Back Boiler Removal: How messy is removing a back boiler?

James Elston
Written by James Elston
Updated on 21st September 2023
Posted on 20th September 2023
Topic: Boiler Advice
Back Boiler Removal: How messy is removing a back boiler

Back Boiler Removal: How Messy is it, How Long Does it Take & Who Can Do it?

Being so old, having inadequate modern facilities, higher maintenance costs, and government regulations back boilers are on the verge of their extinction.

kitchen cupboard fit combi boiler

Removing a back boiler and replacing it with a modern combi boiler could save you a lot of money.

Nowadays, people are finding a type of boiler to replace boilers in the search for a more energy efficient way of heating the home.

Whatever your causes are, ideally you need to remove your old back boilers if not just to save you money. Removing back boilers with a gas fire will cause health benefits and ensure you are gas safe.

Did you know changing from a G rated back boiler to a new A rated condensing boiler replacement could save you over £800 per year on your energy bills as per the Energy Saving Trust?

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What is a back boiler? how messy a back boiler is to remove

A back boiler is an old central heating system that was popular decades ago to heat homes and provided hot water.

They are no longer efficient, and now we have A-Rated boilers available to purchase that are much easier to run and manage.

Working process of a back boiler and gas fire:

A back boiler works in a different process.

A back boiler works by heat transfer from a gas fire to a hot water cylinder beside it.

Back boilers need a close attachment to the fireplace, and coldwater storage tanks and hot water tanks are needed separately.

After getting cold water into the tank and pipework around the back boiler, the boiler starts the process to heat the water.

back boiler system

Using a central heating system, a back boiler requires radiators to heat the home where an electric pump usually supplies and distributes the hot water around the radiators.


Why do you need to remove your old back boiler?

Old Back boilers are not efficient enough, which is why they are illegal to replace. Considering the amount of money you would save on your gas bill if you have a gas back boiler, it would be worth it in the long term.

Conventional old boilers have less efficiency, more energy consumption, and expensive maintenance.

If you are asking yourself if old back boilers are expensive to run, your answer is yes yes yes!!

On the other hand, modern gas boilers (system boiler, conventional boiler, and Combi boiler, etc.) come with all modern facilities and safety.

Ideally, you need to replace your back boiler to save you money, especially with the huge and continuing rise in gas prices.

You can replace it with a new back boiler or convert to a combi, system, or heat-only boiler.

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Process of Removing a Back Boiler back boiler image

To remove a back boiler, you need a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Removing a Back Boiler:

Opting to remove a back boiler on your own can expose you to various risks, including gas leaks, structural damage, and potential harm to yourself and others. Here’s why a DIY approach is strongly discouraged:

  • Gas Safety Concerns: Back boilers are intricately connected to gas lines, and any misstep during removal can result in gas leaks, endangering lives and property.
  • Structural Implications: Back boilers often intertwine with a property’s structure. Incorrect removal might lead to structural damage, causing more extensive and costly repairs.
  • Legal Requirements: Back boiler removal involves compliance with safety regulations and legal standards. Gas Safe engineers possess the necessary training and certifications to ensure adherence to these guidelines.

Back Boiler Removal Costs

In a nutshell, you can expect to pay upwards of £3000 in back boiler removal costs. However, as with all purchases, the figure will change depending on the new system you install.

Because you’ll be replacing with a new boiler, this procedure is often called a system upgrade.

Remove back boiler and replace with combi boiler

In this case, you’ll be decommissioning your back boiler for a new combi boiler. This is a widespread system upgrade and one that’ll improve the efficiency of your home tenfold.

With this upgrade, you can expect to pay around £3000. However, do remember that it would depend on the specific boiler.

For combi boiler recommendations, we would suggest the Viessmann Vitodens 050-W Combi. This hit the top charts in our recent best combi review.

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Back Boiler Removal Grant

In some cases, there may be funding available to individuals and homeowners who are in financial hardship. The trouble with these, however, is that Government Grants come and go. If there is one available now, it doesn’t guarantee it’ll be available later.

It’s best to check out sites like Money Supermarket which keep an up to date tally on the current grants and financial assistance available.

Saying this, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) offers a scheme to help low-income households keep bills down. The grant is means-tested and designed to help those in need.

If you don’t meet the means-tested eligibility, our second recommendation is to utilise finance and spread the cost over time. This makes back boiler replacement more affordable even if you aren’t able to access a grant.

Why back boilers removal causes a mess back boiler living room mess

As the components of the back boiler are closely installed to the fireplace and fitted to the floor, during its removal it will cause a little destruction in the whole space, it was installed.

If you have a new boiler and you don’t need your back boiler anymore, then it will be easier for you to remove your boiler.

You just need to remove your boiler, not the fireplace.

If you want to replace the fireplace and whole back boiler, this will be harder for you, make a little more mess and incur a higher cost.

You can keep the original fireplace and run it off electric or gas to save money.

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Back Boiler Legislation

In the last decade, back boilers have got many barriers.

The UK Government has declared a few regulations.

Back boilers that have been updated to new back boilers are still allowed, but replacing an old back boiler with another one is illegal. The gas fire with the old back boiler is still allowed to be used.


How much mess back boiler removal can create back boiler

The back boiler, its flue, and gas fire – all will be removed unless you want to keep the back boiler fireplace.

Removing the gas fireplace and replacing it with an electric fire could cost you more in the short term but less in the long term.

So, creating a mess is normal while removing a back boiler.

Get prepared to handle a small amount of untidiness whilst it gets removed.

In the case of removing the total fireplace and back boiler system, more dirt will be created at home.

Most competent Gas Safe registered heating engineers who fit new boilers complete the work in 2 to 3 days and also keep your home nice and tidy at the same time. At Boiler Central we specialise in a back boiler replacement.


Some of the below may happen when decommissioning a back boiler:

  • Damage to the floor: Your floor will be damaged due to taking the components out of the back boiler.
  • Having wastage of pipe: Back boiler installation needs a remarkable amount of pipework. During the removal of the old back boiler, the pipework will be uprooted. A lot of rubbish will be created for uprooting pipework.
  • Dirty water: One or two buckets of dirty water can come out from the pipework.
  • Dust and rubbish: Dust and small pieces of brick will spread out widely. Remove your floor carpet and keep necessary things away from the workplace.

It must be said however that you will not look back and you probably will wish you replaced the back boiler much sooner.

The mess caused by the back boiler conversion is temporary, and the installer/s will clean most of it up for you.

If you require removal of your back boiler and would like to convert to one of the latest, energy-efficient combi boiler then get a fixed price on a new boiler now.

You can get a back boiler replacement for as little as £17 per month.

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Written by
James Elston
James Elston Director Of Boiler Central
Posted on: 20th September 2023
Topic: Boiler Advice

James Elston is our resident boiler replacement and heating expert here at Boiler Central. With over 20 years experience in the boiler installation industry, James ensures that he knows everything there is about our Gas Safe boiler installations, energy saving and home heating solutions. This can be from simply procuring the latest best combi boilers, to reviewing and ensuring that Boiler Central maintains the highest standards across our boiler installation company.

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