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Ditching boiler and installing hot water taps instead - thoughts?

(15 Posts)
NeededANameChangeAnyway Tue 17-May-16 16:10:30

Our boiler is ancient and due to arrangements made by one of the previous owners we are on a white meter so have no control over when we have hot water. We have old fashioned storage heaters so would I be right in thinking we don't actually have any reason to have a boiler at all?

Could we rip the whole thing out and just use hot water taps for the bath and kitchen sink and replace the crappy storage heaters with electric ones? We are leaning towards this but I don't know if there would be a reason to keep/replace the boiler other than it's convention to have a boiler.

Any thoughts on this?!

AlpacaLypse Tue 17-May-16 16:12:44

Nothing to add but I've had the same thought about my hot water system. I'd also be interested to hear from anyone who uses these instant hot taps.

PigletJohn Tue 17-May-16 16:16:58

Find an instant water heater, fill a bucket from it, time it, see how many litres per minute it delivers.

Then calculate how long it would take to fill a 100 litre bath.

Then go and buy a boiler.

if you have a white meter, a previous owner probably had a hot-water cylinder which used half-price overnight electricity. You could do that if you don't have gas.

NeededANameChangeAnyway Tue 17-May-16 16:24:41

The pipes are old and narrow (according to a plumber) so it take AGES to fill the bath. To install a new boiler we would have to rip all the pipework out and replace it as well.....this is the issue - the house is old so as soon as we think about tackling one problem we have a whole list of other ones we need to consider first. If we took out the boiler we wouldnt have to replace the pipes (or would we?) therefore we wouldnt have to rip up floorboards and deal with lathe and plaster walls just yet.

PigletJohn, not sure what you mean, the boiler is insulated in thick hard stuff which looks a bit like expanding foam. Its also not very big so after DS has a bath each night there isnt enough hot water for another bath even after the immerser has been on.

So the main reason not to use hot water taps is the speed they heat water?

PigletJohn Tue 17-May-16 17:24:57

I think when you say "boiler" you mean "hot water cylinder." What colour is it, and what size?

There is presumably a cold water tank in the loft, or perhaps on top of the cylinder. How big is it?

Do you have gas?

AlpacaLypse Wed 18-May-16 10:32:42

The hot water in the house I want to deal with is currently from an electric cylinder. There's nowhere safe to install a gas boiler without trashing bits of the grade 2 listed structure.

Where could I go to actually see electric heated taps in action?

PigletJohn Wed 18-May-16 11:45:56

we have these things in the changing rooms, they are truly pathetic and useless.

In your position I would go for a larger cylinder, with an electric immersion heater at the top, and one at the bottom. The bottom one will heat up the whole cylinder overnight (at cheap rate, if are on economy 7, possibly with a cheap afternoon top-up, if you have it) and the upper one will heat a smaller amount of water more quickly, for example if you run out. An immersion heater warms the water at a rate of roughly 1 litre per minute, so to heat a bath takes about an hour and a half.

The colour of your existing cylinder is relevant. Modern ones are blue (sometime white or silver) and very well insulated. The size and position of your cold water tank is relevant.

If you have room for it, and a strong floor, most people choose a 200 litre or bigger cylinder these days. It is possible, but unusual, to have two cylinders if you have two bathrooms or shower rooms.

NeededANameChangeAnyway Wed 18-May-16 22:18:16

I've seen those thing before Piglet and yes, they are crap.

The cylinder we have looks like it is copper and is covered in stiff green insulation foam looking stuff. Its also split - the main larger bit which is heated at night and a really small bit which is the immerser.

This is what we were thinking about -

PigletJohn Wed 18-May-16 23:56:26

the more expensive of those are similar to an electric shower, and can deliver round about 5 litres per minute of hot water. They would take 20 minutes to fill a bath. They would need a powerful dedicated electric circuit, like an electric shower. They are plumbed to the incoming cold water main.

What are the measurements of your hot water cylinder? Can you see a cold tank, or is it on top of the cylinder (will have a removable lid) like this?

You will be able to see the cap of the electric immersion heater, round, about 3 inches, black plastic or silvery metal, with a thick flexible cable coming out of it. Where is it on the cylinder? Is there only one?

specialsubject Thu 19-May-16 19:41:36

Nothing to stop you changing to single rate electricity.

And all storage heaters are the same, laws of physics.

Big job, but can I suggest gas or oil central heating and hot water? You can only polish turds so far....

concertplayer Thu 19-May-16 22:05:03

Yicks PJ I have a new c boiler and it still takes 20 mins to half fill the bath.
I mix cold and hot together Perhaps I should just use hot first and top up
with cold?? Confused

PigletJohn Fri 20-May-16 06:21:57

do you mean a combi?

concertplayer Fri 20-May-16 08:56:12

YES combi/condensing boiler

PigletJohn Fri 20-May-16 10:46:40

And you are only getting about half a gallon per minute? Very poor. If is probably the incoming water pipe. Fill a bucket at the kitchen cold tap, time it, calculate litres per minute. Do the same at the garden and utility taps, if you have them. See if the bath tap is about the same.

How old is the house?
Was your old boiler the same?

scaryteacher Fri 20-May-16 12:40:55

We replaced our copper hot water cylinder with a stainless steel 200+ litre one, and it rocks. However, we do have oil fired central heating which is run from a Stanley, and this does the hw as well. We didn't go for a condensing boiler as we wanted the ability to use an immersion if the Stanley stops working for whatever reason.

When we took the insulating padding off the old hot water cylinder it was more porous than a porous thing (it was vv old), so worth checking if your is too.

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