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Old 17.03.2019, 13:47
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Electric boiler heating time

Hello

I recently bought an old house near Zurich and I noticed the house has an electric boiler. The capacity is only 200L. I guess this is enough for three people. But when I have guests this will not work because the boiler heats the water only during the night.
A person told me that you need to change a lot and need permission from the electrical department to heat water during the day.
What options do I have?
1- Change the boiler with the bigger boiler.
This will work but a lot of time when water is not used, this will stay in the tank.
2- change the heating and boiler with gas heating and boiler(too expensive)
3 Change the electrical board.
The problem with this option is that my electric board is made of asbestos. and the electrician is not ready to change it. He told me that I should change the complete board with the help of a specialist(to remove the asbestos board ).
3- a small heater for the bathroom(I don't know if this is allowed/possible)

Any other options??
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Old 17.03.2019, 14:03
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

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Any other options??
Temporarily increase the temperature on the boiler thermostat. If the water is heated to 80-90C, you will need proportionally less when mixed with cold water.

Other than that, you should be able to switch on the boiler outside of night tariff, as it is a function of the switchboard, not the boiler itself.
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Old 17.03.2019, 14:29
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

Our electrician installed a switch on our electric board so that we can manually decide to heat water during the day should we want to. It’s expensive though: boilers use a lot of electricity, and it’s more expensive during the day.
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Old 17.03.2019, 14:41
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

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boilers use a lot of electricity, and it’s more expensive during the day.
Only in some places.

Here, for example, it doesn't matter, same price 24/7.

Tom
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Old 17.03.2019, 15:04
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

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Any other options??
Apart from those already mentioned:

Change the shower head for one of those water-saving ones.

Consider an instant hot-water tap for the kitchen (you probably use a fair amount of water here rather than in the bathroom.

Get a dishwasher if you don't have one. That will mean you use less hot water from the boiler.
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Old 17.03.2019, 15:43
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

Like Glinaa says, check the thermostat on the boiler (you might need to unscrew the plastic cover, inside you'll see a small dial or arrow which is where you adjust) so you can up the heating, maybe it cuts out at, say, 55°C at the moment but you could go to 75°C.


Normally you can heat during the day, I don't see why a private house needs permission but you may have wiring that is only on the off-peak circuit and to change this needs work to add a wiring for the normal supply and then a fuse etc. This however shouldn't be a big job, ask a different electrician to pop in for a quote.
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Old 17.03.2019, 18:07
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

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Temporarily increase the temperature on the boiler thermostat. If the water is heated to 80-90C, you will need proportionally less when mixed with cold water.

Other than that, you should be able to switch on the boiler outside of night tariff, as it is a function of the switchboard, not the boiler itself.
I don't know if it is possible to increase the temperature temporary. If I change it permanently, the water will leave calc. and this will be settled at the bottom of the boiler.

The problem with my switchboard is that it is made of Asbestos. The electrician told me that he will not change it .
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Old 17.03.2019, 18:15
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

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I don't know if it is possible to increase the temperature temporary. If I change it permanently, the water will leave calc. and this will be settled at the bottom of the boiler.

The problem with my switchboard is that it is made of Asbestos. The electrician told me that he will not change it .
.
A person responsible for Asbestos should come and take this board with him. He should install a new board. and this will cost 1600 for work 1500 for board and minimum 700 for the person who will come and take the Asbestos board. later he checked and told me that I have old electrical wiring without the third wire. he should change the wiring of the complete house. minimum three days of work. This will take another 8-10 K for wiring. So quite confused about what to do.
Is Asbestos so dangerous so that I should change the board or was he just overreacting?
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Old 17.03.2019, 18:40
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

Asbestos often sits there and does nothing, for as long as it isn't disturbed, e.g. by cutting new holes in the board. That said, it is hard to be sure, and asbestos particles in the air really did cause quite a lot of cancer. If I owned a property with asbestos, I'd make it a point to have a specialist remove it, and depending on how involved the removal was I'd want regular checks of the air for asbestos particles for a few months afterwards.

Changing the board and wiring sounds expensive, but this will also greatly increase electrical safety. A 3-wire system with modern GFI/differential breakers is much less likely to electrocute people, start fires, etc, than an 2-wire system and fuseboard. I'd prioritize switching to modern wiring right up there with asbestos removal.

Regarding the gas vs electric heat question, do you have a sense of the operating cost difference? It might take some savings to make the change (I know a gas furnace can be ~20k in this country), but still, the change might save you some thousands per year, thereby paying for itself in the long term. I'd certainly do some research and run some numbers if gas is reasonably available at your address. However, this is probably another example of something that requires alterations to the electrics - you really need to get that in order.

Last edited by ThomasSSS; 17.03.2019 at 18:51.
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Old 17.03.2019, 19:32
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

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Asbestos often sits there and does nothing, for as long as it isn't disturbed, e.g. by cutting new holes in the board. That said, it is hard to be sure, and asbestos particles in the air really did cause quite a lot of cancer. If I owned a property with asbestos, I'd make it a point to have a specialist remove it, and depending on how involved the removal was I'd want regular checks of the air for asbestos particles for a few months afterwards.

Changing the board and wiring sounds expensive, but this will also greatly increase electrical safety. A 3-wire system with modern GFI/differential breakers is much less likely to electrocute people, start fires, etc, than an 2-wire system and fuseboard. I'd prioritize switching to modern wiring right up there with asbestos removal.

Regarding the gas vs electric heat question, do you have a sense of the operating cost difference? It might take some savings to make the change (I know a gas furnace can be ~20k in this country), but still, the change might save you some thousands per year, thereby paying for itself in the long term. I'd certainly do some research and run some numbers if gas is reasonably available at your address. However, this is probably another example of something that requires alterations to the electrics - you really need to get that in order.
My electric heating is less than gas would cost. And it was the gas company that told me that.
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Old 17.03.2019, 19:34
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

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A person responsible for Asbestos should come and take this board with him. He should install a new board. and this will cost 1600 for work 1500 for board and minimum 700 for the person who will come and take the Asbestos board. later he checked and told me that I have old electrical wiring without the third wire. he should change the wiring of the complete house. minimum three days of work. This will take another 8-10 K for wiring. So quite confused about what to do.
Is Asbestos so dangerous so that I should change the board or was he just overreacting?
The 8 to 10K should also include new wall sockets and such.

The price of the house should have been at the level where you paid for a house with old installations, Investing in new stuff should increase the value of the house and also make it a safer place for you. Same goes for the Asbestos plate, you can even cover it up but it will always be there and there will be a day where they'll force you to remove it due to regulations becoming more strict over time and by that time the prices will be much higher.

As for the rest it is all hard to help you decide, if your electrical boiler is 20 yrs old or even older, I'd say it is a no-brainer to toss it out and install a new one, maybe even just a smaller one combined with a new showerhead for your daily life, (this is a calculation you have to make or pay somebody to make) and a flowthrough heater as extra for if you have guests or the rare days you need more.

I can't look in your budget, but this is also the perfect time to make changes if you want, extra sockets or move their location some, perhaps a newly desired group to the kitchen, diff light switches or whatever. Just make a list of the whole package and have 3 firms coming over to make an offer and take it from there.

And 8 to 10K for a wiring change is damn expensive (assuming he does not have to break open the walls and fix them afterwards), but tbh electricians in this country are simply damn expensive.
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Old 17.03.2019, 20:32
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

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My electric heating is less than gas would cost. And it was the gas company that told me that.
Interesting. If I might ask, what sort of system? Old school resistive heating, or a some variant of heat pump?
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Old 17.03.2019, 21:00
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Re: Electric boiler heating time

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Interesting. If I might ask, what sort of system? Old school resistive heating, or a some variant of heat pump?
Hello Thomas, Thanks for your message. The boiler is only two years old. I don't know why did not they change it at that time??
Regarding the heating, this is electric heating with stones. So stones are heated with the electricity during the night and this boils water which flows through the radiator.
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