billt

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About billt

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  1. You should have bollocked him. One of the principles of H&S is that the worker has a share of responsibility for his own safety, not just the employer. The worker should check that his work area and equipment is safe and not assume that it is. As a trained senior officer he should know that and should have checked the ladder before climbing it. If he'd fallen off he would have had any claim reduced or repudiated by his own contributory negligence. On the whole H & S rules are a good thing, unfortunately there seem to be a few people around who enforce them in an unthinking way.
  2. I've installed a Drayton Wiser system which simply plugs into the industry standard back plate. Very easy to install. It also works without an internet connection, although you need one if you want control when away from home. It's cheaper than the competition too.
  3. They don't. In the early days of the PV boom when inverters were expensive you could reduce system costs by using a slightly undersize inverter. As times of peak output are quite infrequent the impact on overall generation is small. At times of high insolation the inverter simply reduces the power that the panels deliver to the maximum power that the inverter can deliver - the nominal maximum output of the panels will only be produced if the load is suitable and an undersized inverter will give an undersized load.
  4. I have to ask what is the point of a burglar alarm for normal people, that is those who are not going to be targeted by professional thieves? If it's not monitored and just makes a lot of noise all it will do is annoy the neighbours - if you have any. It will almost certainly not put off the burglars or generate any response from passersby. If it's monitored the thieves will be long gone before anyone can react effectively. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/aug/18/former-burglars-barking-dogs-cctv-best-deterrent gives anecdotal support to my view. We've inherited one with this house and it's just a nuisance.
  5. Another option if shading is an issue is optimisers. SMA/Tigo TS4-O are available for about £45 each. You need one per panel but only for the shading affected ones. There's no particular limit to DC cable length; depends on the string voltage and cable size. I had about 30M runs on the old ground mounted system and the losses were negligible. SMA has a wonderful free, online, system design tool which will calculate the cable losses for you, among lots of other things. https://www.sunnydesignweb.com/
  6. To be fair, he claimed to be a human rights lawyer and presumably not very well paid by legal standards, and she seemed to be a full time parent. Maybe some people aren't entirely focused on climbing a corporate ladder and maximising their wealth; they might actually want to enjoy life and do something more interesting than lawyering. It's their house, why shouldn't they design it to fit what they want, not to maximise resale value. After all, that's what most people seem to claim as the main reason for building themselves. After seeing it after reading a lot of these posts, it was a lot better than I expected it to be. The wall finishes were good, I liked the exterior. I couldn't see much evidence for lots of air leaks. It was quite obvious that the interior wasn't anything like finished, so it looked poor in places. Yes, the thermal store was insane; we've got a very similar Akva 2,500l store with 3 coils, but it's designed to accept 10 hour burns from a log boiler. With the pathetic energy sources they seem to have it's doubtful if it will get more than tepid without the gas boiler going most of the time. The balcony also looked a bit dodgy, the timber looked inadequate and the rail was unsafe, although that could just be temporary. He also claimed to be doing a PHD and teaching at some time during the build. Overall I was quite impressed.
  7. A battery based system can certainly power a house, but PV won't in the UK, unless your a hair-shirt user who's willing to live without power for a large part of the year. A PV based system with supplementary supplies (i.e. a generator) will certainly work.
  8. Actually that looks pretty good to me, well into the realm of diminishing returns. A typical 1970s house would have 50mm of loft insulation, no wall insulation and single glazed windows. Presumably the cavities are insulated as well as the 60mm of celotex. Your 1100l of oil sounds quite credible, bearing in mind that you keep the room temperatures low (a lot of people seem to like 23C+) and last winter was very mild. You might find your consumption increases significantly in a cold winter.
  9. A wine cellar in an old building isn't equivalent to a cellar in a modern, well insulated building. An old wine cellar will be thermally connected to the surrounding earth and have no significant internal heat input, so will maintain a temperature roughly the same as the underground temperature, a few degrees C. A modern basement should have a large amount of insulation isolating it from the moderating effects of the surrounding earth. It is also likely to have significant local heat input, depending on its use. Might have a plant room or be used as a home theatre or a gym etc, all of which will generate heat and introduce the possibility of over heating.
  10. Good advice, as usual. It looks as if the buyer has pulled out already. I'm sure that there are some good conveyancers out there, no doubt there are some good solicitors as well, but my experience is that they are few and far between. For instance, when my late parents house was sold a few years ago the first potential buyers conveyancer refused to do the first registration! (it was an unregistered property). That's part of their job and trivially easy. In the end I did it myself. We're selling and buying at the moment and getting similar laziness and minor incompetence from the solicitor we are using. (I would rather do it myself but there's an effective closed shop around here and the aggro isn't worth it.)
  11. That's a bit unfair (about BigJimbo). You (or rather the conveyancer who first registered the land and didn't do it properly) have got into a very difficult situation. No doubt you do own the land in question, but if the Land Registry map is wrong it is up to you to get the Land Registry to fix the error. If you don't the problem is going to recur. (In my experience conveyancers are pretty stupid people who can't deviate from their stupid list of questions and won't help you.) In the first instance I would ask the Land Registry for their view. They are usually very helpful.
  12. I never knew a fridge could make you go blind! I would modify the design so you don't have a fridge in a living area. Even the best of them make some noise. All these developer houses with one big (cheap) kitchen/dining area seem flawed to me partly because you can't get away from noisy appliances
  13. In a manner of speaking. The thermal store is used to decouple the heat source from the heat sinks, among other things. All the heating requirements are met from the thermal store; there are 2 coils to supply DHW, there's a weather compensated supply to feed the radiators and another supply to feed the 2 UFH areas. If it's not too cold and there's a fair amount of sun the solar thermal panels and diverted PV supply more than enough energy. The boiler hasn't been lit since the 22nd of March. Unfortunately it had to be lit this afternoon. Even in the depths of winter it doesn't usually have to burn for more than 8 hours a day (3 fills). Last year the last burn was on the 28th of April and the next one was on the 9th of October. Bear in mind this is in an old house with a much higher heat load than a modern house should have. It's possible to justify a system like this if you need to spend a lot of money on fuel. In a modern house heated by gas I'd expect the annual heating cost to be pretty low. Spending multiple thousands on a complex wood system isn't going to make financial sense.
  14. Yes, it's just feeding a fantasy. You will be spending a lot of money on a system which will give you no benefit, given that you are on mains gas and not burning wood frequently. You will also end up with a needlessly complex and bulky system. (Oh, and wood is a polluting fuel.) If you want to burn wood, just use a stand alone heater, it's a lot simpler and a lot cheaper. We've been burning wood to heat our house for nearly 10 years, using a log boiler and a large thermal store supplemented by feeds from solar thermal panels, a PV fed immersion heater and a Rayburn (with provision for adding an oil boiler). Despite having free fuel I wouldn't do it again. The system is complex, bulky and a lot of work.
  15. Yes, no doubt an old lintel over an opening of some sort. Our house had something similar. What is now the dining room had an old lintel over a filled in opening in the corner and a window had been enlarged on the outside to make a gothic style frame, but they left the old lintel on the inside, but cut the outside lintel and left the ends of it in the wall.