Removing old back boiler

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by DanielM44, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. DanielM44

    DanielM44 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Can I remove this back boiler?

    I've recently bought a 1960s house. It has a chimney breast which has been plasterboarded over. I cut a hole, and it seems there is an old Parkray back boiler still fitted. (See images).

    There are two pipes going into/away from it. The flue seems unblocked. I found the old central heating pump, completely disconnected, under the house. The house has an almost new combi boiler system, with new radiators. There are some holes in the floorboards which indicate where the old boiler system radiators used to be.

    So this back boiler seems to be redundant. But I'm concerned that if it was full redundant, it would have been removed as opposed to just boarded over. Is it safe to just remove?

    Cheers,
     

    Attached Files:

  2. spirits are real 2016

    spirits are real 2016 Well-Known Member

    why do you want to remove it.
     
  3. DanielM44

    DanielM44 New Member

    Ideally, we want to open up the fireplace, and rebrick it. We don't want to install a new fireplace, we'd like it to be open and then put some candles or wotnot in there.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Dam0n

    Dam0n Active Member

    It's probably been disconnected and drained. I bet it hasn't been removed because it'd be more work for the tradesman that boarded up the fireplace.

    Can you trace where the flow and return pipes go?
     
  5. DanielM44

    DanielM44 New Member

    Thanks DamOn.

    From what I can see the flow and return pipes go into some brick work on the left hand side. Perhaps I need to open the plasterboard completely to see if those two pipes are connected to anything?
     
  6. spirits are real 2016

    spirits are real 2016 Well-Known Member

    just becareful when you do remove it they are very heavy will take two to remove it from the room. Is their any boxing on the side of the fire place where the old pipes would have been run in.
     
  7. DanielM44

    DanielM44 New Member

    Thanks. Yeah it does look to be a pretty hefty bit of metal.
     
  8. Dam0n

    Dam0n Active Member

    I'd be 99.9% sure it wasn't still connected but you never know. Could be a hidden hot water tank somewhere above! :D

    With a new combi install though you can pretty much guarantee it'll be redundant.

    Personally I would drill a small hole in the top pipe to see if there is anything in it.
     
  9. DanielM44

    DanielM44 New Member

    Cheers DamOn.

    There are some pipes that have been cut under the floor boards of the room above the fireplace, I'm assuming these pipes once led to the hot water tank. I'll poke my head in the loft tonight as well to make sure there isn't a hot water tank up there (only bought the house yesterday).

    If I do drill a hole and there is still water flow, am I looking at a flood in the living room?
     
  10. Dam0n

    Dam0n Active Member

    Congratulations on the new house purchase.

    Na the backboiler would have only heated a store of water or a couple of radiators depending on design. Nothing that's directly connected to the mains. Have a builders bucket ready in case but you'll be fine.

    Those cut pipes are probably connected to the back boiler. They're in the right place being above the back boiler.
     
  11. DanielM44

    DanielM44 New Member


    Cheers DamOn. I'll give it a crack tonight.

    The gas for the fireplace that was in front on the back boiler has been capped off, so I'd assume the water to the back boiler was sorted too. I'll post how it goes.
     
  12. Dam0n

    Dam0n Active Member

    Don't forget the snorkel :)

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  13. DanielM44

    DanielM44 New Member

    Will do. Thanks for the help. :)
     
  14. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    The old Parkray would have heated a copper cylinder and also all the radiators.
    When you try to remove it, I suggest you first remove all the removable parts of the Parkray to decrease the weight. The casing comes off with screws and the main part of iron door lifts off hinge spigots.
    Remove the ash pan door and all the fire bars etc.
    The Parkray was made of cast iron and therefore very heavy.
     
  15. DanielM44

    DanielM44 New Member

    Thanks for the advice heat.

    I've just traced the flow and return pipes upstairs and they've both been cut completely. There's no water tank anywhere in the house so I'm now confident it's totally redundant. Dropped a small stone down the pipe and fell straight down into the back boiler :)

    Planning on removing the whole thing this Sat. I'll post some pics.
     
    longboat and Heat like this.
  16. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    And the copper pipes are worth good money for scrap copper. :)
    Get someone strong to help you remove boiler and all should wear steel toecap shoes and gloves.
    Note that the Parkrays had the return connections high on boiler and therefore still hold a lot of water, which might still be in your boiler - so take care to bung the fittings with plenty of tissue to prevent dirty water everywhere.
    Boiler will also be worth something for scrap iron, but not a fortune - maybe less than £20, so if somebody wants it, consider it a favour to you
     
  17. DanielM44

    DanielM44 New Member

    Thanks Heat. Some great tips.

    Should there be water in the boiler, how much should I expect? Will a couple of towels mop it up, or should I be expecting a bucket?
     
  18. spirits are real 2016

    spirits are real 2016 Well-Known Member

    no there won't be hardly anything left it all depends how long its been redundant but you will find its probably has evaporated by now so should be empty.
     
    Heat likes this.
  19. DanielM44

    DanielM44 New Member

    Perfect. Thanks Heat.
     
  20. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    As above from Spirits, - there probably won’t be much left, but take care. There is a fair bit left normally in them initially
     

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