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"Selex electriaire" warm air heating - asbestos risk?

(6 Posts)
user1474914628 Mon 26-Sep-16 19:54:13


First post so please be gentle!

I am looking at buying a flat which has warm air heating (so heats on economy 7 and vents warm air through ducts in the walls). I don't in principle have a problem with this but after some online research I suspect it may contain asbestos.

The flat was built in 1971 so pre-dates the ban on the use of asbestos by a couple of years. I appreciate that asbestos should be safe if still intact, but even if it is fine now and the unit fails in the future is it going to cost a fortune for specialists to remove it?

I found an online reference that confirms the Selex Electricaire models SF6 and SF8 are known to contain asbestos but couldn't see any model numbers when I checked it earlier.

Does anyone have any experience of these or similar? I'm wasn't planning on replacing the unit for the sake of, though I appreciate it is old and will need replacing it at some point, my main concern is the asbestos. Any advice on how to proceed gratefully received!

Palomb Mon 26-Sep-16 21:12:41

I don't think it's hugely expensive to have an asbestos survey carried out and that's the way I'd be heading if I were you, at least then you know what you're up against.

Does the hearing still work?

user1474914628 Tue 27-Sep-16 13:38:42

Thanks Palomb, the heating does appear to be working so not in need of replacement yet. But I suspect it's the original unit so 45 years old and will likely fail.

Hot water is entirely independent (a PulsaCoil BP unit the current owner has installed in the last two years so its just the heating I have reservations about.

Anyway, I've told the estate agent I won't be putting an offer in as things stand so I'll what the vendor has to say.

JT05 Tue 27-Sep-16 13:48:47

I'd try and get a quote for replacing the heating now, given the inconvenience and mess of removal, and negotiate the price down, to accommodate the work. The heating company may also have a licence to remove the asbestos, as this is a common problem.

We bought a house riddled with asbestos, the vendors were convinced it was safe(!!!), eventually we got the price reduced to take into account the removal.

PigletJohn Tue 27-Sep-16 14:34:27

Electricaire was often installed by the "Electricity Boards" prior to Thatcherisation, and there are some companies still selling the spare parts for it. They are AFAIK pretty familiar with the products and may be able to tell you about your model. Some photos may help identify it.

The distributed air is warm rather than hot, so if asbestos had been used, I would guess it to be round the heating elements. There is no flue.

It tended to be built into the house during construction. If you want to revive it, get some new dust filters. There are not many moving parts but the fan motor bearing might be worn and noisy.

user1474914628 Tue 27-Sep-16 17:49:48

JT05/PigletJohn - thanks for your comments.

The flat is on the top floor (of 3 floors) and has a flat roof. Using google earth I can't see any evidence of a flue above where the electricaire is located (it is in the middle of the flat) - the roof is entirely empty except for what may be flue/vent which appears to be above the bathroom (I think above outlet/drainage pipes run down an internal shaft as there is no visible external drain pipes). So maybe PigletJohn is correct and there is no flue.

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