Thursday, 31 January 2013

Old boiler

from Wikipedia

We are looking for a new central heating boiler. The old one, a Worcester Bosch, hasn’t failed, but after a couple of hours it sounds as if it intends to launch itself into orbit. It hasn’t been amazingly reliable either, even though it is only eight years old.

It’s not a condensing boiler, so if we install a new one we'll presumably save a king's ransom on gas and cause global cooling. Not enough to cover the cost though.

It all depends on reliability doesn’t it? The boiler at our old house was a Potterton which lasted 22 years without being serviced. During all those years it had one minor repair.

However, as soon as I began to research central heating boilers, I discovered that they are all dodgy if internet reviews are any guide – which of course they may not be.

Maybe we have a tendency to write reviews only if we’ve had a bad experience, but I’m also inclined to wonder if domestic gadgets are more complex and less reliable than they were. Or maybe internet reviews just highlight the inevitable difference between glossy brochure and reality.

One chap who came round to give us a quote told us that with all the regulations for gas appliances, there wasn’t really much difference between them.

Maybe the increased complexity of modern designs reflects an inevitable bureaucratic push towards standard, unreliable complexity - SUC.

Those in the trade should know the score, but they seem to have differing views on quality, reliability and so on. Meanwhile we have the Great Boiler Conundrum to settle.

Maybe I’ll toss a coin.


. said...

I've just had a Vaillant installed. The smallest one they do. It seems to work pretty well but that doesn't answer the reliability question. My heating engineer said it should last 15 years without giving any trouble.


James Higham said...

My Potterton was replaced last year with a WB and now I'm having troubles with the pressure. Yesterday bled the radiators but it only cut it down a bit. slightest inlet [via lever] lets in too much and pressure jumps.

The joys of combi-boilers.

Demetrius said...

A little while back the Mises Institute ran an article about the adverse consequences of government and international regulation supposed to help the environment. The example chosen was washing machines. The upshot apparently was increased real costs, much less efficiency with the worse performance countering the hoped for enviromental gains.

A K Haart said...

BE - the plumber we are most inclined to trust fits Valliants which seem to get reasonable reviews.

James - my impression is that they are troublesome.

Demetrius - I believe them. Lots and lots of anecdotal evidence says they are right.

Sam Vega said...

As for modern washing machines, I remember a technically-minded friend's comment from a few years ago:

"Hot water, steam, detergents, and microprocessors. They'll last a lifetime, won't they?"

A K Haart said...

Sam - I've always been wary of electronics in domestic equipment, especially washing machines and dishwashers.

wiggiatlarge said...

Have just moved from a house where for six years we had a Worcester Bosch oil boiler that was nothing but trouble from new, our engineer insisted they were the best ? but even after replacing every part at great expense over those six years it would fail and the engineer would say something else needed replacing.
I had two old wall flame boilers in the past both of which saw in the region of twenty years service with little in the way of replacements needed.

A K Haart said...

wiggia - yes, although WB supposedly have a good track record, there seem to be a remarkably large number of duds out there.