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Oil boiler stopped working - options now?

(5 Posts)
sez49 Mon 13-Feb-17 16:44:49

Oil boiler has stopped working. I know it may be repairable, but it is getting older now. I moved into this house 14 years ago. The boiler was fitted by the previous owners 3-5 years prior to that, so it is about 17-19'years old now. If it needs replacing, I suspect that it will cost us 3k+ to replace. We haven't got the money but maybe able to get some of it together and I might be able to borrow some from my parents.

I am wondering if we should consider any other alternative options. We have no gas in the village, so that is not an option. I was looking at electric underfloor heating, but some people say the running costs are expensive. I know we would have expense of replacing flooring, but some it could do with being replaced. I was also wondering if electric underfloor heating (not the wet underfloor heating) was an option, if it was practical to do a room/zone at a time and have each room/zone on its own thermostat? This would enable us to spread the cost out and we are happy to do this DIY. My best friend's hubby is is an electrician, so I am sure he would be happy to sort the connection of the electrics for us.

The Danfoss valve is also broken so I found the heating comes on and stays on unless I turn off the switch for the mains supply to the operating unit. This is not the first time the Danfoss valve has gone. Dad replaced it last time, but is unable to do any DIY now.

Another problem we have it that the radiators haven't been working very well anyway. None of the upstairs radiators have been warming up at all this winter and the radiator in my son's room has not been good for years. i have bled them in the past and it has improved them for a short time. We have an oil filled heater in his room at night. Hubby thinks we should just add more oil filled radiators, but I would suspect that heating the house with these would prove to be a more costly option in terms of running costs. I was just thinking that the underfloor heating .(whilst more expensive than oil) would solve the problems with boiler not working and radiators not working properly.

So even if we replace the boiler we could still have further expense sorting out the other issues.

In all the years I have been here, if I heat the house to a warm temperature, I probably use a tank and a half to two tanks of oil over the winter. I do also find it a pain remembering to regularly check the oil level to make sure we don't run out. This has happened once. We tend to try not to use quite as much oil, so wear more layers instead.

We live in a chalet style 2 bed house, so not huge. Upstairs is just the 2 bedrooms. I don't know if an electric boiler would be more economic to run than electric UFH but then we still have other issues to sort as well.

Any suggestions, advice, pros and cons of options would be gratefully received! Any options that I haven't considered yet?

specialsubject Mon 13-Feb-17 17:45:56

New oil boilers use considerably less - while the stuff is cheaper at the moment, I reckoned our replacement for the old one will pay off in under five years. And you use less which is good for the planet, although you still pay 20% vat on the install as it isn't a useless windfarm...

You can get tank sensors but a weekly diary note to check is less farty and won't go wrong.

LPG is another alternative but you are trapped with one supplier and it is pricier per unit heat.

Sounds like you need a chemical system flush and a magna clean. You can also remove radiators and hose them out - bit messy but an OK diy job. The chemical flush is also diy and if you have small pipes will work far better than a power flush.

Hopefully you can get the boiler nursed for another couple of months while you research and get quotes.

sez49 Mon 13-Feb-17 19:20:26

Thanks for the reply. That is very helpful.

specialsubject Mon 13-Feb-17 19:23:23

Been there!! Best of luck. Oh, and the answer is 'Worcester'.smile

sez49 Mon 13-Feb-17 20:32:21

😄 Thanks. I did mean to ask but got distracted by six year old and forgot!!!

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