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I had a Worchester Bosch gas combi boiler installed about 4 months ago. I waited so long for writing a review on it because I wanted to make sure that I am writing a review after I test it.
So, me and my wife moved into a two bed split level flat in London, which was in a very poor condition, having an old warm air heating system and a separate hot water heater which smelled gas when fired up ! I wanted to change all this and I decided to go for a combi boiler to save space - you know that the flats in London are pretty small, actually But which combi boiler to choose?
I read a lot of literature about combi boliers and after about two weeks of reading and asking people, I decided to go for the most expensinve make, Worcester Bosch, because I wanted real quality and everybody told me: "Bosch is the best, but is expensive".
Ok, I opted for a Worcester Bosch 24I range and then I started shopping around…God bless Internet !! I found an incredible deal, a company (I am not going to give names, this is an opinion about boiler itself, but if you're interested I can tell you in private) selling all kind of combi boilers (brand new, not second hand !!) at some very, very low prices. I gave them a call, I talked to them, they were very nice and they told me the 24I range just became obsolete and it was replaced with 24I Junior, which had the same specs, only that 24i Junior is the lightest combi available in the UK (a genuine one man lift) and also takes up less wall space than its nearest rival.
So I said I'll go for it, the price was £479.99 including delivery and VAT, which is very cheap, the nearest I found was from PlumbCenter at around £600 for the same model). I opted also for a 7 day digital programmer, I needed an horizontal standard flue and a filling loop and I paid in total £550. All this amount for the lightest and newest Worchester Bosch on the market.
Not bad, I think. I needed everything next day (I called in the afternoon), they told me that it might not be possible what I want, but they told me that I can pick-up everything from one of their retailers, which was…PlumbCenter, that's why I know the value these guys are selling the same combi boiler. I went there, I picked it and I brought it home.
The installation of the boiler took half a day and £650 with a Corgi gas engineer. So, in total, I paid £1200 for the combi boiler. The 5 radiators we installed, the pipes and their installation was another £400 and with £1600 I had a full gas central heating. Again, not bad !
For the Corgi engineer was the first installation of a Junior 24I, he was very pleased with how small it is (the dimensions, I forgot to tell, are: Height - 600mm, Width - 400mm, Depth - 325mm). The weight is only 22kg (compared with 38kg for the old 24I range).
As I read in the technical data, the combi boiler was supposed to offer 9.6 litres of hot water and have a maximum output for central heating of 80,182 BTU (British Termic Unit, this is how the heat is measured in UK), which I said that was more than enough to heat the whole flat. And I was right !!
We never used the combi boiler at full power, but only less than half and it was more enough to heat the flat in the winter. As we also have thermostatic radiator valves for each radiator, we can easily choose what temperature we need in each room.
As about hot water, the boiler, even is quite small compared to the others, it has a 3 litres hot water tank, so when you turn on the hot water tap in the kitchen or in the bathroom, you get instant hot water, then it gets slightly colder, it takes about 10 seconds until the boiler heats the cold water from the main supply and then you get hot water all the time.
It works even with both hot water taps turned on (from bathroom and kitchen), but not fully turned on, you get hot water on both of them. It even fills in a hot bath in less 10 minutes, which is not bad, actually.
As about heating, when the boiler starts delivering hot water in the radiators, it takes about 2-3 minutes to warm up all the radiators, which is, again, pretty good.
Now, about the boiler's chasis, you have this indicators: - the 7 day digital programmer, where you can actually choose for each day of the week, when the boiler starts providing heating and when it stops. You have two time intervals for each day, so you can choose for instance, to start at 6 AM and stop at 9 AM and then starts at 5PM and stops at 10PM. Of course, you can choose only one set of interval, or you can choose to be ON all the time or OFF all the time - the pressure indicator, which should not be under 1 atm. For this, you get a T shape key and when the pressure gets under 1 atm, you can re- pressurize the boiler by sticking the key under the boiler and turning then a knob. Is very easy actually, even it sounds pretty complicated. - a light for the main electricity supply, which indicates that the boiler is connected to electricity. Obviously, this needs to be ON if you want your boiler working - a light for hot water, which turns red when a hot water tap is turned ON - a light for Heating, which turns red when the boiler starts delivering hot water in the radiators
So, for our two bedroom flat, this combi boiler is ideal and the amount of energy we spent is pretty low. We had no problem at all with it, it gives us the heat and water we need, so fine with us !
We are happy with our decision and I hope that, by using it, we'll cut the energy spent, so the boiler we'll pay off in a couple of years.
This is an update on 30.11.2006, as I received too many messages asking where I did buy this boiler from !
The site is www.discountedheating.co.uk.
And, as a matter of fact, sicne I wrote this review, I moved to a new bigger house, where I installed a new central heating system, buying the boiler (this time a Worcester Bosch Greenstar 30i - much better output) also from the same website. Again, very helpful, and no problem. Oh, and I saved about 250£ compared to the next cheapest shop I found