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New House - Olden Times Heating And Hot Water

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We've just started moving into our new rental (1970s terrace) and it has pretty ancient heating and hot water systems...

1. Hot water - no boiler, just a hot water tank with immersion heaters, but no timer. I have found timers online which appear easy to fit ... do I just fit between one of the immersion heaters and its fused socket in the wall? Why are there two immersion heaters? Is one for a full tank, and the other for a quick burst of hot water?

2. Heating - thermostat in every room, but no radiators. The house is electric only .... previous tenant said the heating is in the ceiling. Is this fed by hot water tank too? No sign of a timer...

Thanks.

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For the hot water cylinder, immersion near bottom is to heat cylinder (usually during the night), immersion about halfway up to top up hot water during the day (controlled manually).

The electrics are probably on an economy-seven timer near the fusebox. This will connect to the lower immersion which will have an internal thermostat. If it is set up this way you'll find it difficult to work with a timer as well. If it isn't on an economy seven type tariff then it'll be really expensive to run, so it might be better to convert to economy seven.

The ceiling heating seems like a eswa type heating. I don't really know much about this type of system.

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Did you read the energy performance certificate before you signed up?

I imagine the bills will be astronomical.

Ask your LL to improve things.

Give them this url

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/pimmanual/pim2072.htm

And research to see if you as a tenant are entitled to a free modern boiler.

Search here:

https://www.epcregister.com/reportSearchAddressTerms.html?redirect=reportSearchAddressByPostcode

Word of warning though, last house I rented had an 'E' assessment in Feb' 11. when recently re-marketed though the assessment had fallen to an 'F' which is what it should have been all along - solid wall, ancient boiler, single glazing.

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2. The house is electric only .... previous tenant said the heating is in the ceiling. Is this fed by hot water tank too? No sign of a timer...

Thanks.

Electric resistance cables or matting. No water involved.

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Isn't that a bit unusual, what with heat rising?

Could be a fan system. More common in the 70s when leccy was cheap. Our last house was all electric and the bill was nearly 4k our first year.

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Isn't that a bit unusual, what with heat rising?

The theory is that it is radiant heat - so just like being outside on a summers day... The reality is probably very different (hot head, cold feet)...

The only things I have heard about them is that a) no-one knows how to fix them and B) they are expensive to run.

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Guest

Isn't that a bit unusual, what with heat rising?

Hot air rises... But heat can travel in any direction... Hence we feel the heat from the sun

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Guest

Did you read the energy performance certificate before you signed up?

I imagine the bills will be astronomical.

Ask your LL to improve things.

Give them this url

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/pimmanual/pim2072.htm

And research to see if you as a tenant are entitled to a free modern boiler.

The previous tenant told us Lecky bill was 70 quid a month which is about what we pay for gas and electric now.

We chose the house as 3 doors up from previous one, same landlord, cheap rent.

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Can you have a boiler in a house with no gas supply?

You can put an electric boiler in.

The performance is rather sub-par compared to gas, and the bills are astronomical. Not recommended, unless you need to retrofit an oil fired boiler in an emergency. Total idiocy to install one for a new installation, but I know that some landlords like them (tenants think that they work better than storage heaters; they don't - and landlords aren't paying the eye-watering bills).

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See if the landlord will fit an electric shower, and possibly an under the sink on demand water heater in the kitchen. That will give you most of the benefits of instant hot water without having to heat a tank of hot water each time. Both are expensive to run - but you are likely only using them for a few minutes each time so the actual cost is not too bad. A shower is under 20p, while a tank of hot water is more than 60p (we're on a pay as you go meter too).

If it were your own house, I might consider photovoltaic solar power. Couple it with an immerson, and you could have a free tank of boiling hot water about 8 months of the year (and it'll take the chill off for the other four months).

We're on a very similar set up, and our electric bill is under £300 a year. Mind you our heating is from our wood burning stove from scrounged wood as there is no gas in the area.

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Do they still do economy 7 during the night? The OP will need to double check that he is on an economy-7 tariff if heating the water overnight.

I used to have this in our family home and we had an electric timer set to start heating the boiler 1 hour before the economy 7 tariff ended each night which coincided with the hour finishing just when we were getting up. In other words, we had hot water for washing in the morning.

It was very inefficient though as cold water would go into the tank as we used the hot water and, of course, cooled the hot water rapidly.

We also had electric heaters which were cr*p.

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If it were your own house, I might consider photovoltaic solar power. Couple it with an immerson, and you could have a free tank of boiling hot water about 8 months of the year (and it'll take the chill off for the other four months).

That's a totally inefficient way to go. If you want hot water from the sun then solar thermal is the way to do it.

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That's a totally inefficient way to go. If you want hot water from the sun then solar thermal is the way to do it.

Inefficient yes but with a small household (like Mr Cat) and FiT, not necessarily wrong in incentive terms.

Like Mr Cat is a keen cyclist and probably doesn't like the pollution from motor vehicles but has a wood burning stove.

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Inefficient yes but with a small household (like Mr Cat) and FiT, not necessarily wrong in incentive terms.

Like Mr Cat is a keen cyclist and probably doesn't like the pollution from motor vehicles but has a wood burning stove.

I don't get what you mean re incentive terms.

A retro fit solar thermal kit can be had for £964. I dread to think what you would have to spend on pv to capture the same amount of heat energy.

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I don't get what you mean re incentive terms.

A retro fit solar thermal kit can be had for £964. I dread to think what you would have to spend on pv to capture the same amount of heat energy.

The way PV incentives are set up.

I'd suggest that a small household would have more hot water than they knew what to do with via thermal. The electricity can be used elsewhere and you get paid for it and the plumbing is far simpler.

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Why not get a hot water bottle, and light a fire in the lounge?

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That's a totally inefficient way to go. If you want hot water from the sun then solar thermal is the way to do it.

The output from solar PV is more flexible ie it runs our appliances etc. The way the immerson device works is that only any unused power is used to heat the water. Once the tank is hot, any excess power then goes out to the grid.

We considered solar thermal - but it would have been in addition to the solar PV. The problem with solar thermal is it's more hassle plumbing wise and requires more regular maintenance. The immerson device was an extra £500 on top of our PV installation so for our circumstances a better option than solar thermal.

As mortage 8itch suggests, even with their considerable reductions in recent years, the incentives for solar PV are still quite attractive. During the summer months, we pay around a tenner a month in electric (possibly knocks off 30-40% of our electric bill per annum overall), have piping hot water for around 8 months of the year and it brings in £500-600/year in FIT etc. Essentially, it'll pay for itself in around 7-8 years. Due to declining costs by around 2020, even non FIT subsidised PV installations could be worthwhile for the saving on bills alone.

Heating wise, there is no mains natural gas here and well seasoned wood burns pretty cleanly. I only burn scrap timber from a local double glazing firm and fallen branches etc.

I'm neutral on car ownership - especially as electric looks an increasingly viable option. But I don't drive, get badly travel sick, hate the noise and smell, have no real need for one, and so they are an unnecessary liability for my own circumstances. I think we are the only people, apart from the very elderly, in our village without one.

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I'm neutral on car ownership - especially as electric looks an increasingly viable option. But I don't drive, get badly travel sick, hate the noise and smell, have no real need for one, and so they are an unnecessary liability for my own circumstances. I think we are the only people, apart from the very elderly, in our village without one.

I'm very positive about cars. Bigger is better. ;) Although I don't actually go anywhere.

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I'm very positive about cars. Bigger is better. ;) Although I don't actually go anywhere.

I should say I think classic cars, and big American cars, look great and I love road movies. But in real life I'm disappointed by the smell and car sickness. Also hate the constant noise of cars that is practically impossible to escape from in modern life.

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Guest eight

Could be a fan system. More common in the 70s when leccy was cheap. Our last house was all electric and the bill was nearly 4k our first year.

We had one of those in our council house when I was growing up. The dog loved it.

Got taken out (by the council) and replaced with conventional boiler/radiator setup a few years back. I'm guessing a few right-to-buys still have them.

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