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How long should a combi boiler last?

How long should a combi boiler last?

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onomatopoeia

Original Poster:

3,444 posts

122 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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I've got a Vaillant ecomax 835/2e which is showing all the signs of impending death. It won't generate anything more than tepid water when a tap is turned on (burner goes initially full then back to part throttle with status code S53) and the diverter and secondary heat exchanger have been replaced. The CH isn't working properly either, sometimes the rads get warm (not hot) but often some of the feed pipes get warm but the rads don't even if I turn the pump up to maximum - it's never been great since I moved in last year though.

It has been suggested (by Vaillant, and by the plumber that replaced the secondary heat exchanger) that this all means the main heat exchanger is clogged up so not able to deliver water fast enough and the boiler goes into part power mode. The price of this part is so expensive that I might as well just spend a bit more and get another boiler. Six years does not seem a reasonable working life for something like this frown

Anyway, what's a good make to replace it with? Something like the now 25 year old non-combi, non-condensing, non-breaking down Gloworm that I helped my Dad fit at my parents house in the 1980s (good old days when you could work on gas and electrics yourself) would be good.

chopper602

987 posts

128 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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When my combi was replaced two years ago (installed a Worcester Bosch), my friendly plumber reckoned that the 10 years it had lasted was about correct. 10 year lifespan (to me anyway) seems a little short for such an expensive appliance.

Wings

4,675 posts

120 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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This is a post I posted a few weeks back, the fault to your boiler appears to be similar to the fault I had with an aging Worcester boiler. Do Vaillant offer a similar service, repair contract to what Worcester offered me?

“About 6 months ago I purchased a property with a Worcester combi boiler installed. When the tenant/s were using the shower, the boiler would stop producing hot water. My regular boiler engineer recommended a possible new heat exchanger and a power flush, but was recommended to try the power flush first.

The power flush failed to correct the problem with the hot water system, the engineer suggested a new heat exchanger costing 700.00 to supply and install, with no guarantee that this might work.

I phoned Worcester direct, it was suggested I take out an annual maintenance contract costing 23.00 per month, this I did @ 10.30 am, at 11.30 a phone call from a Worcester engineer confirmed he would be with me within the hour. By the afternoon of that same day, Worcester had replaced the heat exchanger and another part (possibly second heat exchanger), and the boiler has functioned correctly ever since.”

zaphod42

19,580 posts

60 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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I don't know- 15 yrs?

Just having a new W-B fitted as I type, that has a 7yr full warranty, so I'd hope for around double the warranty life.

cjs

6,368 posts

156 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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My Potterton was installed in 1996, it is still producing good HW & CH but has been repaired on many occasions and has needed new parts. I reckon on a couple of more years and that will be it. I hope it lasts until I move! Fortunately I have been able to fix its faults myself, as I type the fan is making horrible noises, the bearings are shot, this will need a strip down soon I expect.

I have had to fix something every year, I now leave the front casing off for easy access and a bowl underneath for when it springs another leak.


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costsmonkey

106 posts

61 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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Another vote for Worcester Bosch as being a very good, if not the best, make.

Will be very disappointed if mine does not last substantially more than 10 years.

ctdctd

147 posts

103 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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My cheapo Ravenheat combi is up to 8 years.

New fan fitted by myself and a very minor leak in the heat exchanger (which fixed itself after a year)

Old boiler lasted 30 years before it rusted away. The Ravenheat is saving about 25% on my Gas bills so will just about pay for itself and fitting after 8 years. Might try a better brand if it dies but they cost twice as much so I'd expect 16 years at least!

Tonsko

5,023 posts

120 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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They will last around 10 years.

vanman

133 posts

140 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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Tonsko said:
They will last around 10 years.
Based upon what exactly?

I visit many boilers a week that are over 10 years old and still going strong.

Chrisgr31

9,892 posts

160 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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Our Ariston lasted 8 years although thats not quite correct, because in those 8 years all of it except the case had been replaced omce if not twice under the British Gas service care contract.

It's been replaced with a Worcester Bosch and I am not expecting a great life.

Stu R

21,363 posts

120 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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Ours has been in some 10 years now, and is still going strong. Expecting it to die in the next couple of years, not based on anything, just seems the norm. If it doesn't, great. If it does, well we expected it.

Rickyy

5,926 posts

124 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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I'd imagine condensing boilers won't last as long an non-condensing items. Quite a lot of debris ends up in the condensate trap which I believe is the inside of the main heat exchanger wearing away.

My personal record is removing a 2 year old Halstead boiler and replacing it with a Worcester Bosch 35 CDI Combi. The Halstead had broken down 27 times.

A dirty heating system can prematurely kill a boiler, a magnetic filter on the heating return is a worthwhile investment.

zaphod42

19,580 posts

60 months

Tuesday 22nd November 2011
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Rickyy said:
I'd imagine condensing boilers won't last as long an non-condensing items. Quite a lot of debris ends up in the condensate trap which I believe is the inside of the main heat exchanger wearing away.

My personal record is removing a 2 year old Halstead boiler and replacing it with a Worcester Bosch 35 CDI Combi. The Halstead had broken down 27 times.

A dirty heating system can prematurely kill a boiler, a magnetic filter on the heating return is a worthwhile investment.
Glad you said that. I'm just having a WB 35CDI fitted with a Magnaclean on the return...

Tonsko

5,023 posts

120 months

Wednesday 23rd November 2011
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vanman said:
Tonsko said:
They will last around 10 years.
Based upon what exactly?

I visit many boilers a week that are over 10 years old and still going strong.
Plumber friends. (Who are not doing work for me). Not scientific, I know, but that's the rough time that they seem to rely upon.

gericb

1 posts

5 months

Tuesday 8th December 2015
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We had a Worcester Bosch 37CDI fitted 4 years ago. V few problems and all resolved by W/B engineers who are brilliant. We have it serviced every year regular and this is essential. We also have fitted a Salamander trap and a magnetic iron deposit trap which, when serviced last month had no deposits on it at all. It runs very well and heats up quickly. The reason we had a large boiler was to get the flow to more than one tap at a time whic it does well. So service regularly and dont spare costs on that activity.

fido

11,764 posts

160 months

Tuesday 8th December 2015
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chopper602 said:
10 year lifespan (to me anyway) seems a little short for such an expensive appliance.
I don't think it's that bad given the stop/start nature of its operation. I would expect 15 years tops, but they are expensive to repair and I'd sooner replace a faulty one with a new one. As above, have it serviced annually and a flush/inhibitor added on the first or second service - plumber mate tells me this makes a lot of difference.

Pints

17,674 posts

99 months

Tuesday 8th December 2015
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gericb said:
We had a Worcester Bosch 37CDI fitted 4 years ago. V few problems and all resolved by W/B engineers who are brilliant. We have it serviced every year regular and this is essential. We also have fitted a Salamander trap and a magnetic iron deposit trap which, when serviced last month had no deposits on it at all. It runs very well and heats up quickly. The reason we had a large boiler was to get the flow to more than one tap at a time whic it does well. So service regularly and dont spare costs on that activity.
You created a post and dragged up a thread that's 4 years old to tell us that?
Thanks. I think.

So, do you enjoy working for Worcester Bosch?

dazwalsh

1,930 posts

46 months

Tuesday 8th December 2015
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Key is to service the boiler well and every now and again flush all the debris and gunk out.

kapiteinlangzaam

15,234 posts

138 months

Tuesday 8th December 2015
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I have a NeFit (Dutch arm of Worcester Bosch, I think) and that came with a 10yr guarantee... so I presume they expect them to last at least that long!

longshot

2,799 posts

103 months

Tuesday 8th December 2015
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We have a Worcester 350. It was fitted when we first moved into this house and is 23 years old now.
Apart from a fan replacement, its giving us our first niggle now.

The hot water goes hot and then cold and repeats. It's because the boiler flames up and then cuts out over and over again unless you get the hot tap to a certain level of flow. (about 1/4 flow).
I think it is the water to water heat exchanger gunged up.

Bit of a bugger really.