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Water Cylinders: What To Keep An Eye Out For

For any property that has a system or a regular boiler, a hot water cylinder will be needed to help store the hot water that the boiler produces. They play a pivotal role in ensuring that your property has access to hot water when you need it.

If you are experiencing problems then the first thing to do is to determine what kind of water cylinder your property has and these will either be vented or unvented.

Unvented water cylinders are still relatively new as they were first introduced only 10 years ago for domestic property. They take the water supply directly from the mains and deliver hot water at the same pressure. This kind of cylinder will not need a cold water storage tank although expansion vessels will be required to be installed to ensure that there is adequate space for the water to expand in the system when it heats up. They will also contain other mechanical parts including a pressure relief valve and thermostats. As with anything with safety features and mechanical parts, they should be serviced regularly as this is to ensure that they are functioning correctly and safely.

In contrast to this, a vented cylinder is connected to a water tank using a vent pipe. These cylinders are considered to be more traditional as they require a water tank which is commonly located in the loft and supplies the water, using a gravity system. In a similar way to expansion vessels in an unvented cylinder, the cold water tank allows trapped air to escape while also allowing the hot water to expand during the heating process. Through this, it would also help should an overheat occur. When we compare a vented cylinder to an unvented cylinder, the negatives are that the pressure will be lower and it will take up more space. However, they do offer a lower cost while they suffer from fewer issues and less maintenance is required.

Common Problems That You Might Find

No Hot Water

If you have no hot water and have a gas boiler then it could be a case of the boiler not igniting. If the boiler is out and you cannot reignite it then you should contact an engineer immediately. With the right engineer, they will be able to attend your property and then assess the problem before seeking a solution.

If the system does not use gas and uses electricity instead, then the issue could be caused by the power supply. The most common error that homeowners face is something that they can check and solve themselves. This simply involves checking the RCD to see if it has tripped as a result of another circuit. If so, it is a simple case of turning it back on.

Too Much Hot Water From Your Cylinder

While this might sound like a trivial issue, it does involve one main check which is to find out if the temperature has been turned down. If this is the case, and you find that you still have too much hot water, then it could be a case that you have an issue with the temperature-pressure relief valve not turning off once the water reaches the set temperature and continues to heat. This can prove a risky problem to solve and it is tricky too, so it is recommended that you do not attempt to play around with the system or even access the water tanks as it could lead to burning. Therefore, it is recommended that you get in touch with the experts who can come and check out the problems and implement a solution to get your hot water back on track.

Not Enough Hot Water

You might find yourself stuck in between the two problems above but during the winter months, people often find that their cylinders struggle. This is down to the fact that their cylinder is not the right size, leaving it unable to keep up with demand. However, it could also mean that the temperature settings are not quite right, so you can check this yourself. Furthermore, you might also want to check for any leaks to your cylinder. This will increase the cost of using the cylinder as well as reduce its efficiency. Despite this, if you’re finding that you are struggling for enough hot water and want to get to the bottom of the problem then it’s recommended to speak with the experts. With the right guidance and help, it’s possible to ensure that your system is adequate to cope with the demands of your home all year round.

Discoloured Water

It is common for many people to find that their water is either discolour or has a bad odour and there are many reasons for this. However, the reason will depend on whether it is affecting the hot or cold water.

If it is affecting the hot water and that is discoloured or has a foul smell then it could be caused by the anode rod containing high volumes of sulphates. This could mean that your cylinder requires a flush or drain before having the anode changed and replaced. If you do find this issue then it is recommended that you avoid using the water and call specialists who will assess the issue and look for the problem. The problems can be solved easily with the right approach but it could mean that further investigation is required and that is why it pays to call on a service that you can trust.

Your Cylinder is Making Strange Noises

Strange sounds such as creaking or gurgling are relatively normal sounds to hear when the water is expanding when it heats and shrinks when it cools, this much like many things that expand and contract. However, if you notice that these noises are becoming more frequent than usual or they are louder than usual then this could be down to an increase in sediment or lime-scale build-up and it could even mean a blockage. With the use of regular flushing and servicing, it is possible to reduce these problems and ensure that your system works correctly.

Should the worst happen and you find that you are not getting any water at all, then you might be suffering from a blocked filter and this will need an engineer to take care of the repairs.

So, if your boiler is suffering from the problems mentioned above and nothing seems to be solving the problem, then now is the time to get in touch with specialists to get the job done.

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