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Low gas supply?

(15 Posts)
drspouse Thu 27-Apr-17 13:06:06

Our new house (Victorian terrace, 4 beds, 4 floors) has very few radiators and a very small boiler (though only a couple of years old) for its size (it's smaller than our current house which is similar age/construction but fewer bedrooms).

The builders (who are TBF not gas specialists) say they think it might be because the gas supply is lower/smaller than normal? Is this a thing?

The radiators are also small and we think will struggle to heat the house.

There is some insulation and we are planning when we've saved some pennies and sold our current house, to put in double glazing throughout which has made a huge difference in our current house. We can obviously put in more insulation too.

What else can we do? Given the boiler is recent?

IAmAPaleontologist Thu 27-Apr-17 13:09:25

A decent boiler person should be able top 2 tell you what the gas supply is like. We've had to change the gas pipe coming into the house because it was too narrow for the new boiler we were putting in.

IAmAPaleontologist Thu 27-Apr-17 13:10:48

Insulation wise you could consider putting insulation on the inside of the walls and plaster board over.

drspouse Thu 27-Apr-17 13:11:27

Ooh if it's possible to just change the input gas pipe maybe the previous people didn't bother doing that... just like they didn't bother putting earth wires on the light sockets (I KNOW!)

drspouse Thu 27-Apr-17 13:13:59

Insulation on Victorian brick walls? really? would it not just look really odd? We'd lose the picture rails/cornices too I imagine so not keen TBH!

johnd2 Thu 27-Apr-17 13:48:29

Gas supplies on domestic can do up to 70odd kilowatts so you'll be fine there, the pipe size thing is about pressure drop and safety so that won't be it, it'll be the radiators that are the problem.
Check they should all get too hot to hold all over the main surface. If not you have a circulation issue.
Otherwise If you change all your radiators for double panels or make them taller you'll get a much better output.
Also the usual draught excludes and make sure the curtains are closed.

drspouse Thu 27-Apr-17 13:51:01

Is it possible for one street (private road with 7 houses) to have a lower pressure? Or is the builder talking rubbish?

drspouse Thu 27-Apr-17 13:51:50

PS yes re draught excluders - we're going to get Stopgap for the floorboards like we have in our current house too.

CryingShame Thu 27-Apr-17 13:56:39

you may also find that the boiler can't pump water up to the 4th floor to heat bedrooms on the top floor. PigletJohn is your man on here for boiler queries.

drspouse Thu 27-Apr-17 14:26:20


When the builders have gone and stopped giving us unwanted opinions we will do some investigation.

The very top floor has no radiator and we may find we can't install one, you're right - it currently has an illegal/unsafe storage heater which is going and we will probably replace with an oil filled radiator or something.
Basement has an actually legal (shock horror) storage heater.

LillyLollyLandy Thu 27-Apr-17 15:22:42

Is the boiler downstairs? If so you could always move it, so that it's in the middle of the house and that should solve the problem of pumping up to 4th floor. We live in a Victorian townhouse too and that's how our system is set up.

PigletJohn Thu 27-Apr-17 15:43:07

"The builders (who are TBF not gas specialists) say they think it might be because the gas supply is lower/smaller than normal? Is this a thing?"

Load of rubbish.

The pipe between the meter and the boiler may be of interest. How long is it, and what size?

It is very common for houses to have undersized radiators, partly because they are cheaper than big ones, which builders and buyers like, and partly because 50 years ago people were not used to warm houses. Small radiators won't make your house warm in cold weather, or may take a long time.

The pressure in the street is reduced at your meter. It is highly improbable that the pipe in the street is undersized.

You can estimate the size of boiler you need using this tool
You can reduce heat loss by improving insulation and draughtproofing.
Your rooms will be more comfortable if you have longer radiators cruising along than if you have short ones struggling at max. They can also heat it quicker from cold.

Modern boilers are very rarely undersized, and can modulate their power down according to demand, which makes them quieter and more efficient.

johnd2 Thu 27-Apr-17 22:24:13

Moving the boiler around the house won't help, like those old seaside lifts (or a seesaw), the water going up is balanced by the water coming back down. Just need to make sure there's enough water in the system to cover all floors, and the system is balanced.
Have you checked that all the radiators get really hot all over?

drspouse Thu 27-Apr-17 22:29:17

We haven't checked yet (It's in the middle of having a damp proof put in). It's just the small number of radiators, they are all quite small and the boiler is only supposed to be suitable for a small one or two bed house, despite being very new.

PigletJohn Fri 28-Apr-17 00:33:46

"the boiler is only supposed to be suitable for a small one or two bed house"

do you know its maximum heat output?

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