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Cheapest way to use the immersion heater

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
150 replies 312.3K views
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  • BadgergalBadgergal Forumite
    531 posts
    Thanks for the reply, I'm not sure I would trust myself or the boyf to start fiddling with the heater (and its so old I bet it is corroded) plus its in an awkward place to get to (as I discovered whilst merrily piling blankets on top of it this weeked) but it is something to bear in mind.

    I own the flat (no landlord to ask!) so I sometimes wonder if it would add value at all to eventually take out the immersion and put a boiler and central heating in like next door have done (it gets very cold in winter with only that stupid coal effect gas fire in the main room, you can imagine the bathroom and kitchen...). I would need to save up for that though, I know we're talking thousands. I remember when I bought the flat the lack of central heating was one of the things that put me off a bit, what do you think, is it worth saving up for?

    ETA: re boiling a kettle, I do sometimes but get peed off boiling it again and again (lazy I know but I like the water to be properly hot so end up boiling a few).
  • scattycat_3scattycat_3 Forumite
    509 posts
    Bestyman, I was referring to Dual -Element immersion heaters, one short and one long element combined, that only require one boss on the top of the tank.
    Santon used to do one with a switch on the top labelled "Bath" on one side and "Basin" for the other switch position.
    The modern versions seem to be aimed at Economy 7 users, or electronic timers, but I dont see why they cannot be used with a simple suitably rated manual changeover switch.( 3kw= 13 amp). They had been replaced over time, by two seperate short side mounted heaters, but seem to be making a comeback. I have seen a lot of ads for new properties highlighting the fact that the hot water tank has a dual element heater.

    Badgergal, try this for replacing immersion heater, (diy,) that is if you find one that suits (£40ish).
    http://www.readersdigest.co.uk/diy/webpages/340_341.htm
    and to help with energy saving,
    http://www.iee.org/Policy/Areas/EnvEnergy/saveitnew.pdf

    Re central heating a small combi might do and the bits should be a little less than one thousand, its the installation that costs, unless you can persuade boyfriend to become Corgi registered as well. ;)

    HTHs Scat
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  • jack_pottjack_pott Forumite
    4.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    Switching the immersion heater off is cheaper, but if the tank's well lagged, only by a few pence per year!
    I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
    Friedrich Nietzsche
  • RebobRebob Forumite
    1K posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    Instead of getting a gas boiler you could buy a couple of used storage heaters and have your electric meter swapped for an economy 7 one. The tank of water would be heated in night and you would have heating in the cold weather. We have storage heaters and live in an old 3 bed detached and our home is toasty in winter, we have plenty of hot water and use washer etc in the cheap time. Our bill is £50 a month which I do not find too dear.
    The best bargains are priceless!!!!!!!!!! :T :T :T
  • CageyCagey Forumite
    295 posts
    Don`t go for electric storage heaters. They are the most inefficient & expensive means of heating.
  • NicholasNicholas Forumite
    629 posts
    Part of the Furniture
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    Cagey wrote:
    Don`t go for electric storage heaters. They are the most inefficient & expensive means of heating.

    You say that, but have you looked at all the angles? I have gas central heating and would not change because I like the versatility and the sheer heat output, but don't forget that gas appliances need servicing every year whereas storage heaters do not. Also do not forget that it probably costs a lot more to have the GCH installed in the first place. Also when storage heaters are running they are completely silent whereas my (new!) GCH system is quite noisy in comparison.
  • in_my_welliesin_my_wellies Forumite
    1.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    Old duvet down sides and over top really made a difference to our already insulated tank.

    Also, I've trained children and OH not to run off loads of hot water just to rinse hands. Our tank is downstairs and it takes ages to get the hot taps upstairs to run hot. Usually we turned on hot tap and rinsed hands in the cold bit and had finished before the hot come through, but tank is then being filled with cold water. Using the cold tap really maks no difference.

    Of course I let them use the hot for proper washes!! lol
    Love living in a village in the country side
  • in_my_welliesin_my_wellies Forumite
    1.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    My dad decorated the whole house - right through - lovely. Then he moved the tank in the bathroom, installed new suite etc. All finished.

    Next evening mum switched emersion on - BANG! Thought it was a fire work. Then thought it was mums cooking.

    Result - three fire engins. No house!! Just a shell, but all safe.

    Be careful!
    Love living in a village in the country side
  • Hi,

    I've been reading this thread with interest and have some questions. We have recently moved from a house with a convection (?) hearter i.e. one that heats water as it's used to one with a boiler, pump, etc. At present, the hot water does not last for two reasonable length showers and this is a bit of a shock for us. The water tank does seem to have an immersion heater, but this is also something new to me so I'm not quite sure how I can tweak my system to give us the amount of hot water we want. Does anyone have any tips for how to ensure we have more hot water than we currently do? What are the limitations on how much hot water you can have, etc? Any tips around this topic that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Gustaf
  • Hi,

    I've been reading this thread with interest and have some questions. We have recently moved from a house with a convection (?) hearter i.e. one that heats water as it's used to one with a boiler, pump, etc. At present, the hot water does not last for two reasonable length showers and this is a bit of a shock for us. The water tank does seem to have an immersion heater, but this is also something new to me so I'm not quite sure how I can tweak my system to give us the amount of hot water we want. Does anyone have any tips for how to ensure we have more hot water than we currently do? What are the limitations on how much hot water you can have, etc? Any tips around this topic that anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    Gustaf
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