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Where would you put a new boiler?

(22 Posts)
snowgirl1 Tue 08-Apr-14 15:33:06

We are planning to re-do our kitchen and, at the same time, get a new boiler. The boiler is currently in the kitchen. Would you get a new boiler in the kitchen or put a combi boiler where the hot water tank is (upstairs)?

specialsubject Tue 08-Apr-14 15:38:24

you may find that the layout of your house dictates this - there are rules about boiler siting for distances from windows, flues etc etc.

given the option, I would put a combi in the kitchen so someone running hot water doesn't disturb people upstairs. It is also nearer where hot water is required more often. Or that's how it works in this house.

cheekyfunkymonkey Tue 08-Apr-14 15:41:24

I think you are advised to put it as close to the largest number of taps etc that use or run off hot water. In Input case that's the bathroom.

PigletJohn Tue 08-Apr-14 18:02:21

In a place where it is close to the incoming gas and water pipes, and an internal waste pipe or drain so that the condensate pipe does not run outside where it can freeze, and where the flue position will not allow the plume of steam to blow past windows or disfigure the front of the house in winter.

In modern houses the bathroom is often above the kitchen so no benefit in shifting it upstairs, especially if, during the day, the kitchen taps are used more often than the bathroom basin.

Combis are a bit noisy so away from bedrooms.

snowgirl1 Tue 08-Apr-14 21:36:58

Oh thanks everyone. I'd thought it would need to be where there was a water supply was, but hadn't thought of the gas supply - doh!

PigletJohn, it's a 1970s house and the bathroom is indeed above the kitchen - sorry for being thick, but why does that mean there's no benefit to moving it upstairs?

I'm now thinking that the boiler would be best in the kitchen (and getting a combi still? Or are they bigger?), but that it might be worth moving the washing machine up to the airing cupboard. But that's not probably a great idea either is it, due to the noise? I was hoping to free up a little bit more space in the kitchen for storage.

itsnothingoriginal Wed 09-Apr-14 10:03:25

If you have a 70s house you might have to check the cost and logistics of getting a combi. We wanted one but in our 80s house, the pipes are too narrow and would have cost a fortune redoing all the plumbing work. We've had to stick with the existing system and just updated the tank, pump and boiler.

snowgirl1 Wed 09-Apr-14 10:32:23

Thanks for that heads up itsnothingoriginal. Sounds like I need to get a plumber round to tell me what is and isn't possible, before I set my heart on a particular idea! I want to work out what the options are before we can start kitchen planning.

So, if we can't have a combi (if the pipes are too small) are there any other boiler types we should be thinking of that provide an advantage over a regular boiler??

Madmog Wed 09-Apr-14 10:41:39

Your central heating engineer will be able to advise on additional costs for re-siting the boiler. Personally, I would always want it somewhere I had easy access to it, if it's likely to be your kitchen or airing cupboard that's fine. If it's up in the loft then it's harder to monitor pressure, top up pressur, hear unusual noises and I guess uses slightly more energy as it's in a much colder space.

snowgirl1 Wed 09-Apr-14 10:54:52

Thanks madmog, so do I need to call a central heating engineer rather than a plumber? I thought plumbers dealt with boilers?

Good point re. access, that would definitely rule out the loft as our house has a very low roof with lots of supports which makes accessing the loft space quite difficult. I don't think a plumber/central heating engineer would want to work up there to install one as you can't even stand up.

Ilovexmastime Wed 09-Apr-14 10:58:43

We had a new boiler this winter and we've put it in the attic.

PigletJohn Wed 09-Apr-14 11:57:50

Fill a bucket at the cold tap at the kitchen sink, or the garden tap, time it, calculate how many litres per minute it delivers. That may be relevant to your choice if type of water-heating. The number of bathrooms, and of people in the house who might be running taps at the same time, is also relevant. How old is the house?

Gas boilers (and oil boilers) need someone qualified to work on them, who will be a heating engineer. Plumbers can do lots of other things. You do not need to be gas qualified to change a radiator or a room thermostat for example because it is not a gas part.

If the bathroom is above the kitchen, I meant that the hot water pipes will be short with the boiler on the kitchen wall, so they will not be noticably shorter if you put the boiler upstairs.

PigletJohn Wed 09-Apr-14 12:02:18

Oh, 1970s you say. Look for the incoming water main and measure it at the stopcock. It will probably be black plastic. Is the external diameter 20mm or 25mm?

snowgirl1 Wed 09-Apr-14 23:03:46

DH is saying the pipes are 22mm?! DH is also saying that all water, except the water in the kitchen taps, comes out of a header tank in the loft. So presumably I'd have to do the litres per min test on the bathroom taps?

PigletJohn Thu 10-Apr-14 00:05:04

22mm is usual for copper pipe. If it comes into the house all the way from the road, that is fine. perhaps I was too early thinking of plastic in a 1970's house.

the lpm test should be done on the kitchen or garden tap to see how much water is delivered to the house. It is important if you are thinking of changing to a combi or other system with no cold tank in the loft.

Madmog Thu 10-Apr-14 10:39:21

snowgirl1, some plumbers will also do the job but make sure they're gas safe registered, that you'll get a benchmark certificate on payment and what warranty is available.

snowgirl1 Sun 13-Apr-14 22:21:24

PigletJohn no, I think you were right in the first instance - I think it's plastic piping. When I asked DH if it was copper pipe he said it wasn't. The reality is that the stopcock is in a really inconvenient place that involves emptying a cupboard and contorting yourself to get to. So the 22mm was based on what DH thought it was. I'm still working on him to get him to check it.

I did the lpm test on the garage tap and it's approx. 20 litres per minute.

PigletJohn Sun 13-Apr-14 22:53:24

20 litres is a good flow, providing the pressure is also adequate. You could have a powerful combi, or a pressurised cylinder such as a Megaflo (tm) which is an excellent modern system, with which you need only a conventional or system boiler, which is less complicated than a combi and more reliable.

Pipbin Sun 13-Apr-14 23:00:23

Might be worth checking that you actually have a position that meets the requirements.
In our old house there was not one place in the entire house where we could put a combo boiler. It has to be on an external wall and a metre from a door or window. (might not be correct)

PigletJohn Sun 13-Apr-14 23:20:11

you can have quite a long flue now. IIRC mine can have a flue up to 10 metres long/high (but it must be accessible for inspection in case of leaks), so not bricked in or boarded over. In Switzerland and Germany I have seen the flues run up chimneys but that would not now be allowed here in case there was a concealed leaking joint. Unless perhaps if it had a lot of inspection hatches.

sometimes they are run under the ceiling or on top of, or inside, wall cabinets, or in false ceilings. They are not at all hot, with a condensing boiler. All boilers are condensing these days, which is very efficient and economical, but condensing boilers are not all combis.

You would not be likely to get permission to fit a non-condensing boiler unless you lived in a listed building where a flue could not be fitted anywhere without spoiling the look of it.

patothechiefexec Mon 14-Apr-14 16:06:20

Our combi boiler is in the loft. Works fine up there and out of the way!

snowgirl1 Tue 15-Apr-14 11:05:29

Thanks everyone. I'm going to make an appointment to get an heating engineer round to have a look and advise what's possible.

From what I understand the options are:

1. Conventional boiler + hot water tank + cold water tank in loft to give pressure. Requires pumps for showers and the flow will tail off if more than one shower/tap running at once. Might save a bit on bills, assuming the new boiler is more efficient.

2. Combi boiler - no hot (or cold water?) tank required (so saves spaces). Only heats water when needed so might save money. But will require pumps and would need a powerful combi boiler to cope with more than one shower/tap on at once. More complicated so more can go wrong.

3. Megaflow + boiler - no pumps required, no cold water tank in loft required, can cope with more than one shower on at the same time. But Megaflo look quite big from the pics I've seen on the internet. Less complicated system so more reliable.

Have I missed any significant pros/cons? Haven't included cost as I've got no idea how each option would work out cost wise.

My ideal option would allow two showers at the same time; save space within the house (ie. kitchen/airing cupboard); save money on utilities.

At the moment, I leaning towards a powerful combi - but that might change when I know the cost!

Thanks so much to everyone for their comments.

PigletJohn Tue 15-Apr-14 17:04:11

with a cold water tank in the loft, flow (litres per minute) is usually very good in the bathroom, and fills a bath fast due to the large (British) taps and pipes. Because of the way it is plumbed, the kitchen cold tap has no effect on flow or pressure of the other taps; and no cold tap reduces flow or pressure at any hot tap, and vice versa.

However the pressure is poor in showers.

Modern tanks are insulated and haver close-fitting plastic lids to avoid drowned wildlife, which can be a problem in old installations.

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