Cost of installing an electric water heater

We have an excellent utility room with two big sinks and plenty of space. But it has two problems. To access it you have to go outside which is not much fun in the winter. In the summer it is too hot because the central heating boiler is still on to heat the water. We have been here now for two winters and still not used the central heating so we have decided to get rid of the boiler and replace it with a 100 litre electric water heater. We have had an estimate from the nearest plumber. Roughly he would charge ,€400 for the heater, €400 for it’s installation and €800 for removing the boiler. This was more than we wanted to pay. So we’ve asked him what he would charge to disconnect the boiler and shift a couple of metres out of the way. His answer was a bit evasive in that he has asked us how much we could afford to pay. Now I’m guessing that to disconnect the boiler would take about one hour? So I’m thinking that maybe €950 total would be a reasonable amount to pay? I’ve no idea how much per hour a plumber would expect to be paid or how long this job would take. Any advice would be welcome

The week before Christmas my 200 litre water heater developed a fault and had to be replaced.
With the help of a friend, we replaced it with this 100 litre water heater from Brico Depot:

Also required was a safety valve to ensure that the hot water being fed into the system does not exceed 55c - cost was about 35 euros .

Removing the old water heater and fitting the new one took about 4 hours in total.
This was probably longer than just fitting a new one as we had to drain the old tank and cope with rusty fittings and bolts. I imagine that a new one could be fitted in 1 to 2 hours plus any additional time if new electrics have to be installed (cable and suitable ‘disjointer’ in consumer panel.

I haven’t bothered yet to dispose of the old tank - when I get around to it, I’ll just take it to the local dump.

So in summary,
new water heater & plumbing bits - say about 300 euros max;
new electrical fittings - probably 50 euros - certainly not more than 100 euros;
half a days work - probably 150 - 250 euros.

If you need a local plumber, I can message you.

Thanks Nigel for all the detail. It’ll provide me with an excellent benchmark for evaluating these estimates. Yes could you message me with your plumber. I was going to get at least one more estimate. Thanks. By the way on another thread did you say that your central heating boiler had packed up. If so did you get rid of it or just leave it. I have to at least shift mine out of the way as it’s exactly where we want to put in an internal door

Just be aware that cheap water heaters quickly ‘fur up’ with limescale if you live in a hard water area.

How fortunate I am to have a neighbour who has retired from the HVAC business. His star turn was on the team that renewed the complete HVAC and plumbing in the enormous UNESCO building in Paris.

My balon was an elderly 200L job, controlled by its thermostat. Running off h.w from this 200L tank and it then topping itself up and switching itself on was costing me more than necc. Having had new electrics and a Linky I could see spikes all night as this balon switched on.

I think Jean Luc was getting bored, retired from the HVAC biz. He very kindly offered to remove the old and fit new - gratis! In fact I pressed him and he accepted a bottle of Scotch.

The new 100L balon was +/- €350 from Bricomarché, always top dollar for everything :slightly_frowning_face:

Swapping out one balon for another was very straightforward. One water pipe in/one electricity in/One overflow - overheat pipe out. There was a certain amount of “Merde!” from the cave. It took J-L a little longer than it would in his priome but max 3 hrs. The result was considerable savings in consumption.

However :slightly_frowning_face: … having had a very economical setup controlled by a timer - on before breakfast for 1 hr & on at about 18:00 for an hour, I had to do something about the absurd new monthly d/d that EDF proposed for the next 12 months, starting in May - €174 p.m. [up from €80 p.m '21-'22 and €147 p.m. '22-'23]

Changing to Tarfiff Tempo and p.a.y.g. bills has EDF sending a signal to Linky and Linky now controling the balon’s circuit breaker. This conflicts with the schedule on the timer [a cockwork plug in device on the electric supply to the balon].

The result is I’m not getting much heating of the balon.

In believe that there are timer devices which can be fitted to replace the breaker of the balon circuit on the breaker board.

Any idea if this is so and that it would manage the switching of the supply to the balon without conflicting with the Linky signal?

There are indeed - we have one - but if the Linky really is controlling the chauffe-eau (I had no idea that Tempo did this!) I can’t imagine that having the timer on the board would make much practical difference as it’s just a timer switching the supply on and off according to how you set it.

That is pretty much how things are now, just that the timer is ‘spliced’ into the cable to the chaufe-eau. My timings and the Linky don’t agree about when the juice runs to the heater.

Miss EDF pointed out that the kWhr prices for the peak/offpeak tariff are less than the ‘heures pleines’ but with my timer I was controlling how much time the heater was on - 2 hrs/day - and I never use expensive machines like washers [a 1hr prog at 30C]/dryers [I leave stuff out on a line till it’s +/- dry then give it 15 mins]/dishwashers [haven’t got] in off-peak times, my routine suited me very well.

Well see how the conso/€€€ turns out on ‘Tempo’.

The mind boggles… :slight_smile:

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In simple terms pick one - either use the Heure’s Creuse switching or the timer.

Change the timer to either just on or at least make sure the hours correspond with your heure’s Creuse.

Yes you can buy timers for the board - interupteur horaire - but you normally use these or an heure’s Creuse contactor in the board. RC

Using HC your tank will keep heating up to the 60c but it doesnt always need to do that to kill any legionella. Setting a separate timer could mean just 1 hour of heating is sufficient for day to day requirements with a once per week or fourtnight 60c for legionella

On a shoot for a Citroen 2CV brochure in FR back in +/- '85 we had two twenty-somethings guy and girls, due to frolic about in the 2CV.

At breakfast on our first day one of the girls reported, in some awe, that her room mate, on opening her suitcase, revealed the object on the top of her clothes - “a bloody great dildo!”

That shoot was a riot. But some tech gremlin or monster bungle had all the pix come out useless so we had to do it all again, in Dorset.

As I was driving to our hotel the stylist rocketed past going the other way. She never made the shoot. She’d crashed and broken her leg.

A glamourous life, advertising … :roll_eyes:

Were there five of you?


I don’t seem to be able to choose. I had the timer set to a programme that suited me [see above] since the new 100L balon was installed in mid Dec '22. I was on a flat rate /kWhr - heures pleines, I believe.

Now, with the change to HC/HP, which I did not realise Miss Eadie Eff had set up - :roll_eyes: - I didn’t ask for it - Linky looks to have taken control.

I now find the timer stopped. I haven’t checked if it stops at the same time each time after I reset the time and set the breaker from middle to up, ie ‘ON’. I guess it probably does, when Linky sends the signal to start HP at 06:00. The timer never gets to its first ‘ON’ period at 07:00.

The breaker switch is in the middle position. Miss Eadie Eff confirms my neighbour’s assertion that that’s the Linky position.

Today and tomorrow are Jours Bleus. Eadie Eff asks that one consumes ‘reasonably’.

As are the next 125 consecutive days (until 1st September):slightly_smiling_face:

This must be due to how your ballon is wired and should be very easy to change I would think. I think you can have an HP/HC switch in the tableau that is controlled by a signal from the Linky and if your not on a HP/HC contract it will just always be on. @Badger will be able to tell you. I also have an electric ballon with Linky and Tempo, and this doesn’t happen for me.

At the tableau - there should be an HC contactor - that has a switch - off on and auto. On I think disables heure’s Creuse. Auto is heure’s Creuse - so it only sends leccy to the balon overnight

Most timers have an “on,” switch that bypasses the timer. Or just change the timings to midnight to 5am (or whatever) so it’s in line with HC - obviously check it’s the right time

Fab! But where did you see that? I’ve looked around on my EDF pages and only see today’s and tomorrow’s colours.

That’s what I have.

But do you also have a timer between the tableau and the balon? I do and it is this setup which conflicts with HC/HP and Linky’s command to switch from one t’ t’other.

I shall try that. HC ends at 06:00. My timer was set to come ON at 07:00. I don’t mind paying for HP for just an hour’s juice to the balon. It’s all I need in the mornings. I could also try for an hour of HC when that starts at 00:00.

Here is the situation as I see it…

  1. Before your change to Linky & a Tempo tarif you had straightforward “base tarif”. In order to time the water heater to your needs you set up a mechanical time switch to operate for two one hour periods per day.

  2. Since you’ve had Tempo the contactor for the ballon (that’s the three position switch in the board that has “I”, “Auto” & “0” positions) is being triggered via a control circuit running through dry contacts in the Linky, which will most likely be timed for closing (i.e. I/On) at 22.00 & opening (i.e. 0/Off). If you are near the contactor at 22.00 you will hear it click on.

  3. Your problem with wanting to use the separate time switch is twofold. Firstly, as it’s a mechanical timer it will only run it’s clock when it has power, so not having power for 16 hours a day will throw out any time settings you have set. Secondly, even if it was a digital time switch that keeps time correctly it won’t have any mains power to run the ballon at the times you want it to as they are outside the HC period.

  4. To get around th is you can either remove the timer & have the water start to heat up a 22.00 everyday. It will switch itself off on it’s thermostat once it’s got to whatever level it’s set to. It won’t be on for the full 8 hours of HC, just the time it takes to reach temperature. It will not/cannot come on outside of HC unless you manually force it on via the contactor.

4A. The other option is to keep the timer in place & stop the contactor from operating via the Linky. However, simply forcing it on at the contactor (position “I”) will only overide that until it’s energised via the Linky control circuit at 22.00 at which point it will flick back to Auto & then go off at 06.00.

4B. To prevent 4A happening you need to switch off the control supply that runs out to the Linky from your tableau/distribution board. If your board is wired properly there will a 2A breaker that does that, probably right next to the contactor or the breaker for the actual ballon power. Switch that off & slide the contactor to “I” where it will then stay 24/7.

  1. The upshot of 4B is that your time switch will now have power 24/7 & can work as it did in the past.

Clear as mud?


You would on a red day, but there now won’t be any more of those until November.


Deleted as Badger has answered better than I could.