Helping UK homeowners make the right heating choices

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What is a Regular Boiler?


regular boiler diagram

Of the 3 types of central heating boilers (Combi, System and Regular), a Regular boiler is the traditional option and is most often found in older properties. You may also hear it referred to as a Traditional, Conventional, Open vent or Heat Only boiler. A Regular boiler requires the most complex setup of the 3 options and takes up the most space, but still offers benefits for some larger homes.

For more help deciding on the most suitable type of boiler for your home, take a look at our Boiler Buying Guide.

What is a Regular Boiler?

A Regular boiler system needs a large feed tank which is usually stored in an attic. This tank receives cold water from the mains and feeds it down to your boiler were it is heated for your radiators and also to a water cylinder (also downstairs) which heats the water for your taps and shower. An expansion tank is also installed alongside the feed tank which helps to maintain a steady water level.

In a Regular system, the water pressure or strength of the water flow is produced by the elevation of the feed tank in the attic, i.e. the higher the tank the better the gravitational pull and the stronger the water pressure.

A System boiler setup is similar to a Regular boiler as it also requires a hot water cylinder to produce water for your taps and shower, but it takes its water supply directly from the mains which usually results in a stronger water flow.

A Combi boiler requires the simplest system of all as it doesn’t need a feed or expansion tank or a hot water cylinder. It takes its water supply directly from the mains and heats water on demand rather than storing it.

Advantages of a Regular Boiler

Ideal for Large, Busy Homes

A Regular boiler is perfect for large homes with multiple bathrooms, bedrooms and radiators. It can supply hot water to several different outlets at once which is great for big, busy families.

Good Choice for Low Pressure Areas

A Regular boiler does not rely on the mains for water pressure so if the pressure is low in your area it can be a preferable option.

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Things to consider…

Lower Water Pressure

As Regular boilers do not use mains pressure, they don’t provide as strong a flow of water as System or Combi boilers which do use mains water pressure.

Needs Lots of Space

Considerable space is taken up in the home by the feed and expansion tank as well as the hot water cylinder needed for a Regular boiler.

Heat Loss

In a Regular system hot water is stored in a hot water cylinder which will result in heat loss and wasted energy. Insulating the cylinder can reduce this.

Is a Regular boiler the right choice for your home?

Some homes with older, Regular boiler systems in place also have older radiators. If this is the case then it may not be possible to replace it with a System or Combi boiler. This is because the radiators and pipework may not be able to cope with the strength of the mains water pressure. In addition, it may be less costly to simply replace your existing Regular boiler than to introduce a new System or Combi boiler setup as changes may need to be made to your home.

A Regular boiler is a particularly good option for large homes with multiple bathrooms and lots of inhabitants, particularly as there are so many physical elements to accommodate which take up a lot of space. To be sure you’re making the right choice it’s really important that you get professional advice from an installer.

The Best Regular Boilers

Worcester Bosch Regular Boilers

Established in 1962, Worcester Bosch are one of the leading brands of Regular, System and Combi boilers with both gas and oil fired boilers in their range. Worcester Bosch boilers are renowned for their high quality performance and reliability. They are all ErP rated A and include standard warranties of between 2-5 years with a 10 year warranty available with some models.

The gas fired range of wall-mounted, Regular boilers from Worcester Bosch is called Greenstar i and is available in outputs ranging from 12-30kW. They also offer a high performance model called the Greenstar CDi Classic and a floor-standing model, the Greenstar CDi FS Regular. Both of these are available in either outputs of 30 or 40kW. Worcester Bosch’s oil fired range is named Greenstar Danesmoor and includes standard wall-mounted models, external and boilers designed for installation in utility rooms. All of these are available in outputs between 12-32kW, but the Greenstar Utility Regular comes in 50kW or 70kW for larger homes or small commercial premises.

Vaillant Regular Boilers

Operating for more than 140 years as a family owned company, today Vaillant operates in over 20 countries worldwide. They offer two models of gas fired Regular boilers: the ecoTEC plus and the ecoFIT pure. Both are ErP rated A for energy efficiency and available in outputs between 12-35kW.

The main difference between the models is that the ecoFIT pure has a more compact design so it can be installed in small spaces like kitchen cupboards. It comes with a 2 year warranty as standard. The ecoTEC pure includes a 5 year warranty but it’s worth noting that the warranties on both boilers can be extended to 7-10 years when installed by a Vaillant accredited installer.

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Regular Boiler Prices

The price of a Regular boiler will usually fall between £700 and £2,000. However, depending on brand and size, this could be as much as £3,000 for the more powerful models. You will also need to factor in the cost of the feed and expansion tank and hot water cylinder (if you do not have them already) and the installation.

The best way to get a competitive price for a new boiler is to compare multiple quotes for installation from both leading national companies like British Gas and independent installers. Using websites like Boiler Guide can help you to find free, no obligation quotes so you can compare the prices.

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