New heating system - plumber woes

For discussions about topics related to Period Property in the UK

Moderators: Simon Wright, RobT

Post Reply
Feltwell
Posts: 5627
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Thu 22nd Oct, 2020 7:44 pm

So, here at Feltwell Towers, just about to start ripping out the 2 bathrooms and demolishing the wall between them, to make 1 a bit bigger and 1 a bit smaller.

But no, that's not enough chaos for us - so let's replace the heating system as well! :lol:

To be fair, we want to have decent showers - currently have electric ones which are OK but don't exactly pin you to the floor. By the time I've installed a dedicated cold feed (which means opening up a stud wall to get to pipes :roll: ), replaced the current hot water cylinder for a bigger one, put in shower pumps (which can be horrible noisy things) - the current gas boiler is getting a bit old and is a bit undersized anyway, so let's look at replacing it all with a pressurised unvented cylinder & system boiler, so the hot and cold are both at mains pressure. Will give lovely forceful showers. Too much hot water demand for a combi.

But - trying to find a plumber who is certified to do unvented cylinders is a bit of a nightmare. I thought these things had got popular now, but it seems most plumbers are only certified to do "traditional" vented cylinders. Anyone else had the same issue? Perceived wisdom is these system are ideal for old, large houses - Megaflo is the brand everyone knows, though there are many others.

Craig89
Posts: 180
Joined: Sat 12th May, 2018 11:18 am
Location: Shropshire

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Craig89 » Thu 22nd Oct, 2020 9:19 pm

My limited experience when I was looking at the new heating system for our house is that most "engineers" want to install combis due to there simplicity. However one company I had round were very much of the opinion that the unvented cylinder and system boilers are the way to go, which they are. I ended up going down the combi route in the end for a number of reasons, cost being one, but I was also able to do all the plumbing in my house bar fit the boiler during lockdown and as it was the first plumbing I had ever done I choose the simpler combi system.

The company that were experienced in the unvented cylinder systems were http://www.bishtonandcowles.co.uk/

They are based Shrewsbury way but were willing to travel to me so should have no problem travelling to you, the chap that quoted for me came across really well and I would have happily have given them the job but I just couldn't justify the cost unfortunately

a twig
Posts: 607
Joined: Sun 6th Oct, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by a twig » Thu 22nd Oct, 2020 11:37 pm

Try a commercial plumber, rather than domestic, they deal with such witchcraft on a much more regular basis.

RBailey
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu 1st Aug, 2019 7:25 am
Location: Rutland

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by RBailey » Fri 23rd Oct, 2020 3:19 pm

Feltwell wrote:
Thu 22nd Oct, 2020 7:44 pm
put in shower pumps (which can be horrible noisy things)
I have just had to replace both of ours. A twin impeller type shower pump behind the wall and an in shower wall mounted "power shower" and they are both quite quiet, not much louder that the water in the actual shower.
(I did mount the pump on a slab of concrete and double foam pad which I think helps transmitted vibration.)

LadyArowana
Posts: 3191
Joined: Sat 17th Oct, 2009 1:58 pm

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by LadyArowana » Sat 24th Oct, 2020 5:08 pm

Are we talking about the sort of system which requires one of these big red expansion vessel things? Image

Feltwell
Posts: 5627
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Sat 24th Oct, 2020 5:32 pm

Yep, that's the one - but they don't have to be red :wink:

Cubist
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu 24th May, 2018 3:53 pm
Location: Shropshire/Herefordshire Border

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Cubist » Sun 25th Oct, 2020 6:15 pm

Only loosely connected to the original query but a couple of years ago I installed a pair of micro pumps for our gravity fed, very low head, hot and cold supply to a new walk in shower. A little expensive compared to some of the traditional pumps but they have worked very well and are, in my opinion, less noisy.

Heres a link for anyone considering installing a pump(s) where space and or proximity to the shower is an issue.

https://showerpowerbooster.co.uk/produc ... -hot-cold/

LadyArowana
Posts: 3191
Joined: Sat 17th Oct, 2009 1:58 pm

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by LadyArowana » Mon 26th Oct, 2020 10:23 am

Feltwell wrote:
Sat 24th Oct, 2020 5:32 pm
Yep, that's the one - but they don't have to be red :wink:
That’s not a picture of ours, but the one we have is almost identical, and red....... I’ve become quite fond of it, even though it stole a bunch of space from what was going to be my walk in closet, which has morphed into a “plant room”. The builder who is doing our renovation brought in his most experienced plumber to do the system because its complicated. Big Dave the Plumbing God was involved in setting/ evaluating/ whatever, some of the testing which people have to do before becoming a “competent person“ and I wonder if you might find someone of that level through whoever does those trade examinations.

Feltwell
Posts: 5627
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Wed 28th Oct, 2020 12:48 pm

Hopefully I've found someone - young guy came round last night and talked a lot of sense, including coming up with a sensible option for where to put the hot tank that I hadn't thought of. He doesn't like push fit fittings either, like me! Copper and solder it is. Now just waiting for the quote.....

LadyArowana
Posts: 3191
Joined: Sat 17th Oct, 2009 1:58 pm

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by LadyArowana » Wed 28th Oct, 2020 12:56 pm

Feltwell wrote:
Wed 28th Oct, 2020 12:48 pm
Now just waiting for the quote.....
Pour a large drink now would be my advice. We were doing the whole system, including new radiators [ old ones were microbore, ugly, and not great at heating ] and the number was :shock: Work is still ongoing, but it should be an improvement in many ways. We got LBC to move the boiler and tank which should mean better use of space.

Feltwell
Posts: 5627
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Wed 28th Oct, 2020 5:51 pm

Not quite as major as that luckily - house is already in 15mm copper for the most part, no microbore, and radiators can stay so long as none develop a leak under the higher pressure of a new system. I am changing them, but gradually as I do each room and often combined with re-routing pipework, and that's a job I'm happy doing myself. In theory at least, not much taking apart of the house will be required - certain bits of plumbing will be made redundant but can be cut off and left in-situ until I'm doing other stuff in that area and they can be stripped out then.

Boiler is staying where it is, which simplifies all the various feeds it requires. Pressurised hot water tank is going next to it - currently it's on a different floor and part of the house - which should make life easier to plumb it in, and keeps all the gubbins in one place for future servicing and repair.

Like all old houses though, the current plumbing is somewhat idiosyncratic....I'm sure a few surprises and head scratches will be found!

Owain
Posts: 367
Joined: Fri 18th May, 2012 1:14 pm

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Owain » Thu 29th Oct, 2020 7:32 pm

I got a completely new boiler and radiators and all piping put in in 8 hours by two plumbers.

It was Quick and Cheap.

I would suggest a little longer planning the pipe runs and bending the pipe to fit the walls rather thank knocking out the walls to fit the pipe.

And don't let the plumbers send a roofer round later to do the making-good. Roofers' plastering looks neat from ground level.

Pennyviz
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu 2nd Jun, 2016 8:38 am
Location: Wick, BS30

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Pennyviz » Fri 30th Oct, 2020 1:06 pm

Feltwell wrote:
Wed 28th Oct, 2020 12:48 pm
Hopefully I've found someone - young guy came round last night and talked a lot of sense, including coming up with a sensible option for where to put the hot tank that I hadn't thought of. He doesn't like push fit fittings either, like me! Copper and solder it is. Now just waiting for the quote.....
yes sister had all new plumbing installed using push all over house. First leak took out new kitchen, then another .... - all at push joints some of which behind new plaster work etc

Feltwell
Posts: 5627
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Fri 30th Oct, 2020 1:35 pm

Push fit fittings are extensively used now and the better brands are reliable when new - but they all rely on little rubber o rings inside that will eventually start to fail - 10, 20, 30 years time. Sounds like your sister was unlucky, or found a plumber using a cheap & nasty brand.

I used push fit and plastic pipe in my garage as it's more frost resistant than copper and it's been fine - but a leak there is not so critical, and it's all on open display and easy to spot.

If you've got a problem with a copper joint it's generally evident as soon as the water is first turned on. Nice to find a young plumber who still sees the merits of copper & solder!

Feltwell
Posts: 5627
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: New heating system - plumber woes

Post by Feltwell » Sun 1st Nov, 2020 9:48 am

Well, first quote is in - and I'm still standing, it's actually a little less than I was expecting.

However, it's not from the firm that I'd ideally like to do the job - theirs is still to come. I've given up on trying to get more than 2 firms to quote, 2 will do!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests