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How long are Combi Boilers supposed to last?

(23 Posts)
Growlithe Thu 02-May-13 09:34:19

We got a combi boiler fitted about 7 years ago. We've had British Gas cover on it, and over the last couple of years we've had about 4 breakdowns. The last one was about 2 months ago and now we are without hot water and heating again, with parts on order.

I'm suspecting this is going to get more frequent, and wondering whether to cut our losses and get a new one. The current one is an Alpha one and general consensus of opinion is we've been sold a duffer.

How long has yours lasted?


chickabilla Thu 02-May-13 11:15:01

Ours is about 12/13 years old and has had at least one breakdown most years since we moved in 9 years ago but we have a British gas plan too and it has had about a squillion parts and is still going!

Growlithe Fri 03-May-13 16:48:23

chick doesn't sound too bad if it's just once a year. This time we've had a bit of bad service with British Gas and have only just got it going again, and that's just a patch until yet another part comes tomorrow.

I'm thinking if it breaks down one more time this year we'll get rid. angry

ihatethecold Fri 03-May-13 16:58:18

Ours has been in for 8 years and its never broken down (touch wood)

BIWI Fri 03-May-13 17:00:50

It should last for around 15 years. The problem is, according to the myriad of British Gas engineers who have to come out to fix our 12 year old boiler, is that once they get to around 10 years old, it's harder and harder to get spare parts, as the boiler manufacturers stop making them.

We have been pressured to buy a new boiler for the last 3 or 4 years (mainly because ours is so unreliable). I finally got a quote from British Gas last year, and they wanted £3000 for a new one! Amazingly I refused their kind offer.

Growlithe Fri 03-May-13 17:01:24

Good job given your nickname ihatethecold. grin

SwedishEdith Fri 03-May-13 17:10:12

2 previous boilers lasted 18 years and over 20 years - both Vaillant and got a bit ropey in their final years. But replaced a few years ago with another Vaillant. Hoping it'll last as long

Growlithe Fri 03-May-13 17:11:33

I can't see ours seeing double figures in age really.

ihatethecold Fri 03-May-13 19:44:00

The boilers fine. It's the cost of oil that makes me want to cryshock

infamouspoo Fri 03-May-13 19:47:50

Our Vaillant is 7 years old and has broken down about a million times. I think the whole fucking thing has been replaced by now but right now its making a ker-chunk noise <sob>
I might as well pay our salary straight to Vaillant sad

nocake Fri 03-May-13 19:55:51

We've got a 12 year old Alpha boiler which has had a couple of repairs over the past few years but seems to be going okay. We have it fixed by an Alpha specialist who has no problem getting spares. He normally has them available the same day.

TapselteerieO Fri 03-May-13 19:59:30

We have an ancient baxi bermuda, circa 1986 I think, still going but not exactly efficient, just can't afford to replace it unless it packs up completely.

BackforGood Fri 03-May-13 20:03:48

All previous houses - years and years. We made the mistake of putting a Ferrolli in, in 2007, and it's been terrible, to the extent we are thinking of replacing it even though it's only 6 yrs old. Before we had this though, I'd have said I expect a boiler to last 20 years +

Growlithe Fri 03-May-13 20:36:18

I'm told the king of boilers is Worcester Bosch.

But it's such a boring thing to spend thousands on isn't it? I mean, you only actually appreciate what it does for you when the bugger breaks down.

nocake the British Gas engineers seem to hate Alpha with a passion. Today's guy (and believe it or not we've had 4 guys on this particular episode, but only 2 actually touched the boiler) was the first one who actually phoned Alpha for advice, so maybe it will be a proper fix this time rather than a patch.

threepiecesuite Fri 03-May-13 20:40:25

We have an ancient back boiler. It is over 20 years old and never needed so much as a part. It is noisy and inefficient but damn the water gets hot.

Growlithe Fri 03-May-13 20:43:16

That's another thing with our boiler, the water never seems hot enough for me. DH never has a problem but I love a scalding hot shower. grin

BrienneOfTarth Fri 03-May-13 20:51:32

depends on the make, but in general their economic useful life is approximately equal to their warranty period.

We have a very inefficient baxi boiler, which I'm sticking right with for now. I know I could save £400 a year in fuel bills if I switch to combi - but if I spend £4000 on that and then have to start forking out £300 a year on average in repair bills in 5 years time this actually doesn't appeal that much.

Methe Fri 03-May-13 20:52:57

We have an ancient noisey one too, it's as old as the house which was built in 1987/8. It's broken down once in the 8 years we've lived here and our gas bills are pennies compares to some I read on here. We almost replaced it this year as it is so ugly to look at but thought better of it and put a cupboard round it.

It's an ideal, no idea if they are still made.

MrsTaraPlumbing Sat 04-May-13 00:58:48

General guide a boiler should last about 12 years, many will last longer.
Worcester & Vaillant are market leaders for combi's but those from the "Baxi" group are also good value (eg Remeha).

flow4 Sat 04-May-13 10:09:01

Like all sorts of other consumer durables, they don't seem to last as long as they used to!

BackforGood Sat 04-May-13 12:36:48

I'd definitely agree with that Flow4

Although I must be getting old, coming out with phrases like my Mum and Dad used to say grin

wonkylegs Sat 04-May-13 14:35:27

We've got a 9.5yo Alpha annually serviced by a local plumber who is fab and about a quarter of the price of BG, whilst also going the extra mile to help.
We've had 2 major issues with ours in that time both fixed relatively cheaply by Steve the plumber.
I suspect BG are more likely to write off a boiler after 7/8 yes as they would like to sell you a new one at their greatly inflated prices.
In last house, the quotes for new boiler from BG were 3x as much as the local independent guy and they couldn't do it as quickly as he could either.

fuzzywuzzy Sat 04-May-13 15:20:26

I have a sime its lasted 16 years and required replacing the circuit board once.

Methe if yours works and is efficient do not replace it for aesthetics, it's really hard to find ones that work properly and not break down constantly.

After the cost of replacing the circuit board, I figured if it happens again I'm replacing the entire thing as that would be about the same expense

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