I have to open the hot tap a long time before my combi boiler starts working: I am on a water meter so worry about wasting money – can I fix it?
- Some have noticed that it takes a while for their hot tap to work with their combination boiler
- Having a boiler insurance policy is a good way to ensure that you can solve all problems
- We show you what you can do to resolve this situation
I recently had a combination boiler installed and have noticed that I have to open the hot tap before the boiler actually starts.
We’re on a water meter, so we feel like we’re spending a lot on this and it should be wasting a lot of water.
Is there a way to change or fix this?
Those on a water meter are looking for ways to save as much money on their bills as possible
Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies: Saving costs has never been more important, and one of the best ways to do that is to cut your household bills.
Therefore, if you overpay for your water bill because of a problem with your boiler, you will understandably get frustrated.
Having a water meter can be a great way to lower the cost of water bills because you only pay for what you use.
This works as long as you adjust your usage, but is not as beneficial in this situation when you use more than you would like.
You have a combination, also known as a ‘combi’ boiler, which is both a boiler and a boiler in one unit.
Combi boilers heat water directly from the mains when you turn on a tap, so you don’t need a hot water boiler or a cold water tank in the roof space.
They are quite popular because there is a more cost effective and energy efficient solution.
This is because water is heated directly rather than heated and then stored in a cylinder.
An additional benefit is that hot water is supplied under mains pressure, which means you can get a power shower without the need for a separate pump.
In your situation, however, your combi boiler takes the time to respond to the hot water tap being turned on, wasting water – and also paying you more.
If you can, talk to your installer first, and if they can’t help, talk to your manufacturer. It should all be under warranty. If all else fails, contact a plumber for help.
Combination boilers are popular because they heat water directly from the mains when you turn on a tap
A spokesperson for Pimlico Plumbers replies: First, if a new device is installed and it is thought to be faulty or not working properly, the installer is the first point of contact.
After the installer, the manufacturer of the device is next in line and they should come out to investigate under the terms of the factory warranty system.
The delay in the supply of hot water to the hot taps can simply be that the taps are far from the boiler and that too much water must be drained before the heated water reaches the taps.
This problem is difficult to solve with combination boilers. One thing that can be tried out is the use of the comfort mode on the boiler.
This is a function available on many modern combination boilers.
The way it works is that the temperature of the plate heat exchanger is maintained permanently, which means that the heat transfer is faster and the delay in hot water delivery is reduced.
The downside of this is that it is expensive both financially and for the environment, because the temperature of the plate heat exchanger is also kept high during periods of low temperature.
Therefore, most plumbers normally disable this setting for these reasons.
Grace Gausden, This is Money, adds: Having boiler insurance is a good way to make sure you’re covered for any issues.
Paying for boiler cover costs just £ 5 a month and can give you peace of mind when it comes to such a vital part of modern life.
Make sure to check the terms and conditions of a boiler cover – for example, some cheaper plans may require proof of annual service to be valid.
Some plans cost a little more, but include annual service as part of the package.
This type of coverage usually allows for emergency calls, parts and labor costs, and a customer call center.