Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Europe > Hungary
Reload this Page >

Converting from convectors to gas central heating

Converting from convectors to gas central heating

Reply

Old Jun 16th 2018, 11:12 am
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Jun 2018
Posts: 1
Attila89 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Converting from convectors to gas central heating

Dear forumites,
I am in the process of getting rid of old gas convectors and replacing them with a combi boiler gas central heating system.
The apartment is in Budapest, built in 1935, top floor and 56m2.
Talking with peers and fogaz it seems complicated in ways I wouldn't have expected.
A new boiler must comply with new Eu regulations and therefore must be a condensation boiler, which for the type and size of the apartment will not bring much benefit. To install a new boiler I need a gas plan approved by fogaz, to fit a condensation boiler I need a new chimney liner installed and approved by the chimney sweepers (Főkétüsz). In summary, to convert the current heating system I need to procure the following services and authorisations:
  • gas fitter to change gas line (1st quote at 300,000ft excl. Vat for 10m line)
  • gas plan prepared by house planner (approximately 30,000ft)
  • approval by fogaz
  • chimney liner fitter (1st quote at 215,000ft excl. vat)
  • approval by chimney sweepers (approximately 20,000ft)
  • boiler installer (1st quote at 100,000ft excl. Vat)
  • plumber for new water heating system (1st quote at 150,000ft excl. Vat and materials for 5 radiators)
once the cost of the new boiler and radiators is included, it sums up to a hefty amount (around 1,300,000ft). Now, at these prices, I am looking at a very long payback period and unsure that it is worthwhile. I am pretty sure the workmanship rates have been inflated (rip-off tax for being a foreigner) and I am waiting for a couple more quotes which I expect to be lower.
However, since the conversion process is quite common, I wonder if anyone has had similar experiences in Budapest and could provide better benchmark prices for 2017/2018?
Also, the boiler will be fitted in a room adjacent to the lichtoff, any experiences of exhausting the boiler fumes into the lichtoff rather than refurbishing the old chimney?

Last edited by Attila89; Jun 16th 2018 at 12:48 pm. Reason: Image wasn't uploaded correctly
Attila89 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 16th 2018, 7:56 pm
  #2  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,052
Peter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Converting from convectors to gas central heating

  • gas fitter to change gas line (1st quote at 300,000ft excl. Vat for 10m line)
Sounds like a rip off. If it is a new 10m line from the gas meter to the boiler location then its copper pipe with the correct gas fitting for elbows etc. providing nothing out of the ordinary I would expect 2-3 hours work but might make a mess of the tradesman's day so he may want to charge for the day. Get the new pipework done by the boiler installer as part of the install job.
  • gas plan prepared by house planner (approximately 30,000ft)
Probably par for the course. Tick box forms and a (official) stamp tend to be expensive. Again sometimes it is better to get the installer to use his tame guy who can sign off.
  • approval by fogaz
Should be included in the gas plan price
  • chimney liner fitter (1st quote at 215,000ft excl. vat)
Another rip off, depending upon the size, length, condition and access of the chimney. My son just had a chimney lined for a new gas combi boiler. It was an old gas flue attached to the side of the house about 5m high (so easy access). The liner, a plastic pipe took the exhaust fumes from the boiler and the intake air comes down the flue outside the liner. So he now has a balanced flue. The job took a couple of hours, done by the guys installing the boiler.
  • approval by chimney sweepers (approximately 20,000ft)
See above note about getting tick box forms signed!
  • boiler installer (1st quote at 100,000ft excl. Vat
A bit expensive if everything else is done and all he has to do is connect up the boiler, fill the system, fire up the boiler and test the system. If everything else is done as you detail then I would guess an easy days work for the installer and his mate.
  • plumber for new water heating system (1st quote at 150,000ft excl. Vat and materials for 5 radiators)
Depends what is included. Are you talking just central heating or re-plumbing the hot water to the combie boiler as well? It also depends on the complexity of the pipe runs. At first thought given the unknowns this may not be too unreasonable. A lot more work here than installing the boiler!

You definitely can not exhaust the boiler flue into the lichtoff. (even if one of the old convectors may exhaust there).

I would advise to get a quote for the package - start to finish - one guy doing the lot using the people he usually uses to get the sign offs. If you try to sub contract the various bits you will finish up waiting for ever for the next guy to do his bit and everyone will blame the previous trades-person for making his job difficult and if anything goes wrong its finger pointing in all directions at the other guy(s).

When installing a combi boiler the size( kWs) is determined by the hot water demand not by the central heating demand. You will need at least 24kW preferably 28kW to get a decent shower. Don't expect a quick ROI, it is convenience you are buying.

Yes you have to have a condensing boiler but to make use of the efficiency you need the return temperature of the central heating to be at 50 deg. C or below. (otherwise it does not condense (get heat gain from the flue gases). In order to do this the radiators have to be sized a bit bigger than for the non-condensing boilers. This should be part of the specification given to the central heating installer.

Last edited by Peter_in_Hungary; Jun 16th 2018 at 7:58 pm.
Peter_in_Hungary is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 17th 2018, 2:01 pm
  #3  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,052
Peter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond reputePeter_in_Hungary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Converting from convectors to gas central heating

Update
I've had a word with my son and he said that the labour for taking out his old system (a wood burning boiler in parallel with a gas boiler and a separate gas water heater) modifying existing iron pipe work to fit new combi boiler (included some welding) installing new combi boiler including a heat exchanger and filter to match up to existing iron pipe central heating and to connect new boiler to gas mains, line chimney, get all permissions and chimney inspection was about 200,000HUF.
Peter_in_Hungary is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 17th 2018, 6:55 pm
  #4  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: May 2015
Location: Near the Black Forest and near the Balaton
Posts: 514
wolfi is just really nicewolfi is just really nicewolfi is just really nicewolfi is just really nicewolfi is just really nicewolfi is just really nicewolfi is just really nicewolfi is just really nicewolfi is just really nicewolfi is just really nice
Default Re: Converting from convectors to gas central heating

Peter's advice is really extremely relevant!
There is a shortage of qualified handymen in Hungary so if you try to organise a complicated project like this yourself you might have long wait times ...
We just had several talks on this - everybody's complaining:
Can't get an electrician, a painter, a carpenter, on short notice it's impossible ...
And that's in Hévíz which is attracts a lot of people!
wolfi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 18th 2018, 5:49 am
  #5  
BE Enthusiast
 
duztee's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Nagykoros, Hungary
Posts: 599
duztee is a name known to allduztee is a name known to allduztee is a name known to allduztee is a name known to allduztee is a name known to allduztee is a name known to allduztee is a name known to allduztee is a name known to allduztee is a name known to allduztee is a name known to allduztee is a name known to all
Default Re: Converting from convectors to gas central heating

Which just goes to show that if you move to Hungary you should choose to live in an unpopular boring bit!
I never have problems getting any tradesmen at short notice and good prices.

I had my boiler and heating system updated a couple of years ago, I went to the local shop, they sorted out everything I needed and they called an installer and arranged with him to do the work, so everything was delivered on the day he turned up to do the work. so for once it was simple and hassle free. But I have to admit I have often suffered with the stupid element of the local workforce! sometimes you're lucky sometimes you're not!

Thanks to all the heavy thunderstorms we have been having I had a few leaks, so asked the neighbours, who had a new roof last year who they used. Turns out the roofer lives 4 doors away and didn't even need to come to look at the house since he knew it well because he had done work for the previous owner.
So the outcome of just one phone call was that he will come in a couple of days and do the leaks, and give me a quote to replace the tiles with something of a better quality, if I decide I want to go that far.
duztee is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement