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Unvented cylinders and hot water systems

An unvented cylinder is a pressurised cylinder which is fed directly from the main water and it is designed to supply houses with hot water.

It is an ideal solution for new builds and house alternations such as loft conversions and new extensions. All these refurbishments in many cases bring extra space to home owners including extra showers, bathrooms, kitchens, utility rooms and so on. As a result, the demand for hot water increases. That is why an unvented cylinder should be installed to provide comfort.

There are a few key benefits to installing cylinders.

They are very compact and so do not require a lot of space. They can be located anywhere in the house. A very common location for them is an airing cupboard. But they can also be installed in a basement or garage. Horizontal models are good for lofts and roof eaves.

They are energy efficient. A single coil cylinder is usually heated using a gas or oil boiler. A twin coil cylinder is connected to solar thermal and boiler to allow for renewable tehnology.

Another benefit is that there is no need for a cold water storage tank in the loft. The cylinder is fed directly from the main. This means that there is no aditional pipework. It also allows the loft space to be used for living accommodation or for storage.

Even if there is more than one sink tap, shower or bath tap used at the same time, there is a high flow of water. This also mean that it can be located anywhere in the house as the system does not rely on gravity for adequate water flow.

There is no risk of freezing or burst pipes in the loft space if they are not insulated correctly.

To reduce dependence of the boiler or diferent external heat source, a cylinder can have an immersion heater fitted. This can be used when the boiler breaks down.

Since there is no water storage tank in the loft, this reduce the noise from an almost constantly refilling storage cistern.

Most of them have a long guarantee of up to as much as 25 years.

Are they safe? The answer is yes but an unvented cylinder installation must always be carried out by competent person and must comply with both Water and Building Regulations. Sure Services engineers are fully qualified and happy to assist you with this matter. Incorrectly installed units carry the risk of becoming unsafe as with many diferent products from different fields.

Working with high water pressure means that special measures are neccesary to accommodate expansion when water heats up. All pressure cylinders require an expansion vessel to absorb this increased volume. Some models have an air bouble within the tank which works the same way as external expansion vessel. During annual servicing this can be recharged.

Another safety feature of the unit is a thermostat. This prevents water in the cylinder from being heated above one hundred degrees.

Temperature and pressure relief valves also protect the system. They need to be connected to the safety discharge pipe, which runs to outside or is connected to a soil/waste pipe or soakway.

If you think Sure Services engineers could help with your plumbing or heating project please contact us. We are always happy to help. 

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