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Any know about heated towel rails?

(13 Posts)
CloudsAway Sun 05-Feb-17 09:40:27

can anyone tell my how these heated towel rails are supposed to work?

I've just moved into a flat with a heated towel rail. There's no instructions. It is, as far as I can tell, connected to the central heating system rather than an independent electric switch or anything. So in the morning, it comes on with the other radiators. I've turned the control on the towel radiator to what I thought might be 'always on', but it doesn't seem to make it stay on all day. It does stay on slightly longer than the other radiators (or at least takes more time to cool down). Problem is the flat is generally very warm, so although I have the thermostat set to 19 degrees, it gets up to that (and more) quite soon and stays there all day without the radiators seeming to come on very much again (at least I hope this will mean lower bills, if perhaps a bit sweltering in summer...?!). But of course the towel rail rarely comes on again. Even when it feels a bit chilly in the flat in the evening, the thermostats still say it's 19, though I'm not always convinced. So the towel rail never comes on at bath time in the evening when it would be appreciated, and I can't see how it will ever be useful in the summer. There's no outdoor clothes drying so drying towels on it would be quite nice, though I realise it doesn't have to be heated for that.

I'll attach the pictures of the controls. Am I missing something? I've never had one before and just assumed that they'd have obvious on/off switches that were separately controllable! I was looking forward to having one in the new flat but now wondering what the point of them is!

The whole control moves around the pipe but I don't think that does anything; I think ti's just the four positions on the control itself, 0, 2, 3, and this triangle one that I have.

wowfudge Sun 05-Feb-17 10:16:55

It's just turned up to maximum, not always on. Sounds as though the flat is well insulated so retains the heat well.

CloudsAway Sun 05-Feb-17 10:43:18

oh I see, is that what that symbol is.

I've not quite got the hang of the heating generally. I'm often too hot, even when the thermostat says 19, but then if it's windy or anything, it's really chilly (lots of windows) but still says 19. So haven't quite worked out how I should program the thermostat for various times of day/night. I think it's double glazed, which is good. But it might be unbearably hot in the summer and then I'll use all the energy on an electric fan or something! (very busy road so opening windows less good).

So it sounds like there isn't a way to get the towel rail on in the evenings and on warmer days then?

I guess it still looks nice. But not quite as useful as I thought it might be!

Svalberg Sun 05-Feb-17 10:50:03

If it comes on with the rest of the radiators, it's plumbed into the central heating system. That dial is the thermostatic radiator valve so it'll switch off when the room it's in is up to temperature. If the house is well insulated, and you have it set to maximum, it'll be on as long as it can be but if you warm the bathroom up by running a bath or shower, it'll switch off as the room will be warm. If you want one that has independent control, you either need an electric one (expensive to run) or a boiler with at least 2 independently pumped circuits (as well as the hot water circuit) with timers for each.

PigletJohn Sun 05-Feb-17 10:58:48

Have you got a hot water cylinder?

CloudsAway Sun 05-Feb-17 12:03:32

no cylinder in the flat; there's some kind of communal boiler/hot water thing that then bills each flat independently (not sure I fully understand it, but apparently more efficident!). I still program the heating/radiators myself to control how much I use.

sounds like I've set it the best I can then? It'll be nice on cold winter mornings, just not the rest of the time!!

Villagernumber9 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:30:26

The problem might be where the thermostat is located.
If the room where you have your thermostat is at the correct temperature, it will switch off all your radiators.
If you own your flat, you can buy a dual fuel pack for your towel rail which can work both with, or independently from your central heating system.
I know that they sell them online at Geyser radiators. Not sure how much though.

Lindy2 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:42:19

We have one that is part is the central heating system and really just a different shaped radiator. If it's like ours it will only come on with the central heating and can't operate separately. You might be able to change what you've got but it will need an electric power supply to be fitted.

CloudsAway Sun 05-Feb-17 17:46:28

I am allowed to make basic changes, but there are other priorities at the moment than getting a new one, though a dual fuel pack might be worth looking into one day. It's not a big deal really, but I was just surprised (old house was very old with nothing fancy and modern like that, so I was kind of looking forward to it, and figured I must be missing something....!)

There are two thermostats, one in the bedroom and the other in the hall, but it's pretty small, so there shouldn't be too much temperature difference between the rooms. However the sitting room is the one with all the windows, and the thermostat is in the hall, just outside the door!. Not a lot I can do about that though, but I do keep the door open.

PigletJohn Sun 05-Feb-17 17:46:48

if you have TRVs on all the radiators except the one in the room where the wall thermostat is, you can adjust the one in the room where the wall thermostat is, to heat up more slowly than all the others; then adjust all the TRVs to a comfortable temperature (this is usually about "3")

this will give the best chance of having all the rooms comfortable.

You should not turn any of the TRVs to Max.

CloudsAway Sun 05-Feb-17 17:49:58

Is the TRV that dial thing like on the towel one? Those are only on the towel radiator, and the sitting room one. I have the towel one turned to the triangle, and the sitting room one to '4' (the one before the triangle symbol). There's a thermostat and radiator in the bedroom, but no valve on the radiator (independently programmable thermostat, I believe), and then a radiator in the hallway outside the bathroom (no valve), and the other programmable thermostat in the other bit of the L-shaped corridor, just outside the sitting room (where there is a big radiator, with the adjustable valve, and lots of tall windows and glass doors).

CloudsAway Sun 05-Feb-17 17:53:05

I have set both programmable thermostats to the same settings - 19 in the day and 12 at night. I think maybe 20 in the evening might be better as I've just adjusted it up to that now, and it feels better. Yet other times I feel way overheated when it's supposed to be 19! And although it's set at 12 at night I don't think it ever gets nearly that cold. Not sure what it does actually get to. It's really chilly just before I go to bed, but that's fine, and I can then take a hot water bottle to bed, which I like.

VeritysWatchTower Sun 05-Feb-17 20:07:57

Don't get too hung up on the temperature, if 19 feels too cold then increase it.

My house is on a north/south axis and the sun makes a huge difference to how warm I feel in each room. My thermostat is wireless so we moved it until we found the best place for it to be considering where we have sun at different times of the day.

Heated towel radiator wise, we had a new boiler, all new rads and 2 towel radiators installed. We had dual fuel kits put in too. It has to be wired into a socket circuit so our electrician did that bit for us. Costings will depend on where the fused spur is to be located etc.

As we bought our towel radiators from Geyser they have the specific dual fuel packs associated with the size of radiator we bought, but here is guide from them which I think is incredibly helpful.

Geyser guide to dual fuel

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