If you have an Ideal Isar central heating boiler, take cover

I know central heating isn’t quite as exciting as tablets and smartphones, but after my boiler packed up yet again it’s worth mentioning this: if you have an Ideal Isar boiler and don’t pay for British Gas HomeCare-style cover, you really should.

My one’s suffered from electrode failures (twice), some internal gubbins going wrong (three times) and this time, the failure of the heat exchanger (again) and circuit board; it’s seven years old and it’s been breaking down at least once a year for the last four years. Each time, the gas engineers tell me that the Isar is far and away the most unreliable and problem-prone boiler they deal with – and each time, the boiler cover saves me from a frighteningly expensive repair bill. If you’ve got one, make sure it’s covered.

5 thoughts on “If you have an Ideal Isar central heating boiler, take cover

  1. hunnymonster says:

    Ha, that’s only because they (British/Scottish Gas like almost all other gas maintenance companies) refuse to deal with Baxi Powermax 155x like I had here from “new” to it’s death 6½ years later because they’re so bloody awful to work on. The Poxi (as we referred to it) was noisy (the house shook when it started up) and woefully inefficient and if you were asleep when it started, that state didn’t last long – much like living under the runway at Heathrow. Naturally something always went wrong with it at the most inopportune moments…

    Picture the scene, Christmas Eve, just after 9pm, -15C outside, roads to civilisation all closed by snow, chances of finding a gas engineer are nil or less – just the time for the boiler thermal cutout to decide it’s too hot and to trip out. Christmas with no hot water and no heating looked on the cards, until Mr Google provided me the necessary secrets to reset the thermal cut out (for anything from 10 minutes to 2 weeks).

    On top of that – the programmer failure that was replaced free of charge by Poxi – and the highly skilled technician from Poxi Heat Team, who only deals with Poxi Powermax boilers, managed to reverse the connections for heating and hot water… which is probably fine in winter (except the boiler wasn’t actually capable of providing hot water simultaneously with the heating circulation pump is running so limited hot water in winter) but certainly less helpful in summer (switch on the central heating on on the hottest day of the year to get the hot water).

    Fast forward 4 years and there’s a suspiciously large amount of water on the floor in the boiler cupboard… turned out the HX unit was corroded beyond repair and had leaked inside the boiler cabinet and corroded lots of other parts and what I’m seeing is the condensation from the above. All not covered by Poxi’s piece of mind service plan (the only one that will cover the Poxi Powermax 155x because they’re so bloody awful to work on).

    Best money I ever spent was getting rid of that piece of shit that basically dissolved itself from the inside with a Worcester. Gas bill lower, radiators hotter, no more eye-wateringly expensive service plan with Poxi, the boiler is a quarter of the size – so the boiler cupboard is now a drying cupboard. It runs nearly silently (the only reason you know it’s started up is the tick-tick-tick noise of the pipes expanding as they heat up).

  2. Gary says:

    Bloody hell.

    We’re hoping to remortgage to build an extension and I think it’d be clever to get a new boiler if we do that. You’re not the first to recommend Worcester ones – the gas engineers I’ve asked say they’re the best.

  3. David says:

    As I mentioned on FB, my Ideal Isar was the biggest waste of time and money I’ve ever had. About 2 grand to install it and it took 18 months to install and get working. Then, in the year or so I was there before we left, it broke down several times. My Worcester Bosch was fantastically reliable, the only issues being caused by an external pipe freezing. About 5 years and we had no callouts for that boiler, that I can remember, other than a problem caused by an external pipe freezing. They’re far from cheap though. The current range of Ideal boilers are about a third less. Would heartily recommend. Shame I wasn’t around when you were doing up your house or I might have seen it before it went in and got you to change it. :-(

  4. Gary says:

    Well, fingers crossed we can get the remortgage. If we can I’ll factor a Worcester boiler into the plans.

  5. mupwangle says:

    I think they’ve also got a 5 year guarantee on the boiler and 10 years on the heat exchanger too.

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