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Discuss Second opinion on plumbing methodology to fix our boiler in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at

Hello everyone, I hope you can help..I'm a total dunce when it comes to all things plumbing, apologies if posted in the incorrect forum too! Sorry this post is going to be quite long/descriptive but I was just hoping to get a second opinion on the methodology the plumber used to fix our boiler, and the final costs. Rest assured, I am absolutely not looking to wriggle out of paying any costs, but just to want piece of mind that everything was "justified".

We moved into our first bought house in March, with a boiler that may have not been treated very well (an ideal combi 35, doesn’t look like its been serviced for a while). The problems I reported to plumber were:
  • Leak from inside boiler,dripping out of bottom of case (causing a wee bit rust at the side of the casing)
  • Pressure loss
  • Bit of water dripping often from the outside valve/overflow
  • Loud noise when hot tap on (not every time though)
Here's the timeline of events since then:
W/B 25/03/19
  • Plumber visited, I asked him to give quote for above problems to be fixed
  • Plumber noticed something wasn’t sitting correctly inside boiler that would be causing leak, and that the boiler needs new expansion vessel to fix pressure loss
  • Following the “sitting correctly” fix, the boiler was still leaking though.
W/B 01/04/19
  • Plumber visited to install the new vessel but ordered wrong one. Whilst there, he found source of the leaking problem : a leak from the sump. He said he will check with manufacturer (Ideal) to see if he needs a new seal. He will also order correct vessel and return the following week.
  • Following this I googled and saw that a cracked sump is common with this model and notified plumber that it’s probably the entire sump that needs replaced.
W/B 08/04/19
  • Plumber returns to install new vessel and sump, but had ordered wrong sump, so only installed vessel. He confirmed though the current sump is cracked.
  • The following evening, the pressure dropped much quicker – from 1.5 to 0.5 in under 12 hours. I notified the plumber, who was going to return the next day anyway to install the correct sump. He says it needs a new pressure released valve which he will get from merchant.
  • The plumber visits the next day, installs the correct sump and performs a service. The pressure release valve hadn’t arrived so will need to return the following Monday to install.
  • Plumber explains that the boiler still isn’t healthy following a service (the readings took a while to be "ok"?), and that I should just contact Ideal to arrange for them to come out to fix the rest.
  • He offered to cancel the order for the pressure release valve, and just leave that for Ideal too.
  • He says the noise for hot water could come from a number of sources in the boiler and he isn’t sure where, and to leave it to Ideal.
  • He also mentioned whilst servicing, an air valve(?) was faulty so he just closed it, and to leave for Ideal.
  • Decide to continue with the installation of the PRV as there has been so many changes so far, I don’t want to have to pay for all this, and then start again with another plumber on top.

W/B 15/04/19
  • Pressure release valve is installed on 15/04/19
  • Notice on the 16/04/19 that there is a new leak on the joint/valve for the pipe that re-fills the boiler/pressure (it was not leaking previously). Plumber confirms he needs to now change that valve.
W/B 22/04/19
  • Chase up Plumber on 22nd, asked if the new joint/valve has arrived, and he confirms he will visit on 23rd.
  • Plumber installs the new joint/valve on the 23rd.
  • Pressure still dropping
  • Notice the next joint/valve along is now leaking, on 24th, contact Plumber who confirms this wouldn’t affect pressure but needs replaced.
  • On the 24th, I check boiler again and see another new leak location in the joint/valve with the pressure gauge on it (not leaking previously), contact Plumber.
  • On 25th, I then note the magnaclean is also leaking too from the top bolt too (not previously leaking), contact Plumber
  • Plumber responds on 25th saying he will replace other leaking joint/valve, and look at magnaclean.
  • So that's 3 new leaks: 2 valves/joints(to be replaced), and magnaclean.
W/B 29/04/19
  • Plumber arranges to replace the leaking gauge/valves on 02/05/19
  • I bought a o-ring magnaclean service kit for Plumber to check the magnaclean too, as I was trying to expedite completion - I did not want him to say he needed new o-rings, then we would have to wait longer again!
  • Following Plumber fixing the above, I note pressure is dropping much slower, but there is a leak from the joint/valve that connects to the back of the magnaclean (not present previously)
  • Plumber pops back 03/05/19 to tighten the leak above
W/B 13/05/19
  • Pressure still dropping, but not as badly – although have heating on less, probably now 0.5bar in a few weeks (estimated..see below).
  • Also note the new pressure gauge installed with the new valve on 02/05/19 is reading incorrectly – it does not match the boiler pressure by about 0.5bar.
  • Plumber says just to note the discrepancy and keep using, no offer to check/fix.

Total bill : £600 for all above, which includes the following parts:
  • CH inlet valves
  • Cold valve
  • Heat exchanger sump
  • Expansion vessel
  • Pressure relief valve

So my question before I pay this bill : does the above seem like the ‘standard’ way an experienced plumber would tackle this issue, or should I be concerned with his methodology to end up at the point we are at now, where it is still losing pressure and I’m about to be £600 poorer?

Would it be normal for one valve to start leaking, following the replacement/repair of another one near it, in an almost chain-reaction!

I do not think there’s any foul-play or malice at all, but just want reassurances that this is pretty standard fare, and it’s always good to have a second opinion!



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