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
Thanks for taking the time to read. Any ideas and info would be
| 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
| 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%
| Finally, and on a different tack altogether. The flat is fitted with
| electric ceiling heating, ... it is fairly common around Woking and
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.
Replace it with an electric heat bank. They operate at low pressures. Forget
an unvented cylinder.
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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