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Thread: Drayton Wiser Open therm

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Drayton Wiser Open therm

    Currently have a Drayton Wiser system with a very old boiler which I intend to have replaced in the near future. Thinking of having a Vaillant ecoTec plus regular boiler which is not Opentherm compatible without the addition of VR33 PCB which would invalidate the Warranty however I like the idea of being able to have a 10 year Warranty. Property is a detached 1970's property with 2 heating zones (15 radiators) and bathroom heating on the primary circuit of the hot water cylinder.

    Is Opentherm so much more efficient that I should consider a different boiler?

    I appreciate that this is not really an automated home question but you guys seem to have a real expertise.

  2. #2
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    Lots of boilers have 10 year warranty. Why vaillant?

    I'm actually running wiser with ecotec 831 and it works fine without opentherm, so I would not change the boiler just because I need opentherm. But as it happens the boiler is rather crap, so when I change it it will not be a vaillant.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    Intergas Eco RF 36 combi here. Plays really well with Evohome using Opentherm, so I presume it would with Wiser, too.

    I only have one quibble and it's exceptionally minor - it doesn't send the CH return temp via the OpenTherm bus so my monitoring can't see it.

    Fantastic boiler - I love the simplicity of Intergas, with no diverter valve etc.

    P.

  4. #4
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    Yes, if if I could I would be getting Intergas Xclusive now.

  5. #5
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    I'd be sticking to Vaillant. Pretty hard to beat IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtmcgavock View Post
    I'd be sticking to Vaillant. Pretty hard to beat IMO.
    Unless you are a heating engineer or at least someone with enough knowledge of engineering differences between different boilers and their service records, any positive personal experience doesn't mean anything statistically (you just might have been lucky if you haven't had any issues).

    But then again this is not a forum about boilers...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by someuser08 View Post
    Unless you are a heating engineer or at least someone with enough knowledge of engineering differences between different boilers and their service records, any positive personal experience doesn't mean anything statistically (you just might have been lucky if you haven't had any issues).

    But then again this is not a forum about boilers...
    Heating Engineer, with a business with over 35 years of experience. I'd like to think my opinion is of some value.

    You're basing your recommendation of Intergas off limited knowledge and marketing materials, unless of course you are Heating Engineer?

  8. #8
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    I'm not a heating engineer and don't pretend to know more than one, but this phenomenon really puzzles me: how can someone genuinely experienced in this industry can say that vaillant is comparable to indeed intergas or atag. I only assume that may be you just don't have experience of fitting them. If you really have and actually genuinely found vaillant is in some way better - please share your experience as I have not come across of such scenario before...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by someuser08 View Post
    I'm not a heating engineer and don't pretend to know more than one, but this phenomenon really puzzles me: how can someone genuinely experienced in this industry can say that vaillant is comparable to indeed intergas or atag. I only assume that may be you just don't have experience of fitting them. If you really have and actually genuinely found vaillant is in some way better - please share your experience as I have not come across of such scenario before...
    I can only base my opinion from experience, so i'm not quoting any 'official' figures etc. I've based my opinion not only on reliability, but design, product offering as an installer and the warranty support the company offers. We install and carry out a lot of servicing on a variety of different makes including Intergas and Atag so we see a variety of different boilers. Admittedly not as much on Atag due to them only really perusing the consumer market more in the UK in the last few years.

    Based on our installs we've fitted a variety of boilers over the numerous years including Vaillant, Worcester, Baxi/Main, Biasi, Ferroli, Ideal, Remeha and Ariston. Going back around 20 years ago we would mainly fit Vaillant when their main stream model was the TurboMax (Great boiler). When the condensing boiler regulations came in 2005 admittedly Vaillant weren't ready and their offerings at that time weren't great. Tied with the fact that the merchants were supporting other brands. It was at this point we moved over to Worcester for a good 8 years, however we did install a few Vaillants too in the same period (Typically System boilers).

    I still have customers with Turbomaxs that are 15+ year old with no issues, and customers with EcoTec ranges that are 10 years old with relatively free trouble. We even took out a Vaillant VCGB 242 that we installed in 1991 just before Christmas. 28 years out of a boiler isn't bad! None of the new ones will last that long.

    So forward to the current day, I can nearly guarantee that all the Worcesters we fitted have had at some point a plastic water carrying part fail (Apart from the heat only boilers), with the second most common fault being fan failure. As a result of this, and the way they've gone with the design and product range we will no longer fit them. The Vaillants we fitted in the same period, we've had hardly any issues with compared to the Worcesters. Granted, you aren't comparing on the same scale.

    2015, we started fitting Vaillants along with a 'budget' brand. In the past 4 years we've fitted around 90 Vaillant boilers, and 50 budget range ones. Out of the 90 Vaillants, i've had 4 where they've had to come out under warranty. The budget brand, i've had 19 warranty call outs.

    Then we come down to the design of a the boilers and flue systems. In my personal opinion the Vaillants have been designed very well and operate well. Have you seen inside a new Worcester Greenstar I? It's awful. All the EcoTec range have the round burner allowing for easy maintenance, and the EcoFit range have a new burner which I believe is designed by Mercedes (Again only time will tell how well they last). The plate heat exchangers are easy to access, the expansion vessels are within the boiler so they can be changed, the PRV valves are located at the front so they can be changed. There's little things on the Atag boilers that I don't like (Rear expansion vessel, the burner, the combined PRV and Condensate, and the computer, Warranties on heat exchangers that you know they'll never honour 15 years down the line!) and Intergas (Again some models - rear expansion, and swing out expansion, computer isn't great, design of the burner, and the fact one model can be 3 boilers!) I do like the dual heat exchanger though, the Ferroli Modena range is the same.

    Warranty call out team/engineers on Vaillant on are good also. On the 4 occasions I've had them out, it's either been same day or next day. One they even came out on new years day! Comparing to other manufactures, Ideal is pretty poor on their service, Baxi isn't great. Worcester are good and Ferroli are too. Again, I can't compare Intergas or Atag's service team as we've never installed them so as a result never had them out.

    Then their product offerings as an installer. You can nearly get a Vaillant boiler to fit any situation. The new EcoFit range have the option for rear flue exit, cupboard fit. Then you've got the new GreenIQ range which are 94% efficient and have a 1:10 modulation range - ideal for Evohome systems. I really can't fault their offerings at the current time.

    So that's what I base my opinion on. As I tell all my customers only time will tell which ones last the longest. Have the 10 year warranty, and have it serviced every year - You're guaranteed 10 years worth of life. At the end of the day most of the main parts are made by the same manufactures, (Fans - Embpapst, PCBs - Honeywell, Gas Valves - Sit Group Sigma or Honeywell) It's the design of the other parts, boiler and how well they're put together that's the only different in the end. And you can always just get a Friday afternoon boiler. Over the years I've had ones from different manufactures just have a variety of issues. I had a Remeha once that was that bad (That even Remeha themselves couldn't sort) I had to take it out and refit another! We installed 7 Ideal Logics in 2010, and I think 5 of them have had the Heat Exchangers go (Common problem, poor/cheap manufacturing).

    If you've had endless problems with your Vaillant I can only suggest a few things. Has it been installed well, have you had it regularly serviced (By a competent person and not BG!), what kind of use does it get, is the system clean and inhibitors correct? If all of the answers are yes, then I can only imagine you've just had bad luck.

    But on the whole, I wouldn't have anything else in my house.

  10. #10
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    First of all, thanks for taking time to write all that - very informative. Vaillant is definitely not the worst boiler out there and you have rightly shown that through the history of your installs when compared with WB/Ideal/'Budget'. And you also right about installation/installer to be more important rater than the boiler itself. But in the end its kind of what I expected - you have not installed (or even serviced) Intergas and Atag in numbers that would allow you to objectively compare them with Vaillant that you know inside out. In fact if you were my installer and I have seen where you are coming from I would have probably let you install Vaillant, but if you take 10 random installers of vaillant and compare system they install with 10 random intergas or atag ones, I'm certain it would not be in favor of the former. It maybe not even that the other two boilers are that much better, but installers who chose them do that for a reason (striving to try new things and more versatile in their approach) and could be just better quality heating engineers.

    As for my experience with Vaillant 831: I don't know who installed it and how it was serviced within first 4 years, but since year 5 (until year 9 now) we had to change AAV, pressure sensor, filling isolation valves, diverter (twice). None of this is really major, but the cost of parts and labor to fit them (I wish I was gas registered) is getting closer to the original cost of the boiler I think. Since the first time the diverter leaked (and we had to refill the system) I had dosed the inhibitor myself. I also regularly check TF1 filter and nothing major coming out of it (although system is not perfectly clean, that I admit). Diverter leaking again within 2 years - that is just bad design or poor quality of parts.

    On the other hand in my flat 9 years ago Atag A325ECX was installed (I was really lucky with the installer, back then I knew nothing about boilers) and after first year or two I could not get hold of the guy who installed it, so random engineers were coming for yearly service and did nothing apart form safety checks really (also most of the time they said they have never seen or heard of such a boiler). So after 9 years when we had to troubleshoot CO leak from the flue I came across original installer on linkedin and he came around, opened boiler for the first time since installation and was amazed that it looked like it had been in service for just 3 years. This is to me what quality is! Admittedly after initial lift off about 10 years ago, Atag kind of fell out favor with installers because they split into commercial and domestic operations (my boiler actually now belongs to commercial part and still being sold) and new domestic range can only be bought from them directly and even more expensive that it was previously.

    I do not have hands on experience with Intergas, but due to price, simplicity of the design and better support after installation (more people familiar with it than Atag) that would be my first choice now, however due to some flue installation challenges i might still have to go for Atag next time I change my boiler.

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