Determining where to install a boiler may not be as straight forward as you imagined.
It may not be possible to install a new boiler in exactly the same position as an old boiler for various reasons:
- Current legislation permits only energy efficient Condensing Boilers to be installed as new or replacement boilers. Condensing boilers produce an acidic liquid in the condensation process, which makes it a necessity for the condensate to be plumbed into a suitable drain. An older non condensing boiler, may not have been installed in close proximity to a suitable drain; hence the new boiler will have to be positioned in a different location.
- Manufacturers specify the dimensional space that needs to be left around the installed boiler. This can require a larger area for the new boiler, even though the new boiler may be no bigger, or may even be smaller than the old boiler.
Alco Gas Care has the experience and knowledge to advise and guide you through this decision making process.
Variations in Boiler Installation Costs
Installation costs will vary significantly depending on how much work is required. To give an indication of how the complexity of the work can differ, we’ve summarized some different scenarios below:
- Replacing an existing gas condensing combination boiler with the same type of boiler:
In the same position.
This is the least complex boiler installation. The job involves the removal and disposal of the old boiler, and flushing out the heating system before installing the new boiler.
Updating electrics may be involved.
In a different position
In addition to the removal and disposal of the old boiler, and flushing out the heating system before installing the new boiler, this will involve adding a new condensate drain and routing the flue.
New electrics likely to be involved.
- Replacing a gas heat only non-condensing boiler with a condensing combination boiler:
In addition to the removal and disposal of the old boiler, and flushing out the heating system before installing the new boiler, this will involve:
– Converting your system from an open-vented to a sealed one.
– Obsolete equipment, such as the hot water storage cylinder, cold water storage tank and the feed and expansion tank (usually located in the loft) will need to be decommissioned and removed.
– Re-plumbing and adding a condensate drain would also be required.
– Electric work would also be necessary.
In addition to the different scenarios described above, the installation may or may not involve adding radiator valves / updating controls, and the use of Power Flushing (see Section: Is Power Flushing Necessary?). All of these will impact on the cost.
Is Power Flushing Necessary?
Flushing of a central heating system prior to new boiler installation may be necessary to remove contaminants such as flux residues, grease, jointing compounds, oxides produced by the corrosion process, bacteria and possible limescale.
If they are not removed these contaminants form a harmful sludge in the system.
If the heat exchanger waterway in the boiler becomes badly contaminated, the resulting thermal stress may cause fatigue of the metal, and in the worst cases eventual failure.
A Power Flush (which requires special equipment, and essentially provides a more thorough cleaning of the system than traditional/normal flushing), is not usually essential to validate the manufacturer’s guarantee per se. Most manufacturers specify regular water flushing of a central heating system in accordance with BS 7593. However, if a normal flush turns out not to have been adequate (and this cannot be guaranteed) and any part of the boiler fails due to damage by system debris, then this would invalidate the manufacturer’s guarantee.
As most boilers are 10 years old or more before they are replaced, the system can be pretty dirty especially if it has not been cleaned in the interim. The gas engineer may, therefore, recommend power flushing (versus a normal flush) to ensure that all debris in the system is removed, rather than risk invalidating the manufacturer’s guarantee.
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