Portrait photo of Mike Bryant, AKA Mike the Boilerman

Mike the Boilerman -

Your Gas Safe Registered boiler 

and central heating repair technician in west Berkshire. Willing to travel :)



I am still carrying out house visits. Full details explained


(Last updated 21st April 2021)

Ideal Classic…

The Ideal “Classic” is one of those simple and amazingly reliable boilers from the 80s and 90s that just keep on going for ever. Even though this boiler was discontinued in about 2005 when the regulations changed forcing all new boilers to be “high efficiency” condensing boilers, I still regularly see them in use and going strong. Spare parts are freely available. The main reason people change them is boiler salesmen claiming a shiny new condensing boiler will save them loads of money and at the same time, save the planet . The sad thing is, most condensing boilers are not that much cheaper to run than a Classic as many only run in condensing mode during initial start-up. Once up to temperature, they cease condensing. And their extra complexity brings more frequent breakdowns. But never mind, that’s just a hobby horse of mine…

So back to the Ideal Classic. It has a cast iron heat exchanger, a fan powered flue (well most have anyway), electronic ignition and flame supervision. The common faults are easily fixed and tend to be as follows:

1) Overheat tripped. 

When the boiler is silent, cold and refuses to respond in any way, the overheat protection button has usually tripped. Few users realise their Classic has such a button as it is out of view on the right hand side of the user controls. On the side of the controls box rather than the front. Once you find it, pressing it might result in it clicking in and the boiler bursting back into life. If pressing it makes no difference, it wasn’t tripped in the first place. 

2) Fan failure. 

With fan failure, the boiler usually can be heard humming quietly but with no further action. A new fan is required.

3) PCB failure. 

The electronic control board occasionally fails causing a variety of symptoms, but is easily diagnosed and replaced by a competent boiler technician.

4) Gas valve failure. 

The fan runs but the pilot light, main burner or both refuse to light. Again, a simple repair to replace the gas control valve. 

One thing irritating about these boilers for the technician is the data plate one refers to during final safety checking after repair, is concealed once the outer boiler case has been re-fitted. So to read the data, the case has to be removed again. Trivial, but annoying if one forgets!

If your Ideal Classic needs repairing, call or text me on 07866 766 364.


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Copyright Michael Bryant 2021

Site first published 16th January 2004

Last updated 26th April 2021

Gas Safe Register 197499, CIPHE registration number 56207

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