I have a 17 years old conventional tankless combi boiler, it has a 'spilling' 3-way and DHW exchanger clogged by limestone.

Should I fix it or I'd do better replacing the whole boiler with a new condensing one?

Replacing with conventional is no-option because now condensing boiler are compulsory (but in very few cases) and also with a condensing unit I can get a tax discount.

UPDATE: I had it fixed: new heat exchanger and new 3-way valve pivot

  • just run some vinegar though it for a couple hrs.
    – virtualxtc
    Mar 5, 2018 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


The issues you mentioned are typical problems for a tankless system that hasn't gotten much attention for a few years. Descaling the heat exchanger and replacing a broken mixing valve are fairly simple tasks and can be done in maybe 3 hours by a decent plumber.

Condensing boilers are great and probably much more efficient than your current system. It's worth looking at your usage and figuring out how many years it would take to pay off an upgrade, especially if there are incentives available. But if there are no problems other than the ones you've mentioned, it's unlikely the cost to repair those would justify replacing the boiler on its own. On the other hand, if you're going to own your home for several more years and the efficiency improvement will pay for itself in that time, perhaps you'd prefer to take that leap now and skip the repairs on your current system.

  • What worries my is possible limestone in the main exchanger and also in the pump, I wouldn't pay another 700€ in maintenance next year. Current fix will cost me about 400€. A new boiler will cost me about €3000 with 50% tax credit on next 10 years. Savings on condensation will be little as I have radiators sized for 70°C and I can have 'condensing returns' for about 1/3 of heating period.
    – DDS
    Mar 5, 2018 at 21:40

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