigs, old papers, boots et al into a valiant 30k?
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