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Urgent : Immersion Heater Change : Certs / Formality Of Works (England / Uk)

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Beginning | 22:22 Sat 15th Apr 2017 | Home & Garden
2 Answers
Hi, I would urgently need advices on the below, and I really hope someone could be of help.

- My flat does not use gas. - The hot water is being supplied from a hot water cylinder and the hot water cylinder is being plugged onto an electricity socket (without switches) to get hot water. I think this is called an immersion heater. - As for heating, my flat is a small studio and I provided my tenant with a protable electrical radiator.

I have to replace my old immersion heater with a new one. It is used only for hot water supply. The organization that will replace it says it will be done like-for-like.

My questions are :

1) How do I know if they really replace it like-for-like ?

2) What should I be aware of ?

3) What should I watch out for ?

4) Do I need any kind of certificates / reports for the replacement ?

5) The immersion heater was already in my flat when I got the flat. I am not sure of the regulations here. Do we have to register such item ? If yes, I am not sure if the old owner has already register it ? If he has not, do I have to register it with the replacement - even when it is like for like ? How do I go about this ?

Looking forward to kind feedback.

Thank you.


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Replacing an immersion heater is no more difficult (apart possibly from the amount of physical effort involved) than changing a 13 Amp plug.

All that needs to be done is to drain the tank, turn the power off, disconnect the wires, unscrew the existing immersion heater (using a special spanner, which any tool hire shop can provide), screw the new one in and connect the wires up again. The actual heater only costs about £15 to £25 and minimal labour is required. (It's only a few minutes work).

The only potential hazard is that, in seeking to ensure that the new heater is screwed in really tightly, it's possible to crack the hot water tank at the point where the immersion heater goes into it. If that happens the crack can simply be soldered up quite easily. (Soldering is meant to be only a temporary fix until a new tank can be fitted but I cracked my own hot water tank, while screwing in a new immersion heater, about 20 years ago and the solder is still holding firm on it now).

Just like changing a 13 Amp plig, there's no 'registration', or other paperwork, involved.
Just wanted to add a couple of things to Chris's post.

Standard immersion elements are 3kw. What varies is the length, but then, whoever fits it can easily figure that out when he pulls out the old one.

Do have a new thermostat fitted at the same time (fits inside the element.) This is invariably the first thing to fail. Has this been checked? It may well be the problem here.

No official certification needed. You are simply replacing like for like.

The only thing I don't particularly like is the fact that it's operated off the socket circuit. This isn't unsafe, but unwise in a studio flat which may well have only one socket circuit. I can't possibly know this of course, but perhaps you could confirm?

In an ideal world, a water heater should have its own dedicated circuit.

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