Conventional Back Boilers Can Still Be Fitted Legally.

New boilers are supposed to conform to a certain standard of energy-efficiency, effectively limiting the choice to a condensing boiler. It happens that, at present, all the condensing gas (but not oil) boilers being manufactured have balanced flues, and thus need to be mounted against an outside wall - unlike conventional boilers, which take their combustion air from within the room and vent the waste gases up a stove pipe or lined chimney.

But the Building Regulations allow for conventional back-boilers (ie gas fires with boilers, fitted in fireplaces) to be replaced like-for-like in situations where it would be difficult to fit a new condensing boiler against an outside wall. 

The exemption formula is worked out on a points basis, with 1000 points being required to allow replacement with a similar back boiler.

A mid-terrace house starts with a points score of 640, and a flat with 710.

Moving the boiler to a different room with an outside wall (usually the kitchen) incurs another 350 points. 

If the property has cast-iron drainage pipes - which would be damaged by the acidic discharge from a condensing boiler - then it would be necessary to install a soakaway at ground level to accept the condensate, and this adds 100 points. 

Should the new boiler position require a flue longer than 2 metres, this adds another 200 points. 

So in many cases the 1000 points total is easily achieved, and a replacement conventional back boiler would be perfectly acceptable.

In Scotland, the new boiler regulations only come into effect this year, so it is likely that the manufacturers will continue to make conventional back boilers for a good few years yet. In any case, Baxi back boiler models have a good record for reliability and longevity, and the best solution is almost certainly to keep your existing boiler going for as long as possible. Spare parts are likely to be available for the foreseeable future.

If your back boiler is still working efficiently and this has been confirmed by a technician, the new building regulations do not require you to have your back boiler replaced.  The law allows you to keep your back boiler and buy spare parts to maintain it. There are some manufacturers who are still producing the spare parts for “back boilers”.

If you are considering the replacement of your back boiler you may want to consider having a Baxi Back Boiler installed. Baxi back boilers are regarded as reliable and durable.  These back boilers are still very popular. Little work will be required to replace your old back boiler with this modern energy efficient system.  This system will reduce your heating bills significantly.  The spare parts for the Baxi back boilers are readily available therefore maintenance will not be a problem.

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