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Rick Ridley
Rick Ridley, UK Heating Engineer
Category: UK Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2708
Experience:  30 Years on the tools, now retired, Ex CORGI
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Hi,I live in the UK. My home has a Gas gravity fed Glow

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I live in the UK. My home has a Gas gravity fed Glow Worm Energy Saver 40E boiler which is about 10 years old.

Brown water is leaking from it.

I’ve opened it up and located what I think is the source of the leak.

It’s highlighted with a red arrow marked A in this picture:

There is no moisture above point A. The box with the green sticker on it in the picture seems to be connected to the structure above with a gasket type thing between them. The water is soaking through the gasket I think.

The amount of water leaked is about a cup worth a day.

I’ve taken a picture of the water:

To give you an idea of my level of understanding, I’ve changed a boiler pump, replaced a boiler fan and moved and added radiators to a system, I’ve also installed a gas stove including new pipes. Other than that nothing but water type plumbing.

Other than leaking, the boiler functions correctly.

I’d like to know what is leaking and how to replace it (if it makes sense financially), or whether to get someone in and how much I should expect to pay.

Thanks in advance,


Hi I am Rick, UK Plumber, and I specialize on Boiler problems,the leak is from the water cooled burner, I think you will find it is beyond economical repair, I have one in my shed that I took out a couple of years ago that was leaking the same, you could try a leak sealing adative, many plumbers swear by it but never worked for me, Rick

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Rick, thanks for your reply.


A few questions:


How can you tell the problem is the burner, rather than the heat exchanger please?


I have a friend in the parts business and he can get a brand new burner for the energysaver 40e for approx £50 (his dad owns the firm).

Is it simple to fit and if not, what kind of charge should I expect from a professional?

many thanks

You stated there was no moisture above point A had it been the heat exchanger or more likely the condensate waste collecting tray then there would be moisture above point A, if you can get a burner for £50 well done, I suspect that they have some in stock that they do not want to get stuck with, as for the work the boiler has to be drained which means everything down to boiler level, it is not hard to change but means a fair amount of dismantling, probably in all 3 to 4 hours work but depends on how well the system bleeds after, and do not forget to add an inhibitor, Rick
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Cheers Rick,


Below is a picture of the top of the primary(I think) heat exchanger. Are the greenish areas normal, or could they be leaks?


Re: the burner, are the connections marked A and B in the picture below, the only connections to the burner?

40 E burner assembly

Re: Draining the system. Do I go up in loft, switch off supply to tank and then drain system at lowest point (there's a tap in the downstairs hall). Is there a best way to refill?

Yes the green is normal but it could do with a clean.
Yes A & B are the only water connections.
Yes to your method of draining, re filling is best done with any motor valves open and bleed any vent points on the pipes if any before starting the pump & set the boiler on low till all air is flushed out
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