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who lives with a hot water tank and condensing boiler?

(14 Posts)
MamaChris Sat 13-Sep-08 22:03:27

dumb question. have a combi boiler and house we're buying (fingers crossed) doesn't. don't really understand how it works if you have a separate hot water tank and a condensing boiler. does it mean
a. you have enough hot water for really hot deep baths or not?
b. you have to put an immersion heater on before running a bath/shower/washing up?

and if you need to put the immersion on, isn't that really really expensive?

PigeonPie Sat 13-Sep-08 22:08:58

We have enough hot water and it's set to go on in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening. Sometimes I add an extra hour on the thermostat for it if we've got a houseful, but otherwise, it's fine.

The only time we've used the immersion is when the whole system died so at least it meant we had hot water (and a six week old baby in the middle of winter!).

LadyOfWaffle Sat 13-Sep-08 22:09:49

We are just getting rid of our immersion - you can put them on timers but our timer doesn't work so we either forget and have no hot water, or forget to turn it off... Also even if it's on hours we can just squeeze in washing up, 1 bath and 1 quick shower before it's cold. It also needs a good hour really to heat the water up, not good for suddenly needing a bath etc. But it's easy to swap to a combi I think.

Milliways Sat 13-Sep-08 22:13:15

Our hot water is on twice a day for an hour each time, early am (so we can all shower, and wake up warm if heating required) and evening.

We only used immersion once when boiler had a malfunction so unsure of cost of that.

We have an enormous corner bath, and have been known to empty tank if bath completely filled, but doesn't take long at all to refill.

hotCheeseBurns Sat 13-Sep-08 22:16:19

You just need to get your timer set at the right times so that you have the hot water when you need it.

You shouldn't need to use the immersion heater regularly, they are expensive and ought to be just for emergencies.

KatieDD Sat 13-Sep-08 22:47:49

You can only have a combi if you have enough water pressure so that's worth bearing in mind, ask what it's like before you buy the house. The bills are higher I find too with an condensing boiler and if it's not on an outside wall dust will get trapped in it causing it to cut out regularly.
All things I wish i'd known before we bought this house.

MamaChris Sun 14-Sep-08 07:56:12

so how does the water get heated if you don't use the immersion? dumb question, I know. I guess the boiler heats it, just on a timer?

KatieDD I thought condensing were supposed to be more efficient, hence cheaper. What happens when it cuts out (do you need to get a gas man out or can you restart yourself)?

Hot water tank sounds like a pain. You need to predict when you're going to need hot water. And probably run the boiler at unnecessary times ("just in case"), thus making it inefficient. Surveyor said it was about 3 grand to switch to a combi.

bumbling Sun 14-Sep-08 08:03:57

I moved from a house with combi (heaven if you ask me) to a house with an immersion etc four years ago. Our bills shot up, I mean literally doubled overnight. Total disaster. We're in rental and the one thing I'm determined to do in a new house we own is get a combi in pronto, however much it costs. I hate hate hate hot water tanks.

You don't have to tally predict when you need hot water, but it is a different way of living, compared to a combi. We set timer to hot water up for an hour and half in the morning and evening. Takes about 30-40 mins to get the water piping hot. Hot water tank has a sep thermostat that keeps it at given temp until it's used, thoughout the day. Those timings are enough for def for one large, large bath and all the washing up needed. Washing machine heats its own water.

Three grand well spent in my opinion. Hot water takn makes an airing cupboard which is nice, but takes up valuable space. Oh go on, try and find the cash and get some other quotes in. We used to have a potterton combi, and I miss it so....

MamaChris Sun 14-Sep-08 08:27:35

thing is we took a low offer on the flat we're selling and came up against a seller who wouldn't budge on price on this house, so we're maxed out financially

why are they bigging up condensing boilers if combis are so much more efficient?!!

bumbling Sun 14-Sep-08 09:05:25

I'm dunno really. May well be that I'm completely wrong. This is four years ago now but literally from one month to the next our bills went from £40 a month to £80 when we went from combi to water tank et al. Maybe we're rubbish at controlling our useage etc and must admit we've cut the times down because of rise in energey costs blah blah. But it was pretty black and white for me. Sorry if it's too expensive to do. Congrats on the new house though. I'm dying to own again, rental for last four years has nearly killed me!

KatieDD Sun 14-Sep-08 10:23:28

MamaChris, you have to get a corgi registered man out to clear it if it's not on an outside wall. Our bills for 5 of us are £70 a month for gas, which we do have a gas hob and then the water/central heating.
If you've taken a low offer then the house you are buying must take a similar hit, it just has to hun otherwise how are you supposed to catch up ?
I would go back and reduce your offer or if it's not too far down the line pull out. Prices are set to drop further you don't want to be in negative equity the day you move in with a high gas bill too.

MrsBadger Sun 14-Sep-08 12:16:53

we've jsut fitted a v efficient condensing boiler in the new house - a combi wouldnt; work as we often ahve several people shhowering / wahsing up etc at once.

basically at 6am it heats a tank of hot water - enough for a bath, a shower and probably 2 washing-ups - and is insulated so it stays hot all day. Then at 5pm it refills and reheats for baths and bedtime.

MamaChris Sun 14-Sep-08 12:39:36

Hmm. It's not on an outside wall, but has a flue that goes straight up so it comes out on an outside wall (there's a one storey extension). How often do you need to get a man out and what can you do to prevent it?

The house price is a long story, but we have to move for work, and it's just what we've had to pay. Bad decision financially, but right one for our family at the moment.

We currently pay about 30 pounds/month for gas heating + hob, in a drafty victorian place. But we do only have a flat in a terrace (people above & beside us help with insulation I guess). Heating houses sounds quite expensive, but hoping that will be offset by moving to (ugly) new build with lots of insulation.

MrsB, thanks. Glad to hear a positive story! You say it stays hot all day. So you wouldn't need to put it on to do washing up after lunch as well as after breakfast? Or to do an emergency wash of dc mid afternoon?

MrsBadger Sun 14-Sep-08 17:25:47

nope, shouldn;t do if you have the timing set up right. You might need to run it from (eg) 6 till 7.30am so it refills after the first shower but you'll work it out.
And you can always hit the 'NOW' button on the controller to top up the tank if there's an unexpected glut of muddy kids midafternoon - this starts the boiler, not the immersion, so in effect all that happens is it heats the teatime/bathtime water earlier. Some bpoilers do it automatically if the tank is below a certain temp / fullness level when you turn on the hot tap, so work a bit like a combi in that respect.

It's worth reading the manual carefully as you can save a lot of money by using different programs on different days eg at the weekend we get up late so it doesn't heat the water till 7am etc

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