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Intelligent Condensing Combi Boiler (ICCB)

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The Intelligent Condensing Combi (ICC1) is a 90.1% (Manufacturer's data) efficient condensing combination boiler that was exclusively developed for British Gas. Manufactured by Black and Decker.

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      08.05.2007 17:40

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      hi,i have read with great interest from top to bottom about u'r combie'sound's good but you dont say how much all that cost's?being an o a p i have to count the pennies ,is there any way i get discount as i am also disabled and NEED a new combie as the old back boiler is so expensive to upkeep so is the dirt behind the fire.

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      15.11.2001 13:12
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      Sounds like a film doesn't it? Sorry to disappoint you, I'm going to really bore you now, so here is fair warning. Cushion your keyboard so it doesn't hurt when your head falls onto it. Oh, and while you are at it take some Pro-Plus or something, I have a feeling you may need it. Why? I am now going to write my first product thingy opinion. I have to, I have to tell you all about this wonderful thing I bought, I do, honest. After completing the sale and moving into our new home about 8 months ago we naturally started to use the heating and hot water system. The system we had 'inherited' was the old Baxi Boiler system, sat behind a gas fire in the lounge, which also controlled the hot water for the house. Now I am definitely no expert but what followed started to ring alarm bells and finally persuaded us (out of necessity) to change the system. When we used the system it soon became apparent there were things amiss. We had 6 radiators in the house but only 4 worked. The hot water wasn't that hot, and the system was generally unreliable. The worst thing was the gas fire in the lounge, because when we turned it on it took ages to light and then we could smell gas so we turned it off again straight away. Time to call in an expert. The plumber/heating expert came and agreed the system was dying. It had a good life apparently, nearly 15 years, but it was getting harder to maintain a good heating system and a good hot water supply. He serviced it anyway for us (at a very reasonable price) but advised us that it should really be replaced as soon as possible, although it might last another winter. It might. We didn't want to take that risk, so we hunted round for a new system. We had to find a system that fitted our budget (being a homeowner isn't easy), and we couldn't afford to pay out in one lump sum, so we needed to spread the cost. British Ga
      s. Now I know they get slated from time to time but I have never had any problems with them. British Gas has a wide range of central heating systems, the technicians, the support system and a budget plan to spread the cost. Perfect(ish). A chap came round from British Gas and we discussed our needs. Eventually we decided on a complete overhaul of the present system, which entailed some radical changes to how our heating and hot water was controlled. We opted for the Intelligent Condensing Combi (ICC1 for short). Ironically this boiler is made by and otherwise known as the GlowWorm Energysaver Combi 2. There is a difference however, British Gas have 'adopted' the system as their own because they have adapted it to include a Chronotherm to control the system. Confused? You won't be. The Chronotherm is a state of the art intelligent control system and it is easy to use, really easy. The ICC1 is (according to the experts) over 90% efficient and boasts that it can save over 37% on heating bills. Anyway, we decided on the system and all the relevant checks were made around the house by the Gas rep (who was also extremely qualified as an engineer) to see that what work needed to be done. The total price also included 3 extra radiators, flushing the present system and adapting it to the new one and a host of other little associated jobs. A date was arranged for the work to be started, and we were initially told it might take up to 4 days to complete, such was the amount of work that needed doing. A date was arranged to fit the system and a day before, as pre-arranged, all the materials needed for the job were delivered in preparation. Also the plumber/engineer who was going to do the work paid us a visit and had a look at what was entailed. Bob was his name, Bob the Plumber, not Bob the Builder. We exhausted that joke with him. The next day Bob a
      rrive d with a colleague, bright and early, and they got to work straight away. It only took them just under 2 days to complete the work and afterwards it was like they had never been, they were that good. In the main this is what they did - - Removed the old gas fire in the lounge - Removed the old Baxi Boiler - Removed the old Immersion heater - Removed our 2 water tanks - Made good all the associated pipe work for the above (disconnection and removal of pipes) - Took up and replaced, as good, floorboards round the house in the process of fitting new pipes etc. Then there was the installing of the new system. Everything that was removed from our house, the boiler, the immersion, the water tanks etc, was replaced by one item. The Intelligent Condensing Combi and Chronotherm, a gas fired central heating system without the gas fire! The boiler itself is deceiving as it is quite small but very heavy, and it took both engineers to lift and mount the boiler onto the wall in the space where our immersion heater used to be. That seems pretty good to me. Our new system had it's own store of hot water (about 20 litres), but because the system was so advanced the 20 litres of stored hot water was all we needed before the system kicked in and gave us constant hot water. This system doesn't need a secondary source of stored water as it provides hot water direct from the cold water supply. Brilliant. The new boiler also has a combined central heating programmer and thermostat, otherwise known as the Chronotherm. Both the water and heating can be controlled directly from the boiler, if really necessary, but as yet I haven't had to and I will explain why in a minute. Once the controls of the boiler have been set then it works automatically and at different times through the day when there is no water or heat demand from the system then the boiler quietly and efficiently
      maintains it's integral store of hot water. Now the best bit, the Chronotherm. It is a small box very much like a standard digital control thermostat, but with a big difference - it can think for itself. In conjunction with the boiler system the Chronotherm maximises energy efficiency and is *guaranteed* to reduce heating costs. To increase the boiler efficiency the Chronotherm switches the boiler on and off and also controls the boiler's flame to match the heating output of the boiler to the current heating requirement. Then, it also does something else very impressive. Instead of turning the heating on at the set time every day, the Chronotherm will delay the start time until the last possible moment so as to conserve energy and avoid unnecessary heating. You're impressed aren't you? I can tell. There is more? The smartest thing it does is read the air temperature inside and then decides for itself what to do next. This is how - the Chronotherm checks every day how long is required to heat up the house and then precisely calculates when to turn the heating on. Initially this process takes a couple of days as it takes that long for the Chronotherm to *learn* how to calculate when to turn the heating system on. The control box itself is easy to use because this system does most of the work for you; all you need to do is program in the times you want heating and hot water, morning and evening. It is possible to override the automatic controls, you know have it on constantly. The Chronotherm displays 2 temperature readings, 1 is the actual temperature of the house and by pressing a button you find out the 'set' temperature. If the actual temperature falls below the 'set' temperature then the heating kicks in. To do this manually you first select the 'set' temperature and raise it to at least 2 degrees above the actual temperature. This will
      fool the system into starting the heating or boiling the water, but not immediately because the Chronotherm will check for itself and it takes a short while for the system to come on while these checks are carried out. This is because the Chronotherm will not turn on the heating if the actual temperature is within a degree or 2 of the required temperature as it sees the activation of the heating as a waste of energy. So if you want the radiators to come on then you need to raise the temperature by at least 3 degrees ("When will I see you again?" - oops sorry, thought I'd say it before you). Doing it this way still keeps the system operating in 'auto' mode. Clever eh? There is an easier way but it comes with a condition. You can just as easily select the 'manual' option on the Chronotherm and after selecting a desired temperature, which is then stored, the system will then operate to your request. This is the best way to do it in my opinion because trying to override the system while it is still in 'auto' mode doesn't always work especially at this time of year as I have been finding out. However, you must remember to turn the system back to 'auto' once you have heated your house or you are going out for long periods of time for example. Otherwise you will have constant heating when you might not need it thus defeating the idea of having a money saving system in the first place. There is one other important thing to note. The system puts the water heating process as top priority, and while both heating and hot water supply can be maintained at the same time this doesn't always work if hot water is being demanded from the system. What happens then is the system will not operate the heating and will concentrate it's efforts on heating the water. Again to get heating you need to override the system by selecting 'manual'. This can be tricky and has been
      for me to ove rride the water heating priority of the system. It's no good having constant hot water if you are freezing your wotsits off! Just a slight annoyance about the system I have encountered. This happened to us very recently. It was a cold day and quite a bit of water had and was being demanded from the system so it concentrated all it's efforts on the water and forgot the heating. We had to override the 'auto' setting and go to 'manual'. We did try fooling the system while it was still in 'auto' mode by artificially raising the required temperature but the system ignored our input whilst it was heating the water. My only gripe as it were is about the after-sales service. You see once the system was fitted we were supposed to get a call from the area Quality Engineer to arrange a date/time to come and check the work, but he didn't. We had to chase him up and he came a few days later. One other thing to note is at the moment the Chronotherm only comes with this particular boiler and only through British or Scottish Gas. So if you need a new heating system give this a look, it is a little pricey but I feel in the long run it is worth the money. There, well done you reached the end and you still have a couple of matchsticks left and a small spark of life left in your eyes! +++ Update +++ Update +++ Well it has been nearly 2 years since we had this system installed and it is still as good as the day we bought it. We have had it serviced, twice, for free as part of the after sales agreement. We didn't really notice too much of a difference in gas bills in that first year but as I recall it was a particularly cold winter and none too warm spring either. However in this last year, after paying between £25 - £30 per month we were given a refund by our supplier (Virgin Gas) of over £100! Accordingly our monthly direct debit was reduced to just £3
      per month until a proper overall figure could be estimated for our consumption next year. Finally, at the time of writing this system did seem a bit expensive, but aren't they always when they are new on the market? But, if you look around now you will find generally the price for this type of system has come down quite steadily. So, if you need a new system I'd recommend something like this and get it installed before the winter.

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