Whats a back boiler?

Last Update: May 30, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got the complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Filomena Bergnaum V
Score: 5/5 (26 votes)

Back boilers (also known as back boiler units or BBUs) became popular in 1966 with the launch of the original Baxi Bermuda. A back boiler is a small, compact boiler fitted at the back of an open fireplace hearth. It sits behind a gas fire and provides hot water and central heating to the property.

Why are Back boilers illegal?

Old Back boilers are no longer safe, which is why they are illegal. The conventional or old boilers have less efficiency, more energy consumption and expensive maintenance. ... You need to replace your back boiler or remove it. You can replace it with a new back boiler or convert to a combi, system or heat only boiler.

Are Back boilers any good?

Back boilers are outdated heating systems that are expensive to run as they're much less energy efficient. Energy efficient: typically, a back boiler provides only 78% energy efficiency which is below the government's minimum requirement of 86%. Many modern boilers can achieve efficiency of 90% and more.

How do you know if you have a back boiler?

You can usually tell if you have a back boiler by looking at your gas fire. If you take off the plate at the bottom of the heater, there will be a model number under there that you can check, and you should be able to see the pilot light as well.

How long does a back boiler last?

A combi boiler will last you around 10 years. If you service you old back boiler regularly, it will last you a lot longer.

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24 related questions found

Are back boilers expensive to run?

Back boilers are quite an archaic form of heating. They can be costly to run and maintain, they also tend to be a lot more inefficient than modern boiler models.

Can you sell a house with a back boiler?

The Short Answer: Yes

If we were to take the question at face-value, then yes, you can sell your house with a broken boiler. There are so many old homes in the UK, in different states of disrepair. There are bound to be buyers who are more interested in the land and location than they would with the house's features.

Can I have a back boiler?

Due to health and safety reasons, the back boiler is no longer legal to manufacture. Designed to be cheap, compact and hidden away, Back boilers are very inefficient compared to new modern efficient boilers. It is possible to still keep a gas or electric fire which was with the back boiler to keep the costs down.

Can a back boiler explode?

When a fire is lit in front of a redundant back boiler, left in a sealed condition, it can heat up and the internal pressure can cause the boiler casing to explode. ... Thus, at the decommissioning stage the system should have been drained and redundant pipework removed along with, ideally, the back boiler itself.

Does a back boiler use electricity?

After proper installation, back boilers are ready to use to heat hot water and provide heating around the home. ... Back boilers use the heat of a fireplace run by electricity or gas fire.

Can you have a log burner with a back boiler?

A wood burner with back boiler can be connected to your central heating system so that the heat generated by the stove heats your radiators as well as the room. End your reliance on the immersion heater by using your stove to do the job of your central heating.

When were back boilers discontinued?

Back boilers were popular until the Building Regulations changed in 2005, when it became a requirement to install high efficiency condensing boilers. Although many have been replaced with wall-hung condensing boilers, there are still a large number of back boilers still installed in UK homes.

How fire works with back boiler?


When lighting, the boiler damper should be closed so that the flue gases pass up the chimney in front of the boiler. When the damper is open, more heat is directed around the boiler, which will make the fire harder to light.

How do I make my back boiler safe?

“The only positively safe and reliable way to proceed, when a solid fuel back boiler is no longer needed and the customer wants to continue using the fireplace, is to totally remove the back boiler installation by breaking up the chamber that used to carry the hot water system and removing any pipework.

How efficient is a back boiler?

Typically a back boiler is just under 80% efficient whereas a modern condensing boiler could be 98% efficient. This is particularly important when your heating accounts for over 50% of what the average household will spend a year on bills. Therefore an inefficient boiler can really affect your fuel bills.

Does a back boiler need a pump?

It can also be connected to a series of radiators to provide central heating but usually requires an electrical pump to be fitted to circulate the hot water, some systems can use the gravity circuit to include radiators.

How do I dispose of an old boiler?

Steps Required to Remove a Boiler
  1. Remove insulation from the pipes and dispose them of properly. ...
  2. Disconnect electricity from the boiler using a licensed electrician.
  3. Drain the boiler and water circulation system piping.
  4. Dismantle the boiler in place.

What should I replace my boiler with?

Traditional alternatives to gas boilers
  • Oil or LPG Boilers. Oil and LPG are similar to natural gas in the sense that they're both fossil fuels. ...
  • Electric Boilers. ...
  • Biomass Boilers. ...
  • Air Source Heat Pumps. ...
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps. ...
  • Solar Thermal Panels. ...
  • Infrared Heating Panels. ...
  • Solar Powered Electric Heating.

Are back boilers bad?

Unfortunately, when the back boiler is left unused this can become dangerous. When in situ, it can allow flue gases to enter the pipework and which is then dispersed to other areas of the property. As a result, this can lead to fire risks as well as permanent damage to pipework.

Is it worth replacing boiler before selling house?

In general, if you're thinking about selling, then your best investments will be a new boiler, central heating and off-street parking. In a study done by GoCompare, it was found that the most profitable home improvement was, you guessed it, a new boiler.

Do I need a boiler installation certificate to sell my house?

Must I have a gas boiler safety certificate to sell my house? If you have a gas boiler in your current home, you will not need a safety certificate as a prerequisite to selling your house. Even then, having safety checks and annual inspections done annually is recommended for your own safety.

How much does it cost to service a back boiler?

A service of a boiler, gas fire and hob is likely to be in the £100-£125 range. A boiler service should cost £70-90 (depending on where in the country you are), and that includes cleaning out a magnetic system filter (if you have one).

How often should a back boiler be serviced?

Maintain your back boiler:

It is very important they are properly stripped down and serviced every year. A proper service will involve a lot of cleaning and takes about two hours.

How much would it cost to fit a log burner?

It will cost £1200 to install a log burner if chimney already present, to include cleaning and lining chimney and installing log burner to HETAS standards. It will cost £2300 to install a log burner if no chimney present, to include installing twin wall chimney system and installing log burner to HETAS standards.