Choosing Hot Water Tanks and Cylinders
Hot Water Tanks and Cylinders – What Do You Need to Know?
If you’re looking to install a new hot water tank or cylinder instead of a new boiler in Essex, Hertfordshire or London, it’s important to choose the most suitable type for your property. There are several different types and options available, so here at Essex Heating and Solar Ltd we’ve put together a brief guide to help you decide.
Direct and Indirect Hot Water Tanks and Cylinders
When it comes to direct and indirect cylinders, the most suitable option for you will depend on how you want to heat your water and whether you have an appropriate heat source (or room for one) in your home or business. Indirect cylinders store water that’s been heated elsewhere (usually by a boiler or solar panels). This type of unit may contain an internal element, such as an immersion heater, but it’s only used to add extra warmth.
Direct hot water cylinders don’t require external heat sources. They contain one or more immersion heaters, so they can heat the water from source. They are commonly found in smaller or older properties without standard central heating systems.
Vented and Unvented Hot Water Tanks and Cylinders
Once you’ve decided whether you need an indirect or direct hot water cylinder, you’ll need to select a vented or an unvented model. Again, the most appropriate choice will depend on the type of property you have and the way in which its heating and plumbing systems work.
Vented cylinders have become less popular in recent years, but they are still found in older and/or large properties. This type of cylinder is best-suited to spacious homes, as a cold-water tank needs to be installed in the loft. The water is heated and then stored in the cylinder until it makes its way to your taps, or shower. This type of system works by gravity, so you could end up with low water pressure if the water tank isn’t high enough, although a water pump could be used to resolve this issue. A further drawback is that the cold water in your tank could freeze in winter.
If you opt for an unvented cylinder, you can save space, as you won’t need a cold-water tank. You won’t have to worry about your water pressure being lower either, as the water in the cylinder comes straight from the mains supply. Unvented units tend to be more expensive to fit and maintain than their vented alternatives, however, and aren’t as well-suited to large properties with multiple bathrooms. If the mains supply is cut off, you won’t be able to access the water at all.
Whichever type you select, you’ll need to buy one that’s an adequate size for your needs and made from appropriate material. Many experts recommend duplex stainless-steel cylinders, due to their durability. Ensure to hire a reputable plumber to install and maintain your cylinder – and, if you’re opting for an unvented model, make sure they are G3-qualified.