Small-palette portrait of Mike the Boilerman

Mike the Boilerman 

Your independent Gledhill ElectraMate repair specialist for Berkshire & surrounding areas

For more information or to book your breakdown repair, call or text me on 

07866 766364 

Replacing an Electramate 2000:



As time passes the Electramate is proving to be unreliable and expensive-to-fix, with many dissatisfied owners. I am frequently asked with what to replace an Electramate to improve reliability. There are several firms making thermal stores now to compete with Gledhill but like the Electramate, they all seem to be rather clumsily designed and complicated to either install or to use (or both), so I'm not inclined to recommend any of them.


Now one thing I notice about Electramates is how often users tell me they rarely or never use the central heating function. This appears to be because they are nearly always installed in modern apartments with first class insulation and a degree of solar gain, which leads to very little heating demand. Consequently, when replacing an expired Electramate my thinking has moved on from recommending a 'like-for-like' replacement, and now I think the best option is a simple Gledhill Pulsacoil ECO Stainless thermal store to provide off-peak low cost high performance hot water, along with a 'direct heating' electric boiler to heat the central heating radiators if and when required.


The direct-heating type of electric boilers have a reputation for being fearsomely expensive to run because they burn daytime price electricity during the day (instead of storing off-peak energy like the Electramate), but given the low heating demands of a typical modern apartment although the running costs will be higher, they will still be low in absolute terms. The benefit of the direct heating electric central heating boiler being simplicity, a feature sorely missing from the Electramate!


So, which direct heating electric boiler do I suggest pairing with a new Pulsacoil ECO Stainless when replacing an Electramate? There are plenty of them out there on the market but many are by companies I've never heard of. No problem while they are working correctly but when a boiler by a smaller firm breaks down, it's not uncommon the find the firm no longer exists so neither technical support nor spare parts can be obtained. This narrows down the field substantially, leaving only the Trianco Aztec electric boiler and the Heatrae Sadia Amptec to choose from.


Anyway here are some links. For hot water I suggest the Gledhill Pulsacoil ECO Stainless, and for the central heating I suggest either the Trianco Aztec or the Heatrae Sadia Amptec.



There are also a couple of euphemistically-termed ‘electric combi boilers’ which look like and are much the same size as an Electramate. The “Comet Combi” by EHC ltd is one example. Another is the “Electromax” by Heatrae Sadia. Both are combined units providing both central heating and mains pressure hot water from one box so at first sight seems a good option. Beware thouugh, they both supply heating by direct electrical consumption so will be more expensive for central heating than the old Electramate. Also, the hot water is provided by an unvented hot water cylinder inside which usually cannot be installed easily due to the requirement for a large diameter metal overflow pipe (or more accurately a 'safety discharge pipe) running to outside. Electramates are usually installed in the middle of the flat so installing the safety discharge pipe can prove difficult. 


The only product I have ever found that really does use off peak electricity to provide central heating is the Advance Appliances ECB210L. This has a thermal store 20% smaller than that of an Electramate so will probably run out of stored off-peak heat pretty quickly, but this is still lots better than running on 100% day rate leccy. Link to the Advance Appliances web page for it here.


Mike

‍ 

Heatrae Sadia Electromax as replacement for Gledhill Electramate

Heatrae Sadia Electromax

Gas Safe Register Logo

Copyright Michael Bryant 2022

Site first created 31st December 2006

Last updated 7th January 2022


Gas Safe Register 197499, CIPHE registration number 56207

Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering logo.