We recently made an offer to a 25-year old property. The heating in the flat is currently provided by a Bario Balmoral 45 gas fired boiler. The water in the hot water cyclinder is also heated by the boiler and suppled through copper pipes. We were told that three radiators in the flat have stopped working. We'd be grateful for advise on the following:
1. How much is it likely to cost to fix or replace the radiators? The seller did not tell us why they have stopped working.
2. The surveyor recommended removing the hot water cylinder and water tank and install a combin boiler which will serve both the heating and hot water. How much are these likely to cost in terms of parts and labour? Will the copper piping need to be replaced as well? We were told that the current system is old so uses smaller copper pipes. Will this mean knocking down walls, taking up the laminated flooring etc?
To re-pipe the whole system, or to fit a combi then floors will have to come up.
To repair the radiators, could be sludge, could be faulty radiator valves, could be blockage in pipe/manifold, or could just be an airlock. If it's a blockage - floors have to come up.
Without knowing why the radiators stopped working it's impossible to say really, ask if the radiators have stopped working since a repair or drain down of heating system, if it has then it's probably an airlock - easily rectified.
Impossible to say how much a combi will cost for repairs, as some makes are better than others, you could fit one and never have to repair it for 2,3,4,5 years others even same make and model you have to repair yearly.
First of all, let me say that the system fitted is by far superior to a combi boiler.
Having the existing boiler plus hot and cold tanks does give you a measure of water security.
Should the water supply to your property go off due to damage to the mains system in your area, you will still have water, to flush the toilet and wash.
You may wonder why the present system was installed? It may be that you are in an area of low water pressure, where a combi will not work at times of high demand in rush hour.
If you have young children, or intend to have a family, then driving in the middle of the night to find an open supermarket, to buy bottled water to flush the toilet or to wash the children will be a pain, something not easy to forget.
Radiators are simple things, merely a metal box full of water.
Taking one off the wall, putting it in the garden and running water through it with a hose pipe to wash it out is not in any way difficult.
Likewise checking that someone has not closed a valve during the summer to turn the radiator off is simple.
Why your surveyor should recommend ditching a good working boiler, because three radiators are not working, makes me wonder about his professional ability - what other idiotic things has he proposed?
Well.. I obviously haven't seen your flat or know the layout.
You need to the combi, hot, cold, flow, return, 22mm (minimum) gas supply, condensate outlet and pressure relief discharge. If you can get all these pipes and electrical cables to the boiler without lifting the floors then great.
Cost - impossible to say, work it out yourself, you can price the correct size radiators, the make of boiler you want, etc etc. Or better still, get a few quotes. You're looking at £700+ for the boiler.
Thansk for your comments. The surveyor valued the property below our offer price. One of the main factors driving his valuation was not having comparable heating system with nearby properties. This is also one of the reason I am looking to invest in a modern, more efficient combi boiler system, although I am worried that this will cost a lot and that the floors will need to come up.
Regarding the water pressure during peak hours, who would know or could check if the water pressure will be enough?
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