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Topic Title: Change from gas heating to electric
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Created On: 10 November 2012 12:03 PM
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 11 November 2012 06:14 PM
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largelunchbox

Posts: 362
Joined: 06 July 2008

i got rid of my gas a year ago. under floor heating for the tiled kitchen area,and a amptech boiler to replace the gas boiler. relocated as new boiler only takes up a 150mm sq space. much more heat from the rads now,no noise,no flue/fumes going into the garden. 1 hour a day to heat the megaflow tank. boiler cost £850. never go back to gas
 11 November 2012 07:07 PM
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Jaymack

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A fireplace is a major source of heat loss, that's why I blocked up the chimney flues for gas fires in previous houses, the latter were installed for effect, but with gas central heating radiators!. In the early days when the heating source was wood, coal or coke, it was common to sit huddled near the fire, with cold draughts farther away; it was a race between the radiant effect of the fire and the heat escape up the lum!

A heat loss calculation for a building, is not of much use for the comparison of a heating system for the same building, with the same insulation - energy in = energy out, although there could be a more efficient heat distribution, and useage of the building fabric for heat storage, with another heating system.

The capital, installation, running and maintenance costs should be used for comparison, and for a system over a 25 year lifetime say, also with a consideration of the reliability.

In the middle of one winter, we were without heat for a week. On contract, BG made many visits over this time to swap out components on the gas boiler, after re-ordering each time. Fortunately I had a smelly Calor gas heater. This was the time that I suspended an immersion heater, bent at right angles on a block of wood over the bath water!

Regards
 11 November 2012 09:06 PM
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Fm

Posts: 578
Joined: 24 August 2011

zs

have a google for clearview stoves, for mulit fuel stoves with boiler options.
boiler can be retro fitted later, just need to install 2 x 28mm copper pipes vertically to a store( heat movement via thermosyphon)
stainless steel liner in the existing chimney to ensure good draw etc
a laddomat or dunsley neutraliser to connect the heat inputs.
some evac tubes on the roof, 1tube per 5 litre of tank capacity from navitron

how many pallets and other non treated cls/ timber end up in a skip, when it could be heating your home.
start looking for wood as early as possible to ensure any logs etc have time to drop their moisture content

happy burning.
 12 November 2012 10:08 AM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 10964
Joined: 13 August 2003

I'd love a pumped shower

Would you prefer a mains pressure shower without the complication of a pump?

+1 for a thermal store.

I'm in the process of installing a thermal store in my place at the moment - you need a small header (f/e) tank still, but no need for a cold water storage tank, "power shower" performance without a pump (unless your mains water supply is poor - usually due to still having lead supply pipes - they look thick but the bore is about pencil sized!).

Big advantages for me - it'll accept heat from a number of sources - gas, electric immersion, plug solar and log-burner and you can use that heat for both hot water and space heating - so the whole thing's very flexible.

Because of my particular need to have a large store to accommodate the heat from the log burner, and a small one to get a reasonably high temperature from the solar contribution in summer, and to fit in the space available, I've ended up with two tanks, one above the other, cascaded. I can give you the details of very helpful chap at a thermal store manufacturer if that would help.

- Andy.
 12 November 2012 10:18 PM
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Zs

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The electric only experiment was cut short. The meter was rocketing and consuming about 4.5 kW per hour. Very few lights on and only one kettle boiled. That was on two 3kW thermostat fan heaters and today is actually a bit warmer than at the weekend. I bought the place up to T shirt temperature then swithced the gas back on and put a jumper on.

The other thing I hadn't noticed before is the noise of fan heating. I normally only use one to boost whilst playing the guitar (headphones on the amp or too loud to worry about a fan) or whilst pootling about. Sitting still today the noise drove me bonkers.

Worth doing though. Investigation of the solid fuel options begin now.

I've a new gas man coming round here tomorrow, to give me an hour of his time and advice for £65, requested as cash. Don't know about you but I talk to my clients about their requirements for free. he comes highly recommended so I'll see what he has to say.

Zs

Edit: He was an hour and a half late. But pretty realistic. He agreed it is time to change and suggested keep the 89% efficient gas boiler for a while and prepare for a change over to air source or something renewable while it is still working. He advised that solar is a non-runner because of the slate roof. Bore hole ground source not possible because of no access for the drill. Single skin walls making for big losses here, and he pointed out that because my neighbours don't heat their entire houses, I am heating them from here. Back burners, I'm told would involve massive disruption and some heavy pipework in the chimneys.

Edited: 13 November 2012 at 11:35 AM by Zs
 13 November 2012 05:33 PM
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Fm

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Solar is a non starter cause of the slate roof?

Well i find that hard to believe, i have a slate roof with pv panels and its not a problem,lots of fixing methods available for slate?
Possibly he cant be ***** and wants tostick anashpmat our back door with easy connections .

http://www.navitron.org.uk/category.php?catID=71
 13 November 2012 05:39 PM
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AJJewsbury

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Solar is a non starter cause of the slate roof?

Well i find that hard to believe, i have a slate roof with pv panels and its not a problem,lots of fixing methods available for slate?

Agreed - my 1910s slate roof has an evacuated tube thermal panel on it, along with the PV panels. I fitted the thermal one myself - it's not that hard.

- Andy.
 13 November 2012 05:58 PM
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OMS

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First things first - work out your DHW demand - do you bathe 3 times a day, do you have some jobs that need two baths when you get home - how do you wash clothes - cold fill only - ditto the dishwasher.

from there look at the best way to provide DHW - in some cases a simple immersion in a well insulated cylinder is all that's needed if you can get rid of the gas boiler.

From there decide how you can reduce heat loss, can you insulate under any suspended GF for example, can you install IWI, do you have a loft that wouild benefit from 400mm + of insulation.

Next look at heat source - how much does convenience mean to you, flick of a switch too much, or would you be prepared to use a good quality wood or multifuel stove.

I put one in last year, woodburner only, direct to room - no water heating from it. With the (house) doors open, I can heat the whole house with wood which costs me less per kWh than oil (no gas) - I also get a few loads "free" which is perhaps less romantic than split oak or beech but does the job just the same

You could pick a stove that has an optional boiler that you can add later when you think about the DHW - stick in a few vertical pipes up the side of the chimnney breast top the tank location in readiness

Burning wood however takes some effort and planning - you need to store it (dry), you need sticks, firelighters etc - mine will light within a couple of minutes but it's not what you want to be doing after a days graft at the coal face.

Solar Thermal - it can work just about anywhere - roof orientation is more important that material - you can fit to slates easily enough.

Personally speaking - I'd decide how long you are planning on residing at Zs towers if for a while a multi input thermal store would be a good investement - you can connect the existing boiler straight to it whilst you think about the woodstove - and think about DHW from the woodstove as an add on kit - remember though you need DHW in the summer as well - you really do not want to be using a wood burner on a July evening just to get the brick dust off you.

Have a contingency plan for your existing gas boiler but they will often run for much longer than heating fitters predict.

Final comment - you cannot do marshmallows or toast on a gas boiler or solar thermal system - you need a woodburner (or at least a real fire) for that -

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option

Edited: 13 November 2012 at 06:08 PM by OMS
 14 November 2012 08:27 PM
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sparkyaj

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If you think about it - with a combi everytime you wash your hands you fire up the boiler, wait for hot water heating up the exchange etc - then within a min of having hot water - shut it off. Where has all that energy gone -? into your pipes and off out into the air.

a few hours later the same happens................so it goes on.

by converting, the boiler works for about 20mins of the hour if upto temp - most of heat excluding flow and return (short run anyway) and most of that lost energy is left sat in the tank.

Over a period it has reduced our gas by miles............

I hope to loop solar thermal through the tank to help aswell which should provide further reductions too.

I agree re power supplies - all heating systems should have backup power supplies ie gennies for the cold winters.

I swear we are starting to see more power cuts in the winter again.

regards
 15 November 2012 11:56 AM
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zeeper

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I love combi

So about 2 years ago I had the 25 year old monster removed from the kitchen wall. Also had the tanks removed and a combi fitted in the loft. It is cheaper to run, I would say 10 to 15 pound a month. The two main reason for putting it up there was noise and space. I like the quiet she likes the space. Ideally it would have been better have kept it in the livng envelope because although its well insulated it is a little warm on the outside, and obviously that heat is being lost to the loft. It cost about £2200 in total to get installed.

Plus for me cheaper to run, instant hot water no matter how many baths or showers have been taken. radiators are hot within 5 to 10 minites of turning on the system. I never fill the cold at home and before all the price rises we were spending less that 60 notes a month in total on energy.

You do need good water presure for them to function well.

I bought the place up to T shirt temperature then swithced the gas back on and put a jumper on.


There is a knob on most boilers that allows ajustment of the water temp going to the rads. In the winter I normally turn mine up a bit so that the rads get hotter.
 15 November 2012 12:40 PM
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SherlockOhms

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Oh dear, all this talk of efficiency is making me dizzy!

I have an old boiler running on propane, sash windows without double glazing, stone floors and a big cellar with a log shute (read cold air supply) below the living room. For insulation I rely on the fur of the mice that live with us between the floors.
I've never seen more than 21 degrees on the stat.

I'm probably responsible for the hole in the ozone layer above Oxford.


S.
 15 November 2012 12:48 PM
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potential

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Originally posted by: sparkyaj

If you think about it - with a combi everytime you wash your hands you fire up the boiler, wait for hot water heating up the exchange etc - then within a min of having hot water - shut it off. Where has all that energy gone -? into your pipes and off out into the air.
...............
regards


I don't have a combi but I know several people who do.
Nearly all of them complain about the amount of water that has to be run off before they get any hot water.
This may be because they were used to very hot water from a hot tank and combis (or multipoints for that matter) take a while to get to temperature.
However I have insulated my hot water pipes running from my gas multipoint so well that hot water remains hot in them for up to an hour at a time.
 15 November 2012 01:05 PM
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AJJewsbury

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I'm probably responsible for the hole in the ozone layer above Oxford.

Na, that's a different effect - CFCs etc.
- Andy.
 15 November 2012 03:19 PM
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cmatheson

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In terms of return on investment. Insulate first. Next recover waste heat and overcome thermal gradient.

You need fresh air and it is inexpensive to recover up to 70% of the heat lost with a plate heat exchanger like that in a condensing tumble dryer. You must deal with condensation though and mitigate the rsik of legianella. Also, account for open flues and a little bit of extra power to overcome the tendency of warm air to rise.

In a house with radiators, heat is distributed by convection and you will get a difference of up to 10degress between your floor and ceiling. A ceiling fan at the top of the stairs can reduce you heating bill by up to 5% - if you don't mind having drafty stairs that is. With underflooor heating, that temperature difference is overcome and you can heat to a much lower temperature and still have warm feet - so less heat loss from the space. Heatl oss by conduction is prportional to teperature difference at the periphery and radient heat is proportional to the fourth power - if I remember correctly.

Back boilers are generally not as simple as would be expected. Also, woodsmoke is as polluting as coal and at present, the amount of timber burnt in the UK far outstrips our production and that outstrips the rate of replanting. Renewable maybe, but if I burn a tree today, it will not be reducing as much CO2 (and other polllutants) for at least 14 years from when I get around to replanting it.

Wet solar is good for heating cold water even in the highland glens, but if your DHW cylinder has to be ready to fill a steaming bath 24/7 don't try heating it directly. Instead use it to heat a preheat cylinder and take the temperature in that cylinder from mains temp of 6-9 up to 40degrees. 48 degrees at the tap is enough.

-------------------------
Chris Matheson MInstMC
 16 November 2012 10:12 PM
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Martynduerden

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Modern back oilers will not give you sufficient heat in any case, your rads are huge, much as you don't like the combi option you reasoning is incorect, a good combi will give you 17+ l/m at 35* rise more than adequate, given you won't usually need a 35* rise.

Modern boilers are modulating too using less gas. I'd be shocked if your boiler is actually 89% efficient!

Time how long it takes you to fill a 5l bucket at the moment.

Also a combi would be prime position in your place significantly less heat loss on the way to the bath.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 16 November 2012 10:17 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: potential

Originally posted by: sparkyaj



If you think about it - with a combi everytime you wash your hands you fire up the boiler, wait for hot water heating up the exchange etc - then within a min of having hot water - shut it off. Where has all that energy gone -? into your pipes and off out into the air.

...............

regards




I don't have a combi but I know several people who do.

Nearly all of them complain about the amount of water that has to be run off before they get any hot water.

This may be because they were used to very hot water from a hot tank and combis (or multipoints for that matter) take a while to get to temperature.

However I have insulated my hot water pipes running from my gas multipoint so well that hot water remains hot in them for up to an hour at a time.


Sorry fells that's rubbish,

Both systems have a similar run off unless there is return loop- unlikely.

Combos are often run in Eco thereby not storing heated water* -so turn off the Eco and its almost identical to you system boiler setup.

*Some combi boilers don't store hot water- don't buy cheap!

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 17 November 2012 01:13 PM
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potential

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Sorry fells that's rubbish,

Well I was only relaying what I've been told by those "fortunate" enough to have been persuaded to change their older boiler or gas fire.
I don't think they'd lie to me about something that has cost them a fortune.

As a matter of interest, the person who only used gas fires and an immersion before now complains of much bigger bills and a colder house.
Two others who had their boiler changed to be more efficient have said they wish they had never done it. Repairs have been on-going and both were without heating in the last freeze.
I know most of their complaints are much more to do with poor plumbing but they chose gas-safe people to do the work so it must be alright mustn't it?

Also you need to realise that the run-off from a boiler (extended from the old immersion heater position) is almost certainly longer than before.
 17 November 2012 02:10 PM
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daveparry1

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A couple of years ago when I was considering replacing my old conventional "Glow Worm" boiler with something more modern I did some extensive searching for info. on the web. The general consensus was that it made absolutely no financial sense to replace an old inneficient boiler (possibly around 45% efficiency) with a modern type even though it might be claimed to have something like 95% efficiency! I decided to keep with my old one, I did replace the cast iron heat exchanger when I first moved here 25 years ago, apart from that i've replaced the thermocouple a couple of times and given it a clean-out every couple of years or so. No doubt it does use more gas than a modern one but the maintenance costs and reliability far outweigh any savings on gas that i would make with a modern boiler, (I will probably get a slagging-off now from all the green types out there!)

Dave.
 17 November 2012 05:33 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: daveparry1

A couple of years ago when I was considering replacing my old conventional "Glow Worm" boiler with something more modern I did some extensive searching for info. on the web. The general consensus was that it made absolutely no financial sense to replace an old inneficient boiler (possibly around 45% efficiency) with a modern type even though it might be claimed to have something like 95% efficiency! I decided to keep with my old one, I did replace the cast iron heat exchanger when I first moved here 25 years ago, apart from that i've replaced the thermocouple a couple of times and given it a clean-out every couple of years or so. No doubt it does use more gas than a modern one but the maintenance costs and reliability far outweigh any savings on gas that i would make with a modern boiler, (I will probably get a slagging-off now from all the green types out there!)



Dave.


Dave, I could not agree more efficiency is all well n good but it usually costs you more I spend a lot of time talking people out of changing old boilers to save money - and myself out of work!

£2400 for a new modern boiler fitted in similar position that's a hell of a lot of gas and in some cases outlives the modern boiler!

Our boiler is a 1962 cast iron 68% , new modern one c93% how long to recover the £2400!

Plus repairs required to the new one which will fail before the old one would !

There is almost nothing to go wrong with the old boiler usually just external controls after all it a flame under a lump of iron!

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 17 November 2012 05:36 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: potential



I know most of their complaints are much more to do with poor plumbing but they chose gas-safe people to do the work so it must be alright mustn't it? :evil;;)


I guess like electricians we are not all created equal, no point fitting an old boiler on to sh1t pipe work

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
IET » Wiring and the regulations » Change from gas heating to electric

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