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Richard Cranton

Off Peak Immersion on all day

Question

Richard Cranton

Hi TEF,

 

My first posting so will try and observe all rules of the Forum.

 

My dear old Mum was complaining that her hot water was too hot a few days ago. On checking the airing cupboard I noticed that the neon light on the immersion heater switch was on which I've never noticed before. Initially I considered there might be an overall timing problem with her Economy 7 but I've since ruled that out as her Smart display is only showing a few watts being drawn and if the storage heaters were on you would expect to see it drawing several Kwh (I'd manually switched off the hot water at this point). So I think the problem is isolated to the hot water circuit. The tank does have the usual two heaters but the top boost immersion is not working so currently switched off. For now I've managed to overcome the problem by dropping the temperature on the stat so it doesn't get too hot / use too much leccy. There are a couple of time clocks in the kitchen that control the storage heater boosters / towel rails / bedroom heater etc. I've switched these off but hot water heater still on. The garage has numerous consumer units. One with 4 fuses for storage heaters, second has eight fuses for the boosters, bedroom heaters, towel rail and control unit?. The third is the standard domestic CU for ring main, lights etc then the fourth is a single unit marked immersion heater and does control the immersion heater. There is also a box marked Contactors Zone 1 & 2. Inside this box there are two Eberle type 490 40 contactors. I have no idea what these do but seem to be some sort of switch gear. 

 

She  has recently had a smart meter installed but I'm not sure that's the cause of the problem.

 

I would like to get to the bottom of this as I don't really like leaving the immersion on all the time.

 

Questions - What is the purpose of the two contactors and are they linked to the fuse marked control unit? Should the hot water circuit be controlled by the off peak time clock which I assume Is contained in the new smart meter. It has Rate 1 / Rate 2 functionality.

 

At the moment the quick cheap solution would be to site a new time clock between the switch and the immersion but I would rather understand what has gone wrong. Photos of the CU's, contactors available if it would help.

 

Any assistance much appreciated.

 

Richard

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Andy™

id be checking the meter monkey has fitted it correctly

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Geoff1946

If you are really getting all the hot water at off-peak price you are on the right side of the error.  There should be no hazard as a result of that.  

It sounds a really complicated set up with your own timers as well. I can't think why there is more than one, or two contactors, on a domestic set up.

If you really want to understand how it works you are going to have to get an electrician to trace it all out.

I suggest you check you don't have any storage heaters that are on continuously, which would be expensive.

If you are sure there are no other problems,  just set the water 'stat, as you say you have, to a suitable level, and don't worry.

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ProDave

It sounds to me like you have something like Total Control before, which was a complicated system with 2 meters and as well as normal peak and off peak rates offered a 24/7 cheap rate for panel heaters etc.

 

If it was that, then converting to normal economy 7 would require some thought and probably some alterations.  This is beyond the remit and probably the aqility of the meter monkey.

 

You know the off peak is turning on and off okay, it is just the immersion heater that is the problem  With Total Control this has it's own output and it's own 1 way consumer unit.  I am guessing this has now been connected to the 24/7 supply not the off peak supply.

 

What you need is an electrician to come and sort it out with a few alterations.

 

Of course if it was not total control that you previously had, that could all be a load of nonsense, but still an electrician could work it out for you.

 

A classic case of "it was not broken, but you chose (or were bullied) into fixing it with the new smart meter (that won't save you money)"

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Richard Cranton

Thanks ProDave,

 

I think this is the most likely cause of the problem. As you say Storage Heaters working normally off peak so they are OK. I wasn't there when the meter monkey replaced the meters but I know there was a lot of huffing and puffing and a lot of comments about 'this not being a normal system'. I have reported the problem to her supplier who have asked for four days of meter reads before they do anything. Armed with the information you have given me I'm tempted to see if I can get them back to sort it out as they were the initial cause of the problem. If that fails I think the simple solution would be a new domestic immersion heater time clock built into the immersion circuit which I should be able to do.

 

Many Thanks 

Richard

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Andy™
2 hours ago, Richard Cranton said:

 a lot of comments about 'this not being a normal system'.

 

 

they are often trained to a poor standard. usually there is only 4 cables going into the meter. they have to number them 1-4 before they start to help them get them back in the right place on the new meter. give them more than 4 cables and they get confused easily

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Richard Cranton
2 hours ago, Andy™ said:

 

they are often trained to a poor standard. usually there is only 4 cables going into the meter. they have to number them 1-4 before they start to help them get them back in the right place on the new meter. give them more than 4 cables and they get confused easily

 

 

Yes, I got that impression. We had four Lowi Beck Vans and six engineers when we had ours done. They left it up to the lad in training to do the job and the other five smoked and drank tea! 

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kerching
1 hour ago, Richard Cranton said:

 

 

Yes, I got that impression. We had four Lowi Beck Vans and six engineers POORLY TRAINED FITTERS when we had ours done. They left it up to the lad in training to do the job and the other five smoked and drank tea! 

Fixed that for you

 

my daughters mate is a meter monkey.....previous job? POLE DANCER

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