Water cylinder problems - stupid question, and whether to replace cylinders or get a combi?

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Scottank, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Scottank

    Scottank Member

    I've not long bought got a house, with an 8yo Vaillant system boiler and two hot water cylinders. One was leaking - so I've had it drained by a plumber. To start with a stupid question, is there a straightforward way to work out which was drained? I think the other one is leaking a bit from the coil, so both will need replaced, but want to make sure I'm not replacing a working cylinder!

    Secondly, I'll be looking at around £1k to replace both cylinders (they'll have to take down a wall to do it, and space is limited - hence the two smaller cylinders) or £3k to replace my boiler with a combi. I'm in a 3 bed house with two bathrooms, both showers running off gas. WWYD? I'm leaning towards just replacing the cylinders - what I've got now works fine, and there should be life in the boiler yet. I could replace if that's a much better option, though...
  2. Jimbo

    Jimbo Screwfix Select

    That sounds amazingly cheap.
  3. Scottank

    Scottank Member

    Thanks. Which does? I'm in a part of Scotland with low-ish average wages, which is likely a factor
  4. Scottank

    Scottank Member

    If it helps, here's one picture of what looks to be a dodgy coil on the second cylinder and two of what looks like it might be a dodgy connection on the first cylinder. Any easy way for me to tell which has been drained? Or do both cylinders look like they'll want replacing anyway? Thanks!

    IMG-20191203-WA0001.jpg IMG-20191203-WA0002.jpg IMG-20191203-WA0000.jpg
  5. Scottank

    Scottank Member

    Sorry - too stupid a question, or unhelpful pictures? It is sounding like the quote of £1k to change the two cylinders (including making and repairing a hole in the wall) is very good value, and will be less disruption than taking up the floors to run new gas piping to fit a combi. What would be particularly helpful now is any views on whether the pictures of both cylinders look dodgy - I don't want to replace one unnecessarily, but want to have the other one start leaking even less! Thanks :)
  6. dray

    dray Member

    I am just DIY, but being as you ask, I cannot believe that you are still using either of those cylinders in that state! Looks like running leak from one and the other is about to fall apart from rust, do you not worry about the damage from the ongoing leaks on the house structure or the flood potential if one massively failed when you were not in the house.
    Sorry if that sounds harsh (but you did ask) but if I was in your position I would be getting a reputable heating engineer around to assess and provide the options for urgent repair work or replacements as soon as possible.
    Not sure if this helps pricewise (versus your 3K option) but I an in North Herts just above London and i have recently had one new 1200x450 cylinder and a new 27Kw Worcester compact boiler, flue etc, with powerflush, magnaclean filter fitted, removal of old expansion tank and adaption of pipework plus a new water heated kick heater for £4057.40. The labour accounted for £1500 and although i could have got it slightly cheaper, the installer was highly recommended by a friend and I was not disappointed .
    Hope this helps a little bit and will watch with interest what the professionals advise you to do but hope it works out for you.
  7. kiaora

    kiaora Screwfix Select

    changing the cyliders would be my prefefence,
    the vailliant boilers are good. and can go on for years,
    price is reasonable to include minor building work
    good luck
  8. Scottank

    Scottank Member

    Thanks! Weirdly, only the third plumber I had quote (today) argued this was urgent...

    I think the rusty cylinder is drained already and the coil is only leaking very slowly (that staining is dry to the touch). Point noted, though! I've decided to go with changing the tanks, and I've asked the best-looking plumber to ask how soon they can get in - sounds like it might be next week.

    Appreciate the replies- I've no idea what a hot water cylinder should look like!

    By the way, the recommendations from the three plumbers were all different! I'm going with the one that's likely to involve least disruption/risk of problems and is £2k or so less than the others...
  9. kiaora

    kiaora Screwfix Select

    a stupid question is the one you don't ask !
  10. Scottank

    Scottank Member

    Thanks! Got the cylondwr replacement booked to get done in two and a half weeks' time - couldn't get anyone in sooner :( I guess there's not much I can usefully do before then beyond keep an eye on the cylinders for any problems? The space they're in is currently dry (the staining is older).
  11. Scottank

    Scottank Member

    Cylinder replacement is next week, and nothing new has started leaking :) One more stupid question, if that's ok - I can expect the plumbing company to just reconnect the system so it works along similar lines to currently? I only use the gas to heat water, but I think there's some kind of immersion system in place as a backup...

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