Firebird combi oil boiler - views? And can we use it with a pump?

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Di fae Skye, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Di fae Skye

    Di fae Skye New Member

    Hello there

    We're looking at installing a Firebird oil-fired combi boiler... We've heard they're better than Worcester Bosch - any views?  (Our plumber said that Worcester had overcome problems that there were a few years ago with their boilers - is that right?)

    The other thing about it is that we don't have mains water pressure, so on the face of it we shouldn't be able to have a combi boiler - but we're hoping to fit a pump on the cold water supply to achieve mains pressure, so we can have the combi.  Any views on this?  I know that there's the obvious downside that the pump is one more thing to fail... We're also having an electric hot water cylinder as a back-up in case the combi breaks.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated...

    All the best

  2. wetpants

    wetpants New Member

    Firstly where do you get your water from,have you considered break tanks, if so then you might be able to have a better system than a combi. Need more info
  3. Di fae Skye

    Di fae Skye New Member

    Hello there - thanks for this.  We live in a rural area.  Our water supply is from the mains, but it's a restricted supply feeding 6 houses via a one-inch pipe.  Pressure is low, hence the need for cold water tanks (which we already have and will continue to have) and why we'd need a pump in order to have a combi....

    What do you mean by break tanks?  And what sort of system might be better than a combi? (sorry if that sounds abrupt - not meant to be - am just out of my depth).

    All the best

  4. wetpants

    wetpants New Member

    Get a Plumber in to discuss break tanks, basically cold water feed to 2/3 tanks for storage, then pumped from them to unvented cylinder to give good pressure and quantity of hot water Ideal for your situation.  Boiler can be heat only or system,thus eliminating a Combi which IMO is not for you.Some Asda trainees will be on soon to advise you further, namely Pav and his girlfriend/boyfriend not sure Pinkus Panthus. 
  5. Di fae Skye

    Di fae Skye New Member

    Hello there Wetpants - thanks for the further info... Why don't you think that a combi is for us?  We hoped that by having a combi we could achieve greater efficiency by only heating the water that we use.  Do you think that the proposed arrangement with the pump & combi wouldn't work very well?

    All the best

  6. Water Systems

    Water Systems New Member

    Look at the flowrate of the combi. If it is OK for your needs then no probs.  Oil combis tend to be quite good as they have a larger store of water giving a decent flowrate.  The Firebird Enviromax C26 gives a DHW flowrate of 16 litre/min which is quite good.  Other models may be better, so look.  Forget expensive, unvented cylinders which require an annual service. Cowboy plumbers may push you down this route as they want repeat business.

    To update your cold water supply, you will need either:

    <ol>[*]A cold water tank with pump off this to all outlets inc the inlet of a combi. [*]An accumulator - a largish cold water cylinder that stores cold water under pressure.  No pumps need. The static pressure of the cold water mains needs to be 1.5 bar.</ol>
  7. Di fae Skye

    Di fae Skye New Member

    This is brilliant, thanks very much - really helpful.  Would you recommend a Firebird rather than a Worcester, then (based on reputation and your experience?)

    Many thanks

  8. Water Systems

    Water Systems New Member

    from what I know it is 6 of one half dozen of the other.  Get the flowrate you need of a combi from either.
  9. wetpants

    wetpants New Member

    You have to wait till Walter scours the internet cos he hasnt got a clue about Boilers, Worcester heatslaves used to be the dogs danglees, but since the new condensing arrived on the market they are a nightmare to maintain.  If your going down the Combi route then Firebird or Grant will suffice.

    Dont forget what Walter wrote (from what I know?, and that is diddly squat.
  10. Water Systems

    Water Systems New Member

    This loonpot must be Dick Puller.

    How are things Dick?
  11. Di fae Skye

    Di fae Skye New Member

    Thanks for this - to both of you - you've been really helpful, and may just have helped us to ensure we invest thousands of pounds as wisely as possible.

    Many thanks

  12. mugwump

    mugwump New Member

    Hope I am not too late. DO NOT BUY OR HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH FIREBIRD!!!! We installed central heating to a 1920s semi, and the installer put in one of these combi boilers some 6/7 years ago. Since then it has never run more than 4 months without trouble. It arrived with the wrong flow switch wiring, and, as was later to emerge, several washers in the pipe connections had not been fitted at the factory. It has so far had to have 7 pumps, 4 flow switches, (last one fitted at 2am this morning), 1 mixer valve, 2 heat exchangers, 2 magic eyes (flame sensor), 1 burner assembly, 2 oil pumps, (one went when we were away, kitchen flooded with 28sec oil on our return), 1 expansion vessel & hose, (incorrect size fitted at factory). I have forgotten how many washers have had to be replaced, but the leaks have varied from a steady drip to a constant flow. Firebird refused to have anything to do with it as there is no serial number or other identity plate. We did not know about this missing identity at the time, as, like fools, we trusted the installer. We are looking into replacing this disaster with an air source heat pump. BE WARNED.

  13. Captain Leaky

    Captain Leaky New Member

    Fitted a few Firebirds in the past without any problems - sounds like yours could be a rip/off fake boiler? There were a few about at one time.
  14. Arnold12

    Arnold12 New Member

  15. heatyman

    heatyman Member

    If you have a poor water supply a combi, whatever make, is probably not for you. The other question you need to ask is what is the water quality like? If it is hard, then a combi will scale up the DHW heat exchanger, and you will find that it will attack the various seals on the domestic water side. Also, an oil combi does not just heat up the water you use, but actually heats up a primary heat store, so the savings are not as much as with a gas combi.
  16. CraigMcK

    CraigMcK Well-Known Member

    I'm sure he's happy now as it was 5 years ago.

    Think Mr Arnold works for Ecomech and likes spam

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