Plumber says I can't have vertical radiators - is he spinning me a line?

(34 Posts)
KindleMum Thu 07-Mar-13 13:28:45

We are getting quotes for a major refurb of our "forever house", work to be done before we move in. We have a builder quoting who seems good and is recommended to me but yesterday he came back with his electrician and plumber and I really haven't taken to the plumber.

I hate radiators. I really wanted underfloor heating but it turned out that wasn't really the right option for the house. So we compromised on vertical rads. Plumber arrives and says no you can't have those. Summary of conversation from then:

Me - Why not?
P: Cos they're rubbish and you'd need 2 in this room.
Me: I don't mind having two, I was planning on having two. I hate horizontal radiators.
P: No luv, you just want one normal one under that window there.
Me:No I don't, that's right by 2 doors, I'd lose all the heat.
P: Anyway, you've a concrete floor, you can't have vertical rads.
Me: Eh?
P:We'd have to drill into the floor.
Me:Surely you'll have to do that anyway for a horizontal?
P:Yeah, but that's different.
Me: Why?
P: Just is. Anyway, it'll cost too much.
Me: When I've got the quote then I'll decide whether it costs too much.

I'm not used to getting building work done but surely I can expect someone quoting for work to explain better than that why he won't do what I want. Does anyone have any idea if he has a point?

I very much doubt I'll use him because he's also flat out contradicted advice I've had on combi boilers which makes me very wary and I think he's someone who just fits his favourite things regardless of what the client wants. But I would like to know if he has a point on the vertical rads?

Ihatemytoes Sat 09-Mar-13 15:24:35

.

Speedos Sat 09-Mar-13 14:13:07

Ours is a Woscester Bosch combi, best one apparantely but it is massive, we have it located in a cupboard in the part of our garage that is a gym so it is actually outside the house. We also replaced the above mentioned pipes to the water main on the road.

Another element of the pressure is the type of tap you have, our kitchen tap is not brilliant because we have one of those detachable spray hose taps and the hose is very narrow on that one. All the other taps are fine.

Heifer Sat 09-Mar-13 13:12:35

We had exactly the same thing years ago when they first came out.
We just binned him and got a plumber who would do what WE wanted.....

KindleMum Sat 09-Mar-13 12:04:45

Right, I'll need to look at that. Thanks

PigletJohn Sat 09-Mar-13 11:59:32

It depends how big the pipe from the road into the garage is. Mine has a 20mm plastic service pipe which changes to 15mm inside the house (as they are measured by external diameter, and the plastic has thicker pipe walls, this is, in fact, almost the same)

A more modern house might have a larger incoming pipe. What colour is yours?

You won't get air and noise in the larger sections of pipe, but the flow will have been throtlled by the smaller sections of pipe, and valvers, it has already passed through.

KindleMum Sat 09-Mar-13 11:20:01

He didn't do that. I asked about upgrading to larger diameter plastic pipes as you'd recommended and he said it was worth doing that from the garage thoughout the house (utilities all enter the house through the garage) but he didn't recommend taking the new larger pipes all the way from the garage to the water company connection - I'm struggling to understand that. I don't see how it can improve the flow if the pipes at the connection are still the same size. Won't I end up with air and noise in the larger pipes?

PigletJohn Sat 09-Mar-13 09:47:14

with combis and multiple taps, the most important thing is the incoming water flow (not pressure, which is different) coming into the house from the watermain. Fill a bucket at your kitchen sink cold tap (or garden tap, if better), time it, see how many litres per minute you get. The amount of incoming flow, with a combi, will be shared between all taps and other outlets running at the same time.

Newly built houses often have a larger service pipe thay can carry more water. Otherwise you may need to dig a trench all the way to the pavement and lay a new, larger, plastic pipe. This is fairly easy if it is wooden floors and garden, but more tiresome through concrete. An old house with long lead pipes, or a conversion with lots of bends and valves, may have very poor flow.

KindleMum Sat 09-Mar-13 09:16:09

Interesting, Speedos. Do you know what type it is?

Speedos Sat 09-Mar-13 07:16:23

We have a new massive combi in our 5 bed 4 bath house, notice very little impact on pressure with more than on tap on, maybe it just doesn't happen often? My FIL is our plumber so I believe he had our best interests at heart.

noddyholder Sat 09-Mar-13 06:57:57

I fitted them in last house for space reasons. Plumber had no issues and it was definitely warmest house we have had.

solveproblem Sat 09-Mar-13 06:34:38

I can't see how a vertical radiator would be able to distribute the heat as evenly as horizontal ones can.

Radiators work by convection heat transfer, they warm up the air and creates a natural movement of the air as hot air rises. A low, wide radiator would be better at doing this than a tall, narrow one.

KindleMum Fri 08-Mar-13 23:14:03

We also told the bloke that our main requirements for the new central heating and hot water system were that it should be fairly quiet and should definitely be able to run more than one tap at a time (5 bed house) and he's insisting the best thing for that is a combi boiler.

Everything I've read in my prep on this and from PigletJohn on here says absolutely not a combi for running more than one tap at a time. So that added to my annoyance with him as it makes me think he just does things the way he wants or is using products he gets a good commission on, not doing what the clients want or need.

noddyholder Fri 08-Mar-13 23:08:51

What nonsense you can fit them,the same as horizontal the floor means nothing and the output is,the same ifmyou calculate the btu properly

Ginformation Fri 08-Mar-13 23:04:34

Our plumber warned us about some vertical rads don't have good enough heat output but I managed to find one in b & q in the sale smile which was a decent btu rating. Its in the kitchen and the cat sleeps by it, the warmest spot in the house. Maybe that plumber just hasn't fitted that many vertical rads before so he was trying to put you off.

KindleMum Fri 08-Mar-13 23:03:37

I will certainly feed back honestly to the builder as I think that's useful to them to know. I have heard from a friend today that she used a different builder for her house because of this same plumber so he's a liability, at least as far as being customer-facing goes. Hadn't considered it as a bartering tool though.

ATouchOfStuffing Fri 08-Mar-13 22:56:53

Am currently building a house and can tell you that builders will always do what is easier for them. We managed to haggle A LOT off the prices just by confirming prices given to us in other quotes that were lower for various things.

Get another quote and don't hold back on telling the builders why you are worried and what it may have cost them. They need feedback like that plus it gives you a bartering tool if you do go with them to show you have some misgivings.

You can get really tall floor to ceiling vertical rads (one of the builders showed it to us in a new build so it is bollocks about the drilling through cement) and he said it worked to heat the huge kitchen really well, and it certainly felt very toasty with the snow outside!

Tessollie Fri 08-Mar-13 22:56:21

I measured my old radiator, bought a vertical the same width (cheapest on eBay) and my hubby fitted it with the same valves and everything so I would say he is definitely talking bollocks! It gives out loads more heat and looks lovely.

Mine was about £120 but like I say without valves, still cheap as chips though compared to ones I saw in ideal home show for £600 which pretty much looked the same

KindleMum Fri 08-Mar-13 22:52:37

ooh fossil, I love that one, the mirrored ones are my favourites! It looks fab.

So everyone here who's gone to vertical is happy, that's excellent.

PhyllisDoris Fri 08-Mar-13 22:49:10

We have vertical rads in the new part if our house and they chuck out heat like there's no tomorrow. They get much hotter than our 1970s rads.

MrsPurple Fri 08-Mar-13 22:48:11

We've just changed from horizontal to vertical have refurb and moved from one wall to another. No reason not to have verticals, they can give less heat, so check the BTU's to ensure they give sufficient heat. ( we looked at what previous one gave to ensure we got correct heat). We added a few electrical fan heaters so if it got really cold ( as we had patio doors which are floor to ceiling) and can honestly say we don't get cold and only use fans if staying in the kitchen diner area, they also act as cool air in summer.

fossil971 Fri 08-Mar-13 22:43:27

Yes! It is this big momma . It's also about 7500 BTUs but we were limited in the width we could go to. It is worth looking out for a double panel one.

It doesn't get scaldingly hot because it's aluminium I think, but is lovely to lean against.

KindleMum Fri 08-Mar-13 18:17:53

That link didn't work for me, PolterGoose?

Good to hear you like yours, Captain. There does seem to be a lot of choice out there, ironically even in the catalogue this plumber provided!

PolterGoose Fri 08-Mar-13 18:12:50

I've got something like this in my kitchen. Very happy with it.

captainmummy Fri 08-Mar-13 18:12:39

I've got vertical rads and i love them. Got them off ebay and they have v impressive output - my double in hall is over 8000 btus. I paid about £300 for it, and much less for the singles in sitting room and kitchen.

Just a thought - you can get vertical rads that fit into the corner of a room (i had 2 in my previuous house) and the pipework could come down from above and be hidden behind it in the corner.

KindleMum Fri 08-Mar-13 18:07:48

Yes, I'd noticed they're not cheap! But I really dislike normal rads and as they're a big part of how a room looks it's worth it to me. Do you like yours?

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