Suggestions for old gas fire and back boiler please

Suggestions for old gas fire and back boiler please

10:47 AM, 21st November 2016, About 6 years ago 6

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One of my properties has an old fashioned gas fire and back boiler downstairs in the lounge. I’ll be doing a bit of renovation work there when my tenant moves out next year, so I was after some advice as to what others have done in the same situation.back boiler

The boiler works and is checked every year for the gas certificate, but the fire is disconnected as it wasn’t working. Heating is all done through gas and wall radiators.

My thoughts were to remove it all and get a combo boiler upstairs or in the kitchen to replace it. Then it’s a toss up of whether I board up and keep the mantle place area blank, or replace with another electric or gas fire in the lounge.

Happy for any comments and suggestions, or problems that this might cause that I’m missing.

Thanks in advance.



Neil Patterson View Profile

10:52 AM, 21st November 2016, About 6 years ago

I considered a combi boiler once as they only heat the water when you need it so it seems to make sense.

However, I had British Gas out and because I already had a hot water tank they said it was going to be a lot more complicated and expensive than just replacing with a standard type boiler.

Therefore, not being an expert I would recommend you get a Gas engineer to come and have a look for you.

I know we have readers that are gas engineers or more experienced, so it will be interesting to see what they say.

Denise G

12:23 PM, 21st November 2016, About 6 years ago

We had the same - old back boiler and non-working fire in the lounge. We tried the thing where government grants provide a free replacement boiler - via British Gas - useless! After almost 2 years of to-ing and fro-ing, missing appointments and makinge xcuses they finally came up with the suggestion that they would fit a boiler in the main hall at the bottom of the stairs (unsightly and right in the way).

We gave in and paid for our usual gas registered plumber to remove the old boiler and cap off the fire (leaving it as decoration) and then to fit a combi in the attic. Our tenants couldn't be happier


12:38 PM, 21st November 2016, About 6 years ago

I would go for a combi and use a contractor who can give a 9 year parts and labour boiler warranty so you don't need a British Gas service contract. This saves you say £250 pa which will pay for the boiler.
Also check on the green deals which I agree are confusing and spasmodic but I just had a property with a back boiler and got a complete new central heating system including boiler radiators and new pipework for £1750.
The hole left can normally be covered by an electric fire with surround from B & Q for about £100. Get a Landlord Discount Tradepoint card for savings of up to 25% on selected items.


15:00 PM, 21st November 2016, About 6 years ago

I don't expect that anyone will repeat this mistake but it's worth mentioning......

20+ years ago someone (not far from where I live) took a back boiler out of service (and left it in place) but continued to use the fireplace and chimney for a fire of some sort. The old back boiler water connections were capped but there was still some water in the boiler! When the fire was put in use the flue gas heated the water, the boiler pressurised, became a "bomb", disintegrated with considerable force and blew the side of the house out! I believe the occupant was killed.

My description may be a little inaccurate but it's not far off - scary to say the least!

Paul Shears

21:05 PM, 21st November 2016, About 6 years ago

Just my opinion but:
1. Fit powerful combi downstairs in the kitchen - a loft installation may be slightly cheaper & quicker but is inconvenient to work on.
It also hides subsequent problems such as a leak that might be detected earlier in another location.
Consider Intergas but if it looks promising, only hire a company with several Intergas Engs and prepared to support the product for 5 to 10 years.
These people need to be Intergas registered which is only a one day course for qualified gas fitters.
The last time I checked the course was free.
2. Remove as much of the old system as you can. Includes pipes, tank, boiler & fireplace.
Tenant does not care about the loss of the fireplace and it might increase functionality of the room.
3. Fit a 10.8Kw electric shower as an alternative hot water source should whatever boiler you fit fail.
This is only £130 from Screwfix.
If it fails in a few years it take only 30 minutes to replace.
Total price should be £2,500 resulting in minimal subsequent burden to yourself and the tenants.

Denise G

21:17 PM, 21st November 2016, About 6 years ago

It wasn't about cheapness. There is no room in the kitchen, and the hall was a ridiculous suggestion. This way the attic which is small, quite beamy and not really useful for anything other than storing the Christmas decs been brought into use. The boiler is close to the hatch for easy access and as a bonus the family have reclaimed the old immersion heater cupboard and converted it into a wardrobe adjoining the tiny third bedroom used by their son, so that now they can stay on as their children grow rather than looking to move

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