Here we have provided answers to some of our most commonly asked questions. We have grouped the questions by category for your convenience.

If you still have any unanswered questions then we would be happy to hear from you. You can either call on on the number at the top right of this page, or use our contact form.


Will James Hargreaves install my new plumbing, heating or bathroom products?

We do not install, but we can recommend local contractors to fit your new products. Speak to staff in your local James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot for more information.


What are condensing boilers?

Condensing boilers are more energy efficient than traditional boilers. Condensing boilers harness the latent heat which is usually expelled along with the flue exhaust and uses this heat energy to heat your home.

This means that less energy is wasted as it is instead used to aid the operation of the boiler. Condensing boilers are therefore cheaper to run that traditional central heating boilers and can reduce fuel costs as well as your impact on the environment.

What type of boiler should I choose?

We stock condensing combination, sealed system and eopen vented boilers, each of which has distinct advantages and disadvantages. It is important that you choose the right boiler to suit your circumstances.

Combination Boilers

Combi boilers are both water and energy efficient as they only heat and use the water that is needed. However, as these types of boiler heat cold water directly from the mains, water flow is reduced when two outlets are in use at the same time.


  • Instant and unlimited domestic hot water
  • Combi boilers are compact and maximise space
  • They can free up your loft space for renovation as a cold water tank is not required
  • A hot water cylinder is not required
  • Combination boilers are relatively easy to install and do not require as much labour in comparison to sealed system or open vented units


  • Combination boilers cannot supply more than one outlet at a time without loss of flow
  • Combination boilers often offer a lower flow rate that boilers which utilise a hot water cylinder

A combi boiler may suit you if…

  • You have a small family with one or two children
  • You live alone or with a partner
  • You live in a house or flat with only one bathroom
System Boilers

System boilers heat domestic hot water which is then stored inside a heated cylinder ready for use. The major drawback to system boilers is that once the supply of hot water in the hot water cylinder is exhausted you must wait for it to be refilled.


  • Instant hot water straight from the storage cylinder
  • System boilers do not require a water tank in your loft
  • More than one tap/ shower/ outlet can be run at the same time with no effect on water pressure or flow
  • System boilers are the perfect solution when replacing an open vented heating boiler and system
  • These systems can support a backup immersion heater


  • Once the hot water in the storage cylinder is exhausted you must wait for it to reheat
  • Space is needed for the storage cylinder
  • System boilers need to be plumbed to the hot water cylinder and so are more labour intensive to install

An sealed system boiler may suit you if…

  • You have a large family
  • You live in a house or flat with more than one bathroom
  • You are replacing an open vent boiler
Open Vented Boilers

An open vent system provides hot water and central heating using a boiler, hot water storage cylinder and an open cold water tank situated in the loft of your property. As with sealed systems, once the hot water in the cylinder has been exhausted you must wait until it is refilled and re-heated before any more is available. Many people choose to remove these systems and install a sealed system central heating system instead.


  • High flow rates of domestic hot water
  • More than one tap/ shower/ outlet can be run at the same time without any adverse effect on water pressure or flow
  • These systems can support a backup heater, such as an immersion heater


  • Once the hot water in the storage cylinder is exhausted you must wait for it to reheat
  • Space is needed for the storage cylinder and cold water tank in the loft
  • Fitting a new open vent system in a property requires more plumbing, and therefore more labour than both combination or system boiler heating systems

An open vent boiler may suit you if…

  • You have a large family
  • You live in a house with more than one bathroom
  • You are replacing an open vent boiler but do not want to install sealed heating system


What are the differences between mixer, electric and power showers?

Mixer Showers

Mixer showers work by taking water from both the hot and cold water supplies and mixing them to achieve the desired temperature. Mixer showers are ideal for homes with central heating systems and a plentiful supply of hot water. A pump can be installed if required.

Electric Showers

Electric showers heat cold water from the mains supply using a heated element inside the body of the shower. Electric showers are not dependent on a hot water supply and are ideal properties with a limited supply of hot water.
Although modern electric showers can produce higher pressure sprays than earlier models, they are often not as powerful as power showers or mixer showers run from a combination boiler.

Power Showers

Power showers work by mixing hot and cold water to achieve the required temperature. These showers take water from low-pressure supplies however, and require an integral pump to generate increased water pressure. Power showers cannot be used with combination boilers or in properties with high or mains pressure water supplies.

Shower Enclosures, Trays and Wetrooms

Do you supply bespoke shower enclosures?

If you give us the specifications we can supply the shower enclosure of your choice built to fit your circumstances by a range of leading manufacturers.

Please note that bespoke goods cannot be returned to James Hargreaves unless they are faulty or damaged in transit during delivery.

Heating Spares

Are heating spares and components available from James Hargreaves Plumbing Depots?

We supply genuine heating spare parts from our boiler manufacturers such as Baxi, Glow Worm, Vaillant, Broag Remeha, Worcester and Honeywell.

We also supply spare parts from Ideal, Biasi, Halstead, Ravenheat, Vokera and Alpha, so whatever the boiler and whatever the problem you’ll find the part to solve it at your local James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot.


Do James Hargreaves charge for product deliveries?

We offer free local delivery from all our plumbing depots. Local delivery is to be defined by us at James Hargreaves..

Deliveries which are not local to any of our branches will be charged at our discretion. Delivery charges will be based on the value of the order and the distance they are to be delivered.

What time will my goods be delivered?

No times specific delivery times are given but we can call to confirm the delivery an hour before we arrive.

Will the delivery driver need any help?

Our driver will deliver your purchase directly to your door. Large items such as baths, shower enclosures and shower trays etc may require somebody on site to assist the driver.

All baths, shower trays and mirrors/mirror cabinets will require inspection on delivery.

How many days have I got to check my goods?

All claims for damaged or non delivered items must me made within three working days, as stated in our terms and conditions.

What if I want to cancel an order or return an item?

Any bespoke items which are ordered to customer specifications such as hot water cylinders, shower enclosures, etc, cannot be cancelled once they are ordered from the manufacturer.

Items which are not required once they have been received by James Hargreaves or delivered by us to the customer may only be returned with the manufacturer’s/supplier’s authorisation. In this instance any returns generally incur a re-stocking charge.

Any items returned must be complete in their original packaging and in full re-saleable condition. Credit will be given once James Hargreaves receives credit from the manufacturer.

Where will you deliver?

James Hargreaves will deliver nationwide depending on the size and value of the order.

Terms of delivery are decided based on the order. Call us for more information.

Payment Options

What payment options are available?

We accept cash, cheque and all major credit and debit cards

Hot Water Cylinders

Should I choose a vented or unvented hot water cylinder?

This depends on your heating system. Open vented cylinders are for use with open vented heating systems, while unvented cylinders are for use in a sealed central heating system.

If you have a combination boiler then you do not need a hot water cylinder.

James Hargreaves also supplies solar cylinders for use in solar central heating systems.

Need more information?

James Hargreaves Group

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James Hargreaves Plumbing Depot is part of the James Hargreaves group of companies.
Registered in England No. 188491
James Hargreaves Burnley, Todmorden Road, Burnley, Lancashire, BB11 3JT
Tel +44 (0) 1282 722000 | Fax +44 (0) 1282 830022