Back-boiler Installation Tips


Back-boilers are usually installed next to the fireplace in the house and can heat and supply hot water and central heating through the house without the need of traditional boiler taking up valuable space.

Back boilers have been manufactured in 1966 and have been known to be the most compact of boiler types available in the market. As they were originally cheaper to buy and install ,they were a more reasonable investment. Back boilers are quite common in the UK . Thanks to the simple design and build, back boilers can last a lot longer than today`s more modern boilers.

The main disadvantages of  back-boilers are that they are not  as efficient to newer types of  boilers and for this reason they been gradually phased out and replaced by the common and more efficient combination boilers.

You will have three different option to be chosen, if you have an old back boiler in your home and are thinking of upgrading. These options are as follows:

  • replace an old one with a more modern back boiler
  • replace an old one with a combi boiler

Keeping an old back boiler

Replacing with the Baxi Bermuda BBU HE Back Boiler

baxi boiler logoBaxi Bermuda Back Boilers provide a ready-made solution and are the only  boiler brand to release a modern condensing back boiler. Baxi Bermuda has revolutionized the replacement of old back boilers as there is no more the need to relocate the boiler which results into saving  hundreds of pounds. It  is also estimated that a Bermuda Back Boiler will reduce your annual bills by £235.

It is more efficient than old one and has a SEDBUK A efficiency rating. Baxi Bermuda Back Boilers has a 15 KW heat output and has a room sealed appliance removing the need for air vent. The life of the Baxi Back Boiler is expected to be 10 years, which is less than older, less technical back boiler.

The price of the new Baxi Bermuda BBU HE is about £1,000. There may be additional installation costs in occasions if it is required to install a new chimney liner or if there is difficulty of accessing the boiler.  The common rule is that the cost of a back boiler installation is higher than the one for a combi boiler.

Replacing with a Combi Boiler

Combi_BoilersMany old back boilers nowadays are being with the combi boilers, which are more efficient than back boilers. A combi boiler heats a home`s hot water and provides central heating at the same time. Given that a combi boiler doesn`t have a hot water cylinder it is more compact unit and therefore it helps save space.

Installation Costs of Combi Boilers

The Installation costs of combi boiler are generally lower than installing a Baxi Bermuda Back Boiler because it hangs on the wall, making it a lot easier for a heating engineer to install one. A combi boiler installation will cost on average £550, however prices can vary a little depending on the boiler model and whether you are replacing your radiators or not.

Combi Boiler Prices

Prices of combi boilers vary from £650 up to £2,000 depending on the brand and wattage of the combi boiler you are purchasing. So we can estimate that the total costs to invest for combi boiler will be on average from £1,200 up to £2,550.


The downside of replacing your old back boiler with a combination boiler is reliability. That is the fact, which cannot be denied. Combi boilers are not as reliable as the old back boiler. As well as the life span of the combi boiler is also less than the old back boiler. It has estimated that a combi boiler will last you about 10 years. The difference to back boiler can be remarkable. If you service your back boiler regularly, it will last you a way longer.

Keeping your old back boiler – Is worth it?

An old back boiler is durable. It will last a lot longer than the modern boiler, especially, if the boiler has serviced regularly. The simple technology means less problems. It won´t be as energy efficient as the modern boiler. If you appreciate more durability than efficiency, keeping your old back boiler is the only option for you. In terms of prices and cost of savings you will save your money in the long run.

Boiler Repairs

A back boiler as well as well as other types of boilers requires regular maintenance. Even back boilers are durable there can be situations, when you have to repair it. It is good to know, that the government has set regulations requiring boilers to meet certain standards in energy efficiency. If your back boiler is still working efficiently and this has been confirmed by a technician, the new building regulations do not require you to have your back boiler replaced. The law allows you to keep your back boiler and buy spare parts to maintain it.

There are some manufactures who are still producing the spare parts for back boilers. The cost of engineer labor varies from £20 up to £50 per hour and an average time spent engineering will be 1-2 hours. There will be a broad selection of spare parts, which you can obtain. Here is the list for you the most common spare parts and prices for them.

Boiler replacements cost

The prices includes parts and estimated labor for installation:
– Boiler fan replacement will cost from £100 up to £300
– Boiler thermostat replacement will cost from £70 up to £1,000
– Boiler expansion tank replacement will cost from £200 up to £525
– Boiler tube replacement will cost from £70 up to £150
– Boiler gas valve replacement will cost from £50 up to £280
– Boiler timer replacement will cost from £70 up to £500
– Boiler zone valve replacement will cost from £10 up to £300

As you can see the variation between these services a lot. It is very important to ask for bids number of companies. Alternative, you can use our network of tradesmen to get free estimates.

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