No heating/ hot water, OS ways to cope

northern_star Posts: 434 Forumite
edited 1 February 2011 at 1:32PM in Old style MoneySaving
Today our combi boiler has broken and, according to the engineer, is beyond repair so no heating or hot water. The only other form of heat we have is an inefficient 2kw electric fire in our lounge. It's going to take some time to get quotes and organise a replacement so we'd welcome OS ideas on how we can keep warm and manage hot water in the meantime. Our first thoughts are extra clothes, blankets, hot water bottles for warmth and kettle and pans for hot water. Any advice and suggestions would be most welcome.

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  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,442
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Do you have any cookers?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • laloopi
    laloopi Posts: 122 Forumite
    When we had this problem a few Decembers ago we...

    Used Glenn electric heater for warmth (moved it from room to room with us!)
    Boiled water in the kettle and put in the bathroom sink, mixed with cold water to the right temperature and used a jug to pour it over us as a "shower" (we happened to have two kettles and timing plugs so set the kettles to boil first thing so I could have my "shower" as soon as I got up)
    TBH those two actions solved the biggest problems. We were without a boiler for about a week but coped fine. If you don't have a Glenn heater then maybe ask on freecycle or see if you can borrow one from someone.
    Must get organised and rejoin grocery challenge!
  • jayward
    jayward Posts: 541
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    hi, we have been without heating for 19 days now,we have dishwasher and electric shower ,so thats helped
    we had a extra kettle upstairs for getting washed
    a flask by both kettles for extra hot water when kettle boiled for cleaning in kitchen ect
    using heatbags to keep hands warm always sitting under a throw
    but bought a small fan heater
    good luck
    we got a fixed price repair with 1 year full after care as we did know the part cost more than the whole fixed price they are fitting part on tues fingers crossed
  • The obvious ones as you've said and.....

    Have you got any fleecy blankets/throws? Put one over the sheet on your bed, keeps you extra warm with an extra duvet on top - hot water bottle a necessity!

    Have you got a gas cooker/hob? Put on, shut kitchen door and it will warm up fairly quickly - obviously you can't leave unattended (hob anyway) but it will help if you're going to be in that room.

    If you're cold when sitting, put on scarf/hat - may feel silly but a lot of heat is lost out of your head (throw over knees etc).

    Sounds like you don't have an electric shower (like me) which makes getting warm/clean a nightmare - could you pop round to neighbours/family/friends?

    Hot drinks - frequently. These warm you from the inside.
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  • Thanks for the replies so far. We have an electric cooker in the kitchen but that room is small and cold at the best of times, so we couldn't spend time in there other than preparing meals. Our shower runs off the domestic boiler so it looks like kettle strip-washes for us. Fortunately we have no young children still at home - just a 19 year old who is mortified at not being able to shower each day and declares that the house is "freezing". We have 2 hot water bottles and a wheat bag and lots of blankets/sleeping bags to snuggle under. Will get on to collecting quotes straight away but have a feeling that it will take a while to gather them and get the work done so we need to work out ways to manage the situation for as long as it lasts. Just hope we don't get another really cold spell meanwhile.....

    'Live simply so that others may simply live'
  • rosieben
    rosieben Posts: 5,010
    Combo Breaker First Post
    is there any chance you could borrow some sort of heater from friends or family? if you have a really cold spell it might be a good idea to set up base in one room - say the living room - and keep that heated as much as you can.

    have you family nearby who would let you use their shower? and as you said, hot water bottles, fleece blankets, an extra layer of clothing, kettles and pans for hot water;
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string! :D

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  • GreyQueen
    GreyQueen Posts: 13,008
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    I've lived in some perishing places in my time and I find it helps to wear a hat indoors (and you can also generate some extra heat by laughing at how silly the others look; you, of course, will look adorable and not silly at all!) :) I'm typing this with a fleece throw rug knotted sarong-style over my proper clothes as I got chilled to the bone earlier and it's helping. All the other suggestions are the ones I would have made, too. It's not good but it won't be forever and think how blissful it'll be when it's all fixed.
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  • babyshoes
    babyshoes Posts: 1,771
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    If you are a member of a gym you could shower there - maybe investigate short term free membership if you can find some - wasn't there something in this week's newsletter? Otherwise, pay to use the pool at a leisure centre - you don't have to swim, just use the showers if someone gets desperate!

    Also ask on freecycle for heaters if you can't borrow from friends or family.
    Trust me - I'm NOT a doctor!
  • When strip washing/showering I prefer to have my water in a clean Washing up bowl. Stays warmer longer and you have clean rinsing water.

    As everyone has said layer clothes, wear hats scarves etc, hot drinks and hot water bottles, MOVE! a brisk few minutes on the spot can really help. Eat regularly as you can really feel the cold more when you haven't recently eaten. If you have pets - use them. Our cats are perfect hot water bottles. Seal off unused rooms, use plently of curtains over doors, always shut all curtains at dusk, throw blankets over all chairs/sofas - helps with drafts.

    Don't know if I can remember anything else at the mo.
    Put the kettle on. ;)
  • Eat everything hot. Even cereal have heated milk on - really helps me.
    Try to have people round - the more bodies the warmer a place.
    Put the kettle on. ;)
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