Electric water heating, cold water tanks and ceiling heating!

Hi all,
I've just bought a really tiny flat in Woking which is electric only, and I have a couple of questions I thought some of you guys might be able to answer. Forgive me if this information is repeated elsewhere, I have searched and found some information but not the complete answer I was after.
Firstly, the flat has an immersion water heater and a rather large cold water tank situated just above it. I am willing to live with any water outages that may occur due to damaged pipes/water suppier works etc if I could gain a bit of extra storage space by removing the cold water tank. Is this possible? I have read that the immersion heater may not be able to cope with mains pressure. If this is so, can mains pressure be reduced or is there a less space consuming way to deal with this. Or is reducing mains pressure not wise at all! Secondly, is an immersion heater the best way to provide hot water in an electric only flat? Are there any new and exciting tecnologies that could be worth looking at? I don't mind starting from scratch as the flat is so small and there is not central heating.
Finally, and on a different tack altogether. The flat is fitted with electric ceiling heating, which to be honest I had never heard of until our homebuyer survey came through. Whats the general opinion on this system? Information on ceiling heating seems to be pretty rare on the net, although I am told that it is fairly common around Woking and Guildford.
Thanks for taking the time to read. Any ideas and info would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
David
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http://www.eco-hometec.co.uk/duotank.htm
http://www.plumbingpages.co.uk/featurepages/HWnewarkstd.cfm
http://www.plumbingpages.co.uk/featurepages/HWcombination.cfm
http://www.plumbingpages.co.uk/featurepages/HWunventedhome.cfm
http://www.heatpumpnet.org.uk/publications_intro.asp
http://www.elsonhotwater.co.uk/elson/elson.nsf
http://www.bobtheplumber.co.uk/hotandwaterstorage.htm
http://www.dwi.gov.uk/consumer/faq/dws.shtm
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"David" wrote | Firstly, the flat has an immersion water heater and a rather large | cold water tank ...a bit of extra storage space by removing the cold | water tank.
You can get a mains pressure water storage cylinder but AFAIK they're supposed to be installed only by plumbers certified to work on them. If you have a very small flat heatbanks and the like probably are not a realistic option.
| Secondly, is an immersion heater the best way to provide hot water in | an electric only flat? Are there any new and exciting tecnologies that | could be worth looking at? I don't mind starting from scratch as the | flat is so small and there is not central heating.
An electric immersion heater is for most intents and purposes 100% efficient.
| Finally, and on a different tack altogether. The flat is fitted with | electric ceiling heating, ... it is fairly common around Woking and | Guildford.
Oooh. Is this an ex-council flat from the 1940s by any chance? The name Dulrae is floating into my mind ...
Electricity is about the most costly form of power there is, so you might want to consider:
1. Ensuring your HW cylinder is well insulated (preferably a factory foamed one) and use off-peak electricity (Economy 7) 2. Installing a night storage heater(s) and use off-peak electricity - but these can be a bit bulky.
An alternative could be to remove the hot water cylinder altogether and use an instantaneous electric shower together with an under-sink storage water heater for the kitchen. Especially if the kitchen backs onto the bath and you are the only occupant of the flat, one under-sink should do both kitchen sink and handbasin. It would *not* fill a bath in a reasonable time, so you might replace the bath with a shower tray and use the space gained to perhaps move a washing mc and tumble (stacked) into the shower room (subject to shower room zoning requirements under IEE Regs of course). And some people consider electric instant showers to be Worse Than Bleeding Useless.
It would cost nothing to enquire how much it would cost to install a gas supply, if it is at all possible, and what the market value of the flat would be with full gas ch and hot water - might actually be worthwhile in the longer term.
Owain
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Electcic Heat banks are a real option. Cheap enough and eliminate the silly cold water tank.

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Replace it with an electric heat bank. They operate at low pressures. Forget an unvented cylinder. http://www.heatweb.com http://www.range-cylinders.co.uk (go to thermal stores) http://www.albion-online.co.uk (the mainsflow)
There are some instant electric heaters, but they consume a lot of power and the cables have to very large. The heat bank will eliminate the large cold tank. The best way of eliminating the cylinder altogether is have point of use instant electric heaters. As Owain says: an electric shower, instant under sink heaters, etc. There again cables will have to be run back to the consumer unit and each water heater will need a separate fuse.
The up market electric showers are nearly acceptable, with some have a small water store to reduce the temperamental temperature controls. the best shower is a mains pressure thermostatic mixer off a heat bank, or one dedicated for a combi, such as the Mira 415.

Immersion is about the only one at the mo. There are heat pumps, but not feasible in 90% plus of flats.

People don't tend like them as they tend to heat upstairs via convention, and people don't like hot heads. Integrated wall panels are very good and eliminate rads, but the prospect of ramming a nail in them puts people off, so they put them on the ceiling..
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Thanks everyone for your useful advice, comments and links. It is much appreciated.
Cheers
David
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