2021 Back Boiler Removal & Replacement: Read BEFORE

This is a 5 minute removal and replacement guide, simply talking about the elephant in the room – the costs! Replacing a back boiler in your home can fill lots of people with dread, thinking it’s going to be a huge job and extremely expensive. The truth is it doesn’t have to be.  Grab a fixed price for a replacement from someone like HEATABLE, an online boiler installer and they will take care of the removal of the old boiler and the installation of the shiny new one.  Plus using their online, multiple choice, clickable form in 90 seconds you can see for yourself the best boilers for your home all ‘on screen’ in front of you. Seriously, check out Heatable, you can get deals on Worcester Bosch boilers for under 2k.

What Is A Back Boiler?

Not sure what you currently have installed in your home, well it’s easy to work out. Back boilers are heating systems that are integrated into fires. So if you have central heating, and a fireplace BUT no boiler then you have a back boiler. 

Why Were Back Boilers Installed?

In the 1960’s back boilers were in the ‘in thing’ – the latest in heating technology and therefore were extremely fashionable in the U.K. Most homes were fitted with back boilers from the 1960’s up to around the 1980’s. Then from the 1980’s onwards, system and combi boilers began to take over offering better efficiencies and savings on space.  

Why Should You Replace A Back Boiler With A Combi Boiler?

If you want to save money install a brand new highly efficient boiler. Put it this way; if you replaced your old boiler with a new ‘A rated’ combi boiler you’ll save [according to the Energy Saving Trust] £155 per year just on your heating bills.  So if you back that saving out over 10 or even 15 years you can see in just the savings alone you’ve nearly paid for the boiler itself. It’s a no brainer.  So stop repairing back boilers and replace it with a combi or system boiler instead. Especially if you’re still forking out on expensive repair bills each year or every other year. With a new boiler installed by Heatable you can get a 10 year warranty on a Worcester Bosch, meaning no repair bills for 10 years. The other benefit of Heatable is they offer finance. So if you’ve been fixing your old back boiler unit, because that’s all you can afford to do rather than replacing it; again stop. Finance is only around £19 per month, even for a Worcester Bosch

Costs: Back Boiler Removal 

A removal is likely to cost somewhere around £600-£850 depending on where you are in the country. Bear in mind, that cost is just for removal.  Let’s move on and now talk about ‘replacement’ costs.

Costs: Boiler Replacement 

Typically this ‘replacement’ is infact called a ‘system upgrade’. This ‘system upgrade’ is basically swapping from one system to another, i.e changing from a back boiler to a combi boiler or a system boiler. As we talked about above, the energy savings and therefore the savings on your heating bills is a no brainer. [according to the energy saving trust you will save £155 per year]

Combined Costs: Removing & Replacing A Back Boiler With A Combi

When removing a back boiler and replacing it with a combi boiler expect to pay circa £3,000. That 3k assumes you are replacing your back boiler with something decent like a Worcester Bosch boiler with a flue, system filter and all the controls. 

The Cost Of Replacing A Back Boiler With A System or Regular Boiler

It’s a similar price to a combi boiler actually, so you will pay about £3,000 to replace your back boiler with a combi boiler. Again that’s assuming you’re installing a regular or system boiler of a similar kilowatt [kW] size.  

Replacing A Back Boiler And Moving Its Location

More work is obviously required than for say a straight swap. Plus back boilers use the chimney as the flue but new boilers flue through the walls [called horizontal flues] or they vertically flue and go through the roof. Vertical flues are most commonly found in extensions.  So there’s two things here so far, the physical movement of the boiler location and the possible installation of a new flue. Now, to move the boiler location is totally normal, and actually quite common. The most common reason for a location move is so the boiler can be hidden, again usually in a kitchen cupboard but not always.  If you are looking for a new combi boiler specifically for a kitchen cupboard you’re in luck, manufacturers now make models just for cupboards.  Worcester Bosch make their flagship cupboard boiler which they have called their ‘CDI Compact’ range and Ideal have a range of boilers that fit in cupboards called the ‘Logic Plus’.  As we have previously stated above, moving your boiler to a new location will typically cost you an additional £300-£650.  But if you run through this online clickable form you can see those costs for yourself. 

Total Back Boiler Replacement Costs: Full Central Heating Installation

If you have a back boiler then the actual pipework around your home and to and from the boiler is likely to be around 40 years old. Sometimes even older. If this is the case then simply replacing a back boiler with a brand new boiler upgrade and leaving the existing pipes doesn’t make much sense.  The saying ‘‘if it isn’t broke dont fix it’’ springs to mind i.e if the pipe work is fine why bother to change it, after all, it’s an extra cost? And, in truth, there is no right or wrong answer here.

Average costs for boiler replacement including the pipework?

Tough question to answer, but let’s give it go. So let’s assume we are talking about a new ‘A Rated’ boiler in an average 3 bedroom house with 8-10 radiators. This would work out to around £5,000 and this would include the removal of the old back boiler. Obviously that is tough to answer, so take that £5,000 as a guideline, with so many variables like radiator sizes and radiator positioning plus any extensions you could have had.  If you are replacing a back boiler with a system boiler you will have additional costs for the ‘cylinder’ and its pipework. 

Extra Replacement Costs: Regular and System Boilers

This is fairly obvious but nonetheless it’s worth pointing out. ‘System’ and ‘Regular Boilers’ require more components than combi boilers do. And these can be big ticket items like cylinders and/or hot water tanks.  So if these items need removing, upgrading or replacing be aware this will all come as an extra cost. 

Best Way To Remove and Replace Back Boilers

All properties are different and as such, different properties require different sizes of boilers. Large detached properties will usually need around a 40kW system boiler, whilst a smaller two bed could only require a 24kW combi boiler.  So its important to get more than one quote before undertaking any aspect of work involving your heating. Make sure these quotes are written and itemised. 

Dealing with engineers who come and quote for back boiler removals and replacement

It’s a sizable investment in your home and one you can’t really do without as a life without heating and hot water would be ‘miserable’.  So get as much advice from the engineers who come out to quote, especially if you plan to change the location of the boiler as each engineer could advise differently with differing reasons. Take these reasons onboard and find that perfect spot.  One brilliant way that’s really cost effective when replacing back boilers is to use Heatable. They are an online boiler installer, meaning no sales people, just low cost boilers, installed the next day.  Why we really like them is in less than a minute using their clickable, multiple choice, online form you can see the best boiler for your home, with prices, including installation all on the screen. No emailing, no calls, no nonsense. You also don’t have to put in any personal details either.  Heatable work with all the large brands like Worcester Bosch, Viessmann, Ideal etc and because of the sheer volume of boilers they sell they get unbelievable prices from manufacturers and pass these savings on to customers. Our deal I found in 40 seconds is below:

Back Boiler Removal & Replacement: Using a local Engineer

If you do want to use a local installer to remove your back boiler and replace it with a new boiler here are some Top Tips:

  • Ensure they are certified ‘Gas Safe’.
  • Confirm and then reconfirm [for safety] the positioning of the flue
  • Make sure they agree to a fixed price [obtain this in writing]
  • Know the boiler make, model and the associated warranty that comes with it.
  • The installer ‘might’ include a system clean and installation of a magnetic system filter and/or ‘de-limescaler’ [really recommended in hard water areas]