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Combi boilers yay or nay?

(13 Posts)
spydie Mon 13-Mar-17 08:06:00

Thinking of having one put in as part of extension. Old ish boiler needs replacing anyway. We have a huge hot water tank in airing cupboard and it would be great to get rid of that to free up space.... but are they good as a back up?

Any things to know, or things to avoid? I've heard they can be great until someone has a shower and then a tap runs elsewhere... we will have a bath/shower upstairs plus second shower downstairs. It's unlikely we'd be using both at the same time but can you successfully run 2 showers at a time off a Combi? What about appliances using water? We have very high water pressure.

ButDoYouAvocado Mon 13-Mar-17 08:59:05

As I understand it, you'll struggle with 2 showers and a combi. You'll need a hot water pump system. Every house I've lived in that has had a combi couldn't manage 2 showers. I'm now in a house with a tank and pump and we can run 3 showers, flush the toilet, run taps and it's fine.

Happy to be corrected as I'm not a plumber, that's just my experience.

crumpetsandcoffee Mon 13-Mar-17 09:11:29

I think you'll struggle to run more than one shower but that's the only downfall. Instant hot water, cheaper bills, and plenty hot water to lie in the bath for hours if you wish.

WonderMike Mon 13-Mar-17 09:25:53

We can run all appliances and the shower at the same time. Two showers, yes. Shower and a bath, no. But if you think about it, if you had a tank and two showers running, how would that effect the pressure? I imagine it'd empty the tank fairly quickly.

Our builder took advice off a specialist plumber. I could not go back to arguing about who used all of the water and waiting for it to warm up again grin

BikeRunSki Mon 13-Mar-17 09:28:07

When we got a new boiler a couple of years ago, we got a condensing boiler. We were told (by 3 different plumbers) that combo boilers were out of date and no longer used.

BikeRunSki Mon 13-Mar-17 09:28:47

When we got a new boiler a couple of years ago, we got a condensing boiler. We were told (by 3 different plumbers) that combo boilers were out of date and no longer used.

HappydaysArehere Mon 13-Mar-17 09:32:49

Combo boiler - result our bills went right down and no more leaks from a water tank.

HappydaysArehere Mon 13-Mar-17 09:34:22

Combo of course!

HappydaysArehere Mon 13-Mar-17 09:35:06

Another go combi of course. Spell check misbehaving.

spydie Mon 13-Mar-17 09:37:29

Thank you, this is all really helpful. As it stands, our current system is not great. It takes an age to heat the water and one shower and it's gone. So we generally cannot both have a shower the same evening, for example. Add to that having the heating on, and the water temp is noticeably lower and runs out even quicker. It's crap.

So on balance, if I could fill a bath and lie in it whilst DH uses the other shower, that sounds like an improvement! But its highly unlikely we'd both want to shower at exactly the same time, but one after the other would be a huge improvement on current!

spydie Mon 13-Mar-17 09:38:44

Sorry if that's not clear, I mean fill the bath tub before DH then uses other shower...

Chasingsquirrels Mon 13-Mar-17 09:55:55

Things that apply in my house with a combi, v good water pressure (live at the bottom of a hill with the village water tank at the top). Boiler about 3 or 4 years old, replaced existing combi.

- If both showers are used at the same time the pressure isn't great, but I've had worse showers elsewhere.

- hot water is instant, and if the boiler has been off (away etc) it warms up enough for a shower in about 10-15 minutes. Not actually an issue as have holiday setting on programmable thermostat.

- slight delay in taps running hot depending on how far they are from the boiler, but assume this would be the same with a tank as just time to run from source.

- no back up hot water supply, ie no imersion heater in tank, as no tank. We are on oil, so this can be a problem if we run out or if the boiler breaks (has this a few times with old boiler before we replaced). For this reason I considered an electric shower when I replaced the mixer bath / shower taps in the main bathroom, but the cost of both the unit and putting in the electrics was quite a lot compared to the £60 thermostatic mixer I used in the end.

- Both our showers are thermostatically controlled, if a hot water tap is used while a shower is running then the pressure drops very slightly but the temperature isn't affected. The pressure drop isn't enough to impact on shower and doesn't happen with all water usage. Eg washing machine, dishwasher & toilet flushing are fine, running a hot tap isn't.

- DH & I usually shower in the mornings and ds1 & 2 in the evenings. Sometimes ds1 in the morning instead. No Issues at all with several showers, or a bath then shower etc. The hot water just keeps coming.

spydie Mon 13-Mar-17 13:55:14

Thank you chasingsquirrells that's really informative smileflowers

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