Hot water is provided by central boilers located in the basements of Belgrave (serving Belgrave, Eaton and Circus) and Hanover (serving Hanover and Berkeley).
The supply of hot water to your apartment is included within the annual service charge bill.
The system is 'non-circulatory' system as there is no return to the boilers. Hot water leaves the boilers and kept hot by insulated electrical tape ('trace heating') located on communal pipes and within apartments until it is demanded. The trace heating ensures that near-instant hot water is always available on demand.
The water is kept hot in the pipes leading to taps within your apartment by further electrical trace heating. This ensures hot water is available almost immediately when a tap is turned on. Residents directly bear the cost of running the trace heating on pipes located within their apartment.
The trace heating keeps the hot water temperature above that which legionella, a bacteria that can be especially dangerous to people with weakened immune systems, does not breed. The non-circulatory status of the system does appear to create a risk that bacteria could build-up in an unoccupied apartment. For this reason, if you intend to leave your apartment vacant for extended periods you should either arrange for someone to run your taps every two weeks or so, or alternatively, turn off the water supply to your apartment.
If you are leaving your apartment vacant for long periods (e.g., greater than three weeks) you should think about turning the hot water supply off. The lever to turn off the hot water supply to your apartment can be found in the ceiling panel in the hallway immediately outside your front door. It is marked 'HWS', with a red band on the label. If you encounter difficulties or problems with the use of safe stepladders, speak to your concierge, who will be happy to assist by arranging for these stopcocks to be shut on your behalf. Place ensure you make your request in good time, with clear indication of the date you are leaving. You should also remember that these stopcocks would need to be turned back on when you return. As is common practice in all homes, please remember to run your water (including showers) for five minutes, to clear any water that has been standing in your apartment or feeding pipework.