Love your Aga? Revel in your Rayburn?

January 7, 2009 | Boilers/Agas/Rayburns

Do you love your Aga or Rayburn with a passion? Does it keep you warm on these cold, winter nights? Do you have any favourite winter recipes you cook on it?  Whether you use it for cooking, hot water or heating share your favourite tips with us.

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  1. I used to love my 1973 Aga. It is pillar box red and the heart of our home but in this past year I am so disappointed that it only produces heat for cooking (radiant heat for the kitchen) for the 40-50 litres of oil a week, that I am considering getting rid of it.

    I spoke to my local Aga shop who assured me that Aga sales were continuing through the roof (Aga share price 250p) but something must be awry as in 3 months Aga was down to 70p/share.

    Is there no-one at Aga that feels obliged to update the efficiency of the burner as an aftermarket add-on?

    • Rod, I have a Rayburn Heat Ranger 499k, with twin burners one for cooking and one for heating hot watter and central heating. Like your Aga its the center of the house and I could not see any reason to not have it. Much better that some anonymous oil fired boiler in the corner of a room!!! Go on upgrade to a Rayburn, they are fantastic!!!

      • is yours a new model ??? have you found any pitfalls and does it cost the earth to run??

    • Graham,

      Get a Rayburn!! I have a 10 year old 470K that was top of the range. Cooks exactly as an AGA and gives you loads of hot water and heating. This particular model I was told by AGA will heat upto 24 double radiators!

      It’s great and efficient. I would NEVER go for an ordinary AGA – whats the point when you get exactly the same cooking ability and a seperate boiler for heating and water to time or turn on and off as you please! The wonderful freedom of having just hot water in the summer with the cooker either on or off is wonderful. Plus they take NO time to heat up from cold.

      Love them – never would change to an AGA – buy an AGA RAYBURN!

      • Have a look at Heritage Range Cookers as an alternative. We have just got rid of

        our Aga: it did everything that it was supposed to do and was the heart of the

        kitchen. It also tore the heart out of my bank account: a ludicrously inefficient

        use of heating oil. Heritage range cookers look much the same as

        Rayburns, do not require specialist servicing (very expensive on a Rayburn) and

        do everything that an Aga does for 30% of the fuel.

        • I totally agree, the Heritage cooker is by far the best. Very efficient, only draw back is that it has a pressure jet burner, not a vapourising burner as Aga hence more efficient but noisier.

          No conection with the company by the way !

        • How are you getting on with your Heritage now?

    • I have a new rayburn that can be programmed but endless problems (its been changed twice by Aga Rayburn) and eats money, bad for planet etc. Will NEVER buy anthing from Aga Rayburn again! Do yourself a favour and get something efficient to cook on. I know for a fact that Aga Rayburns sales are down as well and unless they get with the times and become much more energy efficient they will become redundant!

      Good Luck!

      • I am interested to know if your Rayburn is one of the new 400 series … we have a 460 and have had HORRENDOUS probems with ours, been replaced once due to the boiler blowing up and the replacement is just as much trouble, beware!

    • If you have been having efficiency problems in recent months the problem is probably the properties of the kero you are using. Heating oil suppliers have been forced to reduce the polluting sulphur in heating oil and the resulting product has a much higher ‘char value’ than before (I’m no scientist I just heard this on the radio recently).

      Suppliers have no choice but to provide this new formula kero. New AGA cookers work OK with the new oil and a replacment burner is available at a cost to owners of oil fired AGAa. However if you have an old converted solid fuel aga the new burner does not fit and the grape vine is that new burners will cost a bomb.

      Have you done the carbon calculations on your AGA? Its really time to get with the programme and bin the AGA and go for gas or electric. We have a summer cooker (gas) but my wife won’t turn off the AGA over winter (so in return I don’t turn the central heating on!).

      • Where are the replacement burners availabile from – we are having to clean our Aga out every two or three days. Aga technicial department on (08457125207 help desk) which will put you through) say that the new Aga that works with the changes is not yet available and they are working on a prssure jet which will be noisy to replace the vapourising chamber, and that there is no other burner available either. The suggestion was to use Total Butler supplier for Glomax which I am sure costs and arm and a leg.

        Any further suggestions would be helpful such as can we form a group to go an lobby Parliament

        • You say you have to clean it out every 2 or 3 days. Clean what exactly? if it’s sooting up the flue and burner chamber then your flame is too yellow and producing carbon from incomplete combustion – and wasting money as well. Adjust the high fire flow rate so that the flame has hardly any yellow.

          If it’s hard carbon deposits in the centre of the burner then something else is going on. If the control box height is right, the oil can flow over a hard carbon “dam” in the centre of the burner provided the dam is less than about 3/16in high – the oil level is supposed to be 1/4in deep in the burner – servicing of the burner becomes essential when the “dam” starts to restrict oil flow to the wicks. If the control box is too low, the slightest build up of carbon could restrict the flow. In my experience (20yr owner, only serviced once by a “professional”) 6 months between cleaning the burner is fine. You might also want to check that the pipe feeding the burner is clear – carbon deposits can build up and restrict the pipe.

          And if it’s a really old burner, there may be a fire check valve screwed in to the union just inside the outer door. These can deteriorate with age and gradually impose an increasing restriction on fuel flow

    • If you want to keep your Aga hot all the time, it will consume oil all the time. The vapourising burner is probably not as efficient as a pressure jet, but if the flame isn’t yellow I don’t think there’s much in it. The heat released by burning the oil ends up in only three places: up the flue, in the h/w tank and in the kitchen. The hotter the Aga, the faster heat is lost

      So to reduce oil consumption, the most effective thing to do is reduce the temperature of the Aga when you don’t need it so hot. Pressure jet conversions (e.g. snugburner) can heat the Aga much faster and are self lighting – so you can let it go cold overnight. Next best thing is a timeswitch on the power to the Aga control box. I have have one – it’s turned off from 9pm to 5am, so teh Aga is on low fire during that time, and also from 9am to 11am and 2pm to 5pm. Makes the kitchen a little cooler in summer too.

      I suspect the main advantage of the snugburner is that when it’s off there is NO oil consumption, as opposed to the standard burner consuming 4cc per minute when on low fire. If I had an electric igniter for the vapourising burner, i’d turn it completely off over night

      • (service engineer) read various comments re premature carboning` poss cause is low sulphur kerosene that is now used and is causing major problems on vapourising wick burners` try the clean burn kerosene this should help but the appliance will have to be recommissioned by your local engineer (thats if you can find a local eng ?) by the way there is an additive that can added to your existing oil that may help to prevent carboning 250ml treats 1000ltrs ! note if anyone as a very old aga say the one converted from solid fuel to oil i would suggest changing the fuel to clean burn (hope this information is of some help)

        • Very interested to see Geoff’s reply – our Don conversion oil burner (from solid-fuel type) burns very cleanly but the oil intake pipes clogged up badly in a couple of months when we turned it back on this autumn. If it carries on at the same rate we’ll have big servicing bills. Is the additive supposed to help prevent the intake pipes clogging up, or just for cleaner burning? Also, how much is it, and where from?

        • Reading this link with interest. Since I moved into this cottage I’ve suffered endless headaches. We have an oil (Kerosene) fired burner which, as far as I’m concerned, absolutely stinks. I can smell Kerosene as I walk up the drive, the smell of kerosene hits my bedroom shortly after my son opens the kitchen door in the morning. My bedroom is a good 30m away from the kitchen, and when you open the top oven door the waft of kerosene is overwhelming. Is something wrong?

        • (engineer) reply to Anne, the additive is from log on scroll down to shop the additive is called COOKERMAX @ £10.21 +P/P but i not sure if it will prevent or slow down the carboning of the the oil feed tube i`ve only had a few months as yet to test it seems to be working tho !!!!!

          just read your comments Clare you did not mention if its a wick burning appliance or a pressure jet oil burner, either way it should be tested by a competent engineer who will or should run a test on the appliance to make sure the correct amount of oil is being used and also check the Co2/ O2 /Co etc and also ventilation if required also it would be a good idea to buy a carbon monoxide detector alarm . oil burning appliances should not stink if they do there`s something wrong

    • Try fitting a snugburner from This is a pressure jet burner and will allow you to switch the uniot on and off. Cost approximately £1300 as a kit or £2000 fitted. Cheaper than a new Rayburn

  2. Dear Rod,

    You get what you pay for. An always on cooker that will do your cooking proud with no warm up time or lag. Put the Xmas turkey in the top left over overnight and it’s done to a turn. If you look at it, there is no way to increase the efficiency. You could buy a bigger one that heats your hot water too. Just enjoy it, you have to spend you money on something. If you want to be really green, eat raw food and sandwiches. Personally I’d love an Aga, I’ll take yours off you for free!

  3. Hi Rod,

    As Alex says we all need to spend our money on something. OK so we own the 4×4 of the kitchen but mine does the hot water as well [250 litre tank always hot]. Its always there to throw something into the hot oven and yes there’s no better cooker for the Christmas turkey. It may be inefficient but it’s quiet in these cold days my 100,000 BTU central heating boiler roars away all day long and can be heard even with the fire door closed to the boot room. Anyway if I got riid of the AGA I’d be mauled to death by two dogs who jostle for prime position infront of the AGA. The worrying point though is did you see that AGA/Rayburn is on the list of danger companies likely to go under in this credit crunch – so go out and buy a supply of wicks.

  4. In these hard times, the most efficient way to use your AGA is to keep the lids closed – no boiling of kettles for example. The most rapid heat loss is through the plates. We have a gas hob for cooking in pans – you can’t beat an AGA oven!

  5. I read last week that AGA are cutting 400 jobs and putting expansion plans on hold. It sounds like they are pretty stable otherwise so hopefully will carry on producing their wonderful AGAs. I wish I had one but can remember my mom cooking wonderful casseroles and rice puddings on hers and the whole kitchen used to be so lovely and warm. Long may they continue.

    • Why would anyone voluntarily own an Aga? (unless they also own a £10,000 work of art because it’s nice to look at).

      Wouldn’t you rather have an oven that you can turn on and off when you want, that has a handle made of a material where you don’t need gloves just to open the door, where you don’t have to open the windows to keep the temparature in the kitchen bearable on days where the outside temp is >15 deg. An oven where if you choose to use the hotplates (though as well know, you should avoid doing this if you can!!!), apart from not being able to control them down to simmer, the temparature of the oven tends to reduce.

      Basically they are an appalling design from a functionality and cost point of view.

      Oh yes, and we have to go without using our oven for several days before the service, to give it time to cool down for the technician).

      … and people pay THOUSANDS to actually buy one!!!! Or rather they used to (hence share price going through the floor)

      • I own an Aga and I love it. My Kitchen is always warm and welcoming, when the village suffers power cuts we are still able to keep neighbours warm and fed. We never have to plug in a kettle.toaster,microwave, breadmaker,fan heater,tumble dryer etc etc. My teenage son and his friends come in to cook their pizzas ,have hot chocolate or just make toast because unlike most of their mums cookers mine is always on, and my younger children warm up their gloves, dry their paintings or help make pancakes for breakfast. My kitchen is always busy because of the Aga. I wouldn’t swap these memories for anything. Thousands of pounds to buy?? Mine was second hand and cost less than a modern range.I just turn it off over night if it needs a big deal, do you not turn your cooker off overnight?

        Oh and we have a simmering plate as well as a boiling plate so we don’t need to turn things down just move them across,or we could just put things in the simmering oven . Easy!!

  6. I cannot believe there are people out there with Agas that do not love them. I absolutely love mine. It makes the kitchen the nicest place to be, and I have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen as a mother of 2. The price of oil has made things a little more difficult and we did actually turn it off last summer for a few weeks, but I would never be without it.

    Our ‘technician’ comes out to service ours in the afternoon if we turn it off in the morning after breakfast, so no trouble there. I feel very lucky to have such a special thing at the heart of my home. Stan, if you hate your so much, stick it on ebay. Someone will pay you thousands for it!

  7. My wife and I are looking at getting a Rayburn along with solar panels to supply DHW and run the central heating. Does anyone use this system and do they find it economic after the initial outlay.

  8. Yes, I know the Aga may be expensive to run BUT – dry all your clothes on it or round it (no tumble dryer for me). Cook double/treble/quadruple quantities of food in the simmering oven. Cook things (porridge, casseroles, turkeys)overnight, make 3lb of bread at a go (cheaper than buying it at over £1 per loaf) and yes the kitchen is warm in cold weather, and it’s lovely to come down to in the morning. Switch it off when the weather is warmer – we have a 4 ring electric hob next to the aga and are putting in a combination microwave. Best of both worlds then!

  9. Oh, I forgot! an Aga simmering plate should be cool enough to do just that. If it’s not, put your pan in the simmering oven, or alternatively put a 2p coin on the hotplate and put your pan on that (I’m not joking, it works. It helps that I’m over 60yrs and have been cooking on solid fuel/oil Agas all my life. Cheers!

  10. I love my Rayburn – it gives a continual ambient warmth to the whole house (and disperses the fusty smell that old houses sometimes accumulate in the cold) tenderises meats like no other form of cooking (and therefore very suitable for cheaper cuts of meat), dries the clothes in the winter with a strategically placed rack overhead, gently dries overnight wet trainers that have to be ready for school next morning, supplies ample hot water for bath-greedy teenage daughters whilst warming the bathroom and drying the towels with its gravity feed radiator.

    All this means I don’t often have to provide extra heating, switch on the immersion heater, panic about just washed clothes that are apparently essential for next day at school, or rush about with an evening meal after work seeing as a casserole has been plonked in before leaving in the morning. I confess I take all this for granted, until it’s turned off in the summer, when I suddenly have to plan ahead without the convenience of 24hr access to the above. In all I find my Rayburn helps my non-domestic goddess lifestyle run more smoothly. (I need all the help I can get!!) I also like to think it’s quite green in its own way – all those functions for one heating unit. And therefore worth every penny of the £96 pcm I pay for oil.

  11. We have only a solid fuel rayburn, it isn’t linked to anything hot water or heating, and if it was we would need a secondary back-up unless you have a tiny quaint cottage. I absolutely love mine and would consider replacing it if it fell apart, it is 10 years old but looks as good as new. We burn wood 90% and coal only overnight, it is the most efficient item we have in the house, not only does it warm our hallway but most of the rooms above, we cook on it and boil our kettle, it reduces our electricity bill by £40 to £50 per month over the winter! I think they are overpriced for what they are but it’s nice to think if there is ever a power cut we can huddle around it for warmth. (We live in the middle of no-where!)

  12. hi ive got a rayburn how much oil should it use a month,it only heats the water and oven

  13. We have an aga which my father put into our bungalow 40 years ago when he had it built. Still as good as new and wonderful to have background heat and gallons of hot water whenever you need a 20 minute shower!! You then dry the towel in about 1/4 hr. It dosen’t need to cool down for ‘several’ days (as Stan says above) before servicing it, a couple of hours max if you are careful. I service it myself which is unbelievably simple and only takes about 1/2 hr. Wouldnt be without it

  14. Cant wait for our solid fuel Ruyburn to be delivered next month, as we are surviving on an coal fire to keep us warm and have an old electric cooker that is eatting away at the electric at the mo.

  15. Did anyone hear the recent radio broadcast about Kero (domestic heating oil) and its new burning characteristics effecting the efficinecy of AGA/Rayburn cookers? I didn’t hear it myself but understand that this requires a modififcation to the burner unit to work properly. AGA Rayburn sell new oil-fired butrner complete with the new burner, but will not be manufacturing a ‘retro-fit’ pack – and anyway this doesn’t fit into older reconditined or converted models!

    If you have had problems over the last 6months with sooting up and low temperature, the fuel may be the root of the problem.

    What have you heard and what are your plans?

    • Yes, I heard part of that Radio 4 programme on the new EEC requirements on the level of sulphur in domestic heating oil. This could be why our 468K Rayburn (7 Yrs old) suddenly started to give off fumes and drop in power. We used to have it serviced only once a year (for 8 months use) but after only 3 months since the main service, we had to call back the engineer to clean out more carbon (£80+). He said we might need a filter on the oil tank but we think it is more likely to be a change in the fuel. Will make a once excellent heating appliance too expensive.

    • Our re-conditioned AGA has just started giving off fumes and has a reduction in temperature. It happened last year and our engineer said it may be the fuel, but since then, it seemed to have sorted itself out. Out last fuel delivery was four/five weeks ago. Aga seemed fine, but today, its misbehaving again. Fumes and drop in temperature. What is this about a new burner. How do we get hold of one. Why didn’t the Aga misbehave immediately our last fuel was delivered, and why has it been OK with the fuel deliveries over the year? Someone help. We really like the AGA and don’t want to get rid of it.

  16. Has anyone done a carbon calculation on their oil-fired AGA/Rayburn? I want to plant some trees to offset our carbon emissions and can’t find any benchmark data on how much CO2 our cooker produces annually.

  17. Fuel issues?? My Husband and I are in a predicament! We are in toatl information overload, but what we really need is the opinions and experiences of those of you who have THE KNOWLEDGE!! We cannot decide wheather to buy an AGA or Rayburn or Esse or Redfyre? Then theres the fuel type??? I work part time so it must be fairly easy to heat up! What are the heat-up time like for each fuel type and make? Are there any advantages over each fuel type? We have been told that there are dust issues with the solid fuel ? How about the Kerosene? Is the any smell from this form of fuel? Previously I experienced a prolonged migraine after exposure to Kerosene, so smell in the house is very important. Which is the most cost/fuel efficient? Any help in your experiences would be gratefully received. Thanks to all xx

    • We have had an Esse 28sec. oil vapourising cooker for 25 years. It heats numerous radiators, is UK built (to last) and, especially in an older house, is perfect in Winter for heating, cooking and drying everything from clothes to horse blankets. Ours runs all the time from October to May and is the most economic way to heat our house. As an older house, it is not as well insulated as new houses, so it’s better to keep the heat running at a steady setting all the time, rather than have a timer/ thermostat that uses big amounts of fuel to boost heat when required. It’s a bonus that it works when there’s a power cut too, for cooking and heating water tank (not for radiators though – they need a pump).

      No smell except when wind gusts to 90mph +, when you get a slight whiff (very slight) once in a blue moon.

      It is a core part of the house – it’s the first place you head for to heat up when you come in on a cold day.

      Really well satisfied with it and have been impressed by the back up from Esse in terms of spare parts, advice etc.

      • Against the advice from a mate who runs a non pressure jet oil fired Rayburn we selected a version with twin oil fired pressure jet burners – a nice red one which fitted the brick arch we built for it perfectly – looked great!

        First problem was that each time the door in front of the CH burner was closed it knocked the photocell out of place after which it wouldn’t light.

        Second problem was that the supplier/installer stated that I MUST deal with Rayburn over such problems “as that is what Rayburn insist upon”. Stopping his cheque soon stopped this nonsense in its tracks!

        Then, once the CH side was made to run, it made the kitchen smell like Heathrow. Rayburn “commissioned” the thing numerous times until eventually one of their commissioners measured the poisonous CO in the room (instead of the CO2 in the flue) and instructed us not to use it.

        Rayburn supplied a second complete cooker and, to cut a long story short, this one emitted more CO than the first! Because CO kills around 30 people a year we replaced the Rayburn with a Britannia (bottled gas hob/electric oven) and got our money back plus £700 compensation from Rayburn.

        I sent in British Standards to investigate and was told afterwards by Rayburn that they took the model off the market for a time.

        Problems were a design flaw with the CH heat exchanger which created too much back-pressure on the burner and an inadequate burner to heat exchanger sealing arrangement compounded on the second one supplied by abysmal dressing of the heat exchanger welding where the burner fitted to it.

  18. im looking to cut down on my gas bills during the summer and im not quite ready to turn off my beloved rayburn. does anyone know how to completly turn ur heating off without turning ur rayburn off. there are two flames inside the door at the bottom but wich one runs the heating and hot water?


  19. Hi I wonder if anyone can help. We have an oil fired rayburn, and it keeps going out in the last few months for no apparent reason. The oil is gravity fed. We have cleaned the chimney, flue etc and are really at a loss as to what to do next. It has been running smoothly for for the past 6 yrs previous. thanks

    • Les, Have you considered that after 6 years your poor old Rayburn might be in need

      of some attention? AGA/Rayburn recommend an annual service for Rayburns, and

      twice a year for AGAs. Do yourself a favour and call an engineer.

  20. i love my aga, but is very hot in summer- we use for cooking only. Its 35 yrs old, and we’re renovating kitchen and considering buying an oil Heritage cooker., but will I love a heritage as much?

    • Dear Beth

      I hope I am not too late. Just seen your blog.

      I am the designer and creator of the Heritage Range Cooker. Every detail is down to me!

      I ceased my partnership in July 2006; due to my business partner’s treachery etc.

      The significant monies and royalties I extracted from him were invested into my new baby; Vintage Ranges.

      If it’s not too late please make contact. I do know there have been numerous problems in the field, none of them would have the interest or knowledge of my products as I do. Indeed I know my ex-partner was planning to reduce costs by skimping on quality and thicknesses of materials etc.

      I also produce Heritages from my factory in Waterford, Ireland. My Vintage cookers are by design a huge improvement on what I did in Cornwall. The ovens are nearly twice the size, the hotplates are almost 40% bigger etc.

      I am designing and manufacturing cookers and stoves since 1983. I love my cookers.

      I would be delighted to make contact and send you some photo’s of my cookers.

      I am just about to up-date my website.

      Best Regards

      John Cleary

  21. I forgot to mention that even in the (very) short time we had our 2 Rayburns the CH side burner sooted up appallingly.

    I have owned 2 ordinary free standing oil boilers which I serviced myself – every two of years. Both produced a couple of cupfuls of light coloured ash every each time and the metalwork of the burner assembly remained clean.

    The metalwork of the CH burner on both our Rayburns was covered in black soot after a couple of weeks of operation and one of the tribe of commissioning people Rayburn sent reckoned it would need cleaning 3 or 4 times a year!!!!

    It was my wife’s dream to have a Rayburn but it only took a few sore throats caused by combustion products leaking into her kitchen (and the warning that these contained CO at 1150 ppm – measured by another of Rayburn’s commissioners) to change her mind!

    Note: 25 ppm is considered to be the maximum safe concentration of CO in HM submarines and elsewhere it is less still.

    • Just an aside but we inherited a converted to oil from solid fuel aga when we moved in two years ago. I despaired after about six months as it never got to temp. After 3 separate service engineers (and £300) I contacted the previous owners who gave me the name of their engineer, he came, he tweaked the fuel supply pipe and it was magic. Sadly, he moved away and then my border collie chewed (yes-chewed!) the copper oil supply pipe. £60 and a new pipe later it’s working better than ever. I don’t think it was ever installed properly as as it’s gravity fed it had a constantly inadequate supply of oil. However much my husband loathes it drinking oil my children and I love it and I don’t know how we’d live without it.

  22. stop stop woa thers nowt wrang wit aga it is a heat bank for cooking and hot water

    if servived 2 pa they are a good cooker a oil fired aga will last for a life time much longer than a rayburn and only halfe the cost to service if a rayburn boiler bursts rayburn say

    scrap the cooker in fact i know thay are quick to say scrap the cooker after 10 years

    this certnalley would not hapen with aga

    a aga has saved maney lambs with hipothermia on farmes on, low temp the bottom oven is ideal

  23. I own a Rayburn Royal (1972) model OF22 which has a boiler( 22,000 BTUs) which I love and is a focal point of my house as is the same with many of you AGA/RAYBURN lovers


    I have upgraded my burner and it has completly revolutionised the efficiency and cost!!!

    DON’T BUY A NEW AGA/RAYBURN before investigating

    My rayburn with it’s new SnugBurner has a digital timer which is fully programable and I can boil a kettle from stone cold in about 12 mins!!!! Boiler now has a capacity of about 39,000 BTUs and some people run more than 9 rads using an OF22!!!

    Snugburner is available for other models and AGAs as well as biodiesel and other fuels.

    It makes as much noise as a gas boiler but is far more efficient – uses about 60% of the oil than it did before.

    I don’t work for or sell the burners 🙂 I’m just a happy customer now I don’t have to wait 8hrs for it to heat up

    Consider buying an old AGA on ebay for £100 and add in a sungburner – cost a lot less that a new AGA – does AGA want you to know this – of course not!!!

    Good luck

    Mr B

  24. I am not an Aga/Rayburn owner but am not against the idea of having one. However:

    I am concerned about the environment and do think that having a slow-to-respond heatsource in teh house that then dictates to me that I should leave it on all the time is not the way to go….. so I have read this wonderful blog and can surmise the following…

    If you want an AGA – get a Snugburner installed.

    If you want a Rayburn – it will be noiser, but at least it will be more efficient.

    If you want a nice, good looking range in your fireplace and want good eco-credentials – get a wood burning range cooker and link it into a heatstore type heating system that can also be fed by Solar Panels and a back-up ‘conventional’ oil bolier (stuck in an outhouse or utility room if you don’t like the noise).

    And don’t buy a new Aga or let an ‘engineer’ service it – do it yourself!

    PS – I have a very large living room that has no central heating – a modest Clearview wood burning stove is adequate and I only use 2650 litres of oil per year in a stone house of about 84 sq. metre footprint. (how? thermostatic valves on every radiator except the bathroom and 22deg.C in the living areas and 19-20 deg.C in the bedrooms)!

    • hi, I have owned a Rayburn 499k for ten years I bought it new.I have had no major problems with it and found it quite economical to run.It can run up to 13 radiators.

      Since last September I have had major problems with Rayburn repairers and a cour t case is on the horizon. Rayburn /Aga were no help to me despite woffling for months and Trading standards said they could and should have been more help.

      The problem concerned the programmer ,which had become faulty ,heating was coming on at non programmed times or not at all.The engineer I contacted sent out someone (we now know who was not experienced) instead of just replacing the programmer he had all the lower workings out ,said he didnt know what the problem was and put it all back together again ,saying he would go ask for advice.After he went we could smell burning fumes and it was making a lot of noise.To cut a long story short.He had trapped a main cable in the wiring loom. I rang the mans employer and he declined to fix the problem saying he could do no more and to get someone else . It cost us almost £1000 with another engineer to find the fault.When I told the second engineer I was going to make a claim against the first ,he dropped us and wouldnt come out again leaving us with a Rayburn still not programmeable despite a new programmer and with other problems which we didnt have before including an oven re set button which kept popping and then the oven stoppe d altogether.The only thing that works is the heating if you turn it on manually.This is the abridged version of events.But I would advise anyone in Norfolk thinking of buying one to think twice, the back up is terrible and the standard of engineers both morally and practically is reprehensible.I dont know where this will end but believe that the machine may need total re commisioning.I dont know how much this will cost but as I have already forked out £1000 to no avail I amn ot the happiest of bunnies.If anyone else has horror stories I would like to hear from you.

      thanks, Barbara

      • Hi I bought a Rayburn 480k in 1995 and for the first four years it was great. The service guy seemed to know what he was doing, and I loved it. Sadly, he decided to move on to another trade and I looked for another service agent. Before the services, the cooker worked, but the day following services it did not work. They just told me it was coincidence but a fault had developed. They changed numerous parts. They could not find why it did not work and charged me £50 per hour and on occasions were here for 2 days at a time. I will not even go into the numerous times I had service agents out to it, but to cut a long story short over the next 5 years it cost me approx £6000 in repairs. I phoned Rayburn and asked for help, and they did not want to know. They are still recommending an agent( on their Guild) that butchered my machine ( Comment made by the engineer I have now who is great) Eventually when I found this latest service agent he said the problem was a part which costs £13. It seems they had used a part which was not a Rayburn part.

        The rayburn however is now finished because of damage inside which Rayburn do not sell spares for. It has developed cracks which are not repairable. ( I am sure it did not help when one agent used a lump hammer on the cooker when he could not get the baffles back in. ) I have to say that when he was hammering it I used to cringe as he was so rough. After 20 minutes hammering, I suggested to him that as the baffles came out easily then they should go back easy, and that maybe they were in the wrong order. They then went in without a problem. I think until Rayburn get an after sales service that will help in cases like mine they will decline in reputation. Do I recommend them??? Guess !!

        • We have 480k – never again; so noisy, smelly and overheats the room when cooking, not to mention all the repairs, replacement parts, call outs over the last 13 years – must have cost us a bomb. Very hard to get engineer to come anyway as most unpopular model to work on.

      • We have a 7 year old Rayburn499KB which has a programmer fault. This has been like this for some five years. We are reliably informed that this is a well known fault, something to do with AgaRayburn using a dedicated rebadged Honeywell controller that is expensive and doesn’t work well. We had poor servicing from a Suffolk company but now use a service engineer from Cambridge who told us about the problem. We don’t use the programmer other than to turn the cooker and heating on and off. This works OK but the programmer switches off by itself when the door is opened.

        Good piece of kit and used all the time, economical and otherwise reliable.

        • Just read this post – I used to be a service engineer for Rayburn & Esse – The programmer is a bog standard Honeywell ST699: Just the markings on the front differ, but the face can easily be replaced. Swapping the timer is a 10 minute DIY job & any decent plumbers merchant (or Ebay) should be able to supply the timer (You could even fit a 799 timer to give 7 day programming)

          A quick google will find plenty of suppliers at around £50-£60.

        • hello Nigel, can youm tell me the name of the Cambridge engineers. Just found out that my usual trusted engineer will no longer be travelling out my way.Deep sigh !

          I wish I had never seen my rayburn !

      • We purchased a new 499K last june. It’s horrendously noisy.

        I contacted Aga today and all they said was ‘they are very noisy and I should have listened to one working before i bought it!!’ I will be writing to customer service, which was their other suggestion, and suggest anyone with similar views does the same.

        If anyone is thinking of buying one think twice!

      • since posting of my misfortune in service engineers I can tell you happily that at last I found a good’un. It cost me another £1000 to clear up the mess left by the second engineer I used but despite photos ( of the botched and non standard wireing) to the new programmer that never worked and photos to prove that the thing hadnt been serviced properly or that the oven burner that I had paid to have replaced had never been replaced and subsequently disintegrated , even after all that and sending out a senior ‘trouble shooter’ the engineer is still a member of the Rayburn Guild.Unfortunatley because Rayburn would do nothing it made my legal case unsustainable and therefore I had to drop it.

        The new engineer is a gem, the Rayburn has never been serviced to this extent …EVER .

        However ,I have had constant problems with the oven thermostat, the last one fitted the other day I am told is off an AGA as they were having so much trouble with the Rayburn one, previous thermostat failures have caused the oven sides to warp (twice) the ceramic ‘thingy’s under the hot plates have cracked and have had to be mended with filler ,(replacement is a costly job)

        A word of warniingt to those contempalting a wood burning version,I have it on good authority ..make sure you have a good supply of cheap wood as it eats the stuff and a couple of logs in the box wont heat enough for cooking, you have to have it stoked big time and roaring.I have had an old solid fuel on in the past , they are dirty and messy things, go out over night and take forever to warm enough for cooking.

        After all my grumbling about the 499K ,if only Rayburn would pull their finger out and iron out the problems I have to say it is a joy ,I can hear it fire up from my bedroom but such a nice noise on a frosty morning.It cooks food like a dream ,has bacon sizzling in minutes , heats the house ,cane be turned on and off at will .SO after all the problems I have had ,would I have another ‘ probably, or if not a Rayburn something similar .

  25. Hello Everyone

    I own a gas fired Aga 1992. Whilst I fully understand the majority view i.e. that of affection for your Aga, I think it is a totally outmoded archaic piece of kit & totally unsuited to 21st century living (I don’t expect anyone to agree with me!!). I’m pleased to see that Aga has introduced a retrofit programmable timer. I’ve just registered my interest on their web site. Whether its introduction is for altruistic reasons or commercial ones, I don’t know, but it seems like a step in the right direction. Has anyone any experience of such a device?



  26. My husband turned our Aga down during a very hot spell of weather at the beginning of July and ti went out. We had areal job getting it going, our engineer had to relight it 3 days running and finally left the door open until the ehat got right up. It went for 24 hour O.K but now is very badly sooted up yet again, the whole house stinks and we don’t know what to do. The engineer doesn’t know what else to suggest. He thought it might be the outside air pressure, but since we’ve had very hight pressure and then lows with lots of rain and I can’t see this as a reason. Its a 1930’s model which we ingherited with the house last year. The previous owner loved it and had no problems.Does any one have a similar experience and what did you do. We have already spent a fortune on call outs. Any ideas greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jane.

    • I had a similar problem with my old AGA recently. I completely serviced it, swept the chimney, set up the levels on the burner and the oil control and when I lit it wouldn’t get very warm and smelled awful.

      Eventually, after switching it off, I removed the top of the oil control and having cleaned out some sediment realised it was taking an age for the oil to fill back up the float chamber. eventually I tracked it down to sludge blocking the oil tank filter. Having cleaned this and the fuel line, as this was blocked also, everything flowed nicely. However I soon noticed after relighting that the AGA was not getting as hot as it should, eventually after searching the internet I discovered due to the very small passages the oil flows through in the control box that an air bubble can cause a partial blockage in either the float valve or the metering valve. On top of the control box you will see a small rod sticking up next to the high/low fire control knob this is connected to the metering valve if you operate this rapidly up and down it should clear any air trapped in it which in my case it did.

      All is now working perfectly!

  27. We have had Rayburns for at least 30 years. They have all been oil vaporising models, so require no electricity. They cook superbly, keep the kitchen warm and the core of the house aired. It does all the hot water we need and feeds a heat-leak bathroom radiator. We have central heating but barely need to use it. It keeps the kitchen cosy and welcoming, It airs clothes, keeps the dogs warm, is a comforting place for poorly children – we love it!

    In a very hot summer we turn it off, (We have a standby electric cooker) but are very relieved to be able to turn it on again.

    I service it myself – dead easy. If people are getting rid of them, do yourself a favour and get one cheap. I only have experience of the simple vaporising burner and would thoroughly recommend it as a good thing; not so controllable as a pressure burner, but very, very trouble free. It has no moving parts to go wrong.

    I think the secret of it’s success is that it’s simple.

    Best wishes K

  28. Hi after reading all these reviews I am now VERY concerned about my second hand Rayburn499K which we are about to have installed into our retirment bungalow – I wanted to run central heating and get hot water and cook all from one appliance but now I have doubts as to how well it will perform and what it will cost to run – would you exsiting Rayburn owners think I would be better off having a seperate boiler to supply hot water and heating and go for more modern cooking appliances?????? one very confused lady —

  29. Hi,

    We’re very excitedly moving soon to a rural location where an oil fired central heating boiler is currently fitted. We’d like to install a solid fuel Rayburn 355SFW to do the cooking.water/central heating. I have two questions I’d really like some input on

    1) How the the Rayburn owners who turn their Cookers off in summer heat water?

    2) Can a wood fired stove be plumbed in to aid the Rayburn in heating the house and water?

    thanks in advance


    • We have an electric switch by the hot water tank that heats the water in the summer. We have it on a timer switch so it’s set for when we want it to come on and off throughout the day. Setting that up is an easy job for an electrician.

      For cooking we have an electric hob that we slide on top of the Rayburn and a Sharp combi oven that’s only the size of a large microwave but roasts, bakes, grills and microwaves! It’s ideal for Rayburn/Aga owners who don’t want to have a second oven in the kitchen as it just looks and fits in just like a microwave. You can just put it where your current microwave is and dump your old one!

      We love our Rayburn, by the way. Tonight I have serviced ours and lit it for the first time since May! Oh what joy!!!

  30. can anyone help PLEASE !!!!! i have had a rayburn supreme for many years and resently had it converted to oil what a carry on to light it , we let it go out over the summer and now every time we try and light it it just goes out , it’s been serviced , has anyone got any advice ?? Help before the winter gets here .

    • Have you considered your oil tank?

      They can get debris in them and get sludgy at the bottom which can block the oil from getting through. If you let the oil run out this can happen, so don’t let your oil run out! Always make sure there are at least three or four inches in the bottom of the tank.

  31. I have just bought an old solid fuel single oven Rayburn for £20 (I can’t bear to see anything thrown away if I might be able to find a use for it hence I paid the scrap value). It needs a bit of TLC but was in use until fairly recently. I wnat to fit it in my kitchen, predominantly to heat the room and possibly to run a radiator in the loft conversion above (when we get round to doing it). We don’t have a chimney in the kitchen so how do I go about installing it and how much is this likely to cost?

  32. Big problems with Total Butler Glomax. Dont try it in your Aga. Mine was serviced annually until I was persuaded to use it by Total. Since then, it coked up 3 times in 4 months. Total have been good enough to pump out the tank & say they will reimburse for the oil taken away.

    Agree with others that an Aga is an expensive luxury but would you really rather be without it?

    • hi

      i’ve just had a delivery of ‘central heating oil’ from Butler, would this have been Glomax ??..please see my post regarding my probs’

      • Not necessarily – they do all sorts including 28 second (boiler oil) which some Agas go on but mine doesnt. Ask what you have been delivered. Good luck! If the Aga goes low in 1 or 2 months you will have had the same problem as me.

  33. Hi there seem to be a lot of you with various oil fired ovens with problems due to incorrect firing and combustion causing carbon deposits and sooting up.

    I had a new oil fired aga fitted 7 years ago and it has been no trouble,however most people who say they love their aga/esse/rayburn do not have to pay the oil bill.The reality is they are an expensive “lifestyle” choice.

    They are very cosy and seem “right”paticularly in older properties but so also does a wood burning stove(which you can also cook on and dry clothes around) which are much cheaper to run and install.

    Basically we all have the choice in the way we wish to spend our money.I was informed by my wife that an Aga was a non negotiable part of our marriage contract.

    If you want a stress free life with an aga/esse/rayburn my tips are:

    1.find an old engineer who has been working on them for many years and have it serviced occasionally and keep the receipt.Those of you who service your own and then have the misfortune to suffer a house fire may have difficulty with your insurance companies.

    2.Fit an ecoflow boiler magnet to the fuel line with in about a metre of the flame.You will end all problems with incomplete firing and sooting of the burner.Vastly extends service intervals and reduces oil consumption-even with the new spec fuels.

    Thank you


  34. Its interesting reading everyones comments & problems with their oil / gas rayburns / Aga’s.

    We have a Rayburn 345w wood only rayburn fitted 2years ago. The best thing we ever did. Having weighed up all the pros & cons of having an oil / gas or electric rayburn (we have no mains gas where we live) there was more benefit for us to go back to basics with this. The pro’s are – we live near woods, therefore being able to source some fuel, we have a joinery business, therefore able to souce free kindling, the VAT was reduced to 5% on the Rayburn & the fitting, therefore cheaper installation, we are able to maintain the basic workings of it (i.e sweeping the chimney regularly & keeing on top of the back boiler), it heats our hot water & does all our radiators & obviously we can cook on it. The cons – being wood only, it doesnt always ‘go through the night’ therefore having to relight it again. As we both work full time with a child who is 3, its not so easy as to turn it on when you get in from work, sometimes its difficult to get the oven up to a decent temperature, therefore can be difficult in planning meals or takes a lot longer! It also creates quite a bit of dust. Aside from that, our running costs are very minimal, and in the summer we have the immersion which is on a timer to heat the hot water & an electric cooker to use when needed. I still maintain we did the right thing, despite it being ‘more work’ but at least we havent encountered any problems as other people have mentioned in the above comments.

  35. hi…I need help with my Aga. I have a 2 oven Aga which we have had for over 20 years. It was converted from gas to oil when we bought it and had always been okay. we switch off in the summer so now is the time to light it again. We have just taken delivery of 1000 liters of fuel and lit it yesterday….but the fumes were horendous so had to swithc it off after 6-7 hours. My hubby services it..oil flow is good, de-coked the pipes etc and the chimney is drawing…what can be the problem?? My fuel came from Butler/Cpl and i order, as awlays, ‘central heating oil’. If any one can shed any light on what the prob may be then please let me know. p.s. my aga is a 2 oven that doesn’t heat water or radiator, is soooo expensive to run and i have no cooking during the summer as we swicth it off BUT…the heat from it keeps my kitchen/living room and hall warm so saves on the central heating/ my grown up sons dry clothes on it saving on the tumble dryer ( we have a rail on the cieling over the Aga so the boys hang thier wet clother up there overnight and all dry by the morning) I fold my newly laundered clothes on put them on the hotplates and it irons them for me, I have hatched eggs on there, I have warmed newly born lambs and chicks on there and it makes the best roasties ever….i can’t afford to run it /have no cooking in the summer but i’d never be without it…..p.p.s. as we have no gas here at all, wonder what a bottled gas aga would be like and how effiecient to run ???

  36. Aga hot plates use lots of the oil. An induction hob at under £50 (mine is a Prima) heats more quickly, accurately and for as long as you want, from frying bacon to making jam. It only works if your pans attract a frig magnet, does not heat the room or handle, is easily cleaned, and can be used on a table and kept in a drawer.

  37. I have an esse `D` series circ. 96 for a punt I paid small amount for. It seems all together and it is of the vapourizeing type. I am pondering the following, as it has a heat exchanger would it be capable of heating central heating and the hot water, What basically is involved, I have a small cottage with 5 rads. if it`s not viable I may use it to heat the work shop and so I wondering if I can use it for cooking/ convection heating only, I will freely admitt that I am rarther smitten with it now and I am keen to try it out. Any help hints will be much appreciated

  38. have an esse `D` series circ. 96 for a punt I paid small amount for. It seems all together and it is of the vapourizeing type. I am pondering the following, as it has a heat exchanger would it be capable of heating central heating and the hot water, What basically is involved, I have a small cottage with 5 rads. if it`s not viable I may use it to heat the work shop and so I wondering if I can use it for cooking/ convection heating only, I will freely admitt that I am rarther smitten with it now and I am keen to try it out. Any help hints will be much appreciated

  39. We are debating as to weather or not to get a rayburn cookmaster classic 200sfw. All we need it is for cooking ( running a small B & B) and some heat in the kitchen and downstairs in the old part of our house which is always cold .

    We looked at agas but quite fancied the woodburning idea . What are the negatives of a solid fuel/wood burning cooker.Please can any one help with our decision ,as we are having the whole kitchen refitted in January and we need to decide quickly.

    • We have a 212SFW rayburn and I absolutely love it! It is lit in October and properly goes out in March – we cook on ours constantly and boil or kettle on it, Don’t necessarily look at Rayburn there is loads of others out there just as good and you are paying for the name. We have on our wish list to change ours to do a bit more than cook, ie hot water or link in with our existing oil heating system. We buy a couple of smoke bricks each year which you burn to de coak the chimney and sweep regularly and throw a small bit of coal on each night to keep it in. Definately worth the investment.

  40. As a servicing engineer on aga?rayburn for 30+years may i give some observations on the present situation.

    Any additve to normal heating oil for Aga/esse etc is not reccomended by OFTEC.None of the current additive manufacturers has provided laboratory proof that their product works and would be able to be endorsed by OFTEC.

    Glomax fuel although approved by Aga comes with some reccomendations .Only glomax should be used not mixed with other fuel.If using Glomax the tank should be drained of all other fuel. The suppling oil company didn’t tell it’s customers this,hence all the problems ,not only with vapourisers but pressure jet burners as well.

    The problem with the high char content has been on going for many years and these additives are in my opinion just a gimmick to make a fast buck.If they work why not produce proof to OFTEC.

    The answer is just have your Aga serviced every 5 months.

    After servicing for 30 years ,i think that the majority of Agas are a waste of money.

    If you want your kitchen warm 9 months of the year ,have a heat leak or storage radiator fitted,and spend a fraction of the Aga cost on a gas/electric range.Most people who have an Aga also need another cooker for the summer when its to hot to have the Aga on!

    As for the pressure jet cookers the problems with those are to numerous to mention Noise being one of biggest

    As for comments about how marvellous food tastes cooked on a Aga,any food slow cooked in any oven or slow cooker will have its flavour enhanced.Any magical properties are imaginaryand in my opinion snob appeal!

    As for running costs,if you’re buying a ROLLS you don’t ask the petrol price.Get a condensing boiler like a HRM Wallstar with some good house insulation. That will save you more money than switching Agas on and off.

    As for servicing Agas yourself, fine if you are competent, but doing it in half an hour- no way- you’re skipping things,then when it goes wrong expect someone like me to try and sort it out in 30 minutes.No-way.

    Summing up – don’t mess with the fuel,if you must have an Aga just have it serviced a bit more often.Make sure the oil filters are cleaned regularly and any smells in windy conditions are often cured with an H-cowl on the flue.This will cure fire valves tripping in windy conditions. Hope this clears up a few points.


    • Hello Brian.

      Interesting to hear your views on Glomax….

      In November, my fuel supplier, Total Butler, offered me this fuel at a special price of 38p per litre and I specifically asked if it could be mixed with the remaining standard fuel in the tank and they said YES. I’ve now just had my regular top up at a staggering 50.75P per litre, so let’s hope it’s doing what it should, apart from costing me a fortune.

      My Rayburn 480K has been a pain in the neck ever since it was installed in 1996 and I’ve now decided that enough is enough and will be replacing it with a conventional boiler in the garage, possibbly a Grant Vortex 15/26 condensing oil boiler, which I have been assured will be more cost effective, efficient and a lot QUIETER.

      I have never needed an alarm clock in this house, as the Rayburn wakes me quite happily at 6am every morning when it fires up! and my bedroom is the furthest room from the kitchen in my 4 bedroomed house.

      Finger crossed! Helen

  41. We are looking to replace our old boiler and buy a Rayburn Heatranger 8210, oil fired boiler/cooker. Does anyone have one? What do they think of it? Does it do what it says, ie heat water, run heating and cook well? Any comments or advice appreciated as don’t want to make an expensive mistake.

  42. can any one tell me how much it costs to run a rayburn cooker model 308k how much oil it needs in a 24 hour period

  43. Hi everyone!

    I am currently converting a brick coach house into a 3bed bungalow.

    I’m thinking of installing a rayburn for the cooking, heating & hot water. It wil be in the kitchen which will be 5x5m. there is also the possibility of having a kitchen/ lounge which would be 8x5m but i am deciding whether to have open plan or a more cosy layout.

    I’ve been researching 2nd hand or refurbished rayburns, can anyone recomend anywhere?

    Also like the sound of the snug burner however wouldnt want it to be noisy if in the only family room.

    What sort of price would i be looking @ a month on oil for running 5 rads & hot water? would switch heating etc off in the summer & have a back up emmersion.

    thanks 🙂

    • Look out for recomeneded small firms that do ‘reconditioned’ second hand rayburns, or the small adds! they are made to last for ever, my friend has an old ‘lidless’ cream rayburn that cooks and heats water only and it still keeps the house warm! must be over 80 years old.

  44. We’ve had an oil fired ALPHA now for nearly 12 years and it is superb. We were persuaded to buy it instead of an AGA and I’m very pleased we did. It is serviced regularly and is programmable – brilliant. I too have used the bottom oven to thaw out hyporthermic lambs, it made the kitchen stink for quite a while afterwards but saved a few lambs lives.

    It took me several weeks to work out how to use it properly, but that’s almost the case with every cooker/boiler/heating system. I don’t have any other cooker ‘cos I don’t need one. We were told it would last a lifetime and it probably will.

    My parents had a solid fuel Rayburn for years, a good old stove I suppose, but I wouldn’t entertain a solid fuel oven etc. The smoke, depending on which way the wind blew and the mess was awful. It’s also hard work and very time consuming having to constantly feed the stove with fuel.

    We do have a woodburning stove in our living room but we can please ourselves if and when we light it as the ALPHA provides us with all the heating, hot water and cooking we need.

    • Pam, very interested in what you had to say about the Alpha – just about to buy a 2nd hand one – and not many people seem to have a Marshall. Can you confirm what sort of running costs you incur and how often you have to get the Marshall serviced?

  45. i have a rayburn royale of22 brought off ebay for less than £200. Has been in and running for three years now and I LOVE IT….Shes not been without her probelms, has 2 vapourising burners but for some reason i can only get the cooker burner to run right, but i still have plenty of extremely hot water, runs 7 rads in small 3 bed cottage. 2 rads upstairs are gravity, i never!!! put the central heating on as we have wood burner in living room. Our electric bill has gone down to £30.00 per quarter instead of £280ish. OK oil bill, i have 1000 ltrs about every 20wks. i service her myself having watched an engineer the 1st time.This xmas i did get both burners lit and got hot enough to actuallly pan fry!! but after 3wks billowed black smoke out of door and stank the house out, got very carboned up and used alot more oil so happy to burn just one burner. In summer i dont let her out, i just turn the rads of manually on their valves, i turn her down abit. and have doors and windows open but it never really gets that unbearable, if i dont want to turn her up to cook on when its very hot we just have a bbq as most people would anyway. did i mention shes over 40yrs old is a beautiful pale blue, the limited edition colour aga have just re-run. so i now have some matching cookwear. You do have to learn to cook differently i wouldnt be without mine She feels part of the family and hopfully be around for another 40yrs. the old ones are simple and not much to go wrong just as long as burners are cleaned regularly. Most people seem too think its the older generation that have them, but im just in my 30s with dogs, horses and 2 small children and my rayburn!!!! 1 thing i do urge people to do is if yours have concaved lids do a fried egg on bakoglide on the hotplate with the lid down to cook in its own steam it will be the best egg youve ever tasted..

  46. Hi katie so you have a raburn royalle and service it yourself ! i’m glad i dont live in your house.

    the fact that it almost went up in flames should tell you something is wrong and continuing to use it is very dangerous and if any thing was to happen i dont think you would have a leg to stand on insurance wise.You watched the engineer service it once ,then did it yourself–did you check burners for horizontal and lateral levels,did you spend approx 1hour or more chiseling carbon out of all the grooves etc and make sure the baffles fit correctly and the height of the burner on those spindly legs is exactly right.IF you learnt how to do all this and more after watching once- good on you. by the way 1000 litres every 20 weeks is approx £250+ a quarter

    Sorry to be a moaner but experience says that a little knowledge is dangerous.

    • Yes, Katie, 1000 litres every 20 weeks, do you have it on high all the time? We spend £60 £60 once a year for servicing (I just hope and pray he does’nt retire yet) I don’t really want to risk messing around with the ‘works’ of my beloved rayburn!

    • Contrary to what you may THINK it was actually installed and commissioned by a rayburn guild engineer. and yes i do service myself but it is actually also still serviced yearly as well by the same engineer!!! She is well over 40years old which is why i clean her out regularly. The reason she doesn’t run right sometimes, is the valve control on the side is erratic due to some ejit in her past life messed around with the screws internally. The burners are all set right. it does not have baffles.She hasn’t been condemed just yet And as a member of my family works for AGA i’m probally more in the know than most. p.s my name is Amanda not Katie

      • if anybody knows if you can get new valve controls i would most grateful. Everyone that i have seen only has one control knob mine has two. and sorry she has got baffIles they are just metal cages , getting them confused as my mother in laws modern stanley has baffle that you have to turn with a lever depending on when you want to cook. Regards Amanda.

  47. We bought our Rayburn 20 years ago second hand, it was soild fuel and it ran on rotten/woodworm infested timbers from the house that we had stripped out prior to rebuilding. when the wood supply ran out, we converted to a Don oil burner, installed by our engineer who services it every year for a VERY reasonable sum! as it is placed centrally in the house, it keeps the whole house warm and we only turned on the central heating system during the very cold spell we had recently, we also have a wood burner in the lounge so we are very happy with our system. When we did the house up we installed 3 night storage heaters as we were told the Rayburn would’nt be enough to heat the house, well it heats 6 radiators when turned on, so we don’t use the night store heaters. We only turn on 2 on very low if we go away and turn off the Rayburn just to keep the house from freezing up. Our electric is only £45 monthly (I have a back up electric double oven A rated as I do a lot of cooking) and our oil is £400 per six months, it was only 15p ltre 14 years ago!!! as we are now pensioners, we keep nice and warm. This is the 4th Rayburn I have had in my lifetime and I would’nt want anything else, we did have an old aga once,it was in a house we once lived in, we removed it after being in the house for a month and bought a rayburn! much more economical to run and not tempremental!

    The Rayburn oven when on low is ideal for cooking a large bird overnight or a stew for several hours yummy! when I turn up the rayburn during a very cold spell, I use the extra heat to cook up batches of casseroles, fruit cakes etc and freeze, to reheat the casseroles in the micro wave or put in the rayburn to thaw out!

  48. We have a 480k installed 14 years . gives regular trouble .We have an excellent service engineer who has kept this machine going at a not too unreasonable cost . As time goes on the noise of this cooker is getting more unbearable . It is driving the family crazy.

    • Hi Geraldine

      I manufacture my own brand of super-efficient and quiet Range cookers.

      I am the founder and designer of the Heritage range cooker. However, Vintages are a significantly improved design to what I made in Cornwall. We are now based in Waterford,

      Ireland. If you would be interested in a chat about my cookers please email.

      Best Wishes

      John Cleary Mobile:00353852823706

      • Please explain to me how your Range cookers are a significant improvement over the Heritage.

        • i can give you 500 reasons not to chose a heritage range….its just cost me that much in £££££ to repair a simple fault!!!

  49. the 400 series Rayburns have had more problems than other models. over the years there has been 4 different models of the same Range i.e mark 1 mark2 MX and the current MXE. each have their own problems that Rayburn have as yet to tottaly sort out. with the introduction of the 600 series it seems that the 400 will be forgotten and discontinued. and what a shame as i run one that has no problems its is a joy to use all year round. i didnt get it from Rayburn though. it is a remanufactured 480k from a little company called “top of the Range Ltd” where that take a condemned 400 series and make it better than a new one with their own boilers and oven parts and new burners (rather than the troublesome nuway burners and cracked ovens due to badly made parts.) they are the only 400 series specialists in the uk and they work wonders.

    • Interested in your recommendation of “Top of the Range Ltd” Ayear has gone by does that recommendation still stand?

  50. hi we have a old soild fuel aga that was converted to oil wick type years ago we moved to the house three years ago i think the aga uses a lot of oil it is a two oven and does water as well we have two boilers in the house as well and we use a 1000lts a month in the winter it also seems to be struggling to keep to temp any help and ideas would be great one of our boilers is being replaced with a condensing boiler so this should help are the redfrye cookers /boilers any good

    we like the feel it gives to the kitchen and drying the clothes and being able to just cook when you like but i think it is using about 90lts a week

    many thanks gary

  51. in the loungeDear Sir, I do hope I’m doing right. I have a RAYBURN 80 that has been converted to oil and it doesn’t do all that it should, my house is a bungalow and I need extra heat source to be comfortable in the cold weather.

    Lounge= Rayburn 80 fire brown colour & 1 x 7 foot double radiator, (ok ish).

    Hall & Entrance= 1 x 3 foot double & 1 x 4 foot single radiator.

    Bedrooms= 2 x 4 foot double radiator (1 in each).

    Kitchen= 1 x 4 foot double radiator.

    Garage= 1 x 7 foot double radiator (not used).

    Airing cupboard= insulated cylinder with emesion heater(not used),Water only gets warm but not hot.

    I believe I need a new flow controler be cause I need to wiegh dow the cut-off trigger with a spanner rested on top, where can I get a replacement?

    Can you help me

  52. Hi there. Im thinking of getting a Rayburn to run my hotwater and my central heating and for cooking as im slowly making our home more eco-friendly. my main question is what would people recomend a multifuel rayburn or one of these new woodburning ones only. Id be interested to hear from any of you who use the wood burn only one to find out (very Roughly) how many logs u have to use a day etc. and from people with a multifuel I can get a resonable supply of logs. but wondered about the heating properties and if it meant having to pilling log after log on throughout the day just to keep up temp.

    Thanks very much. Si.

    • Hi Simon, I live 65 miles north of Aberdeen, and we really have severe winters, plus we are very exposed. We had a new Rayburn 355 SFW Heatranger installed in September 2008, our house is very spread out with an upstairs, but the 355 has been great, we burn logs, peat and coal, (logs come free) we stock it up around 10pm in winter, close it down, and we opened it up around 7.30am,(we are amazed at how little ash is in the pan) my kitchen is 26’0 in length, and very warm during the night, while the rest of the house has a pleasant warmth. We don’t use peat overnight as it smoulders faster, we put on coal with a hardwood block on top, great!! However, a friend has a wood only, and it doesn’t produce the heat of a multi-fuel. Hope this information helps. Unfortunately, after a severe spinal injury, and kicking on towords 70, we are going to have to take our one out, as I can no longer lift anything,and bending with a brace is hopeless, but our house will never be as warm again. Good luck, Kind Regards, Lesley.

      • Hi Lesley.

        Many thanks for your reply, thats nice information to know. I did read up that i could buy a plate to install instead of the grate of a multi-fuel rayburn if i wanted to burn just logs. But heat wise coal would give much more heat.

        Im impressed by the size of home its heating with you as the house id be fitting it in is no-where near that size. (Kitchen 19.9 x 9.1) Like you I get free logs and kindling from a local forest

        Do you find it easy enough to heat up for cooking? i would imagine on coal opening the air vent and chimney slide would produce alot of heat quite quick.

        Sorry to hear about your injury though. Im lucky as im only 32 so stocking up wouldnt be a problem for me,would u consider having your rayburn it changed to oil to continue use? or is oil delivery in your area very poor?

        Thanks again. Simon

      • Hi Lesley.

        Thanks for that its handy to know. ive been thinking about the multifuel or just wood and think multifuel would be fine.

        If it can heat your place that sounds quite large. mine is no-where near that size.

        Like you i source wood from a local woods/ and timber yard and get free off-cuts etc. but the coal gives much better heat.

        Sorry to hear that you have health problems that means u may have to get rid of your rayburn as you clearly love owning one.

        Couldnt u get it converted to oil to keep it??

        Thanks again


    • Regarding oil and range cookers (and having read this blog at length) and whether woodburning is a possibility…..

      … it is inevitable that soon the price of oil will be over a quarter that which you pay for your beer (a pint being 0.56 of a litre and at £2.50 per pint, that makes a lite of beer worth around £4.50), say in the next 5 years. So, ultimately you will need to burn it as efficiently as possible.

      I have looked at traditional AGAs and other ‘oil’ fired ranges and come to the conclusion that unless you go for the pressured nozzle and forced air type (vapourising) and a condensing/balanced flue, then these ‘wick’/silet burner models are just inefficient. The problem with these ‘modern’ burners are, as many people have mentioned, that they are noisy. So if you have to have a noisy burner, why not consider a boiler that you can place on the outside of an external wall, or better still, put it in the cellar/utility room out of the way.

      Let’s face it, oil is convienient and flicking a switch will always have its place in the home when a bit of additional heat is required.

      Now, the question is “how do I use less oil and still make myself greener?”.

      Simple, burn non-fossil fuels and/or use renewable sources of energy. If you want a range cooker (which I do), then ESSE, Rayburn and a couple of other brands (Stanley of Ireland) produce woodburning models. If you compare these brands there appears to be a lot of spin, so carefull work your way thorugh the technical stuff and make sure you choose the right model for your needs. A typical house will need 30,000 BTU to heat a modest number of radiators.

      I am plumping for ESSE with an electric cooker/oven module on the side to use in the summer months. I am also installing a large array of evacuated-tube solar water heaters and having a 2 stage heat store (I already have one linked to my oil boilder) to provide domestic hot water.

      So I shall use the oil as a backup/nice to have source of heat, I shall use the ESSE for may bulk of space heating and rely on Solar for 8 months a year for hot water. I currently use 3000 litres of heating oil p.a. and hope to reduce this by over 60%. Yep I will have a little more hassle with the wood, but still the benefits of a warm kitchen with a range cooker. I expect to have 3 large loads of wood p.a. (I already have one load for my wood-stove in the lounge every year) and will get through 10 large logs per day in the depths of winter.

      As the price of oil rises, the investment I have made will have been paid off and my relaince of wood will increase – but at least I will not be tending an AGA burning huge amounts of oil (which is what many of you bloggers are moaning about).

      Don’t forget about insulating your house (including the floors) and ensuring you have as much passive solar gain from the south aspect as is possible (how about a nice oak framed conservatory?). And of course, stop wearing shorts and a t-shirt after the end of september – get those socks on and a nice woolly jumper (and of course turn the thermostat down to 18 in the bedrooms and 21 in the living spaces).

      Thankyou Boilerjuice for giving me a good price on my heating oil, but also be realistic about where the market is going…. it is up to us to ween ourselves off Oil; for future generations expect it of us.

  53. I’m looking in to making my house more eco-friendly too and I would like to thank everyone for their help and advice.

    Cornwall Boiler Repair

  54. We had an Esse Soverign 70 oil burning providing hotwater/CH and cooking facilities. Also had built-in convential electric oven ceramic hob and finally a wood buring stove in the lounge. Precis of the problems. Esse provided lovely hot water but useless for keeping the place warm (11 rads) and gobbling min 4000 litres of oil per winter. Cooking in the Esse ovens was fantastic in the upper, plate warmer really in the lower. Esse made a hell of a racket when fired up and constantly needed attention I spent £800 just to get it sorted the first year we moved in. Builtin electirc oven and hob was old and inefficient.

    Dovre woodburner was eating logs to keep the place warm in winter.

    So drastic measures were needed. Out went the Esse and a Grant Vortex 15/26 condensing boiler fitted. Out went the electric ovens and a Redfyre total electric range with induction hobs fitted. Results are lovely warm house, only 2500 litres last year in the worst winter we have ever had, electricity bill down 25%. Cooking in the Redfyre is like a range and two ovens both useable. Woodburner used now for effect or when it gets really cold (-15C last year).

    Advice if its a small house great have a Rayburn otherwise a new condensing boiler is so more efficient.

  55. We have had an oil fired condensing Sandyford Sherlock range for 4 years & I have to say it is far superior than any other product of its kind. It cooks, heats water & runs the central heating in our cottage for about £750/year. It is programmable, heats quickly & can be turned on & off at will. I would reccommend them very strongly indeed.

  56. Is there anyone else out there who has a Heritage Cooker? What do they think of them?

    • I have just had a Heritage Standard Duet installed. Only had it in for two weeks and that included cooking Christmas dinner for 10. We love it. Previously we cooked on Electric, heated the lounge on a wood burning stove and the rest of the house one an oil fired central heating system. We have noticed that we are not using any more oil than the same two weeks last year despite the extra cold temperature (minus 8 at night and minus 3 during the day compared with a low of plus 5 last year for same period) So in real terms we are using less oil and a lot less electric. It heats up very fast, hot enough to boil a kettle just two minutes from firing up from cold. Food taste much better cooked in the Heritage. The pre and after sales service (direct from the manufacturer) is second to non.

    • I forgot to say in my previous, everyone is amazed at how quiet the Heritage is. Apparently the reason is due to the air supply being piped directly into the burner from outside, instead of taking air from the room (then needing the inevitable sir vent that makes the room colder) but I don’t care about the reason I am just so happy with it. The Heritage, with both burners running at the same time (Heating/hot-water burner and the cooker burner together) is much much quieter then my old central heating boiler by itself.

  57. I live in a 350 year old rented farm house ,its currently fitted with a rayburn nouvelle natural gas oven ,my landlord has now aggreed with me that this needs replacling and will be installing a 355 SFW aga in its place ,The gas bill alone every quarter was £580 and thats just got out of hand,so Im hoping that a multifuel burner like this will be alot cheaper to run ,A supply of wood is no problem as I can get as much as I want ,Has any one got one of these to let me know what they are like to run

  58. Hi, we have just purchased a rayburn royal 2nd hand, its in excellent condition except that the oven has a bit of rust inside, it id being installed tomorrow, so was just wondering if anyone knew or onowd how to remove the rust without damaging the oven? Thanks

    • Oven is cast iron so rust should be very minimal. Just brush around surface with a wire brush to remove the light coating of rust dust and vacuum out the dust. Once alight oven will be ok.

    • Dale

      You can just lightly wire brush the surface andvacuum out. Once up to heat the inside will cure itself and another brush over to remove loose dust may be needed with a vacuum out. Cast iron surface does not badly rust.


  59. Please please please can someone help me,i have a Rayburn Royal,its about 20 years old,and was converted to oil about 4-5years ago. I love it ,it is brilliant,the wick was changed last year and the chimney swept… BUT it creates so much dust,so much so i can wipe the surfaces the night before and in the morning you can write your name in the dust,i havent lit it this year,but i want to soon,please can you help

    • Simply, Thats not dust. If it is black, then its oil soot. Please get some one local to you that is Oftec registered for vapourising appliances to sort it out. It could poison you!

      Sorry to be frank


  60. my brand new rayburn 400 has decided not to work cooker wont come on heating or water any ideas

  61. Hi we have had a SFW Rayburn 355 installed to run the radiators and hot water. We have just installed a reconditioned system but having a few problems.

    We have air stuck in the system and the water once hot, keeps shooting out the overspill pipe.

    How can we stop this from happening?

    • Try draining off and filling the system from the bottom drain tap with a hose.

    • Hello,

      Did you install it or was it an engineer that did it? If it was an engineer, get them back to sort it out. If it was yourself then then you need to check your system design. Was everything brand new? It sounds like the system is getting to hot, is the pump running? Do you have a heat leak radiator as its solid fuel?

      Does your system look like this-:

      If the system is an old one that has had the Rayburn fitted to, you may find there is a blockage somewhere or sludge in the system.

      Hope that helps



  62. Help!! My Rayburn 480k explodes!! We have had many companies try ti fix this problem. One did manage it for two years but the problem is reourring. It happens at different times so cannot pinpoint a specific time it will happen. Was only happening with the cooker but now happens when the hot water is on. It is so frightening when it happens. It does it every day and I am hoping someone else knows just how to fix this problem as I dont want death by Rayburn!

    • It is due to build up of inflammable gas above the coal which then ignites. It needs more Top air above the coal to burn it off. There is a sliding adjuster inside on the edge of the fire box.

    • Hi,

      Firstly, what do you mean by explodes? Smoke, banging, smells ??? The 400 series Rayburns have many problems, hence why they stopped amking them and are now producing the 600 series! I would recommend getting an OFTEC qualified engineer to look at it. Email me and I can put you in touch with a company that specialise in 400 series. They make a very good living out of this series! What part of the country are you in?



    • We too have an oil fired 480k that explodes.

      These aren’t reassuring “thumps” as the fuel ignites they are explosions of the BIG BANG variety.

      They lift the cast iron block out of its surround, and blow the fibre cord seat under the iron block to bits.

      They rattle the pans and splash hot food. Anything in the oven gets covered with a spray of black bits from the interior casing.

      Being stood anywhere near it when it goes off is truly frightening.

      We had actual rayburn, not generic heating, company engineers come out to fix the problem many times without success over a number of years. We paid fees initially, but as the repairs never worked the re-callouts were free of charge.

      They told us that the problem was probably our setup, and not the cooker.

      One idea was that there wasn’t sufficient draught or there was a problem with the chimney.

      We replaced a chimney cowl, as suggested by Rayburn, but refused to replace more bits and bobs at their suggestion as we were funding the “Let’s try something else” approach, with no g’tee of curing the problem.

      Rayburn systematically replaced a number of components themselves, as well as the usual blast tubes, injectors etc.

      We knew the problem was the burner pre igniting vapour left in the blast tube but could not work out why.

      It just went on and on. We were also told that “nothing like this has been reported before, it’s not like it’s a design fault”

      Eventually after suggesting we change the pump & replace an internal protection plate, which we refused to do on grounds of £1000+ expense, they said there’s nothing else they could do and then gave us the line “We’ve tried everything possible, it’s so old now it’s down to wear and tear, and we can no longer support this as a job”

      staff were always polite, professional to a point, but the company stance was “sorry it’s now your problem”

      Having bought into the hype of the “Rayburn dream ” we ended up with a nightmare.

      • We had exactly this problem on my 480K and had the Rayburn guy in who couldn’t fix it. I eventually decided that the problem was late ignition caused by the ignition transformer on one of the burners (I can’t remember which one). There are two in there, one for the cooker and one for water heater – black boxes with wires coming out. They cost about £40 each (got them new off ebay) and are fairly easy to replace. I replaced both about 18 months ago and no sign of the big bang since. Just had a look on ebay and can’t find them advertised now but this is what you need. The supplier was The-Oil-Store


      • Hi,

        we have such similar experiences and change many things over a lengthy period as suggested by maintenance people but alas it appears they are just guessing as nothing thus far has solved the erratic dysfunctional system.Kay

        • The answer is below , you need to change the ignition transformers.

  63. I cannot believe the negative comments left on this site for Rayburn 480’s – 5 years later 480K oil fired replacement for combi boiler this gem heats the water, cooks the food and keeps 6 radiators piping hot. Best low temperature this year -18C , not serviced in 4 years – must sort that out. The reason it is so good is because it is down to the engineer. Our engineer is an expert and does thins properly, the reason people have problems is down to the competeny of the engineer. Simple. The burners do make a noise on start up but what could be more reassuring when the snow is 2 feet thick outside?

    We run a Charnwood 3 wood burner – fantastic heat output and that allied to the Rayburn would keep any draughty house warm. Warm up time is very fast – kettle boiling in 10 minutes and water already getting hot.

  64. I cannot believe the negative comments left on this site for Rayburn 480’s – 5 years later 480K oil fired replacement for combi boiler this gem heats the water, cooks the food and keeps 6 radiators piping hot. Best low temperature this year -18C , not serviced in 4 years – must sort that out. The reason it is so good is because it is down to the engineer. Our engineer is an expert and does things properly, the reason people have problems is down to the competeny of the engineer. Simple. The burners do make a noise on start up but what could be more reassuring when the snow is 2 feet thick outside? This unit can be switched on and off and is fully programmable. Very efficient.

    We run a Charnwood 3 wood burner – fantastic heat output and that allied to the Rayburn would keep any draughty house warm. Warm up time is very fast – kettle boiling in 10 minutes and water already getting hot.

  65. Need urgent help!

    We have a 10 yr old Rayburn 410K in a holiday cottage – it is immaculate – rarely used for cooking by visitors ( mostly dine out!) but was always onin any case to heat the kitchen and also heated water . ( We also have an electric cooker on the premises – and a separateoil boiler to heat radiators and also provides hot water too if required. The Rayburn 410K worked great until last summer – then stopped heating the water. In the meantime – it has been serviced by Rayburn/Aga engineers – also the system has been drained etc by plumbers to try to sort the problem – still no success – everyone is baffled. The cooker has a jet burner – oven heats as normal – but it seems that most of the heat is flying up the flue pipe -absolutely roasting – yet the hot water pipe at the side of the cooker is cold. Why would this be ?? The cooker does not ‘bang’ or any such noise – so it would seem that the water is flowing (gravity system ) . In any case plumbers checked to see if pipes were blocked – and no they are not . Has anyone else had this problem ??

    Can anyone out there provide a solution as to how to solve this dilemna- we have a lovely cooker to look at – but no hot water-yet it did heat the water for years .

    Thanking you all in anticipation 18th April 2011

    • Check the boiler header tank ballcock, possibly is stuck in the closed position. This stops the gravity hot water from circulating but does not affect the pumped heating circuit when the water within the system evaporates.

      • This has been already checked before and sadly is not the solution. Thank you very much for kindly responding. We are still trying to sort out the problem of no hot water from the Rayburn 410 K oil cooker . If anyone else can think of a solution please contact us.Thank you . 7/5/2011

    • Have you checked the baffle plates are not worn or missing ?

      • Thank you for your kind response – no – this is not the problem . Heard a suggestion today at an agricultural show that perhaps the problem is with the stainless steel boiler inside the cooker. Perhaps there is ‘shale’ inside the boiler – accumlation from ‘hard water’ etc. We now think that we will have to bring it out and may have to replace it. Meanwhile I am still waiting for AGA/ Rayburn headquarters to return my telephone call that I made weeks ago seeking technical advice – so much for their customer care .Apparently the 400 series has always caused problems and went out of production after a couple of years.

        Meanwhile we are open to any advice whatsoever as to what the problem might be re. our Rayburn 410K – no hot water. 12/5/2011. Maybe this should become a competition ???

  66. I thought I’d share our AGA fuel-saving tip.

    We have a four-door OEB model, ie it heats hot water too, and the quoted oil consumption is 70 litres/week, but I have managed to reduce this to between 50 and 55 litres/week by the simple expedient of fitting a timer to the electricity supply to the thermostat.

    We installed the AGA in 1997 (when heating oil was under 10p/litre!!) and it has a simple temperature control system of a thermostat that dictates whether it is on “high fire”, ie full power, or “low fire”, ie ticking over. If you turn off the electricity supply to the thermostat it drops back to low fire regardless.

    So we have a simple timer from Tesco (£5) that cuts off the power between about 10pm and 5:30am, meaning that it is on low fire for about 7.5 hours of the 24 hour day.

    This does *not* mean a saving of 7.5/24.0 of oil, because the heat drops overnight and it has to work on high fire for about 2.5 hours in the morning to bring itself back up to speed, but nevertheless my measured consumption (as in what I put in the oil tank) is down to the 50 to 55 litres/week region – more in winter, less in summer, as you would expect.

    Disadvantages? I think it gums up a bit more quickly than it used to: previously we could get away with about 10 to 11 months between services, now it is about 7 to 8 months. However that could just as easily be due to the reduced quality of fuel, and even so there is still a saving with fuel at 50+ pence/litre.

    We have been doing this for nearly 3 years now and have not experienced any other problems.

    I should add that we have a proper flue – stainless steel, double-walled with insulation – so we have a good draught and no problems with prolonged running at low heat.

    So if you have a relatively modern AGA with electrically controlled high/low fire via a thermostat why not give it a go? As I say the cost is around £5 for the timer, and you could save this in oil in less than a week!

    • Hi Christopher,

      Have you tried our CookerMax Kerosene additive for Agas?

      Its been formulated to reduce deposit build-up; improve system efficiency; inhibit sludge formation; stabilise the fuel and to avoid operating problems… for a cleaner burn, which may help with the issue you mention above about the problem with gum & service intervals, more information can be found here.


  67. I have a 1985 Rayburn Nouvelle running on natural gas and I wouldn’t swap it for the world!! It runs all my underfloor heating downstairs, all the radiators upstairs, gives us gallons of piping hot water (and the heat sink is always hot), dries all my washing, cooks wonderfully, keeps the cats warm, dries my wellies, always has the kettle hot……I could go on and on…..and this is just on tick-over!!!

    Having said that, my friend bought a new (in 2006) oil Rayburn and had no end of problems with it. I think the main problem is that the build quality of Rayburns has gone down the toilet. In in effort to make more money it would appear Rayburn have shot themselves in the foot by producing shoddy goods, coupled by appalling after sales service.

    If you’re thinking of getting a Rayburn (why wouldn’t you?!), I would wholly recommend getting a 1980’s model as these seem to have th best build quality together with easy to source parts 🙂

  68. Hi, I am having a Rayburn 345W fitted in a months time in a two bed bungalow, occupied by two adults. I am out 5 days a week and I’m wondering if anyone can advise me:

    1, How much wood will I require to run the Rayburn in winter; per day / week / month?

    2, What mix of logs is best; 80% hardwood / 20% soft – suggestions?

    3, Does any one have one? Hints / Tips – Highs / Lows?

    Thanks all


    • I have had a Rayburn Nouvelle (solid fuel/wood) for many years and have just ordered a new 345W as the old one is going into the house next door.

      I only burn wood and it provides all my cooking requirements and my heating requirements. I live out in the country and I only needed the oil bachk-up system for about five days last winter as I was away quite alot. The Rayburn did the rest of the year.

      I use about 10 cubic meters of wood a year on average. We have very cold winters in Germany and even at temperatures below -20*C for weeks on end, the house was very warm. I pay 50 Euros for a cubic meter and so, for the whole year, my heating bill + cooking is about 600 Euros (500 pounds).

      In the winter it stays on all night with one banking up and ticking over during the day doing the heating will, after banking up with hard wood, lasts easily between six and eight hours.

      I do, however, have a heat storage tank of 1000 literes which builds up when the Rayburn is on and if it went out, there are a few hours of heat in the tank which is then pumped round the house. Plenty of time to relight as it is hot and ready for cooking within the hour.

      The hard wood I use is usualy a mixture of oak and beech and not too small. Larger logs burn much longer than the equal amount of weight in smaller ones.

      I hope this was of help.


  69. i bought a rayburn royal solid fuel cooker 32 years ago from a school domestic science kitchen, it had only been used for burning paper on as the caretaker would not light the cooker early enough to be used by the pupils as it took too long to heat up. it cost me £60 and i had to buy a boiler that is still does the domestic hot water, and a gravity fed radiator in the bathroom,it keeps the kitchen lovely and warm and the heat does spread around the house, we dont have a tumble drier so when the washing cant be dried outside we have the clothes horse round the cooker to dry the clothes.we have a n immersion heater to do the hot water for the short time in summer if it gets hot and we let the rayburn go out. it is of course kept in all the time now for the winter,i use anthracite fuel and that costs £8o for 5 bags that lasts us 5 weeks.we have a small sitting room where i have fitted a small woodburning stove, and that is brilliant, in another sitting room i have a baxi underfloor draught open fire with a back boiler that is conected to 7 radiators, if the fire is roaring away it just manages to heat the radiators enough to take the chill off in the bedrooms if it is very cold, however there is hardly any heat to be felt when sitting in front of the fire,i am now considering removing the baxi and putting a woodburning stove in its place. and having an oil boiler connected to replace the baxi for the radiators,which i dont think we would need very much.i had thought of replacing the solid fuel rayburn for an oil boiler but am very reluctant to give up the rayburn,[which is not really dusty and only needs ashes to be emptied daily] i should have mentioned that we have a 4 ring electric hotplate ,and a panasonic convection microwave,having read all the comments i dont think i will be swapping my solid fuel rayburn for an oil burning one, but it was considered.

    • quite right too! the whole point of aga’s/reaburns is the simplicity of the technology. There should be nothing to go wrong. It’s a big mistake of the modern aga’s to add things like printed circuit boards which fail. It’s not what they should be about. And they wont be successful if they go this way.

  70. I don’t love mine!I bought a Rayburn Cookmaster 400K in 2003, and it is let down by its electrics, which appear to have been obtained from the cheapest and most unreliable source possible. Firstly, we had a problem with the fan for the power flue (it goes to a balanced flue, rather than a chimney). Whilst this would not operate, we could not use the oven. This required a new part, as the part originally supplied was incorrect. Secondly, we have had problems with the Rayburn starting itself whilst we have been out, so wasting oil.

    Last week, the Rayburn refused to start. Our engineer replaced the fuses in the plug, and also a fuse internal to the oven. The work was done on Friday, only for the same problem to recur the following day. We have now been told that the printed circuit board needs replacing again. The board will cost £300 plus VAT, and with fitting I estimate the bill to be about £500. To cap it all, the part will not be available for 2 weeks, as we are told that they need to obtain a part before it can be supplied. As we have no other oven, and look to the Rayburn also to heat the kitchen, this is very bad news for us.

    We bought the Rayburn thinking that it was a tried and tested piece of equipment, and that whilst it was very expensive, it would live up to its reputation. For an oven that is seven years old, and cost £5500, I think that it is a very poor performer.

  71. I have a 1988 camry oil boiler and it has never missed a beat it is serviced every year and the egineer tell me how good it is, i recently bought some of the new heating oil from [supplier name removed] and since then have had massive problems wwith sooting andd miss firing, any one got any advice, i have contacted [supplier name removed] but they dont seeem to care. At the moment i have a secondary tank filled with normal kero next to the [supplier produce name removed] filled one, [supplier name removed] wont empty my tank as thay say there is nothing wrong with their fuel.

    Please note: The supplier that provided this product was not BoilerJuice.

    • Dear Mark,

      I am sorry to hear that you are having problems with your aga since using their products. (I have had to remove the supplier name for legal reasons)

      I have checked with Dr Bob, our own expert in the field and unfortunately because it’s not a product supplier by BoilerJuice we would be unable to offer support with this issue. Our advice is to ask the heating oil supplier that provided the oil to put you in contact with their customer complaints department and to explain their customer complaints process, as you are not satisfied with the product delivered.

      Kind regards


  72. Hi I have a Rayburn 208k with a single wick burner with 2 wicks. Heats the water but was wondering it the a pump I can fit to heat radiators also. Would b handy as wud cut out using the central heatin also. Any help on this would be great thxs

  73. HELP !!!

    Hi we have just installed an old Rayburn Royal that is in very good condition. I am just using it to heat one end of the house as there is no heating in the kitchen and to cook on. We are not using the boiler and had intended to take the boiler out and brick up the back of the firebox. I found it difficult to take the boiler out so I thought sod it just leave the boiler in, if it burns out and I ever want to use it I will buy a new boiler, simple.

    Nothing is ever that easy and we have just fired up the rayburn for the first time only to have really toxic smelling smoke pouring out of the boiler pipes and filling the house. I certainly wasn’t expecting this.

    Has anyone had this problem before ?

    Do we need to take the boiler out or will the smoke go away eventually ?

    Can I block the pipes up at all ? With fire cement for example ? I can’t imagine that this is a good idea as I wouldn’t want a sealed box of air inside my rayburn as I imagine that this would expand and explode, is this correct ?

    Anyway any advice would be appreciated.

    Many thanks


    • hi, I am renovating an old oil fired rayburn royal for our 17c cottage, and plan to use the rayburn as a cooker only.

      As i am in the trade as an oil fired service engineer, i have checked about not using the boiler.

      it is possible, but you must NOT block up the holes in the boiler!!!

      i have been told by another engineer to drill holes in the rear of the boiler to ensure no expansion can ever occur.

      i am in process of gathering more information…

      the smell you had would have been the old remnants inside the boiler burning off, and should stop shortly.


    • Hi Sam,

      Boilers really should be taken out, partly because of the problem you have experienced but also (and much more importantly) because if the existing boiler cracks (as it probably will with solid fuel burning on cast iron and no water) in the future you have toxic fumes with carbon monoxide filling your kitchen. DO! DO! get a carbon monoxide alarm immediately. The boiler should be taken out and replaced with firebricks – not a cheap option, but for your health I would seriously consider it.

  74. Feeling really sad today: I have finally decided to give up on my Rayburn oil fired 460KB Mark II. This was fitted and commissioned by an established supplier some eleven years ago. Within ten days of commissioning the thing went wrong and it has continued in that fashion throughout the entire eleven years. When it was working it was fantastic and gave a wonderful warmth to my 400 year old cottage. But it never lasted more than a month or two. I don’t want to think about the amount of money I have thrown at this cooker over the past eleven years; on top of the original cost of purchase. As it became older it became increasingly difficult to get an engineer to come and try to sort the Rayburn out; some just laughed when I told them the saga. Seemingly they had heard it all before. The final knee in the groin came when the company taking the Rayburn away charged me £100.00. Most of the other companies I attempted to sell/give it to were not interested.

    I am left feeling that I was sold a cooker which was not fit for purpose in the first place.

    There is now a gap in my kitchen, looking like a missing front tooth, which is to be filled by an lpg range. I don’t have the same feeling of excitement as when the Rayburn was due to be fitted, but I’m assured that it will become a good and reliable friend over the next few years. Reliable sounds good to me.


    • This sounds familiar, we have the same model and have had endless trouble and expense. It now needs a replacement burner unit, the bill will be in excess of £1000. The failed burner unit is only 4years old! This model seems to have many different ways to break down and cost money. What are my options?

      • Sorry to hear that you are going through the same process as I did Lynne. As hard as it may sound, I think your best bet is to dump the Rayburn. OK, you will probably get it fixed for £1000 and this may last a few months, then something else will go wrong; more money again. Apparently it is possible to have them converted to run on electricity, but when I looked into this it didn’t seem viable.

        Mine used to run the central heating and was used for most of the cooking. I converted to an external oil boiler in Oct.2011 and now have an lpg oven; I have used about half the amount of oil I would have used with the Rayburn, my lpg cost me £36.00 and will go on into May 2012; added to all this I have not had to try and persuade an engineer to come and fix a Rayburn. I don’t pretend to say that I don’t miss the mellow warmth of a working Rayburn, but the operative word is WORKING; something, in my experience the Rayburn 460KB Mark II doesn’t do for long.


        • Hi John,

          I have such a similar experience as do 4 other families with the Rayburn480D – I live in NZ, and no-one knows anything about the ovens, not even the company who import the Rayburn.So disappointing and thousands of dollars later just in getting service people who know nothing and can never fix it.It worked perfectly for 18 months when I first bought….one expects a live time from the expensive system and the fact the oven is cast iron you would think it is meant to last a lifetime…we certainly bought it to last a lifetime and are bitterly disappointed.Kay

        • Hello Kay. Well, Rayburn has certainly gone international with their 400 series infamy. I never expected to get a reply from outside of the UK; seemingly similar sad stories are worldwide. Perhaps we should start up a “Let Down by a Rayburn 400 Series” group. The AGMs could be held in different countries. I propose they be held at the coldest time of the year in the host country – that’s when the 400 series are at their peak of inefficiency. Participants can bring their own, well used, hot water bottles and blankets, huddle together and share their miserable experiences. The highlight of each AGM could be when a representative from Rayburn makes a grovelling apology for even thinking about making the 400 series while the participants squirt water at him/her from their – now cold – bottles. None of this will make up for the thousands of pounds we have all spent, but I’m sure we will leave each AGM with a warm glow of achievement. Possibly the only warm glow we will ever get from our 400 series.


  75. hi all . I have a rayburn supreme which i have had for many years. run on coal plus 11 rads .to cut my running cost down ,I invested in 6 SMITH ECO VECTORS , the best thing i have ever done. house temp constant 22 degrees ,coal usage reduced and well recommed ,they work on coal ,gas or OIL

    • We have a. very old Rayburn Royal which was already installed in our old farmhouse when we bought it in 1974 It was converted to oil from solid fuel in about 1960, both because oil was then cheap! and for convenience. when we first moved here it cost £48.00 to fill the oil tank! It already supplied all our hot water, but we decided to have the inner tank enlarged to enable us to heat some radiators, which we did in 1980 at a cost of £150 All the water goes into our old copper water tank in the airing cupboard which is fitted with the thermostat , and the airing cupboard also houses the electric pump. Pipes run off to 9 radiators. hot water from the Rayburn adequately heats 5 of the radiators at any time, and they get quite hot, although they go on and off all day and night. For example if I run off water at the sink, the radiators will go off because the heat of the water has been reduced. I keep the thermostat at 60, so the water is hot all the time. WE always keep the radiator in the bathroom on, which keeps it warm all the time, and generally two in the sitting room, and one each in two bedrooms. Excepting when it is bitterly cold about two months of the year,the heating is adequate. When it is bitter we light our wood burning stove. The only snag is the cost of the oil now, this year we have already spent £1495, and we keep looking for alternate methods of heating, but I do love the convenience of my Rayburn cooker. I have been put off buying a new oil fired Rayburn with proper central heating burners because I keep hearing about people having problems with them, with the flue and draught etc. In general everyone I know with an old Rayburn does not seem to have any problems with them, whether solid fuel or oil.Every year without fail we panic and agonise over the cost of the oil, but gas is not an option for us, and all fuel is expensive. We do not have access to free wood, and a load of logs costs £150 and lasts no time at all, and 20 bags of coalite costs £178 even at summer prices, so cannot see going back to solid fuel is any cheaper. Also as you get older the effort of solid fuel has to be considered.

      We have decided to buy economical to use electric heaters for the rooms not covered by the Rayburn for when the rooms are occupied when it is cold. WHAT IS THE ANSWER? I would be interested in hearing other people’s experiences of oil fired central heating using a modern Rayburn with dual burners and cost involved to heat a fairly large house. Mary

      • Hi Mary!

        I understand your predicament. Fuel or energy of any type is becomming very expensive and a real worry to many people on lower than average incomes. I have grown up in the fenlands of Cambridgeshire since the age of about 2 years (now 30!) and during that time our Rayburn Supreme solid fuel cooker has provided all the hot water and nice cooked food one could ever need! I replaced the boiler 2 years ago after it developed a leak due to natural age related breakdown. Apart from that and a few fire bricks, an ash pan and a set of bars it has been much more cost effective to run than many modern gas boilers which are simply not built to last.

        I use around 2.5 metric tons of burnwell solid fuel per year currently costing £760. (£305 per metric ton). I find this a lot of money to pay out for heating but it is still by far THE MOST COST EFFECTIVE MEANS OF HEATING AVAILABLE!

        Burnwell leaves little ash-I only empty once every 24hrs and no clinker! If handling solid fuel is a problem then stick with oil and accept the higher costs…of course a new condensing oil boiler would yeild higher efficiency than the Rayburn but one would have to factor in the installation cost and potential high repair/replacement costs as it will not be built as well as old Rayburn. Hope this helps, best wishes Stephen.

        • Hi Stephen, thanks for information. Am I reading you correctly in that you are not running any radiators to heat your house off your Rayburn? I am very reluctant to give up my Rayburn just because of the cooking facility, and the convenience of having the oven on all the time, plus drying clothes etc. How do you heat the rest of your house if you do not have radiators from the Rayburn? Someone told me today that their annual gas bill to comfortably heat their four bedroom home and all cooking is £655. Your solid fuel does not sound like too much hard work, only emptying ash once every twenty four hours. We have considered an oil boiler, but it always comes back to cost of installation, and the horror of giving up my Rayburn for cooking. unfortunately we are both getting older now, and what you can do comfortably when you are young becomes more difficult as you get older, and you also feel the cold more! I have even considered. An electric Rayburn, anyone have one of them? It is interesting to hear other people’s experiences. regards Mary

      • Helo again Mary! Sorry for late reply – I do not have internet access where I live!!

        The answer is YES my Rayburn Supreme provides hot water AND central heating to to four large radiators in our bungalow which stands alone in the middle of the fenlands of Cambridgeshire where the cold wind ripps accross the flat land in the winter. The loft has only basic single layer of fiberglass insulation and the windows are the lovely old fashioned galvanised steel framed single glazed type – with enough air gap between closed window and frame to allow the strong wind to make curtains move with the windows shut! Basically the Rayburn provides 40 gallons of hot water + heating to bathroom, living room and two bedroom radiators – Two of these radiators are large measuring well over 6ft in length and covering the whole window reveal (which is what a rad is suppose to do unlike manny small rad’s as used in new builds today!)

        As an addition to the above system I have a Rayburn Rhapsody (inset cartridge type solid fuel with 40,000BTHU boiler) mounted in the living room chimney connected to Four radiators comprising one in the hall, one in the loft and Two in out lare utility/hobby room. (This only gets lit about 2 days of the year in severe cold conditions but it has not been cold enough this winter to need lighting!) The 2.5 metric tons of fuel quoted are average over many winters. Some winters I will use less and some winters maybe half a ton more so presently £600 – £900 for cooking, hot water and central heating. I do like to chainsaw a bit of wood though for cooking on as it gives quick heat and reduces costs further. Even without any wood I would not expect to use more than Three tons of Burnwell or anthracite in a COLD winter.

        As for the person with four bed home spending £655 on gas – I belive that to be accurate. If the home has awful upvc double glazing, cavity insulation and a loft lagged with a ridiculas Ten inches of insulation coupled with a gas combi boiler meaning no emersian tank loosing heat in an airing cupboard and all cooking done seperatly on gas cooker, maybe even £500 a year could be achieved! (depending of course upon how warm they like their home)

        As for electric Rayburn – very expensive to run! Just look at the cost of electricity now at average of 10.8 pence per KW/h.

        Electricity is over three times the price of coal per KW because it has to be generated mainly from gas or coal in the first place and there are many efficiency losses in the turbine and windings of the gererator and then huge losses in the transformers of every sub station and cable forming the national grid! I am a qualified electrical engineer 17th ed and my advise is leave electricity for general power and lighting.

        Just can’t beat home made scones, tasty toast and wonderful roasts and fryups on the Rayburn and best of all WARM PLATES! I hate eating hot food of a cold plate only to find the heat being conducted away by the plate!-)

        Best Wishes, Stephen.

        P.s Take note people: All Oil, Gas and Solid fuel appliances need Oxygen to burn and produce C02. VENTILLATION IS VERY IMPORTANT, IF YOU FIT DOUBLE GLAZING AND SUPER INSULATE YOUR HOME YOU ARE AT RISK OF DEATH DUE TO CARBON DIOXIDE POISENING. It is for this reason than HETAS approved Rayburn Guild engineers maintain all properties fitted with a solid fuel or oil stove have a permanent air supply of at least the same area as the flue pipe! Stay safe people!!!

        • Hi Stephen, just picked up your reply. Thanks for the info. I think we wil have to stick with the oil regardless of the cost because of the convenience, although as I said before, we do have a multi burner stove too. as our farmhouse is over 200 years old we have plenty of ventilation! Vey good point about needing oxygen for both good results burning and safety. We have a carbon monoxide detector both for our Rayburn and our multi fuel burning stove. a lot of people fit these things themselves and do not realise that it is now law for fitters to also put in carbon monoxide detectors. Also many people do not realise that you cannot use extractor fans when using these appliances. they create a. Vacuum and starve the air of oxygen. Like yourself, we do love our Rayburn, you cannot beat the food cooked one one, and the sheer convenience of always being on, and drying the clothes etc. I do think that the older Rayburns like ours do tend to perform the best.Mine is so much heavier and sturdier than our neighbours new one. my advice if you are thinking of fitting a cooker whether solid fuel or oil is to access an older one, there are lots of suppliers of these about, and once set up and going not a lot of problems with them. just ensure that you have a decent chimney and draught., and have it fitted by a proper fitter, and serviced every year. nice ex changing information with you Stephen, regards Mary

      • Hi

        We are going through a similar process. After 19 years we are considering replacing our Rayburn Nouvelle with a 600 condensing Rayburn (jet as opposed to oil wick system) to run hot water and aprrox 11 radiators + cooking. As we have a wood burner and have always had the background heat of the cooker downstairs we have rarely put our heating on and oil costs have been at a tolerable level.

        Replacement costs run at about £10 -12,000. We have had conflicting views on the issues of a condensing system and flues that are not attached to outside walls/ life of the flue. Condensing being a relatively new technology. Do we go for the ordinary 600 series or the condesning one? Now Rayburns can be programmed and the cooker side now longer heats the water all the time, we won’t get that background heat from the cooker unless we have it on low all the time, but is it worth it as there is no constant hot water resulitng from that cooker warmth? One does become attached to the” Rayburn cosy warmth/cooking lifestyle”, but I’m worried that fuel costs will rise from my approx 1500 litres of oil per year.

        Would an ordinary oil boiler be better as over the years we have installed an electric oven and propane gas hob in the kitchen.

        Any views – we had loads of teething problems with our Nouvelle installation, but things have improved – haven’t they???!!

      • Hi, have you thought about changing the burner to a pressure jet one (if not already). This uses half the oil of a wick burner & can be turned off over night too on a timer.


    • We are considering buying a property with a Rayburn, which we suspect is a 400 series. Having read the reviews realise it’s not the most reliable system to run the central heating. Is it therefore possible to isolate it from the heating and still use it for cooking? If this is possible is it efficient and east to use as we will be using the property as a holiday let. There is no gas in the village and the alternative is an electric cooker which looks nowhere near as attractive.

      If it is possible to do the above we would install a traditional Worcester oil fired combi boiler to run the hot water and heating.

      I would appreciate any comments and advice.

      • I have a 400 series (480) and it is very reliable and heats our house and water. The cooker is fine, just takes time to get used to heating up the cooker to cook… but is reliable… It has just blown out tonight for the first time and I have forgotten how to spark it up again ! But the cooker alone heats our massive kitchen without putting the heating on. I would suggest use it all first and see how you go… Give a year to get used to it all and then decide.

        ps. Ours is run from gas

        • Hi Rosanna,

          Thanks for your reply, definitely plenty to think about! As it’s a holiday cottage we have to be sure it’s reliable and robust, people do have a habit of tinkering with things. Hope you managed to re-spark yours!

    • I had a rayburn LPG 380GL, this powered 10 radiators and worked really quite well until the price of LPG went up ….we have recently changed this over to solid Fuel as i have a free supply of wood to burn .

      the wood is ok but i now have to light a fire to get warmth so we also have a bunch of electric oil raditors around the house for instant heating ..

      I have now sold the range but still have left a very efficient chimney fan and controller, which may be of use to anyone with an LPG cooker that is having problems with the chimney or airflow

      the fan is an Exhausto , and they are very good at optimising the airflow to get a clean efficient and safe burn which will satisfy regulations ..

      they are normally quite expensive but mine is being sold on ebay for a fraction of the normal price.. link attached below ..if this is allowed apologies if not thanks

      Chimney Fan For Sale


      EFC 21 Airflow Control System


  77. Just found this site and interested to read the comments. My parents are just considering buying a Rayburn 680k series and i don’t seem able to find any reviews on it. Do any of you have any experience on this series?

    Many thanks


    • Have you had anymore thoughts on your 680k series purchase? Having researched for a new oil fired one to replace our Nouvelle, I’m thinking an ordinary boiler might be less expensive and more efficient. Were you considering the new condensing range?

      • We purchased a Rayburn 680KC. It was installed in July 2011. In November 2011 we reported that the top plate was over heating because the hob plate and top plate touched. Has anyone else had the same or similar problems with the Rayburn top plate overheating – some parts of the top plate reach temperatures around 150 degrees C?

        After the last visit by Rayburn in June 2012 they stated that they could find nothing wrong with its operation , but we challenge this report.

        We agree with another blogger on this site – having bought into the hype of the Rayburn dream we have ended up with a nightmare.

  78. Hi

    We are thinking about buying a solid fuel+wood buring Rayburn as a back up cooker and to use in winter to heat the kitchen. (We don’t need it to run the central heating).

    Are the oldeer models better made than the newer ones?

    Being solid fuel I guess there isn’t much to go wrong with them. Can anyone advice please?


    Johnny C

  79. We have a rayburn supreme which replaced our oil rayburn royal when oil prices went silly. Bought for less than 200 pounds and run on wood only with coal only put on when it’s to be left for over 8 hours. We couldn’t be without the electric oven and immersion in summer but otherwise the rayburn is king. Hot water, cooking and heating 10 rads all for free as i source all my own wood and i burn any old wood i can lay my hands on so long as its dry. They’re not for the house proud as you have to fetch in the fuel and take out ash etc but i wouldn’t be without one now.

    • Hi,

      I have a Rayburn 200SFW, wood burning range. I use it just for cooking, we run our heating and water from a separate woodburner in the living room. At the moment it’s a bit of a love / hate relationship, and it certainly takes some getting use to . Plus points :- Cheap / free to run (but only if you have an endless supply of wood, and believe me I am getting through my wood pile). Cooking results are excellent, and easy, once you get use to controlling the temp. I must say throwing all the ingredients of a good English breakfast into the roasting tray (including the eggs) could not be easier. And of course the constant heat for drying clothes, towels etc. Not so good points:- I find when cooking you can not leave it for long periods of time as the temp will drop if you do not keep feeding it wood, (especially if you are using the hot plates to boil pans etc. In fact this is something I have yet to master, once the temp is up they are great, but if you have been using them for a couple of hours.. say boiling the kettle , then make toast, then boiling pans, the heat soon reduces and it takes a while to build it up again. Also as this is our only form of cooker, it’s a bit of a pain in the summer, lets say I have very red cheeks on a Sunday afternoon, having cooked a full dinner. I have yet to keep it going through the night, so in my case you do have to plan ahead if you are going to use it; and I find the very small ‘warming oven’ at the bottom pretty useless. I am sure if you keep the cooker at max heat for a few days, this would actually become ‘warm’ but at the moment I put plates in there for half an hour and really there is not much difference in temp when I take them out….BUT saying all that, I think these little snags are my problems rather than the cookers, so I am sure once I have trained myself in the art of using it all will be fine.

      • Thanks for that it was very interesting. We have been thinking about getting the 200SFW. We have a Clearview 650 woodburing stove which we have had for 3 years now which is used to heat the whole house and we love it. I guess we have to top it up every half hour but tend to do it now without thinking. To be honest I enjoy the whole business from chopping down trees, splitting and stacking them to fetching them in and stoking the log burner!

        We were also looking at the 300 series Rayburn but they only seem to do the 355SFW in the solid fuel version which also does the central heating which we don’t need so would be a bit of an overkill.

        Esse do a nice model called the ‘IronHeart’ but I don’t think it would look as good as a Rayburn in the Kitchen.

  80. Hi. I’ve recently bought a Rayburn Royale with back boiler out to Kenya where I live. We’re pretty thin on the ground out here for specialists! It’s use is to cook and produce hot water for kitchen tap and one bathtub – off grid, halfway up Mt Kenya. For this kind of supply, do I need a boiler as well or can I simply plumb it for gravity fed hot water ?

  81. Hi Chris,

    We holidayed in Kenya a few years ago, and I envy you the scenery!

    I am no expert, but will try to help you with your enquiry. We have a solid fuel (wood) Rayburn Supreme which is not a lot different to the Royale, and use it for cooking, hot water heating and have now linked it up to our existing oil fired central heating system.

    Ours heats the hot water in the hot water cylinder situated on the floor above the Rayburn, purely by gravity. The hot water from the flow pipe of the Rayburn passes through the coil within the cylinder, cools, and then travels back to the Rayburn through the return pipe for re-heating. It really is that simple! No electrics whatsoever. Note, the circuit should have a connection to your header/expansion tank. This will keep your system topped up with water, and allow pressure (steam) to escape if your Rayburn produces excessive heat.

    Again, I’m no expert, but I hope that helps.


  82. We have a 680KCD (Condensing Oil) We have had the overheating top problem and a host of other issues (around 10 call outs in the first year) thankfully covered by 12 month labour warranty. I would list as follows:-

    1. Slow service response from AGA/Rayburn (they don’t carry the parts and the engineers are few and far between)

    2. Average down time 10-14 days when it breaks..

    3. Independent engineers cannot service (or will not) the 680KCD model as its quite complicated.

    4. Condensing boiler over 94% efficient (so a good Point)

    5. Calculated Oil use if left on low 24/7 with some cook time 10litres oil used (10c outside) and up to 20 litres per 24 hour period oil during snow and frosts so £6-£12 per day (10 Rads)

    6. 2000 litres approximately used for the winter period Oct/April depending on how bad a winter (the 2010/11 was our first!!) think 2500litres used that winter.

    7 NO second year warranty extension for labour offered by Rayburn (Unlike AGA)! But they do advertise it on their web page!!

    8. Warranty Direct (only one I could find to offer a warranty on an appliance with a replacement cost of over £5000) costs £160 per annum and they pad up very quickly with a £25 excess (highly recommend) as KCD parts are very very expensive!

    9 Wouldn’t be without an AGA or Rayburn (next time definitely have separate heating boiler as down time is terrible) and heaven forbid if it happens this winter!!

    10 AGA/Rayburn are quite an arrogant Company so expect to hold your breath and keep cool under all circumstances!!!

  83. Oh dear, yet another tale of woe, and another dissatisfied customer!

    I bought our solid fuel Rayburn Supreme on ebay, twelve months ago, for £135. It had been converted to run on oil, whereas I wanted it for burning wood. I stripped out all the oil burner gear, put it on ebay, and got £40.00 for it. I then bought the missing solid fuel parts, grate bars, clinker door, ash pan and new fire bricks. In all it cost me £450.00 plus £150.00 for delivery by courier from Cornwall.

    It’s in an exceptionally clean condition, and looks as good as new. I plumbed it in with the help of my Brother in Law, and for the past year it has never failed to amaze me how much heat it puts out. As I said in an earlier posting, we do all our cooking on it, it heats all our hot water, and we have run a 4 radiator ‘mini’ heating circuit, which we are now in the process of connecting to the main radiator heating circuit, which currently operates off a oil fired boiler, which hasn’t been used since March this year.

    During that time I would have normally had 2 deliveries of heating oil, costing me approximately £1,500.00 in total. I source and cut all my own logs, which is good exercise, and also saves the cost of a gym membership.

    All in all, we are absolutely made up with it, the house has never been warmer, or the pockets fuller!!

  84. Glad to have stumbled upon this website. For the past 24 years hvae had an oil fired Tirolia Blomberg Range cooker. What a disaster. never worked properly from day one. Would not fire up properly, if it did would cut out after 10/15 mins & not restart. Service engineer had a path worn to our door. When he left range would be working but….. would conk out again!!!

    I finally persuaded my husband to get rid of it. We looked at a Rayburn 499K at our local stockist this week. But having read all the associated problems with the Rayburn 400 series, we will not purchase this one after all. I am so grateful that I have been saved from making another expensive mistake. Thanks to everyone.

  85. I am a tenant in a home that uses a 480K to heat the home. I arrived home this evening to the cooker and heating not working. The oil is full and the reset buttons are blinking. I have bled the line of trapped air and tried everything I can read or thin of to troubleshoot an issue but to no avail. Help! We’re freezing and unable to use the bath or shower facilities.

  86. Hi

    I have an inherited Rayburn Nouvelle. Just had it serviced (and two subsequent re-visits) and it is smoking from the boiler burner side, it also smells. Have a carbon monoxide alarm which hasn’t gone off, so assume it’s okay from that point of view. Quick query – should the flame in the window of the boiler burner be yellow, blue or a combination. I have seen conflicting reports and the engineer said it “should look like the sun”! So, would like to see the definitive answer. I would guess the Rayburn is about twenty years old and apart from the above has served us well for 8 years. Thanks – Alan

  87. can some help. Have a rayburn Pj fitted with a monoflame minor pressure jet burner. The burner has recently had a new control box, oil line and nozzell fitted. The burner will run for around five to ten minutes before just going out and then locking out. Have checked the oil supply while there is not a full tank of oil there is some and the oil will flow from the outlet near the burner. The flue is not blocked and the motor does work. The pump is upto pressure.

    Any idears

  88. Our rayburn 480k Mk1 has been declared dangerous for use. We have looked at the many options for us and have decided on a new one.

    We need it to heat water, cook and run 6 radiators so we think we have decided on a 440k.

    Does anyone have any comments on this because we don’t want to make an expensive mistake.


  89. I’ve had my Rayburn 680KCD for just over 2 years & the cooker part has stopped working 5 times! 3 of those have been in the last 6 months & the blessed thing never heated up at all last night. I think most of the parts have been replaced at least once & all I’m getting from Aga is that I’ll have to pay for the labour of fixing it grrrr. The fault code is A4 which is sposed to be ‘overheating’ but it’s stone cold. Thankfully the Grant boilers that serve the ch & hot water are considerably more reliable! I bought the Rayburn cos I thought they were sposed to be a ‘cooker for life’ & reliable. Hopefully my local engineer will have more success getting an answer from Aga than I’ve been…

  90. We purchased a new 680kcd Rayburn this summer and it has been totally unreliable ever since it was installed. To be fair aga range master have sent out three different engineers but we still have no solution or reason for its unreliability ! My advice to anyone thinking of buying one is to consider carefully, £6-7000 is a lot and the backup is not good or proactive – we have had no reliable heating or cooking since 3 weeks before Christmas !! I am demanding that the entire machine is replaced as the engineers cannot find any particular fault with it but within 12 hours of them leaving we have exactly the same problem !!

  91. I would love to know if any of you with overheating tops on Rayburn 680 have had it fixed? We have had the same problem since it was installed 2 years ago, Rayburn have been out so many times and it’s still not fixed and they now say it’s within range. We can boil our kettle on the black enamel without opening the lids!

  92. We have just replaced our old rayburn 460 which was costing us a fortune in repairs with new model. I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown it is so noisy it sounds like a giant kettle boiling whenever it is heating up we can hear it throughout the whole house. Engineer says it is normal. The old model was just like a background hum. Just paid over 9k including installation. Please is this noise normal? How can AGA possibly manufacture something so loud?

  93. I have an oil fired Rayburn 480K which has given sterling service except now the cooker cuts out and the orange cut out light comes on and I can’t fire up the cooker. (heating and hot water is fine). The engineer has fitted a new motor but that hasn’t helped. The cooker worked for a day and then cut out again. There is no soot build up and it is serviced regularly. The engineer can’t think of what else can be wrong – any ideas?

  94. We have had terrible problems with our 680KCD – our top plate has been recorded as reaching over 160 degrees C.
    Would all other owners with similar problems email me on or call my husband on 07973733856. URGENT Message for Catherine and Mark and any one else with an overheating 680KCD

  95. HELP!! We are just about to move into an 1830 bungalow with single glazing and no cavity wall insulation. It`s gonna be cold; so we thought the obvious answer was to invest in a 499 series oil fired Rayburn. Apparently it will easily heat our 9 radiators as well as providing lashings of hot water, enable us to cook lovely meals, provide us with a romantic warm atmosphere and keep our Westie nice and warm at night. All sounds too good to be true. Is it?
    Any help, advise or comments would be really appreciated before we commit ourselves to spending an awful lot of money

  96. I had a similar dilemma when i moved into my house 10 years ago. After much research i rejected the Rayburn and brought a Heritage oil cooker. I got the two oven version. It does all my hot water and cooking. I have now removed one radiator as the heat from the cooker made it redundant. One big advantage is that it doesnt need an air vent in the room as the air is supplied via a dedicated supply pipe. Whereas the Rayburn needs an air vent in the room which creates drafts and lets cold air in.

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