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Boiler is old/inaffecient and too expensive to run? do we have any rights


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Hi there

 

it's freezing out there and we put our boiler on and within 10 minutes it had used up 80p so we worked out to heat our house for 1 hour would cost £4.80, £134.00 a week which is ridiculous we have had the gas man over who has said oh well its an old boiler and the management company don't seem to care either, we have contacted our supplier and they have confirmed it isn't there tarriff

do we have any rights if we cannot afford to heat our property or have hot water.

 

our tenancy agreement doesn't run out till July

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Hi gill

 

Thats ridiculous. I think the best thing might be to contact Shelter and get some free advice from them.

 

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold/rights_and_responsibilities

 

Alternatively you might be better off getting another form of heating. But check the power consumption.

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thanks for the reply rebel11

 

we have electric oiled filled radiators which are very economical and we do have a electric shower unit in the bath but the walls in the house are very damp and moldy because we aren't putting the heating on in the full house just one room at a time mainly the front room, so we are all wearing new pj's, we have hot water bottles. we have 2 children aged 5 & 7 it's not fair on them

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Apologies if teaching grandmother to suck eggs.

 

Firstly, have you calculated your usage correctly, because this sounds like far too much for any boiler to maintain without melting to slag!

 

If you have a metric meter, each meter unit is a cubic metre which is about 11kW/hours.

If you have an imperial meter each meter unit is 100 cubic feet which is about 32kW/hours.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/consumer_advice/latest_meters_pic.shtml

 

Roughly, a boiler for a 3 bed house might burn about 30kW when going at full strength, which equates to approx 80p per hour or so(?). Though once the boiler is up to speed it isn't usually on all the time.

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That's clearer. It means that the boiler may be fine, but the prepayment meter may not be.

 

Are you able to repeat your test but read the gas meter? (and follow the instructions I gave).

 

Is the gas meter one supplied by the gas company? Check the unit cost of the gas with the supplier and see if you can switch to a cheaper supplier.

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As the EDF figures exclude 5% VAT (I checked them on the web) at those rates, 77p of gas equates to 15kWhours (54p for the first 7.34kWhours and 3p per kWhour for each subsequent kW hour).

 

This still sounds like a lot for a domestic boiler to use in 10 minutes. Are you quite sure it was just 10 minutes? How many radiators in your house?

 

However, you should not multiply by 6 to calculate the cost for an hour, because the first few units are the most expensive. The second and subsequent 10 minute periods would cost (at the above rate) 45 pence, not 77 pence.

 

However, the boiler is unlikely to need to run continuously. It might be worth getting a better estimate of the costs of running the boiler for, say, 3 hours. Also, read the gas meter before and after to check that the prepayment meter is set up correctly.

 

Boilers are relatively simple things, and even old boilers are relatively efficient. I have a friend who installs boilers for a living. He has complained that the council have installed a modern condensing boiler in his house that is *less* efficient than the old one he used to have.

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basically over the space of an hour he switched it on for a minute here and a minute there then he switched it off and we checked the meter and it was 11.40 then we switched it back on with the water too and it was 11.23 within a couple of minutes

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When you first switch on a central heating system it has to warm up all the radiators, so will be on constantly for a while. Then assuming it is not -10C outside, the boiler will only need to run for some of the time to keep the radiators warm. And if you have a thermostat, the boiler may switch off completely for a while.

 

Switching it on for a minute here and there won't give you accurate figures.

 

If you want to submit a complaint, I would suggest that you start with a cold house today (as it's nice and cold outside), and run the boiler for, say, 3 hours having taken readings of the gas meter, as well as the amount of money.

 

While you are doing that, check all the radiators and note down which ones get warm (or not) and whether they are warm throughout - top, middle and bottom. If they are cold at the top, they need bleeding (easy to do). If they are cold at the bottom, they need a flush (plumber's job). If they are generally cold, it could be a pump problem.

 

All the information could be useful in helping a gasman diagnose the problem.

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thanks for your reply

 

only problem is if we are right then 3 hours would mean wasting £12.00 which we don't have to waste, when the plumber was here we mentioned this to him and he just shrugged and said well it's old.

I will approach the subject of a new boiler to the management company and if they are not interested in mentioning it or the landlord isn't interested in changing it (he won't repair the letter box or seals on the windows) then we will probably just give our notice in to move in May and leave in July but make sure wherever we go we check the boiler before we take the place lol. I have found out that if we press the matter he can give us notice to leave

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Decide how much you are prepared to risk, and run it for a shorter period - but you need longer than 10 minutes!

 

For all the reasons I've given your expectations are *wildly* exaggerated.

 

Heating individual rooms by oil radiator is obviously cheaper, but in general gas is one-third the cost of electricity if you want to heat the whole house and cut down the damp levels.

 

We are at the start of a long cold spell and possibly the start of a cold winter - the sooner you check this out the better for you and your kids.

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