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Discuss Currently awaiting repair Combi Boiler leaking for 8 years. Is my plumber incompetent? in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

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Hi everyone, my combi boiler has been leaking for 8 years. It is a german Vaillant VCW 204


The thing is, this device is from the 90s maybe 1995. That is, I've been told, quite old.

The repairman has come many times to fix the leaking since 2011 cause if the pressure gets too low, the thing shuts down and only the repairman can make it work again. That is why I periodically refill the circuit, or tank, or pipework through an outlet in the bathroom.

So guy comes, does not leak for a couple months, then starts leaking again. For instance, last time he repaired the leak and left the pressure at bare minimum. Every time a faucet is opened cause warm water is needed, pressure goes down noticeably at start, enough for the pressure "hand" to touch or even go below "min" mark in the pressure dial. Enough at one point to make some sensor go off and this sensor make the thing shut down. Until another repairman came after 3 weeks without warm water (first was on holidays) and after 5 minutes the guy had the boiler up und working. So after this happened, I realised that the problem must have been the pressure being too low at some point during the start up process to make the sensor shut down the boiler, so I refilled the the thing up until around 1.5 bars (within green marks in pressure dial) Then the damned thing started leaking again.

When complaining to the usual repairman, he always says device is too old, and that he repairs one leakage and then some other leakage appears.

Is this possible? Is there no way to have this thing comletely sealed so it does not leak and able to withstand 1.5 bars of pressure? i could believe this thing happened once or even twice. But this device has never stopped leaking for more than 2 months, the leak is localised in the device. Is my repairman incompetent or simply refuses to completely repair it so he can come twice or more a year instead of once for the yearly check up? Or maybe he is right, the device is beyond repair, which honestly, sounds unbelievable to me.

Sorry for the a$$ long post, I am obviously a layman and newbie here, and to top it off English is not my native language.

Million thanks for your answers guys.
 

Gasmk1

Gas Engineer
Advent Win
1)is the leak on the boiler or on the system
2) have they checked the expansion vessell still has a charge in it.
3) it is 25 years old modern boilers have a life expentancy of 10 to 11 years
 
1)is the leak on the boiler or on the system
2) have they checked the expansion vessell still has a charge in it.
3) it is 25 years old modern boilers have a life expentancy of 10 to 11 years
Thanks for replying so quick Gasmk1!

1) I can see droplets accumulating and then falling from certain pieces that are part of the device itself. Device is on a wall over a countertop, and this countertop is always wet just below the boiler. So Id say leak is on the boiler.

2) I guess they have.. every time after the guy comes the leak stops. Until I have to add more water into the system cause the levels are too low that is. Or it simply starts leaking again on its own.

3) Maybe I should have mentioned, cause everyone here must be thinking I am just a cheap bastard. The issue is I am leaving in a rented flat, otherwise I would have replaced the damned thing if it was my property. The cheap bastard is my landlord.

Here in Berlin finding a flat is very difficult and expensive now, so many landlords are getting quite brazen.

But yeah, what you're saying is, there is no way to completely seal the pipes within the device, cause its well past its expiry date. A bit like an old car leaking oil? It was difficult for me to wrap my head around that, cause to me this is basically a plumbing system with a pcb, sensors, valves and other devices. So silly me I thought if the pipes leak maybe changing seals or something like that would fix it.

I imagine I am gonna have to deal with it somehow, and start looking to move on to another flat. Cheers anyway.
 
Last edited:

ShaunCorbs

Staff member
S. Mod
Plumber
Gas Engineer
Might be worth an ask to vaillant as they do a fixed price repair it’s guaranteed then
 
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Could you take photos of where the leaks are
Sure here you go
121645.jpg
1171881.jpg

Might be worth an ask to vaillant as they do a fixed price repair it’s guaranteed then
Indeed I was thinking about that and simply paying him out of my own pocket. Judging by the pics, and out of curiosity, how much could cost me having the Vaillant approved engineer come and get the thing sealed (if it is possible to do that of course) approximately in the UK in GBP?

The engineer came today to replace that black device with the number 237906 R in the second pic from were the drop is hanging. Problem is that the small copper pipe attached to it broke, and now I have to wait until monday without heating and warm water. Heating will be ok, just bought some space heater.

Thanks again to everyone!
 
know its old but those leaks should be repairable just washers and o'rings
Thanks man! One last question please...

Here is a picture with the black device taken out, and I have noticed, what seems to me, are heavy limescale deposits on the part right behind it:

20821.jpg

Here's a close up

IMG_1923.JPG

And here's from below

1926.JPG

Could it be that this metallic part should be replaced also?

Is this part maybe too expensive, and that is why the guy does not do it? (cause the landlord is refusing)

Thanks a lot man.
 

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