Hot Water Cylinders

Your knight in shining armour when all systems are down

So, what exactly is a hot water cylinder?

A hot water cylinder is a vessel that heats up water for you to use throughout your home. The water in your cylinder may be heated in one of two ways:

  1. A direct hot water cylinder is essentially a giant kettle: it heats up water with the help of an immersion heater sitting neatly inside it – all powered by electricity. These are the ‘knight in shining armour’ breed of cylinders as they don’t depend on a boiler to heat up. Although they do cost more to run, as opposed to the more common indirect system (below).
  2. An indirect hot water cylinder heats up water via a coil which is linked to your boiler; think of this coil as a giant radiator inside your hot water cylinder. This is the most common type, as they have a built in immersion heater as a backup.

Did you know...

Once you use all the hot water in a new hot water cylinder…
It only takes around 30 minutes to fully recover that tank of hot water again.

So, what exactly is a hot water cylinder?

A hot water cylinder is a vessel that heats up water for you to use throughout your home. The water in your cylinder may be heated in one of two ways:

  1. A direct hot water cylinder is essentially a giant kettle: it heats up water with the help of an immersion heater sitting neatly inside it – all powered by electricity. These are the ‘knight in shining armour’ breed of cylinders as they don’t depend on a boiler to heat up. Although they do cost more to run, as opposed to the more common indirect system (below).
  2. An indirect hot water cylinder heats up water via a coil which is linked to your boiler; think of this coil as a giant radiator inside your hot water cylinder. This is the most common type, as they have a built in immersion heater as a backup.

Did you know...

Once you use all the hot water in a new hot water cylinder…
It only takes around 30 minutes to fully recover that tank of hot water again.

There are two main types of hot water cylinder:

Vented and unvented (or sealed). The difference is in the origin of the water supply. Here’s how each type works:

With a vented hot water cylinder, the water in your cylinder comes from a tank (usually in the loft) and has a vent running back to the tank in the loft, hence the name. Depending on your needs, you may need to install additional shower pumps to maintain an adequate water pressure.

Considerations: Water pressure can be lower on the top floor of your house than the ground floor when using a vented hot water cylinder. This is because the system is reliant on gravity, with cold water moving from the tank to the hot water cylinder then rising as it heats before eventually reaching the tap, which could be upstairs!

The water supply for your hot water cylinder comes directly from the mains with an unvented system.

Manufacturers of unvented hot water cylinders require your home to have a G3 certification, which means you need a minimum flow rate of 20 litres per minute from your mains water supply.

Without this the system will be unable to provide hot water at a strong enough pressure (nobody likes a drizzling shower).

We can check your mains flow rate easily using your kitchen or outside tap. In our experience, most homes in Hook meet the criteria for G3 certification.

Considerations: A plus side of a sealed hot water cylinder is that it won’t require any additional shower pumps, and the water pressure will be consistent on all floors of your house.

That said, if the mains pressure were to drop for any reason, it will affect the pressure of the hot water supply throughout your house.

Remember that you will need an external discharge pipe installed with an unvented system so that does add an additional upfront cost.

Heating method aside, as the water heats up in a hot water cylinder, it rises to the top. When you turn on your shower or hot tap, water is taken from the top of the cylinder.

Therefore, the length of time you can run the hot water for depends on how fast the cylinder is supplied with more water and how quickly this is heated up.

All hot water cylinders have an easy-to-read thermostat, so you can always keep an eye on the sitting temperature of the water inside.

If you’re after a hot water cylinder, give us a ring on 01256 760 617 so we can work out which type will best suit your needs and recommend the most appropriate products.

Once you’ve made up your mind, we can source and install your complete hot water cylinder system in no time at all.

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