NPOWER and Combi Boiler

  wotan 17:52 25 Sep 2008

For those of you contemplating an economic replacement for your old central heating boiler, a precautionary tale. I went to work this morning leaving my home supplied with heat and hot water by a twelve year old boiler. I came home this evening to find NPOWER had called, as agreed, to replace the old, WORKING boiler with a new economical combi. Great ? No chance. Apparently the engineer fitted the boiler and then found out it was faulty and would not work. He spoke to his depot and told my wife it would be next Monday 29/9/08 before they could fix it. Wife said "No way" or words to that effect, whereupon he again spoke to his depot and told her "Saturday 27/9/08 is the best we can do!" I have tried three times to contact the installations department at NPOWER, only to be cut off each time after selecting various options. Finally I rang the Sales department and asked to speak to the most senior customer service manager on site. I was put through to the duty Operations Manager, who told me there was nothing he could do until Friday morning when he would contact the main installations team in Burton, but, he could not guarantee any better result than that which we already had. To summarise, I have 50 kilos of scrap metal hanging in my heating cupboard, no heating and no hot water and a bill for £2750.00.
If you are considering a boiler exchange and are wondering who you should do it through, read this and then make up your mind. Would YOU choose NPOWER ???

  jakimo 18:07 25 Sep 2008

Isn't £2750 excessive to supply & fit a central heating boiler ?

  spuds 18:24 25 Sep 2008

Thats the problem nowadays, the utility company's who advertise these offers, order parts for a particular job and do not hold spares, possibly reallying on their suppliers or the manufacturer. The other point is that at once up on a time the utility company's had local depots, not any more.

I bet one of the local plumbing and heating merchants would have had a replacement for their stocked brands, or would have been able to source for the next day.

Methinks its a case of looking at the contract for a possible compensation clause.

And as previously suggested, £2750 seems a bit excessive for supply and fit.

  Woolwell 19:25 25 Sep 2008

The cost depends on the size (output) of boiler installed and any alterations to the current system to fit the new boiler. £2,750 could be reasonable.

However I am surprised that a 12 year old boiler needs replacing.

  wotan 19:44 25 Sep 2008

Hi from Liverpool,and thanks for the response.
The price believe it or not was the cheapest of three quotes, with British Gas being the most expensive.
The job was to replace a Worcester combi, eight thermostatic rad. valves and any associated alterations to pipework and electrics. Also in the price was some make good building work as the new boiler has a much smaller flue outlet. The replacement was a Vaillant ecoTEC pro 24 boiler.
I will be taking spuds advice and looking very closely at the sales contract as we were promised a "completed job in half a day", and in fact got a cock-up in three or possibly five days. I have also contacted Vaillant for their comments on the standard of installation being carried out by a company that is advertised as one of their preferred installers. With regard to replacing a boiler that is only twelve years old, I have been led to believe that Worcester are no longer making parts for this model. When the stocks of existing spares run out, that will be the end of my servicing agreement. I decided to get the new boiler to avoid the problem of not being able to get a part and having to be without heat and hot water for several days, funny isn't it.

  Woolwell 19:53 25 Sep 2008

As I stated it depends on the amount of work. Your price sounds reasonable especially in view of the quotes.

  oresome 21:26 25 Sep 2008

A google shows the boiler cost to be around £700 from various suppliers. Eight radiator valves would perhaps add another £400 or so. A home survey would add say £150.

How many people were involved with the claimed half day installation which does seem rather a short time for a fairly complex task?

In any event labour costs seem to make up well over half of the final cost which I would expect if it wasn't for the fact they claim to do it in half a day.

Our boiler is now well over 20 years old and you're getting me worried!

  jimv7 09:51 26 Sep 2008

oresome, I hope you are including fitting of the valves as well, £400 for 8 valves is a bit over the top, screwfix offer Drayton thermostatic valves from £8.99 each.

  jimv7 09:51 26 Sep 2008

click here;jsessionid=VN12H1L1GMNMKCSTHZOCFFY

  Esc4p3 12:35 26 Sep 2008

Last year I had a similar job plus relocation of flue for £1750, but done by an independent supplier - our old boiler was 25 years old. Coincidentally we had both a Vaillant and a fault almost straight away. The main difference was that our guarantee was with Vaillant directly, and they came out the next day and replaced the main circuit board as it was faulty. It has been an excellent boiler since and is saving us money with our gas bills.

jimv7, our valves are indeed Drayton badged and perfectly adequate.

  oresome 20:36 26 Sep 2008


I was being generous, but wasn't including the fitting cost.

I guessed a good quality valve would be around £30. Didn't realise you could get them so cheap.

Don't have any at home, but had one on the firms office radiator which used to often stick in the closed position. After calling the plumber out once and watching what he did, I regularly took the cap off and released a small pin with a pair of pliers to restore heat.

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