Gas boiler repair or replace?

  Flak999 18:30 PM 20 Jun 13

I would be interested in your views on this dilemma I am facing. I currently have a Worcester Bosch, Worcester 240 combi boiler, it has given Stirling service over the time we have had it (only had to call a repair man twice in twelve years)

However, it now seems to be needing some attention. When you run the hot water the central heating gets hot as well even though the heating is switched off at the boiler. This happened before six years ago and a new diverter valve was fitted and I am of the opinion that it needs replacing again.

My dilemma is, that as the boiler is twenty years old this year Worcester Bosch will not repair it any longer, even though spares for it are still readily available. Should I employ another heating engineer to fix it (Worcester Bosch very kindly supplied me with a list of approved repairers who would undertake the work!) Or should I, as the boiler is twenty years old bite the bullet and have it replaced?

I would guess that the difference in price would be £200 for a repair against £1500 for a replacement (including fitting)

I know we have some very knowledgeable people on the forum when it comes to plumbing matters, and I would be interested in your thoughts.


  spuds 23:54 PM 20 Jun 13

Glad you raised this question, because tomorrow we have a heating engineer calling to provide a quote for a new boiler and other items, due to a series of boiler breakdown's over the past six months, which as cost a total of nearly £680 in repairs, and the boiler as packed up again two weeks ago.

The original central heating was installed about 20 plus years ago, and about 8 years ago, we had a new Glow Worm boiler, new thermostats etc. but as I said, over the past six months the system as become a burden, financial and otherwise.

Its been suggested that we have a Worcester/Bosch combi at between estimated £1200 to £1500. Apparently for this price, there are three warranty options of 3/5 or 7 years, providing you have a service every twelve months.

We are now in the hands of the engineer tomorrow as to the final outcome.

  Flak999 00:01 AM 21 Jun 13

I have to say I have been very happy with the Worcester Bosch boiler we have had, also the quality of the customer service from their engineers. My system is also twenty years old (although we have only lived here twelve years) and I am loath to just junk a perfectly good boiler if it is still worthwhile to maintain it.

I guess this is the problem that I need an answer to. I will be interested to know what your engineer advises you to do!

  wiz-king 08:14 AM 21 Jun 13

As the fuel usage could be a factor look up the efficiency here as small saving in efficiency may save you lots of money in fuel. My old boiler was nearly 20% lower than the latest models - that's a lot of wasted fuel.

  Forum Editor 08:31 AM 21 Jun 13

Modern gas boilers are built entirely from a collection of components, and it's possible to replace all the parts pretty easily as they fail. In theory you could end up with a 20 year-old boiler that has been completely replaced, apart from the case and the pipe jig (the part that the various pipes connect to at the bottom of the boiler).

The problem is that each time you replace something you make the decision to buy a new boiler less cost effective. In the end it's a judgement call, and in your case I think I would go for a replacement.

  spuds 11:04 AM 21 Jun 13

Engineer's just made the visit, and he as come up with the final decision. Old 'conventional' Glow Worm boiler out, new Worcester/Bosch combi boiler in place on wall with outside flue, similar to existing location. 15mm gas pipework replaced with 22mm, vent to back of washing machine, new boiler pipework to existing hot cold water supply, new thermostats on all radiator's minus one, which will be the new sensing radiator on stair landing.

Five year warranty on boiler and new replacement parts, no warranty on old existing parts. First year warranty with installer, remaining warranty plus possible extra with Worcester/Bosch.

Apparently there might be a possible problem on a 'new' pressurised system, subject to possible 'pressure' leaks. Old hot water storage tank obsolete with extra space in airing cupboard.

Not sure of the final price as this is subject to eco-grant approvals, but the work will take a full day (8am-3pm)for two engineers to complete in about 10 days time.

  wiz-king 11:39 AM 21 Jun 13

spuds Almost exactly what I had done, I had s section of pipework replaced from the valves upstairs to the living room as I had a new rad in the kitchen. You wait till you see the amount of black crud that comes out when they power-flush the CH pipes.

PS. You may get a leaky radiator in a few weeks after they clean all the muck out so keep checking. Paint does not hold back hot water.

  spuds 12:17 PM 21 Jun 13

wiz-king, I posted a few weeks back in the forum about having a power flush of the system when the boiler kept tripping out. The engineer who turned up to do the job, drained the system and said it didn't require a power flush, just a water and solution change, and a change in part of the pipework at a vent/drainage point. I think the old water and solution had been in the system for the previous nine years. The central heating ran for about five weeks before it packed up again a couple of weeks ago, with the same systems as previously, hence the above new boiler replacement decision.

I did ask the engineer today, if they would power flush out the system, but it would appear that they will not do this,just change a few thermostats and recharge the system.

  spuds 12:20 PM 21 Jun 13

Whoops "with the same systems as previously". Should have been " with the same faults as previously".

  Flak999 12:32 PM 21 Jun 13

Thanks all, for your advice. I am going to call one of the approved engineers that Worcester Bosch have given me the name of, and see what they advise.

I will let you know what they say and what my decision will be.

  spuds 12:45 PM 21 Jun 13


You might not fit into one of the government subsidised eco grant funding programmes which are widely available, but it might be worth checking first with your local council's energy saving teams to see if they can offer advice?.


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