So you have decided to upgrade you existing boiler? My advice is if you are researching on the internet to keep the following in quote in mind: “ A designer knows he or she has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Also it is worthy to note that most review sites and forums originate in the UK, which is the largest single Gas Boiler Market in Europe and British people are very buy British minded. In our opinion maybe this is why, for example Opel is branded Vauxhall in the UK & Worcester Bosch retains the word Worcester in its branding!
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The Gas Boilers developed in the 70’s and early 80’s were simple beasts and came with a basic one year warranty. They had very low tech, they were robust and heavy – they just simply heated water that was circulated around your system via an external pump to provide heat to Radiators and Hot water – Simple! But by today’s standards these gas boilers were very inefficient but they seemed to lasted forever, 20+ years for wall mounted gas boilers and 30+ years for floor gas boilers was quite common and then simply just died. Some of these old gas boilers are still in service today. Even if parts are still available for these gas boilers, when you replace the part other main parts are soon to follow. Remember these old boilers are now considered obsolete and dangerous by today’s standards. In the late 80’s and early 90’s more technically advanced gas boilers came on the scene, they were lighter, slightly more efficient and a hell of a lot safer too, they generally came with a 1 year warranty. While safety is paramount and all advances in this regard can only be seen as a positive – the life span of these Gas boilers became shorter, they were adversely affected by water quality and if fitted badly these gas boilers had a very short service life indeed, normally 10 to 15 years – many requiring replacement parts during their service life with well installed and maintained Gas Boiler could last up to 20 years, these boilers would have had up to three main parts replaced during this time. Many manufactures cashed in on this and developed a huge business in spare parts for their gas boilers. It is worth noting that some manufactures developed a bad name during this era, however this bad name was generally not deserved. People expected the same from their modern boilers as they had seen or heard of from the older boilers. Plus many of the newer boilers we fitted in large housing estates where quantity and installation speed was more important that quality, in older houses they were fitted to systems with dirty pipework and radiators containing sludge deposits that adversely effected the main components of these modern gas boilers. I refer back to these gas boilers not being as robust as their predecessors. Very few contractors had even heard of or considered power flushing the old systems or pre -commissioning power flushing of new systems. This mean that debris that got into the pipework during installation remained in the system as did soldering fluxes, jointing compounds, swarf etc. used during the installation were able to – over time – attack and block the gas boilers heat exchangers. In the early to mid-00’s the emphasis shifted to High efficiency, to achieve this three major components had to be redesigned and a fourth added.
The Gas boilers heat exchangers had to be totally rethought and redesigned, some of the earlier heat exchangers were extremely troublesome and were adversely affected by water quality. Intergas, a Dutch manufacturer were ahead of the game in the mid-nineties, they claim they have not had a heat exchanger failure in over 20 years. Viessmann, a German manufacturer and the No.1 selling boiler in Germany for over 12 years also has a very robust Spiral high grade stainless steel heat exchanger. Some of the British Manufactures were left playing catch up. Ariston a brand often overlooked also have a robust heat exchanger. Other Boilers worthy of note are in our opinion are; Ideal & Worcester Bosch.
The Gas Boilers works in conjunction with the up graded gas valve to allow modern Gas Boiler to modulate and use even less gas than the older standard efficiency and many of the early High efficiency Gas Boilers. Condensate Drains: When we burn Natural Gas we produce a quantity of water, with the older Gas Boilers this was evaporated by the high flue gas temperature, however as the Gas Boilers High Efficiency Heat Exchangers harvests more heat from the flue gasses – this vapour turns to condensation, hence the name Condensing Gas Boiler. The produces a steam plume from the flue terminal and the condensed water drains through the heat exchanger and into a trap at the bottom if the boiler –then runs out to a drain. It’s is important that the drain is dealt with correctly as its quite aggressive and can freeze easily in the condensate pipe in adverse weather condition, when you need your boiler most.