Back boilers, once incredibly popular and praised for their efficiency, have now become all but obsolete, losing pride of place in the home to smaller and more efficient combi boilers.
We’ve written about replacing your back boiler before, but that was quite a few years ago now and there have been a few changes.
What is a Baxi back boiler?
Baxi is a brand that were previously known for making back boilers. A back boiler is a unit fitted to the rear of a fireplace or stove, enabling it provide both heat in the room and hot water for central heating and household use. They went through a boom in popularity in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, with Baxi back boilers as by far the most popular units.
The advantages of a back boiler are primarily this: longevity. In all likelihood you’re reading this article because you’re thinking of replacing a Baxi back boiler that has been fitted in your property for 10+ years, potentially must longer. These suckers were built to last.
Why can’t I get a Baxi back boiler anymore?
We’re sorry to be the ones to tell you this, all back boiler models have been discontinued in the UK.
Part of the problem is that they tend to be pretty inefficient and therefore significantly more expensive to run that other options. Government guidelines from 2005 state that all new boilers are required to be condensing boilers and of at least 86% efficiency; this effectively rules out all back boilers. Add to this that they’re a pain to access and tend to be pretty clunky, and you might start to see why nobody is making or selling back boilers anymore.
Although the newer models are more efficient – a range of A-rated high efficiency Baxi back boilers was launched around 10 years ago, for example – these have also been discontinued.
My Baxi back boiler is broken, what can I do?
There are still replacement parts available for Baxi back boilers, so if you’re determined to keep hold of yours then this is likely your best avenue for exploration. It’s much easier to source parts for the more recent models, but beware; the demand for all Baxi back boiler replacement parts is consistent enough that counterfeits have become more common. These knockoffs are at best low quality and at worst unsafe – back boilers are not known for their safety features at the best of times, so try to make sure that what you’re buying is genuine. Baxi have a guide to spotting the genuine article from the fakes here.
In most cases, however, your best option is to replace your back boiler with a new system.
What should I replace my Baxi back boiler with?
It is worth remembering that your new boiler can not be fitted in the same location as your old back boiler so you’ll have to find some new space for it.
Combi Boiler: The most common choice for replacing a back boiler is with a combi boiler, because it’s compact and efficient. This allows you access to instant and unlimited hot water and heat exactly when you need it. No big bulky water tanks also makes it the easiest kind of replacement boiler to find a place for.
Conventional Boiler: Conventional boilers have the main unit and a hot water tank, almost always located in the attic (as it uses the gravity to create the water pressure). Although they can be used to replace back boilers, most people find the hot water tank is inconvenient to fit and not really necessary for their purposes. You may still want to consider this option to replace your back boiler system if your household water demand is higher than a combi boiler would be able to handle.
Back boilers may have been discontinued and fallen out of mainstream use, but there are still a decent number of them in properties around the UK. While some people are dedicated to their Baxi back boiler and will strive to find replacement parts to keep the old girl running as long as possible, our recommendation is to take a look into replacing the system with a much more efficient combi or conventional boiler system.
If you’re interested in getting either of these installed, please get in touch with us using the form below and we’ll put you in contact with a trusted local installer.