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Discuss Advice on converting from Gravity Fed to Fully Pumped. in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

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OK, time served aerospace engineer here.
Here's my query.

Mums house has a very old floor standing boiler - HW is gravity fed, CH is pumped. F/E is in the return pipe of the HW loop.

I live a long way away, so have to deal with it remotely, otherwise i'd be doing it myself.

Boiler has been condemned, and plumber is only too keen to rip out the hot water tank and fit a Combination boiler.
Price is coming out at £2800, which seems OK for all this work, but I personally dislike combi boilers, and I think my old mum would struggle to manage with the slow hot water flow rate and delayed nature of the hot water.

Also, where the boiler lives (in an exterior utility room) is far from the hot water taps in the house, so it would take a calendar month for the hot water to come through from a combi mounted there.

Anyway, I've challenged the plumber who condemned the boiler to fit a standard boiler, and make the HW a pumped system with a 3 way valve.
His response is that he would have to change all the gravity pipes, so the cost would be about the same.

I'm not fully convinced.

The boiler has 4 pipes going to it, so both the HW and CH loops come out at the boiler.
Why is it not possible to put the three way valve next to the boiler, rather than next to the cylinder?
Am I missing anything?

I did think that wiring the cylinder stat to the three way valve could be a problem, but there are wireless thermostats available.

Anyway, answers on a postcard please...

Thanks,

Mike.
 
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Last Plumber

Esteemed
Plumber
Gas Engineer
If you put a system boiler in (as above) then there should be no major issue. Maybe he is thinking you want a regular boiler and for it to remain an open vented system. That would not be as straight forward. I suspect that your vent is off the flow to the cylinder and as you said the cold feed is in the return. In that case, the position of the pump, cold feed and vent all need to be re-arranged a bit and you would probably need to run another pipe.

There is nothing wrong with the set up above though, that's probably the way I would go.

You might need to replace the cylinder but not necessarily. I haven't seen it.
 

quality

Plumber
Gas Engineer
If you put a system boiler in (as above) then there should be no major issue. Maybe he is thinking you want a regular boiler and for it to remain an open vented system. That would not be as straight forward. I suspect that your vent is off the flow to the cylinder and as you said the cold feed is in the return. In that case, the position of the pump, cold feed and vent all need to be re-arranged a bit and you would probably need to run another pipe.

There is nothing wrong with the set up above though, that's probably the way I would go.

You might need to replace the cylinder but not necessarily. I haven't seen it.
Could still use the primary's for the current cylinder for the F&R for an open bent then pipe the F&E at the cylinder position.
 
Could still use the primary's for the current cylinder for the F&R for an open bent then pipe the F&E at the cylinder position.
Thats exactly what i was thinking.
Post automatically merged:

Thank you so much your speedy answers.
I'm not getting compelling answers from the current plumber, so I'm getting a Worcester Bosch approved fitter in for a second opinion.
Post automatically merged:

Thank you again for this help.

I've been sending text messages to the plumber, and your clear responses have given me the confidence to challenge the current plumber on his advice.

He has not actually answered my queries, but instead has called my old mum "to check that the install is on for Thursday".

I try to see the best in people, and maybe he's simply trying to keep mum happy and fix it quickly, but I can't help feeling that he can't really answer the difficult questions, so he leans on the soft link in the chain...

I'm a bit surprised, because many people talk highly about him - he came highly recommended, but I'm feeling a bit uneasy about him, and I've got more quotes coming in.
 
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