Boiler Review
Intergas Rapid
A modern boiler like, a modern car is a totally different beast to old Betsy. Your new boiler is more efficient. They transfer more heat from the flame to the water, it also modulates and adjusts the rate of combustion to suit the heat required by the system, similar to cruise control on a motorway versus city driving. When all is well and your new boiler is happy it can use up to 40% less gas in a perfect world. Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world and have to make the best with what we have.
When replacing an old standard efficiency boiler, there are many things to be considered. Most if not all modern boilers are designed to be installed on nice new clean heating systems that have correctly sized distribution pipework, correctly sized supply pipework & good system water, whereas we installers know this is not always the case and especially so when retrofitting or replacing old boilers. When most modern boilers fail, not due to being bad boilers, because there are no really bad boilers on the market today – though some are better than others, but mostly due to installer errors or omissions. For example, not flushing the systems, incorrect flushing, not using filters, not checking the gas supply etc.

The Intergas Rapid
To quote Antoine de Saint – Exupery; A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

This is true for the Intergas range of gas High efficiency boilers, the design has changed little since it was first produced in the early 1990’s when most other boiler manufacturers were still focusing on Standard efficiency boilers; Intergas came up with their high efficiency condensing heat exchanger. At this time most boiler manufacturers were making their Standard Efficiency heat exchanger lighter, moving to copper and copper alloy light weight exchangers to replace the older cast heat exchangers that could be found in the likes of Ideal Classic’s, Potterton profiles and prima’s etc – many of which are still in service today almost 30 years after being first installed due to the robust nature of the heat exchangers and external pumps and expansion vessel’s etc.
The main Heat exchanger is a solid 10 Kg. lump of high quality aluminium with a linear 22mm cooper water way looped through the block with high temperature silver soldered 180deg bends forming the loops, making descaling or flushing out very simple if ever required, there are no plastic, pvc or push fit joints on the heat exchanger, pump either. The boiler does not have an automatic air-vent instead it has a traditional manual air vent, some might argue the auto air vent is better, but considering we have found that auto air vents cause more problems that the solve due to their tendency to leak after time and cause corrosion within the boiler cabinet when left unchecked.
The circulating pump has a steel impeller as opposed to many having an ABS (plastic) impeller and can handle high temperatures far better than their contemporaries. The Expansion vessel is located at the front of the boiler and pivots out for easy access and allowing access to the other components. The condensate trap is a bit tricky to work with – but less tricky that many others it must be said.
Many would argue that an aluminium heat exchanger is inferior to a stainless steel exchanger and this might be true to a point, but a very moot point as most boilers with stainless steel heat exchanger’s have spiral or coiled heat exchanges and if one reads the manufactures instructions these heat exchangers need a periodic major service and cleaning. It is virtually impossible to fully clean these exchangers due to their position and external casings that only really allow access to about 50% of the surface area of the heat exchange that comes in contact with the condensing water resulting in a tendency to cake up in the combustion chamber if not properly maintained whereas the Intergas gas heat exchanger is easily cleaned as the entire combustion area is front facing and totally accessable.
The electronics of the boiler are as reliable as most of the other leading brands so nothing exceptional in this department only that the temperature sensors are dry pocket and easily accessed.
The company has dominated the home market in Holland for years and is now making waves in the U.K and soon in Ireland. The boiler is squarely up there with the German power houses of Viessmann and Worcester Bosch and is in the price range of Ideal, Glow worm and Baxi/potterton and leaves the likes of Vokera, Ferolli & Biasi in the the Ha’penny place.