DIY Doctor

New boiler system?? Help!

Postby skewball » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:09 pm

Hi all

Long post coming, sorry!

Here is my problem.

My heating system is rubbish. It’s a microbore system and most of the piping is blocked up. Last year I got someone I know (an ex plumber, top bloke) to help me try and unblock some of the piping. We concentrated on one ‘Manifold’ (term?) which fed 3 radiators. (I think I have 4 in total in the house). We spent all weekend doing it. We used old BT wires (really useful flexible ‘rods’ basically to get into the ridiculously small pipes and eventually managed to push through most of the ‘orrible black stuff that has clogged up the pipes. (Power flushing has been tried in the past and failed miserably). Flushed through the rest and flushed the radiators. This was the easiest manifolds (shortest pipes) to tackle. After that experience there is no way I could ask the same guy to do it (neither of us quite knew how big the job was!) as he was doing it as a favour and would not dream of asking for money (despite me offering!).

Unsurprisingly we did not tackle the other manifolds (harder to get to, longer piping etc). A year is past and winter approaches and most of our radiators are still fairly useless (we have a real fire and thick walls so was never tooo bad for us in the past) so we need to sort this out once and for all (and babies have entered the fray!). To add insult to injury the radiators we did last year are showing signs of losing pressure and getting blocked again (after 1 year!!)

Basically I therefore now want rid of this micro bore system. I have no plans to move so do not want forever to be messing around with this system.

Along with the piping/radiators the boiler is showing its age (14 years old). It’s a Worcester Combi and at the time was the Rolls Royce apparently but has now broken down a few times, loses pressure and is starting to make pretty horrendous noises. I am using British Gas insurance to cover the boiler and they have been well worth it.

So, I am seriously considering a new boiler/heating system (pipes and probably/possible radiators).

I am generally quite conservative and risk averse and want this job done properly. So I am considering British Gas (am I mad!?). They have a reputation for being expensive but do seem to have deals on fairly often.
I value such things like getting a reliable fixed quote, getting good quality engineers (never a guarantee I know with any company) and I also value having easy recourse if I’m not happy, in other words if there are problems after I want them sorted.
In other words I am happy to put a value (cost) to being a little more sure that a company like British Gas will do a good job.

But, I don’t like being ripped off!!

So, are British Gas really that bad when it comes to cost? And what magnitude of [over]cost are we talking about? Can they be negotiated down? Are the values I want above actually apparent in British Gas?

And finally what other options are there? What other companies are cheaper but have the reputation to go with it? I don’t my area well so would struggle to get local tradesman whom I know have a good reputation (in other words I don’t have any local recommendations to go by)

Thanks in advance for any help/advice. I need it!!
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Simply Build It

Postby bd3cc » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:45 pm

Why not get at least 3 quotes, 1 from BG, one from a national/regional company and one from a local independant, and see which you prefer.
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Postby Steve the gas » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:08 am

Where are you based area wise - we 'may' know of someone 8)
Steve the gas
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Postby skewball » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:48 am

[quote="Steve the gas"]Where are you based area wise - we 'may' know of someone 8)[/quote]


I am near Bath/Bristol. Still struggling to find someone at the moment!
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Postby davidvxr » Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:46 pm


Did you manage to get the problem sorted out?

I have exactly the same problem with the CH system in this house and would be interested to know how you got on?

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