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    • northern_star
    • By northern_star 21st Jan 11, 6:22 PM
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    northern_star
    No heating/ hot water, OS ways to cope
    • #1
    • 21st Jan 11, 6:22 PM
    No heating/ hot water, OS ways to cope 21st Jan 11 at 6:22 PM
    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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    Last edited by Former MSE Lee; 01-02-2011 at 1:32 PM.


    'Live simply so that others may simply live'
Page 1
    • RAS
    • By RAS 21st Jan 11, 6:26 PM
    • 27,996 Posts
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    RAS
    • #2
    • 21st Jan 11, 6:26 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Jan 11, 6:26 PM
    Do you have any cookers?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
    • laloopi
    • By laloopi 21st Jan 11, 6:28 PM
    • 123 Posts
    • 1,036 Thanks
    laloopi
    • #3
    • 21st Jan 11, 6:28 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Jan 11, 6:28 PM
    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
    • By jayward 21st Jan 11, 6:42 PM
    • 541 Posts
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    jayward
    • #4
    • 21st Jan 11, 6:42 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Jan 11, 6:42 PM
    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
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 21st Jan 11, 6:52 PM
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    rising from the ashes
    • #5
    • 21st Jan 11, 6:52 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Jan 11, 6:52 PM
    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.
    Grocery Challenge 211/455 (01/01-31/03)
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    • northern_star
    • By northern_star 21st Jan 11, 7:14 PM
    • 422 Posts
    • 846 Thanks
    northern_star
    • #6
    • 21st Jan 11, 7:14 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Jan 11, 7:14 PM
    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
    • #7
    • 21st Jan 11, 7:41 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Jan 11, 7:41 PM
    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!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • GreyQueen
    • By GreyQueen 21st Jan 11, 8:00 PM
    • 12,224 Posts
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    GreyQueen
    • #8
    • 21st Jan 11, 8:00 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Jan 11, 8:00 PM
    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.
    Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.
    John Ruskin
    Veni, vidi, eradici
    (I came, I saw, I kondo'd)

    • babyshoes
    • By babyshoes 21st Jan 11, 8:13 PM
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    babyshoes
    • #9
    • 21st Jan 11, 8:13 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Jan 11, 8:13 PM
    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!
    • Alison Funnell
    • By Alison Funnell 21st Jan 11, 10:26 PM
    • 751 Posts
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    Alison Funnell
    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.
    • Alison Funnell
    • By Alison Funnell 21st Jan 11, 10:32 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 3,187 Thanks
    Alison Funnell
    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.
    • Alison Funnell
    • By Alison Funnell 21st Jan 11, 10:34 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 3,187 Thanks
    Alison Funnell
    Iron or tumble dry your clothes warm. ANd wrap towels round a hot water bottle - that also helps preventing you chilling.
    Put the kettle on.
  • adelight
    I can't think what they'd be called, but my Dad has this big plastic water container which you "pump" the lid of and it then sprays out water like a little shower, you can use them to clean off cars but you could fill it up with kettle water and have a mini shower.
    Living cheap in central London
    • Pink_Giraffe
    • By Pink_Giraffe 21st Jan 11, 10:52 PM
    • 183 Posts
    • 1,393 Thanks
    Pink_Giraffe
    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.
    Originally posted by babyshoes
    I only shower at home on weekends as I go swimming every morning and shower there, saved us loads!

    If you were going to pay to use your local leisure centre for the shower, some PCTs offer a scheme where you can get reduced prices for a set period of time - I saw a nurse at my local practice and said I wanted to do more exercise and got signed up immediately so it may be worth looking into.

    As everyone else has said, layers and blankets are the best ways for heating, I also find fingerless gloves really useful as my hands get really cold - they get some heat but I can still do things!

    Hope your boiler is sorted soon.
    • C_Mababejive
    • By C_Mababejive 21st Jan 11, 10:53 PM
    • 10,712 Posts
    • 9,588 Thanks
    C_Mababejive
    Do not leave a cooker/hob/oven on for long periods of time to heat a house or you might die.
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
  • ubamother
    if there are rooms you can live without using, shut their curtains and doors, block up the bottom of their doors with blankets etc., make sure unheated rooms like a utility or loo have their doors blocked as well. As much one-room living as possible. Does the 19 yr old have any friends they can go to for a few nights, then the two of you could camp in the lounge and block off more rooms. Can you move some of your basic kitchen equipment into your lounge to avoid losing body heat by going into your cold kitchen all the time and losing room heat by opening the door too often - I'm thinking kettle, coffee maker, toaster, whatever you use, along with basic milk, tea/coffee, butter, bread ...

    • northern_star
    • By northern_star 22nd Jan 11, 9:19 AM
    • 422 Posts
    • 846 Thanks
    northern_star
    Thanks all, some really useful suggestions there. We managed our first night with hot water bottles and blankets in the lounge and the electric fire on from time to time. Trouble is, when you leave the room - even closing the door straight behind - a lot of the heat escapes and disappears. It's making us think that maybe our house isn't as well insulated as it might be (so good lessons to learn from this). This morning we're about to tackle the washing up by rinsing all the pots and clearing them as best we can with cold water and then washing them in a bowl of kettle heated hot water and detergent, followed by a cold water rinse. We cook everything from scratch and always seem to generate masses of washing up (another opportunity to learn better methods). We're still debating the best way to manage the strip wash/shower issue but we have been offered the opportunity to take a bath at a relative's house. Also today, we need to get on with ringing heating engineers to get quotes - and we're dreading what the cost will be! Hopefully it will be a simple boiler replacement without the need for lots of alterations to the rest of the system (fingers crossed). In true OS fashion, we'll be looking for the most economical, cost effective option


    'Live simply so that others may simply live'
  • RachelS
    What helped me when our boiler was broken in November...when you cook something in your cooker, open the cooker door as soon as you turn it off. The heat coming out makes a huge difference.

    Cover your windows with something...we used throws pegged up over the curtains.
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 22nd Jan 11, 9:31 AM
    • 5,587 Posts
    • 26,241 Thanks
    Slinky
    Just a warning about tipping boiling water into your basin, put some cold in first to take the 'shock' off. My mum cracked the glazing on our bathroom basin years ago tipping water straight out of a kettle into it.
    • bizzylizzy
    • By bizzylizzy 22nd Jan 11, 9:40 AM
    • 643 Posts
    • 750 Thanks
    bizzylizzy
    Candles give off a surprising amount of heat, shut the door to the room as well and that really helps.
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