Did your central heating break down in the big freeze? Here’s why…
By Michael Hanlon
Last updated at 10:25 AM on 29th December 2010
Five years ago, New Labour heralded them as the modern, clean and green way to heat your house. As a result, today there are already eight million ‘condensing boilers’ in homes across Britain. In fact, since 2005 it is illegal to fit any other kind.
At the time, John Prescott claimed they would massively reduce your carbon footprint and slash your fuel bills. As a result, every year some 1.2 million old-style ‘dirty’ boilers are scrapped in Britain and replaced by this wondrous new variety.
It’s all the more infuriating because the problem causing these breakdowns is so simple. In cold weather, the pipe that takes waste water from the back of the condensing boiler - which isn’t there in a normal boiler - freezes solid, shutting down the system and in many cases causing permanent damage.
But this problem is just one of many that have plagued this boiler design since they became popular in the Nineties. Many plumbers consider them to be little more than a multi-billion-pound con-trick
OK, this design flaw isn’t subtle. It’s so predictable that the stupidity is so stupendous as to be close to making the possibility of the “flaw” being intentional an equally likely possibility!