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Discuss Electric central heating - converting to gas? in the Central Heating Forum area at

  1. Flibberjig

    Flibberjig New Member


    We are interested in buying a property that has a Heatrae Electromax Sadia boiler and is currently running a wet electric central heating system. A bit of research tells me that it was once one big house that was divided into 2 properties about 10 years ago so the system is relatively 'new'.

    It's a normal residential street so there is gas available. I spoke to the utilities company for our area and they confirmed that it could be connected for a reasonable price so we are considering that.

    A few questions! Is it going to cost a fortune per month to stay on electric? It definitely sounds like it from other forums but I'm just checking that the boiler isn't a particularly good electric one!

    Can we switch to gas? Is it as simple as connect to the grid and get a boiler installed to the existing system? Is there something that I'm missing? It seems strange they haven't already done it to me.

    I'll ask a few questions to the owners but I would really appreciate a professional's opinion.

    Thank you
  2. steadyon

    steadyon Active Member

    1. If you are buying a leasehold, or a share of the freehold, then you will probably need the freehold company's consent. Some leases specifically forbid the installation of gas appliances, and / or the installation of combi boilers.
    2. Depending on the type of boiler you intend to use, you might need to get a separate water supply installed if your current one is common to more than one property,
    3. You will need a gas meter installing. Again, you may need permission depending where it is to be installed.
    4. You will need a pipe, probably 22 mm in diameter, but could be 28 mm or even larger depending on the length of the run, from the meter to the boiler.
    5. The boiler flue has to be capable of being inspected throughout its length. This may restrict where a boiler can be fitted.
    6. Whether its a straight replacement or not depends on what is there already. The answer is probably yes.

    I'd suggest your next steps would be to get quotation from 3 local engineers, preferably selected by word of mouth from neighbours / friends. Only an on-site inspection can give you a definitive answer.
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  3. Flibberjig

    Flibberjig New Member

    That's really helpful, thank you. We would be buying it outright and it is freehold so number 1 should be fine.

    Could I just ask - why would I need a separate water supply? Surely the water is already separated for the electric boiler, tap water, etc? Sorry - I may be asking a very obvious question!

    I'll arrange some quotes and an onsite inspection as you say. I wanted to check that it may be possible before we moved forward in case there was something I hadn't thought of.

    Thank you - I really appreciate your help.
  4. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    A really good technical reply
    thank you centralheatking
  5. steadyon

    steadyon Active Member

    1. Conversions normally have a company which owns the freehold, and the property owners buy shares in the company (often in proportion to floor area). The freeholding company is responsible for structural maintenance / repairs, with the bills shared between the shareholders. Without this arrangement you can get into all sorts of disputes - ground floor owners who won't pay for roof repairs for example.
    2. If you have a shared water supply, there may not be sufficient pressure and / or flow to support a combi boiler if water off the single supply is used by another property.
  6. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    Quite often in multiple occ. buildings gas is not fitted or stripped out of older properties
    it goes back to Rowan Point years ago ..look it up. This is prevalent in rented multi lets and leaseholder buildings and is a safety issue which the freeholder or freeholding company will not allow .
    keep us posted ...Rob Foster
    aka centralheatking
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  7. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    Even freehold properties often come with 'covenants' that place restrictions on the owner. This is common when buildings are divided into separate dwellings and needs to be checked with your conveyancer.

    I will also comment that few peopl fit electric heating unless they have no choice or there are special circumstances because of the cost of fuel. In your position I'd want to try and figure out why it's there in the first place before deciding to replace it.
  8. Flibberjig

    Flibberjig New Member

    Thank you everyone. I really appreciate all of your help. I'm ready now to ask lots of questions before we make a decision. I don't know what I would have done without your advice!
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  9. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    You are correct Chuck I have just overturned a covenant it cost loads and I was lucky to get away with success. Quite a few solicitors will miss this type of stuff it might go back decades or more and only comes out with a thorough search is carried out by the purchasing legal people..avoid para legals
    I won and got my money back
    many loose and do not.
    Rob Foster aka centralheatking
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