Pilot light gas usage

I've worked out that the pilot light on my old Vaillant combi boiler uses the equivalent of 60UKP of gas per year, does this sound right? This means a new boiler would repay in 10 years on the cost of pilot light gas alone.
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On Wed, 6 Dec 2006, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

based on 2.5p/kWh, this works out at about 275 watts of heat output on a continuous basis. This is about an order of magnitude more than I would have expected for a pilot light... i.e. it does not sound right IMO.
How did you arrive at the figure of GBP60 / year?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

no
it neglects the shorter lifetime, lower reilability, and higher repair costs of a newer boiler.
NT
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On 6 Dec 2006 04:09:35 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

My boiler pilot light for water heating was about 1 per week two years ago. Depends on the size and shape of the thing. The large fan shaped ones are the most expensive that I found.
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On 6 Dec 2006 04:09:35 -0800 someone who may be snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote this:-

How did you work this out?
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The pilot light heat is not wasted in my archaic convection glowworm boiler as it all goes toward heating the hot water tank. That may not be true in a fully pumped system, I'm not that expert.
rusty
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Yep. Taking meter readings (mine's a cubic metres one and reads to the third decimal place) my ancient Glowworm boiler uses 0.44 cu.m per day just on the pilot light.

Not on your nelly.
The chap that services my boiler - 27 years and doing just fine - knows of one that's over 40 years old and in fine condition. How many replacement new-type boilers would have given up the ghost in that time?
And don't forget thet they are blessed with that modern invention, the Circuit Board, that you can't mend and costs a fortune to replace, even though it's got no more electronics in it than a scanning FM receiver from Poundland. Well, two receivers from Poundland, anyway.
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Frank

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Oh yes you can - and oh no it doesn't! Well, usually and not always.
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Frank Lee Speke-King wrote:

That's nearly 5kWh per day, which suggest the pilot flame is producing 200W. I suppose it will be helping to keep the (enormous) heat exchanger warm for the next time you need hot water or heating.
Some interesting stats at: http://www.homeenergy.org/archive/hem.dis.anl.gov/eehem/97/970103.html
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On Wed, 06 Dec 2006 09:18:40 -0800, John Laird wrote:

I have done some of my own tests and calcs and would say that 50-200W give or take is plausible. This is 2 magnitudes smaller than when in operation, but is 24/7. Hence the several % effect on the overall annual energy usage.
I don't agree (I wouldn't would I?) with those who _automatically_ state that a modern boiler is less reliable than a traditional type.
A _quality_ modern boiler might also have a long life. Electronics are not unreliable per se. The materials used are potentially better than those used traditionally.
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Well.... no....
You could be doing the sharp intake of breath routine and saying something like
"Mrs Jones....... it's yer pump"
whereupon Mrs. Jones mouths in a hushed voice...
"Will it be all right?"
and you give a wry smile and nod, resulting in a very relieved looking Mrs Jones (who would be willing to pay anything to know this) and an apprentice who looks on in total wonderment at how BG can possibly get away with charging 150 per annum for this.

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On Wed, 06 Dec 2006 23:13:30 +0000, Andy Hall wrote:

I currently have both the apprentice and the half moon glasses it all adds to the 'credibility factor'.
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Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
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Very good. I'm sure that "his elevator goes to the top floor" however. :-)
Seriously though, I've found that credibility with customers is a really important point - e.g. confidence that you know what you're doing and will look after them properly.
Many years ago, when I was first getting into technically supporting customers, somebody suggested that the way to go about things in the event of a problem is first to fix the customer and then to fix the problem. It has proved to be invaluable advice.
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Forgetting the cost of the gas used for a minute, you're assuming all that energy is wasted. It's not - only a proportion is. The rest goes to keeping the water inside the boiler warm so it doesn't have to heat up so far when it fires next. More wastage when the system isn't in use though I suppose.
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Hadn't thought of it like that, but there's only so much water inside a boiler. As soon as the pump starts and cold water is drawn in then surely this preheating effect is minimal?
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On 7 Dec 2006 02:17:49 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:
| |> Forgetting the cost of the gas used for a minute, you're assuming all that |> energy is wasted. It's not - only a proportion is. The rest goes to |> keeping the water inside the boiler warm so it doesn't have to heat up so |> far when it fires next. More wastage when the system isn't in use though I |> suppose. | |Hadn't thought of it like that, but there's only so much water inside a |boiler. As soon as the pump starts and cold water is drawn in then |surely this preheating effect is minimal?
But the energy is then used to heat the house, *not* wasted as you imply. Almost all the energy which does not get to the boiler eventually heats the house, so is not wasted.
How many hours in the year do you leave doors and windows open to cool the house? Only during that small time is the energy used by the pilot light truly wasted.
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Of course if a boiler can effectively use this heat to keep the water warm, you might also argue it is just as likely to be radiating it back up the flue, once the balance has been reached between heat gain and heat loss. At what water temperature this might occur, I wouldn't care to guess. At 60 pounds/year and assuming the old boiler is significantly less efficient anyway, an immediate investment in a new boiler could be easily justified.
What surprises me is that a pilot light needs to be set at such a level that it is producing 200W of heat anyway. Most of us would think that leaving 200W of lighting on 24/7 would be wasteful in the extreme, even if electricity is 3 times as expensive as gas.
[Slight topic shift - has anyone bought one of those power usage devices and found it useful? I'm thinking of checking out what power my various toys on standby use. For example, my laptop charger seems to cool right off when off-charge (although I tend to disconnect it anyway) whereas the brick for my DAB radio is always warm.]
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Almost certainly an efficient switch mode supply.

Probably a cheap inneficient transformer and linear regulator.
Anytime the heating is on, the heat from your wall warts isn't wasted.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Indeed.
The radio wasn't cheap ;-) Although I note the even cheaper-feeling lightweight "brickette" for my mobile phone stays cool.

It's lost in the noise, though. I put out way more heat than these silly things, but if I cost money to run, at least it's pleasurable money. Like many people, I am alarmed how quickly a few watts here and there adds up over a year, both by the effect on my pocket and ultimately what it means in terms of fossil fuel use. (I reserve the right to go and waste a similar amount in my car over a weekend, though!)
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It probably also has a poor power factor as well as being left on 24/77. Someone said there's a move afoot to replace all consumer meters with new ones that charge by volt-amps rather than watts. They were coming to do mine this month. Its a double whammy since not only are gadgets like Sky and Freeview boxes left on 24/7 (going to standby doesn't make much difference) but they will charge consumption by the amps instead of real power. Could be nearly 10p per day per box.
rusty
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