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Question about hot water in Poland and the use of water heaters?


cazadora
18 Sep 2011  #1
Hello, everybody,

I am not a Polish, but I am currently a business administration student and I am making a research about the Polish heating market. More specifically, I am writing a course paper about the hot water supply for households in Poland. As far as I read in a report, done by one research Institute about 70% of people in the urban areas have central heating and 50% receive hot water also centrally heated by power plants. ecee.org/pubs/poland.htm#energy Obviously, it is a very good network for district heating. My question concerns the other 50% from the city population. What type of sources do they use to obtain hot water? Do they use electric boilers, the so called Bojlery elektryczne, or do most of them use gas and other meant? Are electric water heaters much used in Poland or are they used just by a small proportion of the population for hot water?

You will help me very much if you answer my question. :) I found some data on the Internet, but since I am not a specialist in the area it is very difficult to me to draw exact conclusions. :)

I will be very happy to read your answers. Thanks a lot in advance! :))
pawian 161 | 9,966
18 Sep 2011  #2
What type of sources do they use to obtain hot water?

In Krakow, most people use gas heaters for hot water. They are the most economical, because electric heaters generate too high expenses.

In result, most Polish urban bathrooms are decorated with this gadget:

d

I have always had one, too.

However, in smaller towns in which gas network is not developed, people use electric boilers.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
18 Sep 2011  #3
We chose to heat our new village house, including water, with wood and coal. Gas prices are unpredictable and electricity is expensive. We live in Podlasie, so there is plenty of firewood around. It costs about 120PLN/m3 and we need about 4 or 5 m3/year, plus about 1.5 tonnes of coal in the winter @ around 800PLN/tonne. So altogether we spend around 1600PLN on heating fuel. We have an electric hot water boiler but rarely use it.

I have a friend who installed a geo-thermal system in his new house. He's happy with it but it cost about 150,000PLN, if I remember right. We plan to put a solar panel on the roof in the next year or two.
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
18 Sep 2011  #4
What type of sources do they use to obtain hot water? Do they use electric boilers, the so called Bojlery elektryczne, or do most of them use gas and other meant?

We use boilers when there is no possibillity to use gas.
pawian 161 | 9,966
18 Sep 2011  #5
Driving in the countryside, I can see more and more gas tanks in people`s gardens.

Most from Gaspol, some from Shell.

s
teflcat 5 | 1,032
19 Sep 2011  #6
Another option is heating oil. Very expensive. Friends of mine spent over 6,000PLN last winter.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
19 Sep 2011  #7
Friends of mine spent over 6,000PLN last winter.

WTF? Really??

That's a serious amount for oil. In Polish economy terms it's insanity!
teflcat 5 | 1,032
19 Sep 2011  #8
WTF? Really??

Towards the end of the winter they switched to burning wood. I personally don't know anyone else who uses oil; it's just too expensive for ordinary folk.
OP cazadora
20 Sep 2011  #9
Thank you very much for your answers! You helped very much to figure out the situation. Obviously gas is the most prefered option for the people who don't have district heating. At the end, one more issue if you are familiar ofcourse, what are the most popular brands of gas heating equipment in Poland? I read on the Internet that the Sauer Duval kotly gazowe are very widely used. Are you acquainted with other brands and producers which consumers prefer or is this the brand that people trust most?
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
28 Sep 2011  #10
what are the most popular brands of gas heating equipment in Poland?

Junkers, Vaillant, Brotje, Buderus and Termet S.A.
Jimmu 2 | 157
29 Sep 2011  #11
I'm fairly new to Poland so my experience is limited and anecdotal, but from what I've seen space heating and hot water come mostly from city services in the cities and coal or wood furnaces in rural areas. Electric heaters and boilers are very expensive to run and gas lines don't exist in many areas. And when I asked my wife why we couldn't get a tank on the property and have gas delivered by truck she thought I was joking.
gumishu 11 | 5,015
29 Sep 2011  #12
LPG gas from a tank is one of the more expensive ways of heating in Poland (coal/wood cost considerably less) - as for water heating such a tank could prove practical - especially if you don't use too much hot water - it's the convenience mostly - but it's also a pretty big investment many Poles cannot afford - it is still cheaper to heat your water with coal/wood burning furnaces - but you need a big isolated tank to hold the hot water - electric water heaters called 'boilers' in Poland are still a popular method - it is a low investment appliance and the cost is acceptable (for a small family who don't use lots of hot water)
beckski 12 | 1,617
29 Sep 2011  #13
Friends of mine spent over 6,000PLN last winter.

Omg, that's outrageous. With such a high heating cost, do they happen to own an enormous home?
OP cazadora
12 Oct 2011  #14
Hello, everyone, and thank you all very much for your answers and the information. I am already close to finishing my report and submitting it for my class. :) There is one more thing that made me very curious about the data which I collected about Poland. According to the web-site of the Export Council for Energy Efficiency in the cities 70% use District heating and 50% district hot water. This is quite surprising to me and that's why I decided to ask. Is this really possible for some apartments to have district heating, but not hot water? I used to think that when an apartment is connected to the network, they get both of them.

ecee.org/pubs/poland.htm#energy Thanks in advance for the collaboration. :)
Jimmu 2 | 157
12 Oct 2011  #15
In our case the hot water was metered at the apartment and the heating charged according to a gadget on each radiator that somehow measured the heat used, not the amount of water through the radiator. My point (I have one) being that there were two completely different systems although it all came from the same plant.
pawian 161 | 9,966
12 Oct 2011  #16
Yes, it is perfectly possible. Most apartment blocks built in communist times had only central heating installed, while hot water came from gas heaters. It is still so today, including all may family`s apartments. One may wonder about reasons: costs? inefficiency of old power stations?
gumishu 11 | 5,015
12 Oct 2011  #17
Is this really possible for some apartments to have district heating, but not hot water?

they are different grade waters often I guess - for hot bathing water you need to add chlorium and to filtrate it more thouroughly (there is plenty of iron in water in most Poland) - it's mostly my guess - perhaps someone can clear it according to his actual knowledge- so as Jimmu pointed out they are most probably most often two separate systems though originating in the same plant
pawian 161 | 9,966
12 Oct 2011  #18
I have found interesting info - the history of Krakow`s power and heating stations. The main station was built as late as in 1970 and it replaced many local stations. The heating system was built. I still remember the road works and giant pipes put underground in late 1970s. We used to play on them.

Poland at that time was underdeveloped and certain technical solutions were simply unattainable. That is why two different systems today.

mpec.krakow.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=28&Itemid=62

PS. After they built a station in Skawina, it was possible to supply a new housing estate with hot water for daily use. It happened in 1985. My family live there and I always found it funny they have no gas heater in the bathroom. The water is hot, indeed.
Jimmu 2 | 157
12 Oct 2011  #19
That is why two different systems today.

I was thinking that the heating system water might be full of anti-corrosive chemistry and other such things. But then most Poles I've talked to can't believe anybody drinks tap water...
mcm
12 Oct 2011  #20
Hi members,
perhaps i could ask for some guidance from those that live in Poland.
We have seen a property that we like, it is located close to Rybnik.
My question to you regards the boiler installation- it is an oil fired boiler, sealed system and from what we have seen there appears to be no radiators anywhere except in the bathrooms, would it be feasable that underfloor heating could have been installed 10 years ago?

Also we are not used to oil fired boilers and would like for a reasonable guess what this house would cost to heat at todays rates.

The property was built some 10 years ago, it is our understanding that it has insulation.
For information the house is on 2 floors plus the basement area.
Total usable space we understand to be 300sq m.
The lounge area is quite large and we would like to have a log burner installed to supplement the heating during the winter months, also as a focal point.

Many Thanks.
pawian 161 | 9,966
12 Oct 2011  #21
Recent research proved that tap water in some Polish cities is better than spring water available in shops.

Exactly. Such technology appeared in Poland in late 1980s/early 1990s.

See a site with your topic from 2001.

forum.muratordom.pl/showthread.php?23-Ogrzewanie-pod%C5%82ogowe
gumishu 11 | 5,015
12 Oct 2011  #22
two or three cities? - yes I know Częstochowa has excelent tap water - what about Kraków? would you drink tap water in Warsaw knowing it comes from Wisła - I can tell you something for sure - tap water in Wrocław is really bad - it comes in half from Odra and in half from Oława river - I simply couldn't drink it - I always brought drinking water from home (we had excelent tap water there coming from a deep acquifer) - the water in Gdynia was also good - I guess it comes from aquifers that actually lie above the city
Jimmu 2 | 157
12 Oct 2011  #23
Hi mcm,
I don't know much about oil burners, but I keep hearing that coal and wood are the most economical way to do things here. Underfloor heating seems to be popular now so it might have been around 10 years ago. Are you sure it's not forced air? If you are thinking of buying the place it would be well worth your while to pay a specialist to come have a look around. And tell him about your plans for a log burner and ask about a chimney. We just had a fireplace installed and fixing the chimney was the most expensive and time consuming part of the process!

Witam w Polsce!
gumishu 11 | 5,015
12 Oct 2011  #24
Also we are not used to oil fired boilers and would like for a reasonable guess what this house would cost to heat at todays rates.

I only know that oil heating is one of the more expensive ways of heating in Poland - still the floor heating is much more effective than the traditional radiators under windows so it may actually not be so terrible
pawian 161 | 9,966
12 Oct 2011  #25
That is why I said - some cities! :):):):) Two or three is some, isn`t it? :):):):)

Never mind.
What worries me, though, is the fact that again you haven`t done enough research, I afraid. E.g., Warsaw drinking water is said to be one of better in Poland, safe for people and not requiring boiling before use.

rdc.pl/index.php?/pol/artykuly__1/warto_wiedziec/czy_mozemy_pic_wode_z_kranu

tester.brita-polska.pl/warszawska-woda-z-kranu-sprawdzona,a rtykul,53
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
12 Oct 2011  #26
One bad problem is people in apartment blocks installing their own gas water heaters and venting them through the buildings' ventilation. This can get blocked by other people (in Poland they are obsessed with draughts in winter) and evnd up spewing carbon monoxide into peoples' homes with tragic consequences. Something dreadful happens every year.
gumishu 11 | 5,015
12 Oct 2011  #27
I can tell you something - London water administration advertises tap water as perfectly suitable for drinking - (it mostly comes from the Thames AFAIK) - mayor of London says he drinks only tap water - so say water administration officials - maybe some actually do - but I just couldn't drink it - to me it stank and had a bad taste - I drank only table water from Tesco (much more expensive than Polish spring water from supermarket) - it didn't stink and it didn't taste bad - mind you - you would be shocked to learn how expensive mineral water is in England - we are trully blessed with vast amounts of brilliant quality mineral waters in Poland
Jimmu 2 | 157
12 Oct 2011  #28
That is why I said - some cities! :):):):) Two or three is some, isn`t it? :):):):)

I didn't mean to stir up so much ****.
My first year as a resident in Poland was spent in Chorzów. Not a place known for the purity of its tap water. And I was speaking about the attitudes of the Poles I had talked to about tap water quality, not about the actual quality of the water. Sorry if I introduced a badger to your underwear drawer. :->
pawian 161 | 9,966
12 Oct 2011  #29
It may mean you are oversensitive.

Or you live in north east London and belong to 300 people who complained about the quality of water in 2010:

londonist.com/2010/02/our_tap_water_stinks_say_walthamsto.php

=Jimmu]I didn't mean to stir up so much ****.

Jim, I don`t remember when you last stirred any shyt in PF. What are you talking about? :):):)
JonnyM 11 | 2,621
12 Oct 2011  #30
to me it stank and had a bad taste

Like water does. As opposed to the cheap h2o from plastic bottles that they have to sell in PL.


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