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Cylinders & Accessories

Cylinders and Accessories

Often found in an airing cupboard or sometimes in the loft the hot water cylinder is the hot water store for the home. The hot water is heated either through the boiler or by an immersion heater and stored ready for use. Whilst Combi boilers can heat hot water on demand there are still potential benefits from installing a hot water cylinder.

The main benefits are:

  • High water flow rates from taps
  • Power shower capability depending on choice of cylinder
  • Faster delivery of hot water to the taps; no need to wait for the water to heat up as with a Combi boiler
  • If an immersion heater is fitted in the cylinder and the boiler breaks down then only the central heating is affected; not the ability to have a hot shower!

There are 2 types of hot water cylinder

Vented Hot Water Cylinders

Usually manufactured from copper, vented hot water cylinders are fed with water from a store of cold water usually in the loft. The pressure is gained through gravity, so the height of the cold water store above the hot water cylinder creates the momentum that pushes that water out of the taps. The water within the vented cylinder is often heated by a gas or oil boiler by means of an internal coil commonly known as an indirect system. Alternatively it can be heated by an electric immersion heater which is known as a direct system.

The benefits for installing this type of system are:

  • Easy to install
  • Low maintenance
  • Simple mechanism

The potential drawbacks are:

  • You have to have a cold water store, usually in the loft which has to be well insulated to prevent freezing during winter months

Unvented Cylinders

Usually manufactured from stainless steel, unvented cylinders get cold water directly from the water mains at mains pressure. Similar to a vented cylinder the water is then heated using either the boiler (indirect system) or an immersion heater (direct system). Then when hot water is called off it releases the store of hot water to the taps.

The benefits are:

  • No need for a store of cold water
  • Higher water pressure
  • Simpler Plumbing
  • Power showers without the need for a pump

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