/ Backboiler stove replacement advice

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Ben Sharp - on 03 Aug 2014

I'm going to have to replace my solid fuel stove before the winter and wondered if anyone had a rough idea of what the additional costs may be (excluding the actual price of the stove). I think it's been in for about 20 years and hasn't been touched/serviced in 13 years. It's built into the wall and runs the central heating and hot water.

I know roughly how much the stove would be to replace (gulp) but wondered if anyone had an idea of what additional costs might be, i.e. replacing the flue, anything that might need doing to the central heating system. I know that's probably a bit of a difficult question to answer without an inspection but any advice is much appreciated.

Also, I'm pretty sure I'll have to pay someone else to install it but would be interested to hear of anyone that's done one before. I've done easier DIY jobs on my own like new kitchen/bathroom installations and basic masonry work but never touched the central heating system and it seems quite intimidating. Perhaps there are parts of the job I can do myself to keep the costs down.

Finally, how would I go about having someone inspect the whole system before I made my mind up on what to do. Is any heating engineer able to do that or should I be looking for someone who deals specifically in solid fuel heating? I have no idea about this but I'd really like someone to come and have a look at the whole system, inspect the chimney, stove and central heating and give me an idea of what condition it's in.

Many thanks for any advice,

Post edited at 09:01
andreas on 03 Aug 2014 - whois?
In reply to Ben Sharp:

Hi, unless I'm mistaken the boiler on the stove will be a small box on the back of the stove, similar to a radiator with 1 or 2 input/output connections. If you just need to replace the stove it should just be a case of unscrewing the connections then reconnecting the new one. No gas involved so you probably can do all the work yourself then get building control to check if necessary. Is the system vented? If it is then it's all quite straight forward, close the header tank, drain the system, connect new boiler, re-fill. If it's a pressurised system things get quite complicated. A new flue is around £200 in a two storey house.
gethin_allen on 03 Aug 2014
In reply to andreas:

£200 sounds cheap for a flue unless you are thinking about a flexi flue, a proper twin wall flue will cost more than double that.

@Ben, you may find that the regs have changed regarding flue size and room ventilation since the last boiler was installed and you may need a larger flue and some additional ventilation to the room.
Otherwise, heating systems are not complicated and if currently working should work fine with the new boiler. It could be worth flushing out the system and renewing the inhibitor (the warranty on the new boiler probably specifies this too)
goosebump - on 05 Aug 2014
In reply to Ben Sharp:

Ben - yes look for someone who deals in solid fuel heating. If you want someone to inspect the system search for a HETAS approved engineer. The HETAS website has a directory and you can search for someone local who fits the bill.

Equally, if its just the flue and chimney you are worried about a good chimney sweep (NACS and HETAS approved) should be able to tell you whats going on, will have seen more odd solid fuel systems than a lot of plumbers and will be cheaper than a HETAS plumber.

Flues can be expensive - 8m of flue at ours was £500 - 1000 including fitting, depending on if you went steel or concrete/which firm chosen. Much cheaper to use steel and fit yourself if you have the time, tools and skills.

Stoves - vary hugely in price and quality, but when we were looking 4 years ago you could get decent backboiler stoves for £1K which would do 8-10 radiators and domestic hot water. We got one with separate boilers that cost more, but means if a boiler busts we can just replace that bit, rather than the whole shebang. Check out stoveonline for ideas and costs. (I have nothing to do with that website, but it is pretty informative).
Ben Sharp - on 08 Aug 2014
In reply to all:

Cheers everyone, I'm going to have a look at stoves on Tuesday so I'll ask them if they can recommend an engineer and get someone round to see where I stand. Think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and make the investment...I hate spending money

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