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Should I fix or replace my Worcester 240 Combi-boiler?

Postby Deep Blue Sea » Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:58 pm

I have been living in my house for 2 years now. I have kept the boiler to the same temperature and settings as when I moved in. It is on a low temperature setting and it suits my needs perfectly. The air pressure is on bar 1.5.

On Saturday the pilot light went out. Not knowing anything about boilers I rang a corgi registered engineer. He had a look at the boiler put the pilot light back on and was ready to rush off. He didn’t even think it was worth charging me!!

I was the one who fired questions at him, he then gave me a brief explanation, he turned the temperature dial to maximum and then ran the hot water to the point where it was boiling-scalding hot level. The boiler cut out and that is when he said, oh you do have a problem. A few moments later he decided I needed a new part the red thingy inside, he informed me that it should be hollow but it was full of air (he may have said water but I am sure he said air). The part would cost me £60 and extra for labour charges. It cost so much because of the old age of my boiler. However he was not positive, he said that may do the trick OR he may have to replace the other part ASWELL (red tank thing). His advice was that there is no point in throwing money at a boiler this old. He recommended that I get a new boiler. I asked him the question is my boiler UNSAFE? He skirted around the issue and told me I will have to get it fixed, neither confirming nor denying its safety.

The second engineer said your pilot light should not take so many attempts to ignite. You should replace that part. He commented that the flame was nice and blue. He turned on the Gas hobs and again went on about a nice BLUE flame. He told me my boiler could do with a clean and that I should get it serviced. He was not happy with how much steam was coming from the back of the boiler through the extractor.

My friend who is not qualified said the reason the pressure goes up when the heating is turned on is because there is an air bubble in the radiators. He told me to bleed the radiators to bring the temperature down. He told me not to pay out for the parts as my boiler will be replaced in June 2011. The engineer already confirmed there was no gas leak. I have a carbon monoxide alarm located across the boiler. He said boilers don’t actually ‘explode’ nowadays. The internal mechanisms just shut the whole thing down.

Please help. To me the sensible thing seems to be to get a service, get the thing cleaned out, but not replace the parts if this is possible. Replace the boiler in June, as I think I will have enough money by then. Why throw money at this old boiler (Worcester 240) when it could go towards a brand new boiler?

Please tell me what you all think because I am very confused. I want to be safe but I don’t want to be ripped off. Please note that I understand my boiler may not be as efficient as it could be. My concern is safety not efficiency.

What are your thoughts please?
Deep Blue Sea
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Simply Build It

Postby eggers » Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:27 pm

well, it's not unsafe, if it was the boiler would have been plastered in health and safety labels and cut of with written letters and all sorts.
As for the "red thingy" that is a little ambiguous as there can be many "red thingy's" in some boilers, but it is hard to decipher with what you have described. Many gas engineers will recommend a new boiler when faced with an older boiler, either to drum up business or because they are unsure how to fix it.
If an engineer has commented that your boiler needs a service, then i would say get the service done, as sometimes cleaning the pilot, burner and heat exchanger can fix a few minor issues.
If the boiler works and you are waiting until june, then don't spend money, but if the boiler is not working satisfactory then you may need to just cough up the money to get it fixed.
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Postby htg engineer » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:52 pm

The red thingy sounds like the expansion vessel - if water comes out of the schrader valve then the diaphragm is split and you need a new vessel - if air - or nothing then it may just need re-pressurising.

No need to change the boiler really, air in radiators ? - your friends hasn't a clue either :-)

For £60 i'd repair, if it was £200+ i'd then say replace.

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