We work on some interesting houses in our job, and this was one of them. Hidden away in a rural location near Tunbridge Wells, in around 1906 this house was erected in the grounds of Greystoke House, home of the Earl of Tankerville.
The house had first caught the attention of the Marquess of Tankerville whilst on holiday in Norway, so, naturally, it was disassembled and brought over to Great Britain. She planned to use it to board visiting guests at Greystoke.
The Marquess died in 1922, having handed over the property to the China Inland Missionary Commission in 1918. It was to remain in their ownership until 2000.
We were invited in 2016 to update the heating and hot water systems. There was an old open flue Ideal boiler in the lounge, dating back well into the China Mission era.
And there was a more recent unvented hot water cylinder squeezed into the kitchen cupboard.
The owners of the house quite fancied the cupboard storage space being used by the cylinder for other purposes; a built in fridge freezer was one of the prime contenders.
We looked at the options; they did not want a ‘combination boiler’; and the unsightly boiler in the lounge definitely had to go. We looked at an outside cupboard that was being used as a store, and after wielding a tape measure around, realised it would just be (just) large enough to fit a Worcester Bosch Ri boiler and a Worcester SC250 unvented hot water cylinder.
Our quote was accepted and we sprang to work.
Not a moment too soon, because the unvented cylinder had been rusting and leaking, not unexpectedly – this was a budget glass lined steel one, and the sacrificial anode that is used to arrest corrosion had never been changed.
Also the expansion vessel had failed, and the safety ‘tundish’ had been passing water so long it had been modified.
We fitted the new units in the outside cupboard, which were covered by a Worcester 8yr boiler warranty and 25 yr limited cylinder warranty.
We also fitted the excellent Worcester condensure to this installation; this is a large condensate reservoir, warmed by the heating flow pipe from the boiler. Whilst the likes of British Gas and Drayton amongst others were selling trace heating solutions for freezing condensate pipes, Worcester developed a much simpler, energy efficient and more reliable solution.
The boiler itself incorporates frost protection measures that will either start the circulation pump, or ultimately, the boiler, in case of the cupboard temperatures reaching very low ambient levels.