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Discuss Immersion Heater - Constantly on and using electricity? in the Central Heating Systems area at ElectriciansForums.net

G

GAZROG

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Hey everyone,

I'm a first time user and needed some information about immersion heaters.

I have an immersion heater tank in my bathroom (fairly big) which supplies the whole flat and has two heating elements going in to it. They are both wired into switches with indicator lights on them, the bottom elements switch says 'Off Peak' and has been constantly switched on for two months (When I moved in). I have never turned on the top element as I have never run out of hot water with the bottom element being on all the time.

The electric company estimated that for a one bedroom flat my electric bill would be approximately £60 a month. I am concious of my electricity usage and don't have all the lights on, fan heaters, etc. I assumed I might be below the £60 a month but my electricity bill was slightly higher for the two months.

I assumed most heating systems would have timers so that they wouldn't be needlessly heating water all night and then all day when I didn't need it.

Is my immersion element being constantly on 24/7 costing me money? Or would it not make much of a difference to my electricity bill? Do most immersion heating elements have measures in them to save energy like auto shut off temperature sensors? Shall I invest in a timer if possible?

Any help in answering these questions would be greatly appreciated, I can get photos if needed but there isn't much more to see from what I described.

Many Thanks.
 
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telectrix

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if you are on a dual tariff, the off peak element only comes on 12.00 midnight - 7.00 a.m. at about 3p/unit. the thermostat cuts the element off when the water is hot, so it.s switching on and off auto. if you get 1 of those clamp on energy monitors, you can see how much it.s using.
 
G

GAZROG

Hey Telectrix,

Thanks for replying. I have read up a bit more on the whole system and realised I probably should have done that it in the first place.

I have an economy seven immersion heater, so I assume the 'off peak' heating element is on for seven hours in the night during the cheaper electricity hours and then it doesn't come back on until the next day at the same time?

I also assume there is some sort of non-remote timer somewhere in the system which was set originally by the plumber? in accordance with the electricity suppliers (In my case southern electric) off peak hours?

These are just general questions now, I assume leaving the off peak switch on normally wont save me any more electricity but how would I go about checking that the heating elements is coming on in accordance with southern electrics off peak hours?

Many Thanks.
 

telectrix

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first see what meter/s you have. it could be 2 meters with a timer, or a dual tarriff meter with 2 readings. you can tell when the heater kicks in by seeing th dial speed up (old meter) or the red LED flashes rapidly (digital meter).
 
G

GAZROG

I don't have any meters, I just have the tank with the two elements wired into switches with indicator lights and the indicator light doesn't give any hint as it is constantly on anyway.
 
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The economy 7 timer (off-peak) is the clock next to your meter (wherever that may be). It is fixed by your supplier and sealed, and nothing to do with the plumber :)
 

telectrix

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I don't have any meters, I just have the tank with the two elements wired into switches with indicator lights and the indicator light doesn't give any hint as it is constantly on anyway.

you must have a meter. otherwise how does the supplier know how much to bill you.
 
G

GAZROG

Ahh, my electricity meter is in a locked cupboard outside my front door (I live in a block of flats) and I need to ask the management company to open it for me. Well I suppose my original worry about the heating element being on all night has been dispelled now anyway. I have certainty learnt a lot about immersion heaters in this thread. Thanks everyone :)
 
G

GAZROG

Not all night as I have learnt that it will definitely be on all night now. I meant all the time!
 

Strima

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Only turn it on when you need it.

Many years ago I lived in a rented place and the boiler went bang, luckily there was an immersion so we used that for nearly three months, I nearly ran out of beer money. Never again will I have a house with an immersion heater, I'd rather fill the bath from pans boiled on the hob.
 
G

GAZROG

But if I leave the off peak switch off then I will have to wake up an hour or so before my morning shower to turn on the top 'boost' element right? As the water wouldn't have been heated through the night and I would be charged peak time electricity rate for the boost element?
 

Strima

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You mean you don't have insomnia and actually need sleep, standards are slipping...

Sorry, it's late and the beer is finally kicking in.
 

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