There must be a better way?

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
RetiredRailwayWorker
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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:20 pm

There must be a better way?

Postby RetiredRailwayWorker » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:15 am

Who else has this switch from solar heating to electric heating for their hot water where you have to undo screws on a metal panel remove it then turn the switches then put the panel back and tightening the screws (on some shitty rusting metal panel! We have been talking about changing to plastic for ages).We have 17 all with different size panels.I said to the wife there must be a neater tidier way of having a switch with no panels to remove! She says this is the way it`s always been! This is Greece!
Last edited by RetiredRailwayWorker on Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jeffstclair
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Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby Jeffstclair » Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:39 am

I don't understand ..when you say you have 17 ...17 what ?... what type of system have you got ?.When I installed our very simple solar water heating system with one tank and one solar panel, we did not have any electric power at the house , at that time I only came over in the summer to work on the house ... But when we jumped ship and moved here full time ,we got hooked up to the lecky ...and I got the sparky to put a switch in the bathroom to control the immersion heater in the tank on the roof .... It stays switched off 8 months of the year ..sounds like you have a more sophisticated system ..tell us more ...
Last edited by Jeffstclair on Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Yin&Yang
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Location: Megala Horafia/Aptera

Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby Yin&Yang » Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:26 am

We have a lever close to our boiler which runs on oil which when turned towards the boiler it means that either our boiler is on OR can be switched on when we want hot water and/or heating. When like these past few days we choose to heat hot water via our solar panels we turn the lever away from the boiler. That is all we do and it is how the plumber sorted us out when we built the house five years ago. So unless I am misunderstanding, there may be a simpler solution for you. Have just re read your post and realise that you are talking about an immersion heater, so perhaps my comments are irrelevant.

Lynn
Someday is now : )

YoMo2
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Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby YoMo2 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:24 am

Whatever it is you are talking about, there has to be an easier way. Try describing it again, or posting a photo.

Andrew

Jeffstclair
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Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby Jeffstclair » Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:51 am

Yeah I agree with YoMo2 ....need more info . Have you tried leaving the switches you described in the on position ...and switching off the power that feeds them at the trip switch / in the fuse box /consumer unit.. that is how the folk in my village switch the immersion heaters on and off... I 'm weird 'cos I have a switch in the bathroom ....because on a winters night after a hot shower I don't want to get dressed go out to the workshop to switch it off ..NB .most of the houses here the bathroom and loo is a separate building across the yard so it's fine for them ...but I'm not so tough ...

Houmeri91
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Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby Houmeri91 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:33 am

Yes sounds like need switches on the electrical circuits to the panels or just use the circuit breaker in the main panel which seems to be the normal method anyway. When I was try to get our spark to fit a switch for this purpose it was a alien concept ended up buying a UK timer switch to fit myself so can just boost for 15 min , 30 min or an hour so on a partially sunny day just heats enough and automatically switches off so don't have to remember to switch off.

Tim
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Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby Tim » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:46 am

Yes, I chopped a 20A double pole immersion switch into the circuit from the consumer unit to the solar heater. But as houmeri91 suggests, I had to bring the switch from UK.

Tim

Jeffstclair
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Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby Jeffstclair » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:16 am

Houmeri91 wrote:Yes sounds like need switches on the electrical circuits to the panels or just use the circuit breaker in the main panel which seems to be the normal method anyway. When I was try to get our spark to fit a switch for this purpose it was a alien concept ended up buying a UK timer switch to fit myself so can just boost for 15 min , 30 min or an hour so on a partially sunny day just heats enough and automatically switches off so don't have to remember to switch off.



Good plan a timer switch ....mmm..I only switch ours on for 20 mins or so this time of year ...more if we have people staying ...

Kamisiana
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Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby Kamisiana » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:53 am

The mystery and joy of Greek electrickery had to sort a lot of ours in new build house and add UK fittings even fitted a bank of UK sockets with its own RCD, think the original electrician was colour blind never seen so many different colour cables live even a pretty green and yellow one, my neighbour nicknamed him the prince of darkness as every time he came back for snags all the lights went off :lol:

Kathleen
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Location: North East UK/ex Rethymnon

Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby Kathleen » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:34 pm

I had a switch in the consumer panel to turn on the immersion heater. I only ever used it in the colder months, however, for twenty minutes or so. I used to set the cooker timer to remind me to turn it off!

Never had to do anything with the solar installation other than have the anode changed in the tank every two years, when the immersion element was also de scaled.

Kathleen

Kilkis
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Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby Kilkis » Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:59 pm

I suspect RetiredRailwayWorker doesn't have a modern consumer unit, Kathleen.

An alternative to a 20 A switch is to use a 20 A relay. Normally the immersion heater operates off its own circuit breaker which doesn't feed any other circuit, unlike most of the other breakers that feed multiple outlets. Most people just use the breaker as a switch to turn the heater ON/OFF. Really this is bad practise as breakers are not designed to be used repeatedly as switches but it does work. If you add a 20 A relay to the consumer unit and feed the live wire from the breaker through one pole of the relay you can leave the breaker on all the time and use the relay coil to switch the power to the immersion heater. The advantage of doing it this way is that you can use a normal low current switch mounted outside the consumer unit to switch current through the coil and so turn the relay on and off.

An alternative to a timer switch is a one shot system if it is possible to bring an extra wire back from the immersion heater to the consumer unit. It doesn't need to have a high current rating. You use a 20 A relay like the above solution but it needs to be double pole. You feed the live wire to the immersion heater through one pole and use the second pole to configure it as a latching relay. At the immersion heater end the live wire goes through the thermostat and connects to the live side of the heating element. You connect the extra wire to the element side of the thermostat so it will feed live voltage back to the consumer unit only when the thermostat is closed, i.e. the water is below the set temperature. You then feed the extra wire back through the second set of relay contacts to the live side of the coil. You also connect a momentary action switch from live to the live side of the coil.

The system operates as follows. Initially both sets of contacts are open and the momentary action switch is open so there is no power to the heater. The thermostat is closed because the water is below temperature. When you press the momentary action switch a current is fed through the coil and both contacts of the relay close. That applies power to the heater through the first contacts and the thermostat. That voltage is fed back from the heater side of the thermostat through the extra wire and the second set of contacts to the coil so the relay remains switched on even when the momentary action switch opens, i.e. it is latched in the ON position. When the water reaches the set temperature the thermostat opens and so there is no voltage fed back to the coil and both sets of relay contacts open. Eventually the water cools below the set temperature and the thermostat closes again but the relay does not close because the voltage cannot feed back to the coil through the second set of contacts as they are open. A simple one shot system that always brings the water up to the set temperature and turns off whatever temperature the water is at the beginning, something a timer cannot achieve.

Warwick

moggieman
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Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby moggieman » Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:15 pm

Kamisiana
I agree the joys of Greek electric. I once changing a light, switched of the electric and started changing the light, held the Green (earth) and got blown of the ladder. Even with the electric switched off the earth was still alive........Im convinced Greek electricians are colour blind.

Jeffstclair
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Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby Jeffstclair » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:17 pm

moggieman wrote:Kamisiana
I agree the joys of Greek electric. I once changing a light, switched of the electric and started changing the light, held the Green (earth) and got blown of the ladder. Even with the electric switched off the earth was still alive........Im convinced Greek electricians are colour blind.


I don't it's colour blindness ...it's just they assume that once the wires are installed no one is every going to see them again ....so the colour of the cable they use is irrelevant while they are working they know which one is going to the live or the earth ...when I watched the guys doing our wiring I made a mental note ...assume nothing ....test everything ...

RetiredRailwayWorker
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:20 pm

Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby RetiredRailwayWorker » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:36 pm

Jeffstclair wrote:I don't understand ..when you say you have 17 ...17 what ?... what type of system have you got ?.When I installed our very simple solar water heating system with one tank and one solar panel, we did not have any electric power at the house , at that time I only came over in the summer to work on the house ... But when we jumped ship and moved here full time ,we got hooked up to the lecky ...and I got the sparky to put a switch in the bathroom to control the immersion heater in the tank on the roof .... It stays switched off 8 months of the year ..sounds like you have a more sophisticated system ..tell us more ...

16 rooms in her hotel and our apartment where the water needs to be switched from solar to electric!

RetiredRailwayWorker
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:20 pm

Re: There must be a batter way?

Postby RetiredRailwayWorker » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:50 pm

YoMo2 wrote:Whatever it is you are talking about, there has to be an easier way. Try describing it again, or posting a photo.

Andrew

In each WC / shower room in my wife`s hotel (16 rooms) plus in our apartment ,which is part of the hotel .To switch the hot water coming from the solar panels to hot water coming from the storage boiler (electric) a metal panel has to be removed from the wall by undoing screws then the valves inside the recess in the wall turned to switch the flow, then the metal panel has to be put back and the screws put back!! is there a better way rather than go through all this? Like a switch on the wall .The hotel was bult in the mid 1990s.It is very un-hygenic .In at least one shower the water gets behind the metal panel creating a smell with gunge! And the panels get very rusty!


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