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Discuss HELP! Boiler not working when set to 'Off Peak' in the Electrical Forum area at ElectrciansForums.co.uk.

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  1. BeckyG
    Offline

    BeckyG EF Member

    Location:
    Bristol UK
    Business Name:
    N/A
    Hi There,

    I'm having a bit of a nightmare trying to sort out a problem with my electric boiler,

    So far I have had 2 electricians, 2 british gas engineers & a plumber take a look - and they haven't been able to get to the bottom of the problem,

    To sum up what's been done so far:

    1st electrician established that there is no problem with the electrics to the boiler & that the boiler itself does seem to be working - he advised that there may be something wrong with the meters itself - that it isn't switching to the off peak circuit

    Called out British Gas - 1st guy arrived, said he had no idea what the electrician was talking about and that it was above what he could do

    Spoke to British Gas again and fully explained - they assured me the next guy would be able to look at this problem. He arrived, and again advised that he didn't understand why they were calling him out, as the electricity to the flat in general is unaffected so the off peak must be working

    Then had 2nd electrician back out again - he thought there might be something wrong with a contactor, so he replaced that. No change.

    Then plumber came out to double check everything on the boiler. He replaced a cable to see if that would make a difference, but it did not.

    My letting agency are trying to tell me that there is nothing more that they can do, as the electrician & plumber are both agreeing that it is British Gas who need to fix this problem with the connection to the off peak circuit,

    But how do I get them to fix it? How can I explain to them exactly what needs to be done? I've tried twice now, using the electricians exact wording and it's still not yielded any results!

    If anyone has any insights whatsoever i'd be extremely grateful,

    The standard switch/boost is really expensive to use on a pay as you go meter so I don't want to be stuck this way! It's also not very good at heating the water enough to have an actual bath.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. TJ Anderson
    Offline

    TJ Anderson Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Derby
    Hi

    Do you have other off peak heaters in the house? Do they work?
     
  3. BeckyG
    Offline

    BeckyG EF Member

    Location:
    Bristol UK
    Business Name:
    N/A
    Hi,

    No, I just have the one boiler & my heaters are just normal electric heaters not storage/night heaters,
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. TJ Anderson
    Offline

    TJ Anderson Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Derby
    Do you have one or two consumer units / fuseboards at your house?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Vortigern
    Offline

    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    What tarrif are you on if I may ask? Has off peak worked before and suddenly stopped working? Can you show a pic of your fuse board and meter possibly? The modern meters get switched by a signal over to economy tariffs. You need to be using more than 4kw to make it worth while. If you are on economy 7 the daytime units are really expensive. Examine what tariff you are on, on your bill.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Pete999
    Offline

    Pete999 Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Business Name:
    None
    Hi Becky, not really much I can help with, an eyes on approach would be Ideal for someone competent, it sound as though BG are sending out jobsworths who, either don't know what they are about, or just doing as they are told by their supervisors.
    As for the letting agent saying there is nothing more they can do is a cop out. I do feel some sympathy for the Electrician and Plumber who have attended, as they may have their hands tied solely because it is BG's problem and they feel if they dabble then they could be in trouble for interfering with something that is not within their remit.
    What to do? maybe get your letting agent arrange a visit from BG with the Plumber and Electrician in attendance, difficult I know because having some experience of BGs "Engineers" I don't have much trust in their abilities, pay peanuts get Monkeys to do the work springs to mind, I feel you have been treated shamefully by both your letting agent and BG, sorry I can't offer any more advice than this. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  7. snowhead
    Offline

    snowhead Forum Mentor

    Location:
    Mildlands
    • Like Like x 2
  8. BeckyG
    Offline

    BeckyG EF Member

    Location:
    Bristol UK
    Business Name:
    N/A
    Sorry, I don't know exactly what you mean?

    I have a fuse box in the flat that is where I go when a switch is tripped and I just have to push it back up,

    And I think there is something in the outside cupboard where the key metre is as well, though i've not seen it myself
     
  9. BeckyG
    Offline

    BeckyG EF Member

    Location:
    Bristol UK
    Business Name:
    N/A
    Yes, it was working fine until a couple of weeks ago.

    I don't have a picture on me, but i'll try and get one when I get home,

    My tariff is as below:

    Supplier British Gas
    Tariff name Safeguard PAYG
    Tariff type Variable
    Payment method Pay As You Go
    Day unit rate 17.62p per kWh
    Night unit rate 8.25p per kWh
    Standing charge 32.03p per day*
    Assumed annual consumption 3,100 kWh
     
  10. BeckyG
    Offline

    BeckyG EF Member

    Location:
    Bristol UK
    Business Name:
    N/A
  11. Murdoch
    Offline

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    Are you the ower or tenent?
     
  12. wirepuller
    Offline

    wirepuller Forum Mentor

    Location:
    south uk
    It is a very simple test for an electrician to check whether the off peak immersion heater will operate when it is energised. Assuming that test is ok and the IH is not operating it is also a simple test to verify the circuit is satisfactory back to its origin. Assuming both of the above are verified if the IH will not work it must be a problem at the supply end. Can you post a picture of the meters and your fuse boxes/consumer units. There must be more than one.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Vortigern
    Offline

    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    I suppose the real testing must be done after 11 p.m. when the night rate cuts in. That is the only way you can say positively what is going wrong. When I said a pic I meant the meter and the place where you go when something trips as you put it. It certainly seems you are on a dual tariff so no problem there. However looking at your switches they are located in a poor environment and if I had attended I would certainly suggest they are raised away from the patently damp area.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  14. Murdoch
    Offline

    Murdoch Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Woking
    I would get a spark to change the off peak isolator for one with a neon indicator - this way you can see if the off peak power is working (you'll need to stay up late or get up early to observe this.

    Then you'll know if its a supply or immersion problem....
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Davisonp
    Offline

    Davisonp Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Amersham
    Business Name:
    Absolutely All Electrical LTD
    Hi,
    From the photo, I would expect you either have two consumer units (similar to my first photo) or it may be all in one consumer unit , but with two red switches (so imagine the photo with the two units combined into one but all the switches will be the same).

    Did the electrician test from the consumer unit? or just at the boiler? If he did not test from the consumer unit, then there may be a problem somewhere between the consumer unit and the boiler (I do occasionally have to change failed switches).
    What I do is to turn off the overnight supply, then provide a temporary supply (plug it into a live socket) and then test each item supplied by the overnight supply confirming each works or identifying each problem as I go.
    There is a photo of my temporary supply, and of the storage heaters I was testing both drawing power showing that if the off peak consumer unit was getting off peak power, then the storage heaters would work.
    There is a photo of the meter setup at the job I was at. There are two sets of power leads going out at the top left of the enclosure. One for a constant supply of power, and one set for the off peak supply only and the box next to the meter is the switch that turns on the off peak power when the meter signals it to do so.
    There is also a photo of what I left for the tenant to pass onto his electricity supplier in the hope they will send the correct person.
    Last time I came across this problem the supplier told the customer that economy 7 does not work like I have explained and the switching is done by the customer equipment, but that is wrong. this is part of the meter setup and the reasonability of the supplier.
    British Gas need to send someone who can fix meter problems and understands and has experience of how the off peak supply is switched on and off.

    I hope this helps.

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    • Like Like x 1
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