Fan-assisted central heating boiler ... lifespan of fan?

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by BTB 500, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Our boiler (Potterton Suprima 70) has become rather noisy ... the obvious culprit would seem to be the fan. Digging out the paperwork the boiler is 8 years old - is it reasonable for the fan to be up for replacement?

    I assume a shaft/bearing is worn, in which case it's unlikely (touch wood) to die completely in the short term. The noise sounds worse outside (coming from the flue) - the boiler still seems to be working well and the flame looks fine.

    We had someone booked to look at it on Friday night but they never turned up :crazy:
     
  2. Harley Man

    Harley Man Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Potterton Boiler fans last between 5 and 8 years, so yours is about due to be replaced. If the bearings are very slack the fan will catch on the housing and stop turning and the boiler will shut down. From memory the fan is only about £70 - £80 and it takes about 20mins to fit.
     
  3. OP
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    BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Cheers. Next challenge is finding someone to do it at this time of year :(

    The noise does actually sound like fan blades skimming the housing (rather than bearing noise itself). Some days it's worse than others - not so bad today.
     
  4. PXW

    PXW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I had a fan assisted condensing boiler - lasted 7 years before I had to shell out £2k for a new one:mad:

    My parents houses had good old fashioned low tech boilers that would run for 30 to 40 years, no problem, though only about 45-60% efficient. I would buy the energy efficiency argument for the new ones if someone could show me the whole life comparisons including manufacturing and scrapping half a dozen new ones during the life of an old style one.
     
  5. OP
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    BTB 500

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    Yup the boiler in my old house was 30 years old and still going strong. Never needed anything other than an annual service. Yes a newer one would have used x % less gas, but the house was small / double-glazed / well insulated and the winter quarter bill was under £200. So hard to justify a £2k 'upgrade'.
     
  6. yachtman

    yachtman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    not difficult to fit yourself. had to change one on a glowworm condenser

    took 30 mins. longest bit was extracting a small pipe to connect to the pressure switch. wolsley part centre supplied the part, though mine was 160 pounds.
     
  7. Rory

    Rory MB Club Veteran

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    There's a well recommended place that does reconditioned fans (and PCBs - has yours been replaced?):
    http://www.cetltd.com

    If you wanted to get hold of one "just in case" then Suprima parts come up on eBay quite a bit.
     
  8. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    Why did you have to change the whole boiler and why did it cost £2K for a new one.?

    Buy a boiler with a copper heat exchanger as opposed to aluminium and it will last.
     
  9. GrahamC230K

    GrahamC230K MB Club Veteran

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    Having the (expensive) fan in my 13 year old Ideal boiler replaced on Monday. Needs a PCB too (well it might), I just want the intermittent unexpected shutting down to be cured.

    Tough call to spend the money or replace, but replace is a lot more expensive.

    I've been quoted around £1700-2000 to supply and fit new. Around £1000 for a Bosch Worcester and the rest in labour - a 2 man 2 day job I'm told. The old boiler isn't a condensing one some some additional cable runs and an external waste needed.
     
  10. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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  11. GrahamC230K

    GrahamC230K MB Club Veteran

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    Can go out the external wall the boiler is mounted on, probably neatest and already have two appliances on the sink waste. A few hundred either way on the boiler doesn't make much odds on me making a call to fix or repair, it's a good enough guide. £2K or £1800 on a supply and fit new boiler or around £450 to remedy my current which MAY see another 10 years. Tough call and I really have considered replacing, but I think I'll give this one a chance. I may regret the decision of course but I do have a guranteee the parts will resolve my exisiting problem or will be refunded.
     
  12. Dieselman

    Dieselman Banned

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    You can go external but need to tie into the soil pipe or into a foul drain. If you have an internal waste pipe nearby it's easiest to tie into that after the trap or straight into the soil pipe as the boiler has it's own trap.

    Are you talking about a system boiler or a combi.? If a combi you need an external overflow as well as the condensate waste, though the overflow isn't connected to a waste pipe.

    p.s. I'm very pleased with my Gloworm condensing boiler. It's been in nearly 10 years and no faults other than the ignition electrode insulator cracking. (that of course doesn't mean new ones are the same quality).
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  13. OP
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    BTB 500

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    Looks pretty straightforward, but I was kind of assuming that wasn't allowed :confused:

    Obviously replacing the fan doesn't involve the gas supply, but it does mean disconnecting & reconnecting the flue. Would want to be sure that was done 100% right.
     
  14. GrahamC230K

    GrahamC230K MB Club Veteran

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    Good luck Bill.

    I was also surprised that one phone call and my engineer confirm his local supplier had my PCB and fan unit in stock. Hope yours is too.
     
  15. OP
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    BTB 500

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    Yup. 2 years ago (just after we moved into the house), the boiler blew the contents of the heating loop out through the expansion tank in the loft. The PCB ended up being replaced then 'just in case' (as well as the overheat sensor that had actually caused the problem).

    Insurance claim for partial ceiling replacement in one room, 3 ceilings replastered, 3 rooms redecorated, new carpet in 2 rooms, etc.
     
  16. PXW

    PXW Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    No idea what the heat exchanger is made of - the one that packed up was an Ideal, the new one is Vaillant. We had a series of faults on the old one - fan, PCB, various leaks, and the inside was rotting away. It was a case of spend yet another £400-odd on it or get rid.

    Why £2000 (actually about £1850, iirc - I rounded for my earlier post)? You may well ask. Never seen a poor plumber though:rolleyes:

    The price was of course based on three competitive tenders etc etc. Higher output boiler needed as the old one was hardly up to the job so not quite a like for like.
     
  17. rf065

    rf065 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Vaillant are very good boilers, the heat exchanger will be copper in that one.
    Worcester Bosch are also good, but there are a lot of cheap boilers which will never last, best paying for a good one.

    Russ
     
  18. Darrell

    Darrell Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If you get a condensing bolier make sure the installer power-flushes out the rads and the pipework (this is very important).

    You will need to run the condense drain to a trapped waste,you can either connect in to a spare spigot under the sink (if you have one), modify the waste under the sink, run it to an external gully, or connect into an existing soil stack (nice and easy if it's plastic).

    I had mine re-conditioned by a place in Alperton and cost about 45 quid.
     
  19. hash

    hash Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    we had a glowworm boiler with a strange problem would overheat on full load on the hw side. Called british gas for a fixed price repair at £125 pounds (on special at the moment for £99).

    So far 5 visits over 8 odd days, new pump, diverter valve, 3 way motor, overheat thermostat. :crazy:

    According to bg parts fitted so far about £700 plus the labour :crazy:

    Eventually fixed (today) £10 sensor.................................strange but happy, engineer was a bit embarrassed though.

    thanks

    Hash
     
  20. tambyrne

    tambyrne Member

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    Unless you are CORGI registered it is a criminal offence to do any work on a gas boiler.
     

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