Problems with condensing boilers

The recent spell of cold weather in the United Kingdom now seems to be ending, just in time for Christmas. The cold north wind has blown away and there is no more snow in London, although many parts of the country will see a slow thaw. In this cold weather I get thousands of people reading https://robertkyriakides.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/why-your-gas-condensing-boiler-may-stop-working-in-very-cold-weather/ because their new fangled condensing boilers fail and they are seeking for a solution which enables them to get warm again.

There is clearly a widespread problem of condensing boilers failing to provide heat in very cold weather. The detailed reasons why they fail are set out in the above link, as are many people’s experiences in getting them working again.

If I step back and look at the reasons then I think there are three reasons:-

  1. Some people buy very poor quality condensing boilers, or have them bought for them by house builders and plumbers. If you have a choice go for a high quality boiler. In new homes NHBC Buildmark cover does not extend to the boiler or its installation, so the buolder will usually install the cheapest boiler around.
  2. There seem to be many poor installations. When condensing boilers were first brought in plumbers had to learn how to install them. Most do an excellent job, but your boiler may have been incorrectly installed.
  3. People do not spend time setting up the boiler controls properly. It can be complicated but it is a good investment in time to have your controls set up to bring extra heat when you need it and reduce heat when you do not need it. Good plumbers can also do this service, and if the controller you have does not enable you to do as much as you want, ask a plumber to install a more sophisticated controller.

Cold weather comes and cold weather goes. We tend to think about the importance of heat only when we are cold, so if the cold spell ends there will be time to carry out corrections before the next cold spell comes.

 

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