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How can I user Economy 7 hot water cylinder?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Shanon, 6 May 2008.

  1. Shanon

    Shanon

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    My husband and I recently moved into our flat which has an Economy 7 Cylinder for our hot water. The make is J. Baguley & Sons Ltd. It is a Direct Combination Unit 1400mm x 450mm.

    There does not appear to be any timer at all, the only visible controls are two switches that are not labeled. One switch is connected to the top part of the cylinder while the other to the bottom. We have no idea how to operate this and require some assistance as we're getting tired of cold water. Take a look at these photos as an example:


    I understand that the most economical time to switch it on is between 12:00AM and 7:30AM. Does this mean that we should set our alarm for midnight to turn the tank on or should we always keep the switches both on and the machine will do the work for us? Any information on how to operate this machine would be most beneficial!

    Any help would be most appreciated!
     
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  3. Robbie99x

    Robbie99x

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    Get someone in to fit a timer.
     
  4. seco services

    seco services

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    it will only be economical if your electric is Economy 7.
    if not it will cost the same to heat day/night.
    if you switch the bottom one on when you go to bed you'll have a full tank of hot water for the whole day.
    you can buy timer to use on these save keep switching on/off.
     
  5. Shanon

    Shanon

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    Thank you for your help! So then I presume that in the morning we would flick the bottom switch off again? Is the top tank for override if we run out of hot water during the day?

    Thanks again for your help!

     
  6. seco services

    seco services

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    yes switch bottom one off and if you use alot of your hot water use the top to boost the heat again for say a hot bath.
    but in your case if your not on economy 7 electric it won't be any cheaper what ever you use top or bottom.
    you can always ask your elecy company to put you on ec7 then it will be cheaper to heat your water at night and just boost it in the day time.
     
  7. stem

    stem

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    The bottom element is designed to heat the whole cylinder at the cheap rate to last you all day, but if you do run out of hot water, the top element is to there to top it up when cheaper electricity is not available.

    You may find (especially if you also have storage heaters in the property) that the bottom element is automatically operated during the off peak rate. The fact that the switch doesn't have a light on suggests to me that this is likely. However, it's easy to find out if it is.

    1. Check your meter to see if it has two readings. Normal and Low, (or you might have two separate meters) If you just have one reading you're not on the economy tariff. Assuming you do have two, then, make sure that both elements are switched off and the water in the cylinder is cool, then:

    2. Check that the normal (day) reading is selected on your meter, usually it has an arrow pointing to it. Get someone to turn on the bottom immersion only and see if the meter speeds up. If it does, your immersion is not on the economy tariff. If it doesn't speed up, you will have probably an element that only operates when the cheap rate is on. Try the same test when the arrow is pointing at the low reading (you might have to stay up late, or get up early to do this) and if it speeds up then you have confirmed that it only works on the cheap rate.

    If this is the case, then the bottom element switch should be left permanently on (24/7) and it will automatically come on when the electricity is cheaper. leave the top element off and only use it as a top up if necessary as it will cost you about 3 times as much to run.

    Don't worry about the cost of heating the whole tank, the insulation will keep it hot for the next day if you don't use it. The far cheaper cost of the electricity far outweighs any escaped heat.

    By the way if you are on the cheap rate, some suppliers also give you an afternoon boost for a coupe of hours.
     
  8. JohnD

    JohnD

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    if you can post some pics showing your electricty meter(s), timeclock (if any), consumer units(s) and the various cables between them, we can probably explain what your installation is doing, and if you can save money by running your washing machine/tumble drier/dishwasher at night.

    Have you got storage heaters btw?

    Also have a look at your electricity bill and see if it charges you a different (cheap) off-peak rate and a high (daytime) rate. It is possible to have an off peak meter but be charged standard price for all units :eek:
     
  9. JoeL

    JoeL

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    I have a similar cylinder as in the pictures posted by Shanon (Crown Brand - Kesteven Copper Cylinders) and yesterday morning suddenly no hot water. It's been working perfect with only the night time (bottom switch on always) and have never had a need to switch the top (boost) switch on. However, at having no hot water for a shower, I hit the top switch and it 'tripped' the fuse at the mains. I reset it at the mains, tried the top switch again and same thing happened (guessing I will need to replace the fuse but don't know if that will make the switch work).
    In chatting with a colleague he mentioned that it may be the elements or thermostat (wherever that may be - I haven't had a chance to investigate the cylinder properly yet to see what else is attached apart from the two switches.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  11. seco services

    seco services

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    more likely the elements are knackered.
    do a resistance test on them with a multi meter
    make sure the powers off first.
     
  12. Whitespirit66

    Whitespirit66

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    Bearing in mind that you live in a flat, you will make yourselves very unpopular with your neighbours if you run your washing machine late at night.

    A few years ago, I had the misfortune to live below some complete ass holes, who used to do their washing at all hours. Having to wear ear plugs so that I couldn't hear their ancient machine clanging away on its spin cycle was no fun. :(

    But then again, if you hate your neighbours, carry on! :evil:
     
  13. JoeL

    JoeL

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    Thanks a lot seco, will try and do that this weekend. Cheers
     
  14. D_Hailsham

    D_Hailsham

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    That all depend on how old and noisy your appliances are!

    We have been running our washing machine, dishwasher and tumble drier overnight for years and they have never woken us up. The secret is to set them to come on so they finish just as you are getting up.
     
  15. Whitespirit66

    Whitespirit66

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    Making a big assumption here, but you live in a house, you sleep upstairs and the machine is downstairs?

    In the case of a flat (as it was in my case) the machine is above you, with only a few inches of concrete between it and your flat. I can tell you for a fact that when that machine is on at 3am you will definitely hear it - LOUD!

    People who live in flats and think its OK to run washing machines at 3am (whilst also doing the hoovering!! - but thats another story) should be taken out and shot :evil:
     
  16. madfrank67

    madfrank67

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    My daughter recently moved into her own flat and has exactly the same problem as you had and her hot water cylinder is identical to the one in the picture. Luckily it's summer and she is managing to bath in cold water with just a couple of ketlles of hot added. She phoned to ask me whether she needs a plumber or electrician. I have a horrible feeling she is going to need a new element. Would be grateful to know how your problem was solved.
     
  17. seco services

    seco services

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    only one way to solve it fit new elements
     
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