Properties that have a system or a regular boiler will need a hot water cylinder as this is where the hot water will be stored after it has been heated up by the boiler. They work to give homeowners access to hot water when they need it.
However, problems can occur and when they do occur, it’s imperative that you identify the kind of cylinder installed in your property. These are classed as either vented or unvented.
Unvented hot water cylinders are a relatively new concept in the UK as they were first introduced around ten years ago for use within the domestic setting. They obtain water direct from the mains and so, they deliver hot water at the same pressure. These types of cylinders do not need a tank to store cold water although they do require expansion vessels installed as this allows the water to expand within the system when it heats up. Along with this, they also consist of mechanical parts which include the likes of pressure relief valves and thermostats. Just like other kinds of systems, they consist of safety features as well as moving parts and so, they do require an annual service to ensure they remain safe and operate correctly.
In contrast to this, a vented cylinder is connected to a water tank via a vent pipe. These are more traditional as they require a water tank, which is commonly located in the loft to supply hot water to the cylinder using a system that relies on gravity. In a similar way to the expansion vessels, the cold water tank allows any air that is trapped to escape while it also acts as an expansion tank as it allows the hot water to expand while it is being heated. When comparing a vented cylinder to an unvented cylinder, it is important to understand that the pressure will be lower and it will take up more space. However, a vented cylinder will offer better value-for-money while issues are less likely to occur and maintenance is less demanding.
With this in mind, what are the common problems you might experience?
A Lack of Hot Water
If you have a gas boiler and you do not have any hot water then it could be a problem with the boiler igniting. If there is no boiler light and you have problems reigniting it then you need to make sure that you call an engineer to manage the problem.
If the system does not use gas but electricity instead, then the issue might be linked to the power supply. As a result, the problem you might experience is relatively easy to fix as it is often down to the power supply tripping. Therefore, all it takes is for you to turn it back on again.
Water is Too Hot
You should check to see whether the temperature has been turned down. If it has and there is still an issue then the problem could be with the temperature-pressure release valve not shutting off when it finally reaches the right temperature and so, it keeps on heating up the water. This is a fault that can prove challenging and there are risks with it, so it is advised that you call an engineer to help deal with the problem.
There is Not Enough Water
During the winter months, it is common for people to recognise that their cylinders are not working as they expect them to. The most common reason for this is down to the fact that the cylinder is not the right size and so, it struggles to keep up with demand. However, it could also be the temperature settings and so, it is worth checking that the cylinder is not leaking. If this is the case, then it will mean that the cost of using the cylinder will increase while its efficiency will reduce. Therefore, it’s imperative that you do not attempt to solve the problem yourself and leave it to the professionals and this will ensure your cylinder is back up and running correctly.
Water Has Discoloured or Smells
When you run the taps, you might find that the water is discoloured it could have a strange odour. If you experience this then there are a number of different issues that might be causing it. This will depend on whether it is affecting the hot or cold water. If the hot water has a discoloured appearance or it smells foul, then this could be down to the anode rod or it could be a case of the water containing a high level of sulphates. This could mean that the cylinder might require a flush or a drain and it could mean that you might need the anode changed and replaced. Again, this is a job that requires expertise and trusted service to ensure that the job is carried out safely and effectively.
The Cylinder is Making Strange Noises
It is relatively normal to experience sounds coming from your cylinder. These sounds might be gurgling or creaking and these are caused by the water expanding during the heating process and shrinking when it cools. However, if you have noticed that the noises are becoming more frequent, they have changed and are louder then it could mean that there is a build-up of sediment and limescale or it could indicate that there are blockages. Through regular flushing, as well as professional servicing, you can ensure that you reduce the potential of experiencing these issues. Therefore, this will ensure that your water cylinder is operating at its maximum efficiency while also meeting the needs of homeowners.
However, if you find that you cannot access water at all, then this is more than likely down to a blocked filter. This issue will need fixing immediately and that’s why you will need to call an engineer. They will be able to find a solution and carry out the work safely.
Your water cylinder is integral to your home and without it, you won’t be able to access hot water when you need it. We all take them for granted but when a problem arises, regardless of how big or small it might be, you need to take action. If you fail to rectify the issue then that could lead to further problems and with that comes the possibility of increased costs and even a replacement system.
So, if you experience any of the problems above, you should make sure that you get in touch with professionals such as Prime Time Boilers as we can help you to put the right servicing package in place and help you to save money.