Thursday 26 January 2012

Hot Water Tank - Part 2

After 'Hot Water tank part 1' our tank sat in the loft empty and unused for around a month. We looked into how to fit it ourselves but pressure gauges and pumps are maybe better left to the Pros.... so we set off (again) to find a Pro....

That took us another 3 months.

We looked up the HETAS site so that we would only be talking to people who were properly qualified to work with solid fuel systems.
The following are standard responses when we try to get any tradesman in.
2 said that they didn't deal with 'wet systems' (which is where they were listed on the webiste)
2 promised a call back to arrange an appointment - We phoned them back 4 times, then gave up.
2 came to the house to give us a quote but never got back to us with a price (we were told by one of them it must have been lost in the post.... twice...)
1 came to the house and gave us a price £5500 to fit 5 radiators, plumb in the tank and boiler, which would take a week, (the pipe work was already there, he would not provide the boiler and not do any of the electrical work)

Then finally, Gondwana Green Heat, who came back to us with a price within a week and was flexible enough to fit around the work we had done/wanted to do ourselves, 

Gondwana would be able to fit us in before Christmas (the weather was foul and their outside jobs had had to be cancelled)

It was only 
2 weeks till Christmas....

So after a few days planning and researching our week ran as below....
Friday - We had the wood-burner disconnected and moved out of the way.
Saturday - We poured our concrete hearth, bought 4 radiators. Labelled all the pipes in the house, flow, return, hot water and cold mains.
Sunday - We plumbed in and sealed the shower, fitted 3 radiators

Monday -  I laid 9 slate tiles onto our new concrete hearth finished hanging and plumbing in 3 of the radiators
Tuesday - The heating engineer arrived, did all the soldering and plumbing around the tank. We drilled through the floor upstairs and put in the pipework for radiator #4 We then dry-tested the system so we knew there would be no leaks. (pleasantly surprised to have only 2 little niggles that took less than 10 minutes to fix)
Then..... we went shopping for Christmas, getting everything for our family Christmas at home and Boxing day for 21 of my family.
Wednesday - Well, Wednesday was a lazy day, I caught up with housework and started preparations for 3 days of solid cooking over Christmas.
Thursday - The engineer came back, with the electritian and we got our stove back in and our hot water and heating up and running.... and I had a shower in my own house for the first time in 10 months.... Bliss!
Friday - Finished! Logged off, put on a DVD and had a drink and a packet of crisps (on which I broke a tooth, but that's another show)

 * * *

It was one of the craziest weeks we have spent... but the week before Christmas always is for me.

Now we pack the stove full of wood and a few hours later
we have all the central heating and hot water we can use.

Which is pure bliss after living for 5 years with neither

The Nitty Gritty:

  • The radiators are Kudox brand from Screwfix, they do a good range and I really do like the quality and feel of them.... and at a better price than elsewhere too.
  • The tank is a McDonald Engineers' thermFLOW 210 Thermal Store it has a (currently unused) coil for solar, a coil to heat hot water, the water in the main tank is heated by the woodburner and pumped round the radiators.
  • Our wood burning stove is a Clearview 650 with 48,000BTU boiler

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