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Central heating boiler 'rip-off'

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lexus300, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    A friend is having trouble with her boiler (very noisy and cuts out).
    1. She was told by a heating engineer she should replace the boiler.
    2. I noticed after a cursory glance that the noise was coming from the fan motor.
    3. I was quoted £524 for a new fan unit on a spares web site.
    4. Through a trade counter got a price of £145 for a fan assembly
    5. On ebay found a plumber who sells new bearing assembly kits with fitting instructions for £7 next day delivery.
    This lady is a pensioner and would probably have had to pay for a new boiler when a £7 kit taking 10 minutes to fit gets her boiler back on line. There should be laws against this sort of extortion.
  2. ElenaMukhina

    ElenaMukhina Occasional commenter

    Yes Lexus - some engineers will rip you off badly. The lady would have been better off on an annual service scheme (costs no more than a £200 per year) which would allow her an annual service and unlimited call outs and repairs at no extra cost.
  3. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    Good job you didn't contact British Gas, they would have quoted replacement at 2 grand.
  4. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    If you've got the know-how, like you have,lexus, that's brilliant. The rest of us are at the mercy of engineers.
    I can't fault British Gas, though. I've just had a full central heating system replaced: new combi boiler with Hive controls, 12 radiators, all pipework and the old stuff disposed of. It took two of them -one was a most competent young female engineer - the best part of five days. They didn't leave a speck of dust.
    It only cost just over £4,000!!

    Mind you, that was at a never-to -be repeated 50% discount for friends and family of BG engineers, otherwise we wouldn't have had it done.
  5. Vladimir

    Vladimir Senior commenter

    Do not trust ANY energy schemes, even if they have Johnny Ball as their 'front' man. There will always be a way you end up paying more than you needed to. Read up before you son anything!
  6. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I've had an engineer from British gas round this morning as it happens. The boiler was making a terrible noise and we thought it was going to explode so it's been turned off since Thursday morning. The man cleared out the condensator (?) tube, did the regular annual service and it's as good as new - nothing to pay as we are on the Service plan. I'm very happy with that.
  7. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    The trouble with many of these appliances these days is very similar to the problems you can experience with cars. Because everything is computerised, the engineer plugs something in and if it comes up with a fault code, s/he probably has a part to replace it; if not s/he is at a loss. That's happened to us recently, despite videoing with sound, the noise the boiler was making. It took six weeks and a senior engineer to make a very small adjustment.
  8. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    They did.
  9. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I must say, I worry about this new combi boiler. The old one was a Potterton boiler which stood in the garage for over 22 years and never failed. Ever. Mind you, it was only working at 40% by the end. I reckon this new fangled effort will be a nuisance but it's on Homecare, so they'll just have to sort it.
  10. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    The new types of boiler are more efficient yet if you factor in the extra maintenance costs due to their more complicated nature and often poor reliability after a number of years are they any better?
  11. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    In any competitive business these days, everything is made to a price. It's expected to be replaced more frequently than was the case in the past.
  12. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Sigh. I've got this Hive control so I can programme my heating from anywhere in the world, using my tablet.
    Will give it a go this afternoon and see if it has obeyed my command when I get home.o_O
  13. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    being on a BG maintenance plan has served us well, over the years, and considering the cost of parts and labour, it is well worth the money.

    Like Dunteachin, we had an old boiler the lasted well over twenty years. Occasionally, it needed a new part but mostly it just soldiered on with only its annual service. The end finally came a few years ago when its heating chest burn through and spares were no longer made. We got a good deal on one of the new type of Combi boilers but it had protracted teething troubles and always needs something replaced, updated, or in some 'fiddled about with', at every service.
  14. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    The engineer that came out yesterday mentioned the Hive and showed it to me on his phone. Is it easy to set up?
  15. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    I know this is the current trend yet it goes on unchallenged, we are supposed to be a greener society so how is this policy greener?
  16. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Yes, inkyP, it's really easy to set up but I haven't used it remotely, yet, so I 'll have to get back to you on that. It all depends on getting a signal because it works through wifi. I need to read all the FAQs.
  17. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    New boilers are more efficient, but less clear for most people is how better efficiency actually translates into money.

    I bought a Wickes boiler 20 years ago and installed it myself (had to pay for gas connection and commisioning though). The boiler runs fine and as I have always avoided service packages as a bit of a rip-off, service costs have been only a single fan replacement in 20 years and biennial services. It is rated about 76%ish efficient as opposed to 88% for new combi boilers.
    I have no doubt that an engineer from any big supplier would tell me that it is non-repairable and that I would save money by 'investing' in a new combi boiler. In fact, as a standard Halstead boiler, spares are plentiful as any google search confirms, and average savings of around £100 on a new installation would see no return on investment for at least twelve years (assuming nothing went wrong with it in that time). It seems to me that changing boilers as opposed to repairing an older one is more of lifestyle choice than a financial one.

  18. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    There are very few businesses who have green policies of their own.The vast majority will comply with legislation, but as we've recently seen with VW, being green isn't at the core of their raison d'etre.

    Green is achievable but it's expensive and sadly, the general public will always be influenced by price more than any other factor. Both you and I know it's possible for all goods to be built to a standard that will ensure they can last a lifetime, be we also know they can be designed such that built in obsolescence is as key a design factor as any of the features the goods have.

    It becomes a judgement over diminishing returns
    whether to have things repaired or completely replaced now. You buy a washing machine in the hope it will be the last one you need to buy, only to find out in the week after the warranty expires that the motor brushes have worn out. Will a service engineer replace the brushes or the motor? It's bound to be the motor, ain't it? Two months later, the electronics mysteriously pack up. A genuine fault? A firmware glitch that can be overcome by a reset? Who knows? Maybe the glitch was pre-programmed to occur after so many uses. Whatever the causes and solutions, nobody likes throwing good money away after bad and the promise is always that not only will the next machine you buy be more reliable, it will look prettier and offer a new feature that extends the life of fashionable clothes, despite the fact they never get worn more than twice.

    Sometime within the last ten years I heard that the EU had introduced legislation that goods sold within the member states must have a minimum of a two-year warranty. So far this isn't being promoted. It's possible that the time scale for implementation of this directive has yet to be reached, but it seems to me to be the only way forward. Why stop at a two year warranty when a five or ten year one is easily achievable when the will to produce goods that last exists.

    As I suggested earlier, no manufacturer will be seeking to make their goods greener. Quite simply they can't afford to, even if they really wanted to. Consumers would have them out of business before they knew it by going for the cheaper option.

    Legislation makes it a level playing field, so consumers who are fed up with things failing too soon would do well to support any government that proposed lengthening the warranties on goods.

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