Problems with water heater
20th December 2017 at 09:54 #1816759
I’d appreciate any advice. I have a hot water heater that is far too large (200 lires) for a single person and which is located in my ‘cave’ on the ground floor, while I live on the third. It is a relic of when the building was a hotel and bits of it sold off after converting to studios and small apartments and a B&B.
The problem is that the hot water heater operates from 22.00 to 06.00 during the cheap rate hours but recently has started not to swith on at the appointed time. I got a man round from EDF who tried the link from the nearby EDF mains meter (a Lynky, recently subject to a lot of local complaints) and it seems to be working intermittently. The whole installation (at the hot water cylinder) is at least 10 years old, and the on-off/night rate controller suffering from old age.
The easiest solution is to replace the hot water cylinder for a smaller one, using the existing electric and water connections, and replace the on-off device – I have seen ads for the LeGrand Interrupteur Horaires and wonder if any of you experts can recommend the best way to solve the problem – ignore the ‘heures creuses’ or leave the heater premanently on. In my previous apartment I changed a similarly large heater for a 50 litre with a red light and on/off switch – it was of course conveniently located ih the apartment so easy to control.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I am awaiting an electrician who does odd jobs in the building but it’s now 10 days since I had any hot water! Thanks to all – Peter.
20th December 2017 at 11:57 #1816770
- This topic was modified 20 Dec 2017 09:58 by peterdanton.
Something in the air these days, a cloud of LINKY problems.
To give you an impression of the way how your hot water boiler is, or should have been connected in the Medieval Times before smart meters made their appearance this copy/paste exercise from a discussion on Angloinfo last week:
” For the old disc type meters there is a so called relais de découplage ( a separate relay) with it’s associated wiring: see this diagram.
For the newer digital ones made by Sagem and others this is the wiring scheme.
LINKY as we all know is supposed to do everything better, so it does support the heures creuses/heures pleines trick, night tariff.
One possibility: the installation crew did not connect the two “fil pilote” wires correctly inside LINKY on the EDF switched contacts. See page 22 of the technical manual where they write:
“Le contact sec : comme pour le CBE, le compteur est doté d’un contact sec nommé C1-C2, qui permet au client de commander ses usages. L’état du contact sec est transmis à la TIC. ”
To continue, a second possibility: the installation crew was in such a hurry trying to achieve their targets set by ENEDIS that they “forgot” to do the programming of your heures creuses/heures pleines tariff. Please come back to finish your job.
Third possibility: the relay by the French name “contacteur jour/nuit” is defective.
Number 4: wiring problem.
Number 5: water heater has gone to see his maker. Check: set the relay on position manual. Or start measuring: is there 230 volt coming in, is there a sign of some resistance in the heating elements using a multimeter after having switched of your main switch. Or a defective max temperature sensor: stays in “open” position.
Number 6: something wrong at a higher level, the ENEDIS grid.
RA20th December 2017 at 12:25 #1816774
danthemanParticipantJoined: 16 Nov 2014Location: FranceTotal posts: 2283
Maybe it would be a good idea to use the manual override switch and see if it heats up. If it does, you will at least have hot water until it gets fixed.20th December 2017 at 12:38 #1816780
Manual override: switch to position I, the first module of this trio. And see if your cheap rate is not an expensive rate. Already back in 2010 the French consumer organisation “60-millions-de-consommateurs” commented on the the EDF tariff changes in August of that year: should we hang on to the dream of the cheap rate? Not so sure, perhaps useful for big families. But for many of us the “tarif de base” will be the way to go from now on. Knowing your annual consumption it’s simple math.
RA20th December 2017 at 12:53 #1816785
Good advice re the marche forcé.
Going further, the problem appears to be the linky meter not switching so changing the contacteur jour/nuit will not solve anything.
Given the layout of your building (I have the ballon in the cave for one of my apparts) are you certain that it is actually connected to your electric supply, maybe its to someone elses and they have switched off the breaker? maybe its communal? If there is more than one ballon in the cave perhaps you are paying for all of them, in anc=y case there should not be cables from different supplies in the same local.
Changing to a smaller ballon will not give you the economies you expect, you only heat up the extra 100l or 150l once, thereafter you are only rehating the amount of water that you have drawn, the thermal losses from a larger cylinder are propertionately less than a smaller one due to the surface area:volume ratio.
Where you are getting huge losses is from dragging the water up several floors through cold pipes, it would be in your interests to get an électricien to fit one in your apartment, possibly a smaller one to fit in a cupboard, they will all fit in a standard 60cm kitchen unit, I have a 150l ballon above my washing machine.
If the switching problem cant be resolved then fit a timer like one for a UK immersion heater set to come on for 6 hours in the middle of the heures creuses plage, that way you wont have to change the settings when the clocks change.20th December 2017 at 12:57 #1816787
yes, I forgot that, HP/HC abonnement only makes sense if you have storage heaters, not only is the abonnement higher but you pay more for every daytime unit than on the standard tarif, you could be saving 2cts on each kw/h during the night and paying 1ct extra for every daytime one and they may be 3 times more numerous.
It is now a scam for all but those with storage heaters and for me now its marginal, the winter savings over a few months are almost outweighed by the premium I pay for the daytime units all year round.20th December 2017 at 16:08 #1816834
Very many thanks for all your replies, suggestions and diagrams, which I have downloaded and printed. Just to clarify recent history, the ballon failed to deliver hot water one night about 4 weeks ago, I did nothing and the following night it worked and that has been the position until a week ago when it cut out again and I tried various positions of the switches without success. I have told all this to the elusive plumber/electrician (and the man from EDF).
What is maddening is I have said to p/e Why not try and fix the switch(es) first and we’ll get to replacing the ballon later when he has more time. At least I might have hot water. I await his promised visit…….
Many thanks, I will keep you posted for information.20th December 2017 at 16:59 #1816852
kathycParticipantJoined: 30 Aug 2005Location: MussidanTotal posts: 3579
Given the size of your tank, if you found yourself with no hot water one day, might that not mean that the ballonn hadn’t turned on for several nights?20th December 2017 at 17:03 #1816856
Good point Cathy, almost certainly.21st December 2017 at 10:51 #1816942
Thanks to kathyc and chanceux for your comments. As I noted in my story, about three weeks ago I woke up and had no hot water. I did nothing and the next night it came on again – and that lasted unil Wednesday last week. The EDF man (this Monday) did some test connexions to the ‘ballon’ which sometimes worked, sometimes not – and recommended replacing the ‘interrupteur’ next to the ballon and I am awaiting the electrician/plumber to do just this and sort out changing the ballon later. I have manually set it to ‘I / On’ or ‘Auto’ but no results, not a drop of hot water so far. The plumber is due ‘this week’ he says……..P-DdeR21st December 2017 at 11:07 #1816948
So did the EDF guy hot-wire one of the terminals on the ballon to see if it clicked Peter?
You said it worked sometimes, sometimes not, then its most likely a sticky mechanism, to get hot water while waiting for its replacement slide the marche forcé button on and off vigorously and repeatedly then leave in the over-ride (marche forcé) position.
Before doing this check the current drawn on the Linky, if your efforts are successfull you should be drawing 2Kw + more afterwards, this will rule out the possibility that the ballon has failed.21st December 2017 at 11:36 #181695021st December 2017 at 13:50 #1816966
Ah yes, forgot that, I should know what I am doing by now but recently solved a buzzing noise from my contacteur HP/HC which I have suffered for a decade by tightening the screws I didnt when I installed it, it too had started to deconner.
Definitely tighten the screws (with an insulated screwdriver) Peter.21st December 2017 at 15:33 #1816988
Annabelle’s PapaParticipantJoined: 08 Sep 2012Location: Worcestershire & Brittany 22Total posts: 716
We had an old hot water tank that the only option was on and off and you had to do it manually but someone had put a plug on it and a mechanical plug in timer set for the cheap rate, worked brilliantly for us and when we sold the house the purchasers only changed the tank because they wanted a bigger more insulated tank but had a plug put on it and carried on with the mechanical timer. It probably brakes loads of rules but it worked !21st December 2017 at 17:13 #1817001
Once again thanks for all your help and advice. The EDF man did all of the things recommended – I was listening for the clicks – and following latest posts I have been downstairs and tried them again. Will see if anything happens overnight. Still awaiting the plumber but spoke to his wife – hubby should be around tomorrow – ‘normalement’ (that wonderful Frech get-out).