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Storage heater / Economy seven

Postby Neil_h » Thu May 06, 2021 6:46 am

Hi, I hope this makes sense.
I have a storage heater which is hard wired into a socket and runs on economy seven. It pretty old, I'd like decent heating in the evening and so I would like to replace it with an electrical heater that I can switch on and off when I need it.
I wonder if someone can help me with two questions - I assume that this new heater needs to go into a normal plugged socket, and if so when I run it during the night does it go onto economy seven automatically, or does it keep running on the normal tariff?
Thanks so much for any advice.
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Postby ericmark » Thu May 06, 2021 12:54 pm

Economy 7 is a tariff not a system, it started off with the white meter and the whole meter was turned on/off, but as time went on people wanted to use other items over night, and also use a boost during the day, so there have been a collection of methods, including a signal wire to tell the heaters when to switch on, and Economy 10 with a built in boost for all.

It seems Scotland has a system not used in the rest of the country, so it all depends how it is wired. There is no single method any more.
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Postby Mr White » Thu May 06, 2021 4:26 pm

Neil_h wrote:I assume that this new heater needs to go into a normal plugged socket, and if so when I run it during the night does it go onto economy seven automatically


If you plug your heater into a normal socket then it will be charged at the normal rate when ever you use it.

"Economy 7" (Call it what you will) is designed to be used at specific times, and is often connected to a dedicated consumers unit, which has storage heaters connected to it. When it comes on it heats the storage heaters overnight for daytime use. So if you could connect your heater to economy 7 it will only work when economy 7 is on.

That said, some systems do not have a dedicated consumers unit and instead use the ordainairy consumers unit with the heaters having remote switching (But YOU can not change the time the heating comes on)

In short you can not "mix" the two

I find an oil filled radiator works well, but then it depends on the size of the room.
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Postby ericmark » Fri May 07, 2021 12:11 pm

What Mr White says was true back in the 80's, however not true today, as I said Economy 7 is a tariff not a wiring system.

Many have ended up with a large bill where the heater's clock is wring, it did use radio 4 time signals to either change the charge rate or switch on the radiators.

It was common to have dedicated wiring and supply for the off peak, but so you can have a boost it has been changed over the years.

The central storage area system does work well, there was a hot air system I saw in some council houses in North Wales, with a central hot room well insulated and thermostatic and timed fans to put heat into the rooms when required, with fans off central store would keep hot for a week.

But in the main hot water is now used, large well insulated cisterns heated over night and conventional central heating radiators, but water at 90ºC cooled to 30ºC has a limit to energy stored. A 40 gallon tank can give 3 kW for 4 hours, basic gallons/10 = hours at 3 kW, and 3 kW is a reasonable loss to outside, so looking at around 160 gallons to store enough to give 3 kW all the time electric power is off. The size of the central store becomes a problem, so the economy 10 or boost option means you don't need the huge store.

But storage radiators are not really central heating, there is nothing central about them.
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