The Installation of a new boiler is no longer a simple straightforward proceedure,
A raft of rules and regulations govern the fitting of your new boiler and adhering to all of these
rules will be expensive.
Our quotation's ALWAYS factor in these requirements and will be reflected in the cost,
this can appear to customers as suspiciously high particularly when some firms are prepared to cut corners
and offer to conduct the installation at half the price!
If a customer asks us to actively avoid these requirements we will politley decline, our engineer's have invested years of their time and thousands of pounds to become qualified and accredited in their trade and we make no exceptions.
Below is a brief list of the requirments and their associated costs.
1) Condensing boilers are compulsory under the Building Regulations in most, if not all situations.
A condensing boiler will generally cost between £200 and £500 more than a non condensing boiler and will also require a drain connection to carry away the condensate they produce.
Depending on the location of the nearest drain this can be relatively straighforward however in some cases if a suitable drain is not available the only way to achieve a drain connection is to relocate the boiler and this of course will require considerably more labour and increase the cost.
All this is avoided by ignoring the Building Regulations and fitting a non-condensing boiler instead creating a potential cost saving of anywhere between £100 - £1000.
2) 'Energy-efficient' controls are also compulsory under the current building Regulations.
Although most existing boilers have thermostatic control of hot water and heating, additional control of temperature in sleeping quarters is required.
Installing Thermostatic radiator valves in the bedrooms will achieve this but unless you have a 'fully pumped' system a conversion to one will be necessary and the cost of this will vary but could be as much as £800, so again avoiding these regulations could potentially reduce costs.
3) Gas Safe guidelines on permissible pressure drops between the gas meter and the appliance can also heavily influence the cost of your installation.
In fact some customers find they will have to replace their gas pipe to adhere to these requirements as a drop of 1mbar in pressure from the mains to the appliances is the maximum permissable allowance and most existing gas pipes are too narrow to accomodate this.
A new boiler will generally work fine connected to the existing pipe with a pressure drop of up to 4 mbar, but complying with the guidelines will require running a larger gas pipe all the way from the boiler to the mains. This doesn't always mean a lot of additional work but if the boiler is on the opposite side of the house to the mains day's of extra work may be required, so by ignoring these guides and reusing the existing pipe you could save anything from £100 to £1000.
4) Power flushing.
All boiler manufacturers insist their boilers are connected to a clean heating system.
Warranties and gurantee's provided by the manufacturer will generally void claims made due to failures caused by sludge or corrosion deposits in the circulating water.
Powerflushing will remove any such debris or deposits currently circulating in the system making it a good investment by anyones standards.
The typical cost for this process including labour and materials per radiator is £60, neglecting this service or conducting a much less effective 'chemical cleansing could save you as much as £480 on a typical 8 radiator system.
5) Electrical wiring in kitchen.
The Building Regulations insist all wiring in kitchens (aside from repairs)
to be conducted by a suitably qualified and insured electrician.
Very few Gas Safe heating engineers hold the necessary accreditations to carry out the electrical work involved in a boiler installation. This means an electrician will need to be employed should the boiler be located in the kitchen.
Employing an electrician is not cheap at the best of times but should he insist the installation be brought up to 17th edition electrical standards and not re-use the same wire from the old boiler the cost will naturally increase from anywhere between £100 and £500.
6) Pump over-run wiring.
In order to distribute the residual heat created by normal use of your boilers pump condensing boilers have a built in device to control the pumps operation after the boilers burners have been shut down, this protect the fragile heat exchanger.
This will require the installation of an additional cable from the boiler location to the pump location
(usually next to the hot water cylinder upstairs in the airing cupboard). Installing this any extra cable will take more time (Money!) not to mention the removal of carpets and or redecoration that may be required.
By Installing some models of non-condensing boilers you could avoid this requirement or alternatively you could just not connect the pump over run at all which will mean your heat exchanger failing within two years.
So again cutting corners here is a false economy, in the short term you could save up to £1000 but heat exchangers are very expensive to replace. You have been warned!
7) Post-installation cleansing and corrosion inhibiting.
All Central heating systems slowly corrode on the inside over time creating a build up of black sludge that damages heat exchangers and blocks radiator pipes.
A dose of corrosion inhibitor will prevent this for many years
Failure to conduct a post installation cleanse can even accelerate the corrosion process but if its skipped you probably won't notice initially, well until the corrosion problems start early and a powerflush (see above) becomes necessary.
If you leave out the post installation cleansing you could save £100, but is it worth it when the inevitabe powerflush will cost £400?
8) Gas Work Notification. This is compulsory service introduced by Gas Safe.
Adherence to the regulation involves all gas engineers notifying the appropriate body of every installation conducted,
and details of the customer's name address etc.
Gas Safe will then furnish the customer with a certificate specifying the installations adherence to the latest Building Regulations.
This certificate itself becomes part of the mandatory 'Home Information Pack' (HIP) and will be required when you come to sell your property.
It will also allow Gas Safe to conduct assessments of installations to insure full compliance, failure to conduct any of the above could prevent this notification going out to Gas Safe.
So in short if you don't receive this certificate its probably because your engineer has contravened one of the above regulations.
It makes sense to request comparison quotes for you boiler installation, but the old adage still holds true 'If it sounds too good to be true it probably is'
A proper installation from a reputable company is going to be more expensive because they won't cut corners or ignore regulation but in the long term will be a much wiser investment.