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Helen_A

Gas rant and desperate advice sought.

I'm fed up with gas!

Got the bill today (first in this house) and converted to KwH we've used more gas than electricity in the last quarter. In terms of bill size the gas is bigger than the electric Shocked

Actually more gas than we have *ever* used in any house (and this house is smaller than the one we spent 9m in last year), and in the previous properties that includes cooking on a gas hob (which we don't have here).

Central heating is on 2 1/2 hours a day at most. (although I think that the thermostat doesn't work at all, because the boiler is on all that time, hence my running the timer 15m on 15 off accross those 2 1/2 hours) Other than that its for hot water (a couple of showers a week, plus 4 ish sinkfulls for washing up).

So in essence I suspect that the majority of gas is used just to keep the pilot light going (can't turn it off on this boiler as far as I can tell, because of some frozen pipe prevention thing?). Is this likely to be the case?

So - thoughts on what I can do about this? No capital for solar HW atm, and no hot tank here or plumbing expertise so suspect that as a job its beyond our means, at least for a wee while Sad If I just turn off the boiler am I going to be making for trouble? (I mean real trouble, not just the row that DP will give me!)

Helen_A
Treacodactyl

Re: Gas rant and desperate advice sought.

Helen_A wrote:
So in essence I suspect that the majority of gas is used just to keep the pilot light going (can't turn it off on this boiler as far as I can tell, because of some frozen pipe prevention thing?). Is this likely to be the case?


I don't know, but you could take a couple of meter readings a few hours apart when only the pilot light is on. That way you could work out how much it uses, the longer apart the readings the better.
marigold

A friend of mine had a massive gas bill because of some fault with the boiler which meant it was constantly pouring hot water into the overflow tank. Can't recall the exact details - I know it's not a combi-boiler and she also had the symptom of the thermostat appearing not to work. I suggest you get a good gas engineer in to check the system over. Tell him/her that the gas bill seems very inconsistent with your usage.
dougal

You may also find that gas is used to maintain a small reservoir of hot water ready to meet demand instantly.

You should be able to check the functioning of the room thermostat by turning it to a temperature very close to the actual room temperature.
You can often hear the thermostat click as it is turned through the actual temperature.
Improving insulation is the way to get more value from the gas used (and thus to use less gas.)
And different houses (terraced, semi, detatched and how exposed) will have different heat loss baselines, even with identical sizes, insulation and glazing.

Energy used for heating (speaking very very generally) dwarfs other house energy consumption.


And I'd also be wondering about the accuracy of the meter reading when you moved in... you might be still paying a bit of the previous occupants' consumption.
Behemoth

My firs reaction is to check the bill details before you fiddle with the pipes and boiler.
Nick

How much is the bill? Might not be that much, when compared to others.
bernie-woman

Behemoth wrote:
My firs reaction is to check the bill details before you fiddle with the pipes and boiler.


Mine too - check that the reading is a real reading not a meter one etc.. managed to get 970.00 knocked off a British Gas bill for one of my clients today Very Happy
Helen_A

Bill is 'correct' (we changed back to our old suppliers from the previous occupants 'choice', who of course tried to 'stiff' us Smile )

Thermostat seems to work as described - but doesn't have any effect on the boiler itself. Not sure where a small amount of water would be being kept as once hot tap turned it takes about 90 seconds to get any hot through as far as the tap.

No overflow tank, or any tank at all (cold or hot). Pretty standard for MK that though. sigh Rolling Eyes

I'm hoping that we are talking about this being just a boiler in need of a service (although according to the paperwork it had one just before we exchanged. but whether that is believeable in the light of other stuff that has gone on Shocked Rolling Eyes ).

I'm desparing with this house atm though. It is double glazed etc, but none of that actually seems to be up to much (but is all UPVC so Rolling Eyes ). Front door fits poorly Rolling Eyes but as its a double glazed unit with built in locks and frame I can't just replace it as we'd have to reinsert the lintel, or go for the same sort of door again,..... basically all stuff that I would happily rip out and start again on, but DP says that I'm over reacting (mind you, he also thinks that I'm overreacting about the state of the kitchen even though he agrees that the wiring is iffy - and I'm under orders from my dad not to use the oven now as he has looked at it, bugger the change in the regs as It means my dad isn't happy to do the wiring for us Sad ). DP also thinks that I'm overreacting wrt the boiler and all that needs to happen is that the insulation needs to be done in the loft... except that as he is working 7 days atm (long story involving a change of career in progress but with some crossover atm) I'd like to know when that is going to happen... Rolling Eyes

I'm going to do as suggested and read the meter over the course of a day when the heating is off etc. and as I'm doing all the washing up etc as well atm I'll go the kettle route (what he doesn't know and all that!)

Bill is embarassingly tiny (under 55) compared to most peoples, its the so-called KwH that we have 'used' that bothers me as we used to use less in KwH and get 'more'.

Oh well, off to try and find a plumber. What I would give for local knowledge these days....
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