We live in an old cottage that has storage heaters and an immersion only hot water system. Im trying to get our bills down a bit and have noticed 2 things. We have a Horstmann tele meter and are on Economy 7 tarif. Heres the thing, if i turn the wall switches on for the heaters they light up at any time of the day and not just when my cheap electric is supplied, im assuming the light means they are getting power? Also on the hot water tank we have 2 elements, economy and normal, again if i switch both the wall switches on both lights come on at any time. Anyone else using this tarif/system? Does this seem right?
Economy 7 hot water - Any Experts?
I didnt think E7 tarifs still existed.
the set up in my flat is for the storage heaters to work on a circuit that is switched on during the cheap period only, which i believe is that standard way E7 systems were all configured.
The previous owner of your house might have bypassed the timing switch near the meter to allow the use of heaters at any time. My immersion heater only has one element and runs off a different timer i can set myself.
Avoid using storage heaters during the day as your bill will be eyewatering.
I halved my e7 bills through a couple of ways.
1. Draft proofing - hunt down every little draft especially in sitting rooms and bedrooms as they make it feel colder than it really is.
2. If you own the place look at getting as much loft insulation in as possible
3. Wear more layers and buy warm slippers - simple but often overlooked
4. Plug-in oil filled electric heaters can be more effective and cheaper than storage heaters if you are only heating a room for a short period of time.
Thanks for the tips, have employed most of those things on that list, sounds like the heaters and hot water may be wired up wrong..?
When the light is on, do you hear a sound like hissing in the tank, almost a noise like a kettle ( it is actually called Kettling)?
If the light is on, and the tank is cold, and there is no noise, then the element isn't on. The timer is remote operated by the leccy comapny so the bottom immersion is controlled by them - your upper immersion is controlled by you to give you access to hot water at anytime, but only approx 1/2 a tank.
Essentially,the tank should be sized to store a whole days 'average' use when heated by the e7 element. You should only need to use the upper immersion on e odd occasion, unless you are particularly clean, or the tank is too small.
Edit - what Soy says is also correct but I've taken it that the teleswitch is wired correctly. Try the different switches when the cylinder is cold and see which you have control of. The teleswitching is usually live for 2 hours between 1pm-5pm and 5 hours between midnight and 5am. You might also have a couple of hours between 9and 12 am. Depends on the leccy company
My parents cottage has storage heaters on E7 via a radio controlled timer switch thing. You can't turn them on until the timer lets you - so sounds like yours aren't wired up right....
Unless they've been wired in parallel so you can use them ad hoc as well as on E7 - but then you'd have two switches for them? NB Never heard of this type of config.....
Hmmm interesting, ive had both immersion switches on for 2 years. Pretty sure that the economy heating element is on all the time... if this was the case is this down to me or can i get the leccy co to check my meter? Thanks for all the help..
edit. btw in the meter cupboard i have one meter and 2 consumer units (if thats the right word) no sign of a timer..
As has been said, you should have two feeds into the house - two meters ('low'/night and 'normal'/day) that go into two consumer units. The 'low' circuit is switched by your supplier. We noted that ours doesn't always come on for a consistent 7-8 hours, and sometimes doesn't come on overnight, comes on in the day instead etc. In our setup, the storage heaters are only on the E7 circuit and therefore only come on when the cheap rate tariff is active. Our immersion has two switches, as Smudger says, with the cheap rate immersion at the base and a 'boost' switch (available during the day but it obviously costs more) heating an element at the top of the tank. Do you have two consumer units?
the best way to tell if there on is to watch the dial on the meter spinning round.. get used to what everything off looks like and go round switching stuff on and off you ll be amazed as will your friends..
If you've had both switches on constantly, do you not hear the immersion cycling (i.e. hear the kettling beanieripper described)? It'll be constantly heating the tank, whereas for our household of 2 adults, we put ours on for maybe 1 hour in the morning and it's hot. As well as checking your circuits, sounds like you could at least turn the switches off manually and try just heating the water for 1-2 hours a day and see if that makes a difference to your usage, then go from there.
Note that if the supplier is providing a feed to two meters, then what happens in your house (i.e. up to the consumer units and onwards) is your problem. If your not sure what your doing / looking at, then obviously get an electrician in.
Thanks for all the advice. Ive had the normal element turned off for a few hours. The bottom element labeled economy is still working as i can hear the tank heating up. If they are both on all the time then surely im better off only using the top one marked normal? Surely if i leave the bottom one on all the time its heating the whole tank rather than the top one which would only heat the top half??
You're right, but the bottom one is on the off peak tarrif and he upper is on the peak rate.
Also the top alf of the tank may not be sufficient.
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