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Boiler – ‘backdraft’

As I write, the sun is shining and everybody including me is thinking that we are at last escaping the ravages of a particularly hard winter.

At this time of year the last thing on my mind is boilers. Alas, being a landlord, boiler action or in my case inaction is never far away. Masten, one of my long-standing tenants called me the other day to give me the bad news. The boiler had packed up and this time it looked serious. No signs of life what so ever. It’s a Worcester Bosch and only about 5 years old, so naturally I’m pretty disappointed to say the least. Using my free property management software account to check its record it had it’s PCB card replaced only a couple of years ago in August 2008 which cost me £140.

Now I had two choices in terms of getting the boiler fixed. Firstly, I could go straight to Worcester Bosch and get one of their service engineers to check out the situation. Big money! My last experience was an upfront cost just to call them out of 185 pounds. That’s a lot if all that the boiler needs is a tweak. So instead I opted to contact a local heating engineer. After several calls, a false diagnosis, the conclusion was that the PCB board had blown and there was something more sinister underlying the problem. Now, my poor tenant had already endured several days without hot water. Being a fairly clean chap who apparently likes his baths, he was getting withdrawal symptoms and annoying itches. Time to call in the big guns. I gave Worcester Bosch a call and was given 2 options. The first was 215 pounds to fix the problem. The other 285 pounds to fix the problem and give me a guaranteed 12 months service cover.

Worcester Bosch 2.4i Junior problems

Having looked at this post it appears that my particular boiler a 2.4i is particularly prone to PCB faults.

It also looks like that landlords can contribute to the longevity of their boiler by making sure that their central heating pipe work has been de-gunged. I think this will definitely be something I look into over the forthcoming days.

The Worcester Bosch engineer did turn up and all credit to them they fixed the problem straight off. The fault was indeed another PCB board. They also rectified the incorrect wiring that the previous engineer had carried out. There is a warning here to landlords about getting in ad-hoc heating engineers to sort a problem.

I’m open to bribery!

Lets be clear. I’m a simple landlord and not above bribery. If this article suddenly disappears then; you can assume that Worcester Bosch have been in contact and offered to replace my boiler. If anybody from Worcester Bosch is out there and is listening I’m open to offers…otherwise, guys your boilers aren’t as reliable as you think they are!

Boilers getting less reliable

There is a general assumption that technology will bring every increasing improvement to boiler life. Not so. If we take the new condensing boiler. Whilst more energy efficient; there is circumstantial evidence that their complexity mean they last significantly less time than much older models. With pre-condensing models, the general assumption was that a boiler would last from 10-15 years. Some condensing boilers have been shown to last less than 10 years.

Boiler insurance

There is no doubt that if your boiler fails it is one of the most expensive pieces of kit for a landlord to replace. My recent experiences have reignited my debate with myself. Should I invest in boiler insurance?

As yet inaction has been my reaction but this latest incidence could be the last straw.

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