Hot Water Cylinders

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Case study-The McCarthy’s Cylinder Finds New Home in the Loft

Homeowners: Jo and Steve McCarthy, their two children Henry (7) and Toby (4) Property: 4-bedroom detached property, built 2002 Project Started: March 2016 Installation: Worcester Greenstar 24kW gas-fired system boiler, Greenstore 250ltr cylinder, heating and hot water controls Location: Lichfield, Staffordshire

The Project

When we decided to update our property, we felt it was best to do all major work at the same time to ensure the disruption was kept to a minimum. So in March 2016, work was planned to upgrade our kitchen, main bathroom and en-suite all in one go.

As one of our aims was to improve the use of space in the main bathroom so it could include a free standing bath and a separate shower unit, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to not only replace our existing heating system but also to change the location of each element around to open up the options available.

Expert Opinion

 Our house currently had a vented heating system in place with header tanks in the loft, a water storage tank in an airing cupboard and boiler in the utility room.

The installer working on the project gave us two options. The first was to replace the boiler with a combi taking away the need for a cylinder completely and ensuring the existing airing cupboard space could be incorporated into our main bathroom to house the shower. The second was to install a completely sealed, unvented heating system which draws its cold water from the mains supply and to put the cylinder in a brand new location, again freeing up the airing cupboard space. Both were viable options so it had to come down to how it best suited our lifestyle.

The combi was undoubtedly the cheaper option but the plumber pointed out that hot water supply would rely solely on the boiler. With our two young children in the house, the fact that the unvented cylinder could be heated by an immersion heater should the boiler ever fail was important, making this a real plus for us as a family.

We have a really busy household, so the idea that the unvented system and cylinder set up could also supply multiple outlets throughout the house at the same time, without effect on the pressure or temperature, was again a significant benefit to us.

The Result

 So the order for the unvented system was placed and it was decided that a new 250 litre single coil cylinder would go in the loft space. The boiler was installed in the utility room where the previous model was fitted.

The loft hatch did need to be widened to accommodate the new cylinder but, once in place, it was able to sit in the centre of the beams using the height, and pipework then connected.

I had always thought you had to replace like for like so I was delighted to find that we had plenty of options open to us when we looked at moving the old hot water tank and using our airing cupboard space as part of the bathroom.

The cylinder has fitted perfectly into the loft and it has freed up the essential living space we needed to complete our renovation plans. The garage was another site consideration but, as it is detached from the property, would have created additional work on this occasion.

For us the choice of an unvented cylinder and heating system is perfect. We know we can run multiple showers at the same time, and I don’t have to worry about losing pressure when someone turns on a tap elsewhere in the house. I think this will come in particularly handy in the future when my children get older and we are all fighting for bathroom space too! When it came down to it, we also felt we would be lost if we didn’t have access to hot water for any period of time.

I have to say we have been delighted with the results. The cylinder has already boosted the water pressures throughout our home and we are looking forward to seeing how this new set up also increases our efficiency over time.

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