A back boiler typically consists of a decorative fire front which is usually a gas fireplace (or previously a solid fuel fire) with a water chamber heating mechanism behind the decorative section. The entire back boiler is usually recessed behind a class 1 brick chimney.

Main disadvantages of a back boiler fireplace system

1. The properties central heating system is based around heating water concealed behind the fire surround, and a large amount needs to be heated prior to use (unlike a combi boiler system). 2. On average Back boiler systems are energy inefficient when compared to modern alternatives. 3. The entire fire needs to be removed to service the back boiler 4. Decorative Fires at the front of the fire surround are very dated and it is often difficult to decorate around this. The overall ambiance created is very traditional and rustic.

Advice on replacing a Back boiler fireplace system

1. It is often not straight forward to simply replace the fire surround and keep the current back boiler system. We have often been asked by customers to manufacture bespoke Marble Fireplaces with a suitable electric fire which will be installed in front of the current back boiler system. This is not a practical solution as the entire Fires surround needs to be uninstalled when the back boiler needs to be serviced. 2. It is not possible to manufacture a bespoke marble fireplace (or any type of surround) and install the current decorative gas fire, as the gas pipes have been cut to size in the past and the existing fire surround has been installed on a specified floor level that is difficult to replicate. Essentially 100% accuracy is needed which is not possible.
We strongly recommend purchasing a new fire surround when you have relocated the current back boiler to avoid complications.