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Electric heating and boiler questions.

PaulJC84 Nov 8, 2007

  1. PaulJC84

    PaulJC84 Owner

    Hey folks have been living in my flat for over 3 months now.

    Its getting pretty chilly so I think its time to get the heating sorted.

    Its that electric heating though and I have heard some horror stories about the cost of running the thing. Its all dimplex heaters.

    In the lounge and hall there is big storage heaters, I think I understand how they work but do you think it would be cheaper to just buy a plug in electric heater and use that as and when I need it?

    The hot water now, it is just a big tank with three switches on the wall beside it. One is the booster which is obviously if you need extra hot water than normal. It has 30mins, 1 hr and 2hrs.
    But then the other two switches I do not know about. I have just had them both on all the time.

    One leads to the of the middle of bolier and the other to the bottom.

    Do I need these both switched on? If I press the booster only one of the switches lights up but maybe the bulb in the switch is not working?

    Anyway I can take pics if anyone needs as its quite hard to explain.

    Cheers guys.
  2. jcs356

    jcs356 Brum brum

    The storage heaters should be cheaper to run than a normal plug in heater. That's because they are connected to a different circuit to the rest of the electrics in your flat. This will then have a separate meter on which you pay less for the electricity - used to be called Economy 7. The storage heaters will heat up the bricks in side using cheap electricity, and then slowly release the stored heat from the bricks throughout the day. Some storage heaters have a fan in them which will draw air through the bricks for more rapid heating, and others will also have a top up electric heating element, similar to a plug in heater, which is connected to the normal electricity supply. So if it is particularly cold, you can give the units a boost for an hour or so.

    In terms of your hot water tank, the switch connected to the middle of the tank will be the booster element or immersion heater. Hot water in the tank rises to the top, so if you need hot water in a hurry, this element will heat the top half of the tank pretty rapidly for you.

    The switch connected to the bottom of the tank will be on the same cheap electricity circuit as the storage heaters, and that should be timed to come on at night using the cheaper electricity to heat the whole tank of water up which should be enough for the whole day.

    So, you should leave the bottom element switched on all the time to give you hot water in the morning, and then only use the booster/immersion heater during the day if you run out of hot water.

    Hope that helps.
  3. Caesium

    Caesium My BM is fixed! VCDS Map User

    If you own the flat and can a) afford it and b) are allowed to and c) have gas.
    change it all over to a combi boiler, will be much quicker and a hell of a lot cheaper.
  4. AndyMac

    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Great in theory, but they just don't work. Charge them up at night on cheap electricity then release the heat throughout the day when you're at work, and they'll be empty when you get home and so you then have to use "normal electricity" (which can cost up to nearly twice the price of normal electricity) to boost them so costing you a fortune. What a great scam!
  5. PaulJC84

    PaulJC84 Owner

    Yeah I do own the flat but dont think we are allowed to get gas fitted into them.

    Cheers for the info guys, I think I will turn the top switch off then as I probably dont need it.

    Anyone have an idea what time the heating would come on during the night at the off peek time? Its just I am normally sleeping so dont have a clue as to when it will turn on to heat the water etc.

  6. funkidiva

    funkidiva big up and respect to all mankind, one love

    get a combi boiler mate, better value for money!!
  7. jcs356

    jcs356 Brum brum

    Yeah, I agree Andy. I lived in a flat in Exeter with them in over Winter and it was absolutely freezing no matter what I did. Glad I've got gas central heating in my house.
  8. karl7900

    karl7900 Active Member

    The heaters should come on around 10:30 to 11 in the evening and stay on till about 8 in the morning when they release the heat that has been stored. The storage heaters should have 2 control dials on them to adjust the amount of heat stored at night, and the amount of heat released during the day.

    I lived in a flat for 6 years with this type of heating and its a complete pain in the ********. Very difficult to get a good heat out of the system and not instantly adjustable to cope with cold snaps or mild spells.

    If your allowed to, definitly consider getting oil or gas heating installed. Both are much cheaper to run and easier to use plus you won't have ugly great storage heaters taking up space.

    Karl:icon_thumright: .
  9. colinra

    colinra Member VCDS Map User

    Annother option for you (if you want to rip it out and replace it) is an electric central heating system. Which is similar to a gas system i.e has water filled radiators, but uses electricity to heat the water.

    Might be worth looking into?

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