No Economy 7 electricity supply - both storage heater and water heater stopped working?!

Hi so I have Economy 7 electricity with Eon Next and use electric storage heaters and an electric water heater. I have a Smart Meter, but that was installed several months ago and everything has been working without issue until now.

Two days ago I noticed that my (very new) storage heater wasn't working. I thought it was an issue with the storage heater so tried turning it 'off and on' again in the hope that that would fix the problem. However, I woke up this morning and still no heat. Even worse, I realised that the 'hot' water for my shower was lukewarm - evidently the water heater hasn't been working for the last few days either.

I checked the consumer unit and none of the relevant switches have tripped, so that provides no answers. There are no other problems with my electricity besides the devices running on the off-peak circuit (so everything on the on-peak circuit is working normally).

I'm now in the time period when the off-peak circuits should be active, but there's zero power coming through to the switches for either the water heater or the storage heater (they both have red indicator lights that should light up when the off-peak circuit is active). 

Does anyone have any clue what could be happening? 
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  • QrizB
    QrizB Posts: 13,685
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    Welcome to the forum.
    Two days ago I noticed that my (very new) storage heater wasn't working.
    Was everything working as planned prior to that?
    I'm now in the time period when the off-peak circuits should be active, but there's zero power coming through to the switches for either the water heater or the storage heater (they both have red indicator lights that should light up when the off-peak circuit is active).
    What make and model of smart meter do you have? Does it have an indicator - a red light, for example, or an on-screen icon - that tells you when the E7 circuit is live?
    Does your electricity meter have five terminals, with the fifth one being the E7 supply, or does it have four terminals with the E7 supply being switched by an external contactor?
    You can see an example of the latter (four terminals plus external contactor) here.

    N. Hampshire, he/him. Octopus Go elec & Tracker gas / Shell BB / Lyca mobi. Ripple Kirk Hill member.
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    Ofgem cap table, Ofgem cap explainer. Economy 7 cap explainer. Gas vs E7 vs peak elec heating costs.
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,773
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    If you have two immersion heaters the upper one should be connected to the 24h supply.  You should be able to turn it on manually via a switch or timer possibly marked 'Boost'.
    You'll only get half a tank of hot water, but if your smart meter is working correctly it should be charged at the E7 rate at the appropriate times.
    It may be that your smart meter has been reset or has suffered a glitch so it looks like you'll have to contact your supplier.
  • Bambi do you have two separate fuse boxes, one for 24 hour supply and one for off peak?  When my new NSHs were installed about a month ago the electrician had forgotten to put a fuse in the off peak supply switch box, not the fuse box where I can see if they trip. The box with the red tape is not the box where my E7 fuse missing photo is, so I have three boxes and the solar panel boxes. Who knew there were so many boxes needed!!!!
    Paddle No 21:wave:
  • Hi thanks so much all! Really useful advice. There are red indicator lights on the switches for the water tank and storage heater, and neither turned on last night during the off-peak period (the in-home smart meter display did switch over to the night rate as it should, but no power came through on the off-peak circuit). Here a bunch of photos to help with diagnostics (off-peak switches are the three on the left of the consumer unit):
  • I also took a bunch of photos of the meter itself when the off-peak period was active, in case that helps with diagnostics:
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,773
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    Does the off-peak PowerBreaker unit show red during the E7 hours?
    If not, press the rectangular button.
  • Hi so I have Economy 7 electricity with Eon Next and use electric storage heaters and an electric water heater. I have a Smart Meter, but that was installed several months ago and everything has been working without issue until now.

    Two days ago I noticed that my (very new) storage heater wasn't working. I thought it was an issue with the storage heater so tried turning it 'off and on' again in the hope that that would fix the problem. However, I woke up this morning and still no heat. Even worse, I realised that the 'hot' water for my shower was lukewarm - evidently the water heater hasn't been working for the last few days either.

    I checked the consumer unit and none of the relevant switches have tripped, so that provides no answers. There are no other problems with my electricity besides the devices running on the off-peak circuit (so everything on the on-peak circuit is working normally).

    I'm now in the time period when the off-peak circuits should be active, but there's zero power coming through to the switches for either the water heater or the storage heater (they both have red indicator lights that should light up when the off-peak circuit is active). 

    Does anyone have any clue what could be happening? 

    Your experience is my worst fear when the RTS is finally switched off. EDF may have temporarily saved my bacon by failing to turn up for 4 separate installation appointments!

    I will definitely be following this thread to see how things turn out for you - hopefully with a speedy resolution before Christmas.
  • lohr500
    lohr500 Posts: 925
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    Not too sure what the powerbreakers in your 1st photo are controlling. If you try to do a test/reset on the off-peak one during the Economy 7 period does it do anything? 

    Given everything was working correctly until recently and your IHD is showing a switch over to off-peak at the correct time, I would suspect a problem with either the off peak contactor in the smart meter, or the larger off-peak relay. The off peak relay is the large white box to the right of your smart meter, linked to the smart meter by the thin blue wire.

    When the off-peak period starts, the smart meter should provide power down the thin blue wire to the larger relay. The power from the thin blue wire should then energise a large relay inside the white relay box which switches in the main power for your off peak circuit.

    When the off-peak time starts I m pretty sure you should be able to hear a definite click from the large white relay box as it makes the internal contact. You should even be able to feel the click as well if you put a finger on the casing of the box. I think the main meter will also click as there will be a smaller relay in there which feeds power down the thin blue wire. But you need to be checking for a click from the white box to the right of the meter.

    I would start by doing this check to see if the relay box is actually making any sound.

    If it doesn't click then the fault is either in the main smart meter or the relay.

    If it does click, then either there is either a fault with the high current contacts in the relay, or the fault is upstream in the wiring from the relay to the off-peak section of your consumer unit. I would imagine the more likely problem is in the consumer unit rather than the contacts failing in the relay box, so in this case I would call out an electrician.

    I'm not sure if the supplier has responsibility for the large relay, but as it has E-On on the case, I suspect they do.
    So if you are sure it isn't clicking as the Economy 7 period kicks in, then I would be calling them, telling them what you have found and asking them to send out an engineer.


  • lohr500 said:
    Not too sure what the powerbreakers in your 1st photo are controlling. If you try to do a test/reset on the off-peak one during the Economy 7 period does it do anything? 

    Given everything was working correctly until recently and your IHD is showing a switch over to off-peak at the correct time, I would suspect a problem with either the off peak contactor in the smart meter, or the larger off-peak relay. The off peak relay is the large white box to the right of your smart meter, linked to the smart meter by the thin blue wire.

    When the off-peak period starts, the smart meter should provide power down the thin blue wire to the larger relay. The power from the thin blue wire should then energise a large relay inside the white relay box which switches in the main power for your off peak circuit.

    When the off-peak time starts I m pretty sure you should be able to hear a definite click from the large white relay box as it makes the internal contact. You should even be able to feel the click as well if you put a finger on the casing of the box. I think the main meter will also click as there will be a smaller relay in there which feeds power down the thin blue wire. But you need to be checking for a click from the white box to the right of the meter.

    I would start by doing this check to see if the relay box is actually making any sound.

    If it doesn't click then the fault is either in the main smart meter or the relay.

    If it does click, then either there is either a fault with the high current contacts in the relay, or the fault is upstream in the wiring from the relay to the off-peak section of your consumer unit. I would imagine the more likely problem is in the consumer unit rather than the contacts failing in the relay box, so in this case I would call out an electrician.

    I'm not sure if the supplier has responsibility for the large relay, but as it has E-On on the case, I suspect they do.
    So if you are sure it isn't clicking as the Economy 7 period kicks in, then I would be calling them, telling them what you have found and asking them to send out an engineer.


    Hi thanks so much for this detailed reply - really helpful. 

    The power breakers are the controls for the water heater. Doing a test/reset on the off-peak one during the off-peak period does nothing, unfortunately (tested it last night). 

    Thanks for the advice re. the check for the click. My off-peak period is meant to kick in around 10.30pm, so should I go out to the meter at that time and watch it to see what happens/check for the click?

    And if it does click and I get an electrician out, will they be able to tell me if the problem is with the consumer unit or the large relay? Obviously since the Economy 7 circuit is only meant to be active out of normal hours, I've historically had issues with electricians being a bit clueless over E7 problems!

    The consumer unit was only installed two years ago, so I'd be surprised if the wiring with that was already at fault. Though I won't rule it out/will check for a click tonight.
  • Gerry1
    Gerry1 Posts: 9,773
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    Check the fuse in the off-peak PowerBreaker.
    Power down and unplug sensitive items such as PCs, laptops, TVs etc, then switch everything off at the consumer unit.  Swap the fuses in the PowerBreakers, switch on again at the consumer unit and see whether the peak circuits still work.  If so, then the off-peak fuse was OK and the fault is elsewhere.
    Reverse the process to get back to normal.
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