Any electricians? looking for some advice

Our hot water tank is on a single din rail switch that is on the main panel, it is either on or off or auto for off peak (which we don’t have) everyone bar me :wink: usually forgets to switch it off when they have a bath so I want to put it onto a 4 Hour timer single rail switch that I can switch on and it will switch off after 4 hours.
It would also be handy for when we go back to the UK as we usually have a house sitter and saves them leaving it on all the time or forgetting to put it off.

Asked a local electrician and got a lot of sucking of teeth as he said they were very expensive, but if I got one myself he would fit it, could someone give me some pointers for what I am looking for.

Something like below

Timer switch

Why not buy it from France?. Use the link at the top of the page and SF get an affiliates fee…

I will it was just an example to see if I was in the ballpark for what I was looking for.

I would say so… We looked at the one with the clock face but made by LeGrand and that was really expensive so we decided not to bother as it automatically switches on and off anyway according to the heures cruise and plein.

I wouldn’t, its a single pole breaker/timer. The French use double pole which disconnects both phase and neutral.

Any pointers as to what I am looking for.

Just as well I didn’t then :slightly_smiling_face:

Similar but with another pair of screw connections at the top or you could buy an immersion heater timer and connect that near the water heater.
“LAP 7-Day Digital Immersion Timer | Timers & Controllers | Screwfix.com

Could this unit be used to control a oil fired central heating boiler. Put it in between mains supply and boiler unit

I’ve got a 24hr timer on my oil boiler… but not days of the week…

the boiler plugs into it… and it plugs into the main supply… works a treat… and it has an override if I want to go mad…

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Actually I think that the one on Amazon UK linked to by Colin would be perfectly OK in a French Tableau - it is made in Germany after all.

However there is a snag - it is only rated at 16A so unless you have quite a small chauffe-eau (say ~ 150l) it is going to be inadequately rated, and (per John’s comment about single pole) I don’t think it will be OK to use it to switch the heater directly with it even if the current rating is high enough.

Another possible fly in the ointment is that I can’t see any which work quite as Colin wanted with a “push for 4 hours” button, they mostly allow you to program fixed on/off times - though that might well work if you choose them carefully.

I’m not sure about expensive - there’s one here on Amazon for just 16€

However actually wiring one in fully per French Normes is not so straightforward - looking at the notes for using a disjoncteur jour-nuit and the EDF generated switching signal I think you could use a suitably rated disjoncteur jour-nuit driven by the timeswitch like this:

But, as you can see there are quite a few extra disjoncteurs involved (well, OK, two) - but those are needed because neither the jour-nuit switch or timer switch provide over-current protection.

Thanks for that, a timer switch anywhere near the tank is a non starter as the tank is pretty inaccessible you have to crawl through two lofts to get to it and the nest for a Stone Martin is usually in one of the lofts as well, I have met one up there before and they don’t like getting cornered :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes::scream:.

Something simple like below but 20 amp that I can leave switched off most of the time and set the timer to on at 7pm and off at 11pm and just switch to timer on at 6pm switching it back off again the next day.

We only use the tank usually for showers and because it is so well lagged it only needs to go on every 3 days, but my FIL needs a bath every so often and he remembers to put it on but never off.

Simple timer

A timer would not need to necessarily be near the tank, but just inserted into the cable that feeds the tank. The timer could be mounted next to the Tableau for example.
Our water heater works fine on a basic 24 hour ‘plug in’ timer rated at 3000 watts bought from a DIY store for around 5 euros. One can force the timer to the ‘On’ position if needed, but then it automatically turns off when the next pre-set ‘Off’ time is reached.
The On/Auto/Off switch on the Tableau is left permanently switched to ON, and then the timer does all the work and gives us a greater degree of control.

Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as that as the panel is above head height towards the ceiling and I have to stand on a chair to reach anything, I will probably get another electrician out to see what my options are.

The electrics were a nightmare in the cottage when I bought it, everything was ancient and surface mounted, it took a month to raggle all the channel’s for the cabling as the walls are 3 ft thick and flint and whin stone based, because the cottage has been extended so many times all the interior walls used to be exterior walls originally.

Drilling the walls was not at all fun.

Because the cottage was an original 17th century part of the castle, it used to be 3 stories high, two brick built floors with a wooden framed floor in top like a Tudor styled house.

There was a fire that burnt the top part off and when they dug the moat out to stone line it, they used the spoil to level out the court yard so the ground floor went under ground and became the cave/basement.

When you go down the outside stairs into the cave the original front door and windows are bricked up and 6ft down under our decking :laughing: we have a two level cottage as the bedrooms sit 4ft above the rest of the cottage the rear of the cottage and stables is 25 ft high onto one of our paddocks.

Notice the bedroom window height on the right compared to the kitchen window on the left, It’s a weird layout :wink::sunglasses:, our ceiling’s are a foot thick as they used to be the second storey floor with quarry tiles on top.

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Why not just leave the tank on all the time ? As you say, its well insulated so very little heat loss. Probably save a lot of grief, and the expense of extra mcb’s ,electricians etc.


When I said near the hot cylinder, I meant as apposed to having to be incorporated or near the tableau. Obviously a convenient position was intended.

From the additional info you could use an immersion timer with a boost function.
“Electronic Boost Timer 15min to 4 Hour”

That’s a good find - again not sure if suitable for French installation; it’s CE marked but needs a British square back box (and no NF mark).

Why not use a French square back box? A NF mark is not a legal requirement.

Probably no reason if the mounting screw holes line up.

Presumably CE is sufficient - although some of the previous conversations on the site have suggested a lot of French Electricians are conservative on this point. I note that timer I spotted on doesn’t have a NF marking.

However UK sourced stuff, especially after Jan 1 is likely to be viewed with increased suspicion even if CE marked, is it not?