Updating your hot water cylinder

25 October 2023

Why and when you should replace your hot water cylinder

The heating system installed in your home will affect whether you need a hot water cylinder for your heating system to run correctly. Hot water cylinders are an essential part of heating systems which use a system or regular boiler. Take a look below to find out more information on why and when you should replace your hot water cylinder.

Why replace your hot water cylinder?

Part L of the Building Regulations, which sets rules and standards for modern and newly renovated properties, ensures homes conserve fuel and power. When it comes to water cylinders, those manufactured after 2013 comply with Part L of the Building Regulations - this means that they are supplied to the correct standards and are insulated at the correct level. It is still safe to continue using cylinders which were manufactured before 2013, however it will be less economical in comparison to those meeting Part L of the building regulations.

If you have an older model hot water cylinder in your home and are looking to replace your boiler in the near future, it would be best advised to replace both boiler and cylinder at the same time to maximise energy efficiency when heating your home. You should also always replace a cylinder which is either damaged or has a leak, as a cylinder leak can cause significant damage to your home.

Insulating your hot water cylinder

Older hot water cylinder models with less than 25mm thick insulation can get similar benefits by purchasing a hot water cylinder jacket. A hot water cylinder jacket gives your cylinder an extra layer of insulation. A fully insulated cylinder could save you up to £70 a year*.

This also goes for the piping connected to your hot water cylinder as these should be covered in pipe lagging to reduce heat loss. Pipe lagging can be quickly cut down to size and then simply placed over the exposed piping.

Different types of cylinders

When it comes to cylinders, there are a few different types available, each suited to a different heating setup. Factors which affect the cylinder you require include how you intend to heat your water, your boiler type and how you distribute the water across your property. A Swale Heating engineer will be able to advise you on the correct cylinder type for your property.

Unvented cylinder

When it comes to cylinders, unvented versions are the most popular and up to date method used. Unvented cylinders distribute hot water around your property using mains water pressure. This is then circulated to your home's taps and showers. This cylinder type is frequently used as part of a system boiler installation which has high water pressure. This type of cylinder is best suited to much larger properties with more than one bathroom as it gives the benefit of stored hot water, but at a much higher pressure and flowrate. When choosing an unvented cylinder, your flow rate is the biggest deciding factor as the cylinder relies on the pressure supplied by the mains water pressure.

Unlike vented cylinders, no cold water storage tank is required in the loft. This frees up precious loft space, which can be transformed into a handy storage area or even a loft conversion.

Vented cylinder

Vented hot water cylinders have a cold water storage tank, which is often located in the loft. This provides the cylinder with cold water. Water is then heated and distributed to taps and showers around the home as part of a gravity led system. This cylinder type is frequently used alongside regular boiler installations.

Indirect cylinder 

Indirect cylinders use an external heat source such as solar panels or a boiler to generate heat. This allows the cylinder to be “indirectly” heated and stores the hot water. A coil within the cylinder transfers the heat from the external appliance to the water stored within it.

Direct cylinder

The water in a direct cylinder is heated by the cylinder itself using an immersion heater. No other appliances are used to heat the property's water. Many direct cylinders have more than 1 immersion heater inside them, which can increase the efficiency of heating water at a faster rate. Direct cylinders are available in both vented and unvented options as well as options which feature economy 7 (this gives the user a cheaper tariff over the night).

Installing a new hot water cylinder

Are you interested in having a new hot water cylinder installed in your home? Get in contact with Swale Heating today by calling our expert Sales Team on 0800 731 33 44 or contacting us here.


Information source:

* Utility Warehouse