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Author: yyuryyub Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 77091  
Subject: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 05/12/2008 12:48
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I was interested to read the "My Parents Boiler" article on Fool today, and the poster who said

"Maybe I am a stick in the mud but I have an Ideal Standard 80,000BTU boiler which is 33 years old and still going strong. No maintenance contract. I have only had to replace a £10 part. My motto, if it works, don't fix it"

That was especially interesting to me, as I have an Ideal Standard boiler installed in c.1977. It only runs 6 months per year, as it isn't used for water heating. I do intend to replace it, but with a new CH system, new water system, new showers and whilst we get rewired, lots of other things too - maybe an extension over the existing boiler house.

So my question is: Just how safe is it to keep an old bolier like this running? The thing makes loud kettling noises when first turned on, clunky enough to be heard on the floor above. However, the old man who services it every year says "this is probably the best and most reliable boiler that has been and ever will be built". In the 10 years since we bought the house, we have never had any failures or replaced anything except the thermocouple. The service guy seems quite comfortable with the safety of this conventional flue boiler, but maybe he has old-fashioned ideas about safety. Or is he spot on?

Are there any real safety issues about keeping a 30 year old boiler in use, if it is serviced annually?
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Author: martint123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 55777 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 05/12/2008 16:06
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Our house, circa 1974 is on it's original Ideal Standard boiler. Other than a thermocouple earlier this year, touch wood, that has been the sum total of problems.
Probably not as efficient as a modern boiler, but replacement costs would take an awful long time to pay for itself.

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Author: quelquod Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 55778 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 05/12/2008 16:10
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"Maybe I am a stick in the mud but I have an Ideal Standard 80,000BTU boiler which is 33 years old and still going strong. No maintenance contract. I have only had to replace a £10 part. My motto, if it works, don't fix it"

Mine's an Ideal E-Type installed when the house was built in 1978. The one in my previous house was slightly older. Each seems to need a new thermocouple every 10 years or so which costs a few £. Very little to go wrong with these primitive old beasts IMHO and although they're perhaps not so efficient as a modern one it would take many years before the savings made up for the costs of replacement. As long as nothing corrodes through I don't see why they should be any less safe now than they ever were. I just have to make sure my wife doesn't block the draught from the fixed ventilation in the cupboard floor ;o)

My only concession so far has been to fit a hot-water tank thermostat to reduce the boiler cycling when the water is hot and a CO detector just in case.

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Author: Mike4 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 55791 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 06/12/2008 12:16
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So my question is: Just how safe is it to keep an old bolier like this running?


There is a set of four statutory safety checks that MUST be carried out whenever 'work' is carried out on a boiler. Servicing the boiler counts as 'work', so if you are getting it serviced you can be sure it is also being safety checked. If the boiler passes all four checks you can be certain it was 'safe' at the time the checks were carried out. If it fails one (or more) you will be given a written Warning Notice and told not to use it.

These checks are pretty much bombproof. Whenever there is a 'gas incident' resulting in harm to a gas user you can be certain one of more of those safety checks was either fudged or simply not carried out. If your boiler is serviced competently you can be confident it presents no significant risk to you or anyone else.


Cheers!
M4

P.S. What make and model is this boiler?

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Author: yyuryyub Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 55796 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 06/12/2008 14:16
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Hello M4,

my boiler is an Ideal Standard E Type CF 80N. I guess there must still be a lot of them around. What usually finishes them off? Is it just that people get fed up with the noise? Does the kettling lead to failure?

BTW, thanks for the web site - I have learned a lot from it.

yyuryyub

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Author: Mike4 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 55802 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 07/12/2008 11:08
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my boiler is an Ideal Standard E Type CF 80N. I guess there must still be a lot of them around.

Nope, they are quite rare these days. Or at least, I rarely encounter them. Maybe that is because they are so damned reliable!


What usually finishes them off? Is it just that people get fed up with the noise? Does the kettling lead to failure?

<rant>

The main thing that finishes them off is British Gas scare-mongering gullible owners into believing that parts are no longer available for such old boilers (blatant lie) and that they all NEED replacing before they pack up in the depths of winter and they are stuck for weeks with no heating or hot water. Sadly many well-off middle class punters have a badly misplaced trust in the integrity of BG and fall for this lie, and have their superbly reliable Ideal 'E' types and other similar classic boilers from the 1980s ripped out and scrapped. Makes my blood boil. Can you tell?!

Further, many older, comfortably-off middle class people feel a social obligation to replace their (relatively) fuel-inefficient boilers with modern condensing boilers in order to 'do their bit' for the environment and benefit from reduced fuel bills at the same time. Sadly modern condensing boilers are hopelessly unreliable compared to classic boilers like the 'E' type and the fuel savings are eaten into if not erased by repeated repair bills and the fact that modern steamers (trade slang for condensing boilers) need replacing three times as often!

</rant>

Cheers!
M4

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Author: matchmade One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 55814 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 08/12/2008 11:38
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There are no real safety issues - if it meets the regulations, then it's as safe as you can expect. You are also wise to hang onto your old boiler as long as possible. Yes, the boiler is less efficient on running costs than a new one, but you are not incurring the economic and ecological costs of manufacturing the new one, or the cost of all the accompanying parts (you will probably have to replace almost everything as well as the boiler).

The Government and all their "green" outriders will say you should install a new gas condensing boiler as soon as possible to save the planet, but new boilers are notoriously complex and temperamental, and only seem to last an average of 5-7 years. This figure might seem ridiculously low compared with the 25 years minimum that people became used to with old-style boilers, but it's what I'm told by heating engineers who install and maintain the things (I renovate houses for a living so am frequently faced by the question of whether or not to replace the boiler in an old house). It's impossible to get any reliable statistics from the manufacturers or trade bodies - talk about a restrictive practice. It's also impossible to get any estimates of lifetime costs like the kind calculated for cars, or any information about how the running cost performance of gas condensing boilers degrades over times.

If the 5-7 year figure is correct, I feel the public is being sold a gigantic con. There are people tearing out perfectly good old-style boilers because they are obsessed with running costs and ecological worries, but the cost-benefit of new boilers is always presented in the most favourable way: brand new versus established, the cost of a new boiler alone when usually you have to replace the whole system, and ignoring the fact that you will be replacing and maintening your new boiler much more often compared with the old one - all of which has both financially and hefty ecological costs.

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Author: yyuryyub Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 55821 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 08/12/2008 13:28
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Thanks again M4 and Matchmade,

yes, I couldn't agree more.

There are probably plenty of happy Ideal Standard E Type owners like me, with their 30+ year old boilers being serviced each year by the same 60+ year old engineers.

"Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley is surely one of the most prophetic books of the 20th Century. Small children being taught that "ending is better than mending" is so easy to believe now. The only thing that Huxley got badly wrong was setting the story 600 years in the future, when 100 or 150 might turn out to be closer.

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Author: alanwahlers Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 56707 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 02/02/2009 01:21
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Just done a search for Ideal Standard E type which brought me here....

.....wonder if anyone can offer advice......

have an Ideal Standard E-Type boiler 40/60 CF which has just had a problem, identified as a failure within the Control Box....I have taken this off the boiler (simple)......and found that there is a RS resistor on the gas valve socket wiring between L and N ...this resistor has failed as part of the grey plastic casing has blown off revealing the damaged resistor .....if I can get this replaced this would solve the problem.....

cannot quite identify the resistor markings.....RS...made in england....1000 VDC Wk....PAT NO 960094 8...plus other lettering...can I get a resistor to replace existing or perhaps a Control Box from somewhere? Perhaps someone has the same model and can identify the resistor for me....?

Last thing I want to do is have to replace the whole lot!

Thanks

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Author: Mike4 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 56708 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 02/02/2009 08:17
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have an Ideal Standard E-Type boiler 40/60 CF which has just had a problem, identified as a failure within the Control Box....I have taken this off the boiler (simple)......and found that there is a RS resistor on the gas valve socket wiring between L and N


I don't know what function this resistor has but I doubt it is important from a boiler function POV. The Honeywell 'grey button' gas valve probably on your 'E' Type just requires plain 240Vac to operate the solenoid. It might be to do with radio interference suppression when the thermostat switches for example, but Ideal Technical will know its function and value. Give them a ring on 01482 498663. Pick option 3 (IIRC) that you are a CORGI bod and the boiler is out of guarantee!

If they won't talk to you, post again and I'll ring them myself and ask the questions on your behalf.

Cheers!
M4

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Author: dtc100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 56710 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 02/02/2009 09:53
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...cannot quite identify the resistor markings.....RS...made in england....1000 VDC Wk....PAT NO 960094 8...plus other lettering...

That sounds like a capacitor or more likely a capacitor in series with a resistor, the '1000volt DC working' is the give away.
Just cut it off, it's only function is RFI suppression.
When it went it could have caused a short circuit and blown a fuse, can you see a fuse to check.

Martin

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Author: galathumpian Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 59968 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 12/10/2009 11:57
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I have an Ideal Standard E Type CF boiler, and need a brass elbow with split joint that comes off the stopcock. Can anyone help with a possible source for this part?

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Author: ssomers Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60675 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 12/12/2009 00:11
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Happy to report that my 30 year old Ideal 80N is soldiering on like stalwart British Engineered battletank

(now that I've tempted fate all may change!)

I've given it a visual inspection

All inside is shiny, fully functional, nil kettling just tumbleweed and cobwebs at the base.

Having read this thread (and having repaired the PCB on a new Potterton boiler brand - which reached Watchdog attention) I am finally satisfied to leave all AS IS.

No new tech for me - (My boiler is only half my age)

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Author: dianad15183819 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60705 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 15/12/2009 07:47
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We live in 1893 built Victorian Semi with New World gas boiler in place of old "coke" stove possibly. Boiler was in house in 1984 and has functioned well ever since with annual service (CORGI registered/new qualifications) and the odd thermocouple replaced - it uses the old flue. It bangs and rattles but turns out hot water and heating satisfactorily. Being elderly we find the basic simple manual controls easy to use. Replacement would possibly mean finding an outside wall and total disruption to the whole house. British Gas some 15 years ago replaced the hot water cylinder - as it happened incorrectly - which split after 13 months - refusing to replace it we had to get an independent plumber to replace with stronger guaranteed cylinder while British Gas removed the broken copper one without permission when we were out! My brother and other friends appear to have had at least 3 modern condensing boilers in the same period the basic problem is the valves and poor installation and construction of the actual boilers. When we lived in Yorkshire the British Gas Engineers were magnificent even arriving one Christmas Eve to replace a thermocouple - in the South of England my comments re cylinder apply!

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Author: simba21 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 61066 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 08/01/2010 15:32
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Hi,
I have a 30 year old ideal standard e type RS boiler. Im just wondering what it will be costing me to run. this is our first winter in this house (which is very cold) the boiler fires up every 5 minutes or so when its on, is this normal? and is it costing me the earth??

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Author: loir Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 61067 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 08/01/2010 16:43
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You will get a better return by spending money on insulation and draught-proofing rather than replacing the boiler.
So check the insulation in the loft.
Do you have double glazing?
Draught proofing round outside doors?
Cavity wall insulation?

Also TRVs on radiators and closing doors of unused rooms etc. will help.

Loir

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Author: Slarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 61068 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 08/01/2010 17:40
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the boiler fires up every 5 minutes or so when its on, is this normal? and is it costing me the earth??

Probably and probably :-(

Unless it is only running for a couple of minutes and then shutting down, in which case you may have the water temperature on the boiler set too high.

The only way to find out is experiment.

Do what you can to improve insulation, the old tricks like cling film over windows to stop drafts, curtains over doors, ditto.

If you have a raised floor consider rugs on top of your carpets.

When I used to live in less well insulated places I kept the curtains shut as much as possible, for their insulation effect, not much, but it helped.

Oh, and if the house has stood empty, or the people before you were tough nuts, you may find that things improve when you have warmed the whole place up a bit, which can take a few days.

Also, in this house, it took me ages to realise that the cold was just falling through the loft hatch. When I did I fastened an old piece of carpet to the top of it so that it was about 6" wider than the hatch on all sides and we noticed an immediate difference.

HTH
Slarti

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Author: Mike4 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 61070 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 08/01/2010 19:07
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I have a 30 year old ideal standard e type RS boiler.

A gold standard boiler (probably from that era as well!), widely regarded by gas engineers as one of the best boilers ever made.


Im just wondering what it will be costing me to run.

Have a look at your gas bills.



this is our first winter in this house (which is very cold)

Ok, forgiven. It is probably very expensive to run, I'd guess a fuel efficiency of about 55% for the open flue version, 65% for the balanced flue version. It is too old to be listed on the SEDBUK database for me to check.

The house is only cold by today's standards. When this boiler was installed the design temp would have 55 degrees F in the hall and bedrooms and 65 or 70 degrees F in the living room, roughly. (I don't think Centigrade had been invented.) How expectations have changed!


the boiler fires up every 5 minutes or so when its on, is this normal?

Yes, for a system with gravity primaries to the hot tank. The boiler fires to maintain a steady temp in the boiler which convects up the pipes to the HWC. Normal practice in the heady days of plentiful and cheap natural gas.


and is it costing me the earth??

Yes. A good way forward will be to convert the system to 'fully pumped'. Then the boiler will switch OFF when cylinder and room thermostats are satisfied. This will save on gas but will cost the earth to have done.

Is this your first house by any chance? ;-)


Cheers!
M4

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Author: quelquod Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 61072 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 08/01/2010 19:57
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and is it costing me the earth??

Yes. A good way forward will be to convert the system to 'fully pumped'. Then the boiler will switch OFF when cylinder and room thermostats are satisfied. This will save on gas but will cost the earth to have done.


Alternatively there's the Honeywell 'C' plan (browse for it) which doesn't pump the gravity loop. Not allowed for new installs but OK for an update. I did this myself last year - luckily I have a bungalow so getting new cables in is easy but YMMV. The parts cost was around £25 from Ebay and it took me 2-3 hours. Almost as good (except that it doesn't speed up the HW when the CH is on) and the boiler only fires on HW or CH demand. If you felt the urge (I didn't) you could fit a second pump instead of replumbing things to get the M4-preferred fully pumped option.

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Author: Mike4 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 61075 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 08/01/2010 22:22
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Alternatively there's the Honeywell 'C' plan (browse for it) which doesn't pump the gravity loop. Not allowed for new installs but OK for an update. I did this myself last year - luckily I have a bungalow so getting new cables in is easy but YMMV. The parts cost was around £25 from Ebay and it took me 2-3 hours. Almost as good (except that it doesn't speed up the HW when the CH is on) and the boiler only fires on HW or CH demand. If you felt the urge (I didn't) you could fit a second pump instead of replumbing things to get the M4-preferred fully pumped option.


Yes, I fully agree with all that. The only reason I did not suggest that is that few installers know what on earth a C-Plan system is, let alone understand it well enough to install it and wire it up correctly. I predict the OP will feel like they are pushing water uphill trying to get one installed unless they DIY. Y-Plan (or 'fully pumped')is the easy option because everyone understands it.


Cheers!
M4

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Author: StevenDW Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 61079 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 09/01/2010 12:18
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Yes. A good way forward will be to convert the system to 'fully pumped'. Then the boiler will switch OFF when cylinder and room thermostats are satisfied. This will save on gas but will cost the earth to have done.


I have this boiler and converted to fully pumped, it's saved me 25% in gas compared to the same period last year, and it's colder this year.

Don't tell anyone, but I fitted to control set myself, £65 off fleabay, and a new pump for £30ish, and a new HW cylinder with proper insulation for £180 while I was there. On a budget I could have just made do with the three port valve.

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Author: PeugeotPaul Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 64942 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 22/10/2010 01:19
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We appear to have an even older boiler.
It's an Ideal Standard Kingston 4 (Gas appliance number 41 394 70. 87,500BTU).
I'm told this was made sometime in the 50's?
If anyone has any information on this boiler and where to source parts for it it would be appreciated.

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Author: quelquod Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 67372 of 77091
Subject: Re: 30 year old gas boilers Date: 05/05/2011 21:41
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Apologies for resurrecting this old thread (not so old as the boiler though ;o) just to post a comment in case anyone is searching for info on an elderly Ideal E-Type CF80N.

After bragging gently about how well the old thing went we started getting up in the mornings to cool hot water and found that the boiler pilot light was going out from time to time. Oddly it stayed in all day and only went out when the main burner fired up.

To cut a longish story short I found that some crud had come down the gas pipe and partly blocked the pilot jet (which has a bore you could almost climb through). This made the pilot flame a bit wishy-washy (even turning up it's gas pressure didn't help) and the suction from the main burner pulled it away from the thermocouple. Luckily a couple of screws is all that it takes to remove the jet and a blast from the airline cleared it out so all's well again. Didn't realise that gas was so dirty!

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