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The 'Other' House: A New Boiler & Costs!

A New Boiler and Costs

Renovations are well under-way at Grants parents house and I'm pleased to say phase 1 and 2 are complete! If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out this post. But, in short the old floor standing boiler has now gone, the dodgy non-locking sliding door is also gone and in their place, a lovely new set of french doors have been fitted and a whole new modern combi-boiler system is in place. Winter is now being welcomed with open arms!

So, here's the old boiler, a very very old floor standing one. It was here when they moved in 15+ years ago and it must've been pretty old back then. It's beyond ugly, has never (repeat: NEVER) been serviced or professionally maintained and basically how it's still alive, is kinda beyond me.

Replacing an Old Floor Standing Boiler

The immersion heater upstairs collapsed earlier this year, spewing water out everywhere. Grant managed to do a quick-fix propping the tank up with some wood, but the pipes had buckled, the overflow was no longer connected and it's collapse had broken the way the tank filled up, meaning it would slowly overfill and then overflow into the house. This happened back in January and since then, Grants parents have had to manually empty the tank every couple of days to ensure it doesn't flood their house. What an absolute nightmare!

To make matters even worse, the whole system seemed to be one big bodge DIY job. The water in the toilet and bathroom sink were filled from the upstairs tank (seriously!) so neither worked when the tank had been emptied. AND the way the whole thing was hooked up meant they couldn't have hot water without turning the heating on. There was about 5 different electrical switches in the airing cupboard, none worked, pipes were a chaotic mess and needless to say, this whole job is probably about 15 years (and more) over-due.

But it's getting done now and I was on the job to find the right guy and book it all in, making sure to meet their budgets. I used which is probably the only quote-finding website I've had success with in the past. I managed to get 3 separate quotes, which were all really very close in price, but Osbourne Heating really stood out. Mark had 50+ 5* reviews on Rated-People, he was professional (even bought plastic slipper socks to put over his shoes!) gave a proper written quote, explained everything really well and I just knew he was the guy for the job instantly.

So a couple of weeks later, work began whilst Grants parents were away for a few days. The old floor standing boiler was ripped out - which was currently housed in an off-shoot cupboard next to the kitchen. Mark even repaired the roof the flue had gone through, properly with actual new roof tiles. Both the other quoters wanted to just cut the flue and leave it in position! #lazytradespeople 

Small kitchen pantry renovation
osborne heating review mansfield

The new boiler will be housed upstairs where the old immersion tank was. All the quoters agreed this was the best, easiest and cheapest place for it to go - as all the pipes (minus the  gas one!) were already there. So, a new gas pipe was laid on the exterior of the house, wrapping around to the new position of the boiler. We could have had this running through the house, but we decided it would be easier on the outside and means it wouldn't be on show inside.

gas pipe along outside of house

There's also a new overflow pipe which goes straight into the drain, and obviously there's the new flue venting through the wall too.

overflow pipes for boiler
pipework on outside of house
boiler flue

A couple of new radiators were installed to replace the horrifically rusty ones that were there before. These new ones are convection rads, which means they have the grill at the top and they actually help to push/circulate the heat around the room. We also had all the thermostatic valves replaced on the rest of the radiators too - lots of these had seized and some had leaked in the past too. Thermostatic valves are pretty inexpensive, so it meant Mark was able to check all the radiators over, ensuring no leaks at the valves - and it also meant we knew the new ones would be working correctly.

replacing a radiator with convection ones
convection radiator

The boiler we've gone for is one of the top spec, most efficient ones on the market. If you're paying through the teeth to do a job like this, I really think it's worth the extra few hundred to get a good decent well reviewed boiler. We searched and read a lot of reviews on boilers, and the Worcester 30Cdi Classic is one of the top well-reviewed ones out there. It was also the one Mark recommended.

worcester classic 30cdi boiler

So this is what it looks like in its new place. Fairly simple to work - just an on off bottom and two temperature controls; one for the heating and one for the water. There's an eco mode, which Mark recommended we kept on - as well as a holiday mode too. The other two buttons are for when the boiler gets serviced - so there's really not a whole lot too it. Very simple.

replacing a floor standing boiler with combi boiler and costs

We've also had a filtration device fitted to the boiler - the MagnaClean. This is attached to the 'return' pipe - which is basically the pipe from the radiators into the boiler. The MagnaClean is a magnet that catches all the muck from the radiators and stops it from clogging up the boiler. This was recommended by Mark (actually he said he pretty much won't fit boilers without them!) and from our own research too - it's definitely very much well worth the money. Boilers are not cheap, so you certainly want to look after them.

MagnaClean attached to boiler

The MagnaClean filter can be cleaned every so often by removing the magnet and running it under water - so it's nice and easy. Mark flushed out the system when fitting the boiler anyway, but that doesn't guarantee every single fleck of muck is removed. He showed us how to remove the magnet and clean it - and there was already some muck on there ready to come off!

New Worcester Boiler in airing cupboard with magnaclean

We've also had the boiler paired it with a wifi-thermostat called the Wave. I've really only ever heard of the Hive (apparently not so great) and the Nest (very well rated). But this one is specifically made for Worcester boilers and Mark reckoned it was the best thermostat for the boiler. Happy to take his advice, we went with that. It's a little simpler than the Nest, but for Grants parents I think that makes it perfect (not to be rude!). It just turns on, off and allows you to edit the temperature in a really simple way. There is a tad more to the thermostat than that of course, and you can add a timetable to it - but I think I'll do a review on the thermostat separately in a couple of weeks. But on first impressions I really do like it! Grants parents don't have a consistent pattern with their work, switching constantly between night shifts and day shifts - so it means setting a timetable isn't really for them. And this was one of the reasons a wireless thermostat they can control on their phone is perfect for easy manual on-the-go setting of the heating for them. I also think this looks pretty swish and modern. I'm not so sure the orange nest device would have worked so well decor-wise in their house.

Wave Wireless thermostat

So the job took two days and seemed fairly straightforward - even with the dodgy toilet and sink connected to the original tanks, Mark was able to just add a tee to the pipes so everything was still properly being fed (from the mains this time!) and was very little extra work involved in that.

Mark was all round professional, really polite (I mean he even offered to make me a tea!!) and easily the best tradesperson I've hired to date. I've had tradesmen in the past who have been really huffy on the job, you know like they're getting annoyed at something difficult/cramped in space. But Mark was completely chilled throughout, kept me informed of everything he was doing over the two days and his attention to detail on the job was pretty amazing. I mean, he had dustpan and brushes and bin bags cleaning as he went. Literally fault-less!! This post isn't mean to be a review on Mark, but I seriously cannot help but mention how amazing he was.

If we're ever fortunate enough to have the pennies for a boiler (ha!), I would certainly 110% be calling up Mark and using him again. If you're in the Mansfield/Nottinghamshire area I highly highly highly recommend him. Don't just take my word for it though - check out his reviews here!

To say Grants parents are chuffed to bits with their new boiler would be an understatement. I think this new boiler is overall going to save them money, make their lives so much easier and it's just one less thing to worry about with the house. I mean, no more lugging buckets of water down the stairs! And of course, as I said, they work both nightshifts and dayshifts on rotation so the ease of being able to change the heating from anywhere is going to be awesome for them. I'm a teeny tiny (massively!) bit jealous! We need a boiler and a few grand - stat!

So here's the final costs of everything - which included the boiler, MagnaClean, two radiators, 6 thermostatic valves, roof tiles, all the pipework etc and of course, labour. It obviously wasn't cheap and we could have gotten it for about £400 cheaper with a different boiler, but it's certainly going to be a worthwhile investment. Now onto phase 3!

Total Costs

All parts & labour - £3000


  1. This is such a great post! Generally speaking if a boiler is older than 15 years old its time to change it! It's also so important to have it serviced regularly to ensure so that problems are sport before they become massively costly issues!

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