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Electric combi boiler or LPG gas bottle heating system?

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Electric combi boiler or LPG gas bottle heating system?

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Mcewan84Mcewan84 Forumite
1 posts
Hi, I’m getting a new heating system installed and looking for advice on either an electric combi boiler system or lpg with the 47kg has bottles x 4. ( gardens too small for the big tank). I also looked at oil but that quote came in abit too expensive.
Ive got a coal fire with a back boiler that heats up the radiators at the moment but it’s not exactly ideal.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Replies

  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    A domestic electric "combi boiler" will have a max heat output of about 10 kW so will produce hot water at a trickle similar to an electric shower - with especially poor performance in winter. It will also run on peak rate electricity which is about the most expensive fuel going.

    If you want electric wet central heating use a vented thermal store which will run on off-peak electricity overnight.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • jk0jk0 Forumite
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    Just get a few storage heaters IIWY, and light the coal fire in the evening as a top up.
  • Apologies if I’m hijacking the thread, but I have the same exact question and I thought it would be best not to duplicate the subject.

    Our LPG arrangement is slightly worse however, 2 bottles connected + 1 spare (Runs out very quickly during Winter months, very expensive to refill, and extremely inconvenient to go outdoors in various weather conditions/times to connect a spare when required).

    Long story short, the floors need to be replaced, and I would like to get the boiler replacement done during the floors’ replacement mess to reduce disruption. I am trying to make an informed, but quick decision.

    I have been looking at electric combi boilers but other than companies praising their own products, I haven’t seen much feedback from actual owners, which is what I’m looking for, real life experience: Are they reliable? It doesn’t require annual maintenance, but does it break down? Do you get enough water for showers? And possibly filling a bath every now and then? I have found some advertised to be 12KW online, which is slightly higher output than 10KW, but is it enough?

    The cost of running on electricity will be expensive, but given the size of the property, and the frequency of using it, I’m willing to swallow my pride and live with it.

    My motive behind this is: LPG bottles will always be a pain and run out at some point, but you’ll never run out of electricity.

    Thank you in advance, and sorry again for hijacking the OP’s thread :)
  • edited 24 September 2019 at 11:38AM
    Bob_a_JobBob_a_Job Forumite
    1 posts
    edited 24 September 2019 at 11:38AM
    YorkieG wrote: »
    Apologies if I’m hijacking the thread, but I have the same exact question and I thought it would be best not to duplicate the subject.

    Our LPG arrangement is slightly worse however, 2 bottles connected + 1 spare (Runs out very quickly during Winter months, very expensive to refill, and extremely inconvenient to go outdoors in various weather conditions/times to connect a spare when required).

    Long story short, the floors need to be replaced, and I would like to get the boiler replacement done during the floors’ replacement mess to reduce disruption. I am trying to make an informed, but quick decision.

    I have been looking at electric combi boilers but other than companies praising their own products, I haven’t seen much feedback from actual owners, which is what I’m looking for, real life experience: Are they reliable? It doesn’t require annual maintenance, but does it break down? Do you get enough water for showers? And possibly filling a bath every now and then? I have found some advertised to be 12KW online, which is slightly higher output than 10KW, but is it enough?

    The cost of running on electricity will be expensive, but given the size of the property, and the frequency of using it, I’m willing to swallow my pride and live with it.

    My motive behind this is: LPG bottles will always be a pain and run out at some point, but you’ll never run out of electricity.

    Thank you in advance, and sorry again for hijacking the OP’s thread :)

    How long do you find a 47kg bottle lasts?

    I would say we have the same set up as the OP. i.e. 4 bottles, 2 in use and 2 on standby/awaiting renewal.
    I'm not sure why anyone would have only 1 spare bottle when thay have 2 in use? But perhaps that is a different question for elsewhere.

    We moved to our house about 3 years ago. It's an old, 3 bedroomed detached cottage with solid walls and has no access to mains gas.
    Previously we lived in a house with mains gas, so I can make a direct comparison to that, but we have never had an electric boiler, so cannot comment with experience in that regards.

    We use gas for cooking, hot water and general heating puposes.

    Even in the midst of winter, or when the Best from the East arrived in Feb/Mar 2018, we find the gas bottles typically last about a month i.e 2 bottles so each bottle could be said to last about 15 days.
    That's with day to day cooking, running hot water as required, and heating for about 3 hours every morning, and about 6 hours every evening. (about 16 hours continuously at the weekend) controlled thermostatically.

    I think the quickest we ever got through 2 bottles was in 3 weeks. Obviously at other times of the year the gas lasts much, much longer longer - 3 months is not uncommon.

    All we need to do when we notice the gas has switched over to the standby cylinders is message one of our suppliers. They tend to be geared up to a rapid response over winter and usually turn up well within the week; in the summer they may take 2 weeks.

    They do everything for us, swapping the bottles, etc.

    Each bottle usually costs us about £50-£60 each. so a total of about £100-£120 per month during the winter. This is not much more than we used to pay for mains gas over the winter at our previous address.

    As I said, I have no experience of an electric boiler. I can only look at price per kWh
    Gas (mains) typically costs about 3-4p / kWh
    Electricity typically costs about 12-16p / kWh - so about 4 times as much.

    Yes it is a small inconvenience keeping an eye on our bottles and requesting refills as and when required. But some of us still remember the electricity blackouts of the 1970's, or indeed the widescale electricity black out that hit many last month, because electricity did indeed run out ...

    At least we have a choice of supplier/source for our gas bottles, if the first one we choose cannot re-supply in a timely manner.

    But its everyones individual choice in the end.
  • We had no choice regarding the numbers of bottles connected as this was already in place when we bought the property, I have considered upgrading to 2 on/2 spare set up but that was difficult to achieve without major adjustment to the outdoor area, I suspect it would’ve been easier if it was planned during the building process, but it wasn’t, and we have to live with the consequences.

    It’s difficult to keep an accurate record as to how long a bottle lasts, it is a single bedroom/open plan, well insulated property however so it doesn’t consume much. It is also a second/holiday home for us at the moment and we’re hoping to move into it permanently when the time is right (Yesterday?) and our use is limited and occasional so running cost wise I think it will make up for the fluctuating prices of LPG bottles. There’s only one supplier in our area, they’re good and they will connect everything for us if we caught it before the bottles run out, otherwise the boiler cuts out and the only way to restart the system is by physically restarting the boiler, let alone having to run out in freezing cold before you could even brush your teeth to swap bottles.

    I appreciate that everyone’s concerned about running cost, our main residence has gas mains and we have a gas combi boiler and it’s great, apart from when it breaks down. But in other areas where gas mains aren’t available, and for a property that’s not lived in, and used ocasionally, I think the cost of running on electricity will more or less make up for itself in convenience.

    As for power cuts, I think all modern boilers need electricity nowadays, even gas and LPG ones, when it’s a blackout, it’s a blackout.
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