Vaillant has relaunched its front-running boiler the ecoTEC plus, but with a new remastered twist. Heating Engineer Andy Gibbs shares his views on the new boiler and updated senso controls after fitting one of the first models in the UK:
It’s not very often you get the chance to be one of the first to fit a whole new boiler in the UK domestic boiler market. It’s even rarer you get the chance to be the first. Boiler number one.
So when I was offered the chance to fit the new Vaillant ecoTEC plus boiler back in January, I obviously bit their hands off and went to look at the job I could fit it on.
I found a fairly simple job for it. Potterton Promax out in a garage, heat only, plenty of space around it, gas supply adjacent. You know the ones, nice and simple swap. I didn’t want to take any chances with this new boiler.
The shiny new boiler was waiting there when I arrived. All boxed up in pretty plain cardboard. As I mentioned earlier, it was January, I was outside in a garage and it was cold, really cold. I didn’t want the customer to go too long without heat so I didn’t really hang around.
Every stage was photographed. Even the unboxing, which isn’t something I ever thought I’d do, but this was something special.
Quick once over to see what was what and I’m away. It is the same bracket as the old ecoTEC, which is nice. They’re the same pipe positions too, that’s nice as well.
There are a few differences, I would best describe it as a facelift externally, and internally. The PCB is new, and there’s a new probe here and a wire there, but essentially, it’s a very familiar product.
The next morning I was back on site and with a few tweaks to the wiring, ready to turn this new boiler on, and that was a very smooth process.
The old interface has been updated to a touchscreen, and although it’s different, it was very easy indeed to set up. I’d like to add at this point that I had got this far without even opening the manual – a deliberate decision.
I must admit, the commissioning side of things did throw up a couple of issues, not with the boiler, but with the way the manual showed the required settings. It was just too hard to understand.
That was all fed back to the powers that be at Belper and changes have been made to the final product to make it easier for all of you. It’s cool, you can thank me later!
Overall, it was a really easy install of a really straightforward appliance. Admittedly I did choose a dead straightforward job to trial it on, but wouldn’t you?
Once January passed, and February came, I was absolutely amazed to be invited to the VIP launch of this new boiler, which included a trip to Remscheid in Germany to visit the Vaillant factory.
Would I like to go? Is the Pope Catholic?
I met the other installers and Vaillant staff for a couple of beers in the departure lounge at Stansted, and then we were away to Cologne for what promised to be a really enjoyable trip.
It’s safe to say the Kölsch was flowing freely upon arrival, although we all knew we had a nice day ahead of us the following day, so we did all take it fairly easy.
The next day we are away early to the factory. I say factory, it’s more like a small town of boiler production really. Sadly I don’t get enough characters here to describe the full day, and also, I don’t want to give up all its secrets, in case one day you get to visit as well.
But I will say that Vaillant made us all feel very welcome, and gave us a truly amazing tour around their expo centre, the production factory and the incredible Research and Development department. It’s something that I would do again in a heartbeat and something I would strongly advise you to say yes to, given the chance.
It’s not often a new boiler comes out, it’s less often still you get to be a part of it. This has definitely been a great experience.
By the time you read this, I think the annual InstallerSHOW at the NEC will be imminent, so please do come along and say hello, I’ll be on stand 69, again, and you will be able to get hands-on with the ccoTEC plus on the Vaillant stand. I’d definitely recommend going to see it, it’s well worth a look.