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Thermal store water cylinders offer several benefits, particularly over old-style vented water cylinders. They’re efficient, fast, and can be installed almost anywhere in the home. They also deliver mains pressure water to every tap in the home. However, like any other water cylinder, problems can develop. In this post, we will discuss some of the common troubleshooting steps to take based on common symptoms you might experience. Cold or Lukewarm Water at the Tap When you open the hot tap, you expect hot water to come out. If it doesn’t, it’s a good sign that there’s something wrong with your thermal store cylinder. There are a couple of steps to take here. First, check that the thermometer on your cylinder shows between 75 and 80 degrees C. If it is lower than this, make sure that the boiler is working properly, and then allow the cylinder enough time to warm up completely. If the temperature is showing between 75 and 80 degrees C, you’ll need to check the thermostatic mixing valve. It should be set to hot. If the valve is set to hot, check that the flow rate at any tap in the home is no higher than 20 litres per minute. Any taps with a higher flow rate should be adjusted down. If this does not fix the problem, there may be a blockage in the thermostatic mixing valve. Contact a qualified technician to diagnose and repair the problem. Correct Temperature but Mains Pressure Drops Quickly If your thermal store cylinder is at the right temperature but you notice that the pressure at your taps drops quickly, it could be a sign that there is sludge developing around the heat exchanger coil. Ideally, inhibitor should be added to the system regularly to prevent sludge from forming. If sludge is not the problem, it is also possible that problems with the mains flow are causing the fluctuations. You can test this by drawing off the same flow rate after turning off the heating. If the flow fluctuates or drops quickly with the heating off, the issue most likely lies with the mains supply itself. Brown Tinge to Mains Pressure Hot Water Ideally, you’ll get clear hot water from the taps in your home. However, if you open the hot tap and notice that the water has a brown tinge, it’s a sign that the heat exchanger coil could be leaking inside the cylinder. Note that this is not something that homeowners can assess on their own. A qualified service person will need to test it. Homeowners can look for other signs that support this issue. For instance, if the expansion tank is overflowing continually, it is a good sign that the coil is leaking, and you’ll need to have the cylinder repaired by a professional. Do you own a thermal store cylinder? Are you experiencing any of the problems mentioned above? If so, contact us at EasyFlow to schedule your service. Our professional technicians have considerable experience installing and repairing thermal store cylinders and can help get your system back to normal.  

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If you own an unvented hot water cylinder, then you enjoy quite a few benefits over older technology (vented cylinders, we’re looking at you). For instance, you’ve got a ready supply of hot water capable of lasting for many hours. You also enjoy mains pressure water at all the taps in your home. However, while there are definitely a lot of pluses in favour of unvented hot water cylinders, many people forget about the fact that they need to be serviced. Not sure what that entails? We’ve got you covered. Why Do Unvented Hot Water Cylinders Need to Be Serviced? First, understand that all water cylinders benefit from regular service, whether they’re vented or unvented. However, unvented cylinders require annual service, whereas vented cylinders do not. If you check your homeowner’s insurance, chances are good that the insurer has a clause that states you must have the cylinder serviced every year. If you look at the warranty information for your cylinder from the manufacturer, you’ll find a similar notice. How Often Should Unvented Hot Water Cylinders Be Serviced? You should have your unvented cylinder serviced every year. Annual service ensures that you’re able to keep an eye on the condition of your cylinder and all its components. A G3-qualified technician (the only ones allowed to service unvented cylinders) will keep an eye out for things like leaks, corrosion, and more. The technician will also test and check various components to ensure that your unvented cylinder is operating correctly. At EasyFlow, we recommend that you have your cylinder serviced during spring or summer. During the winter, the cylinder works very hard, and a spring or summer check will help to catch any issues that develop during the peak usage season. What’s Done During an Unvented Cylinder Service? Every year, your technician should inspect, check, and test the cylinder and its various components. What should be checked, though? Here’s a quick overview of what your service should include: Assess general cylinder condition Expansion vessel pressure Pressure relief valve operation Temperature relief valve operation Mesh filter/screen cleaning Immersion heater test and load check Immersion heater thermostat check Water temperature check Thermostat operation Is There Anything I Should Do When It Comes to Annual Service? Your technician will handle most everything related to servicing your cylinder. However, we do recommend that you keep your owner’s manual/instruction guide from the manufacturer in case the technician needs the information contained within it. We also recommend that you keep the area around the cylinder free of obstructions and ensure that the technician can easily access the cylinder when they arrive at your property. At EasyFlow, we understand the importance of annual service for your unvented hot water cylinder. Our technicians are G3 qualified and have in-depth experience with most of today’s leading hot water cylinder brands, such as Gledhill and Megaflo. Contact us today to schedule your annual service!

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UK homeowners, business owners, and apartment owners have two options when it comes to water heaters – vented or unvented cylinders. While vented cylinders have been in use for a very long time, unvented cylinders are newer, and they are growing in popularity. Why do so many people love them? We’ll explore that in this post. 1. Mains Pressure Hot Water At EVERY Tap With an unvented water cylinder, you get mains pressure hot water at every tap in the house, even those close to the cylinder. With traditional vented cylinders, that’s not the case. Since vented cylinders rely on gravity to feed the hot water, taps closer to the cylinder have less pressure. 2. Space-Saving Design You will also find that unvented water cylinders are more compact than their unvented cousins. This means that you can save space when installing one. In many cases, unvented cylinders contain an internal expansion vessel, which means that there is no need for an external vessel, making these both shorter and narrower than most vented cylinders, which require an external feeder tank. 3. Install Anywhere We’ve already mentioned one of the main problems with vented water cylinders. They require gravity to move water to the taps, which means they must be installed high up in the home. Unvented cylinders do not require gravity’s help. Thus, they can be installed almost anywhere in the home, from the attic to the basement to behind the kitchen wall – wherever it works best to save space and create the best possible layout for the homeowner. 4. Quiet Operation For many people, vented cylinders are quite noisy. That’s because of cold water filling up the water storage cistern. With unvented cylinders, there is no need for a cistern. Cold water flows directly into the insulated tank, which dramatically decreases the amount of noise while still ensuring a constant supply of hot water at all the taps in the home. 5. Sealed for Your Protection Anyone who has ever experienced water contamination in an unvented cylinder will never forget it. Because these cylinders are vented to the outside atmosphere, it’s possible for bacteria to enter the system, causing foul odours, changes in water colour, and other problems. Unvented cylinders are completely sealed, though, so there is no fear of alien bacteria entering the water cylinder from the surrounding environment. 6. They’re Efficient Finally, you will find that unvented cylinders are more efficient than vented cylinders. They’re also more efficient than combi boilers, which have become quite popular since they were introduced in the 1970s. With greater efficiency, you get a more reliable supply of hot water with less energy consumption, which lowers both your energy costs and your carbon footprint. As you can see, there are many reasons to consider an unvented water cylinder. They’re efficient, space-saving, sealed for your protection, and able to deliver mains pressure hot water to every tap in your home. Contact EasyFlow today to schedule a consultation to learn more about your options.

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Struggling to choose the right water cylinder for apartments? Whether you’re replacing aging equipment or handling a new build, it can be quite challenging given the many options on the market. Two options growing in popularity are thermal stores and unvented cylinders. How do they differ? Which is the right option for your needs? We’ll break things down so you can make an informed decision. Thermal Stores A thermal store is not the same thing as a conventional water heater. The primary difference here is that the thermal store does not feed heated water into the taps. Instead, the thermal store is used to transfer heat into domestic water via heat exchangers. Most thermal stores today use flat-plate heat exchangers, which are capable of transferring a substantial amount of heat in a relatively short amount of time. Thermal stores are also designed to use multiple energy inputs, including solar, grid-tied electricity, heat from a wood-fired or oil-fired boiler, and more. Another primary difference here is that thermal stores are vented, which means there is no pressure vessel like there is with an unvented cylinder. Likewise, there are no pressure-relief valves. Unvented Cylinders Unvented cylinders work very differently from thermal stores. They are in line with your water system, meaning that cold water flows into them, is heated to the specified temperature, and is then fed to the taps. There are several advantages to this design not found with thermal stores. First, an unvented cylinder can provide hotter water than most thermal stores. This is because the water is heated within the cylinder before being sent to the taps, whereas a thermal store can only impart so much warmth to water flowing past the heat exchanger. Another benefit of an unvented cylinder is that they can be installed almost anywhere and come in a wide range of sizes. That means they can be used with any size property and provide mains pressure hot water at all the taps. Which Is Right for You? For most apartments, an unvented cylinder will be the better option. These provide flexibility in installation location, ensure mains pressure water at all the taps, and can deliver a significant volume of heated water for showering, washing dishes, and more. However, thermal stores can provide some benefits that unvented cylinders cannot. For instance, they can be used not just for a supply of hot water, but as a source of heating. A Note on Mains Pressure Both unvented cylinders and thermal stores are “mains pressure” systems. That is, they both deliver water to the taps at the pressure of the mains. This is a better solution than old-style vented cylinders that rely on gravity to feed hot water to the taps. However, understand that any mains pressure system is only as good as the pressure from the mains. If your pressure is too low, you may need to install a pump to increase the flow. Unsure whether an unvented cylinder or a thermal store is right for you? Contact EasyFlow today and we will help you make an informed, accurate decision for your property.

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If you are like most people, you want to make an informed decision when it comes to the appliances in your home. When you replace your oven, you likely compare many different choices before settling on your final option. The same can be said for your refrigerator, dishwasher, and more. What about your water heater, though? It plays a central role in your life, but chances are good that you don’t really know enough to make an informed decision between the various types on the market. In this post, we’re going to compare unvented cylinders and thermal store water heaters. What Do They Do? Both unvented cylinders and thermal store water heaters heat water. However, the way in which they do it differs. Unvented Cylinders – Water flows into the cylinder from the mains connection. The immersion heaters heat the water to the temperature set on the thermostat. As you use the hot water, the level in the cylinder reduces and it is replenished with cold water, which must then be heated once more. Thermal Store – You never use the water inside the thermal store cylinder at the taps. Instead, it is used to heat water from the mains through a heat exchanger. This allows the water to heat up very quickly and also ensures that you never run out of hot water. Heating Sources Unvented cylinders are designed to run off of electricity. The immersion heaters responsible for warming water are electric. However, there are options on the market that allow you to connect both mains power and solar panels. On the other hand, thermal store water heaters are designed to use a wide range of heat sources, including electricity (mains, solar, and wind). In addition to electricity, you can attach them to gas, oil, and even wood-burning furnaces and boilers. Mains Pressure Hot Water Traditional vented water cylinders required a cold-water feed cistern in order to provide hot water pressure. Both thermal store and unvented systems get around this problem quite well and can provide mains pressure hot water at every tap in the home. Unvented Regulations Under current Building Regulations, unvented cylinders can only be installed, serviced, and maintained by G3-qualified technicians. Thermal store water heaters do not fall under these regulations because they are vented. The Challenge with Venting Unvented cylinders are sealed, which means the water inside is protected from contamination. Thermal store cylinders are vented, which means that bacteria can enter the cylinder and contaminate the water. While this water will not enter the pipes of your home, build-up can lead to sludge in the system, which means that it is important that these cylinders be serviced regularly. Is there a clear winner between unvented cylinders and thermal store water heaters? No, they are very different solutions to the same problem and are best suited for those with very different needs. Unsure what would be best for your home? Contact EasyFlow today and we can help.

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When it comes to water heaters, chances are that you know about vented and unvented cylinders. Vented cylinders have been used for a very long time, and unvented cylinders have become popular in recent years. However, there is a third type – thermal store water heaters – and they’re completely different. In this post, we’ll explore what you need to know about thermal store water heaters and answer some of the most frequently asked questions. What Is a Thermal Store Water Heater? Simply put, a thermal store water heater is a vented cylinder that does not directly deliver hot water from the cylinder to the taps in your home. With vented and unvented systems, the cylinder must first fill with water and then heat up. The water is then sent from the cylinder to the taps in your home. With a thermal store water heater, the process is different. The water in the cylinder is heated, but that is only used to deliver heat to a heat exchanger (or more than one heat exchanger). Cold water from the mains passes over the exchanger and warms up, then is delivered to the tap. Do Thermal Store Water Heaters Run Out of Hot Water? Who hasn’t tried to run the dishwasher and shower at the same time only to run out of hot water midway? With a thermal store water heater, you don’t have to worry about that. In fact, you will never run out of hot water, even if you run a bath and the dishwasher at the same time. Where Does the Heat Come From? Thermal store water heaters usually get their heat from the same source as vented and unvented cylinders – electricity. You can connect the mains power, but you can also supplement that with wind and solar. With the right system, you can even connect to wood-burning furnaces. In addition, you can connect more than one heat source at a time to ensure you always have hot water and that you’re able to reduce your energy consumption (and save money by switching power sources when its most opportune). Is a Thermal Store Water Heater Suitable If I Have High Mains Water Pressure? Yes, you can use a thermal store water heater if you have high mains pressure. In fact, these water heaters can operate at up to 6 bar continuously. However, if you want more peace of mind, you can install a pressure reducing valve that will cut the pressure down to 3.5 bar. What about Lime Scale in the Heat Exchanger? While it is possible for lime scale to build up in a heat exchanger, it is not common. This is because of the high flow rate through the exchanger, which helps to limit the development of lime scale and keep the exchanger working well. Interested in a thermal store water heater? Contact us at EasyFlow to discuss your options. Thermal store water heaters offer many benefits and may be a suitable alternative to an unvented cylinder, particularly if you need to install the water heater in an interior room without access to an exterior wall for the drainpipe.

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Ideally, you’ll never experience a problem with your unvented cylinder. It will provide you with many years of reliable service before you have to replace it. However, that’s not the case for everyone. In some instances, owners may experience problems, including leaks from the immersion heater. What causes these leaks? The Simple Answer There is a simple answer, as well as a more complex one to the question of why an unvented cylinder might be leaking at the immersion heater. The simple answer is this: the cylinder has not been properly maintained. All unvented cylinders should be serviced every year. Without annual service, problems can develop. Not to mention that your insurer will likely be unhappy (and may deny any claim related to unvented cylinder failure in the case of lack of maintenance). During the annual service, several things take place. The valves are all operated to ensure that they are in good working order. The water inlet filter strainer is cleaned to remove any debris or build-up. The expansion vessel pressure is checked, and the internal bubble is recharged if necessary. During the inspection, the immersion heater will also be inspected for issues. If the technician notices that the threads are loose or any signs of an impending leak, they will take immediate action. The Longer Answer As promised, there is also a more complex answer to the question of why unvented cylinders might leak from the immersion heater. Immersion heaters are attached to the cylinder via threads – like a bolt. As the cylinder is used, it is subject to both heat and cold, which causes expansion and contraction in the metal. This can affect the threads of the immersion heater, effectively causing it to loosen over time. Even just a little movement can be detrimental – water requires only the most infinitesimal of gaps to begin dripping into the catch pan beneath your cylinder. Do You Really Need Annual Maintenance? Again, there’s a simple answer to the question posed above. Yes, you do need annual maintenance of your unvented cylinder. In fact, chances are good that your homeowner’s insurance requires it. Here’s the catch, though. While most anyone can service a vented cylinder, including homeowners, that is not the case with unvented cylinders. Only G3-qualified technicians should service and maintain your unvented cylinder. These professionals have the training required to deal with a pressurised system safely. Schedule Your Maintenance Today At EasyFlow, all of our experienced technicians hold a G3 certificate. We pride ourselves on being able to maintain, service, and repair your unvented cylinder and our annual maintenance plans will help ensure that you never have to worry about leaks, whether they’re from the immersion heater or another point on the cylinder. EasyFlow are based in Manchester in teh NorthWest and cover Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and North Cheshire. Contact us today to learn more about our annual maintenance plans or to schedule an inspection and service of your unvented water cylinder. Interested in upgrading from a vented cylinder to an unvented cylinder to enjoy the many benefits these designs offer? We can help with that, too! We look forward to serving your needs.

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Megaflo Unvented Cylinders

UK residents and business owners in Manchester have many more choices when it comes to water cylinders today than at any other point in the past. Manufactured by Heatrae Sadia, Megaflo unvented cylinders offer outstanding performance and are available in a wide range of sizes, styles, and types. In this post, we’ll explore what you need to know about these water cylinders. Why Unvented Cylinders? Before we discuss Megaflo and the unvented cylinders the company manufacturers, we must discuss something more basic. Why choose an unvented cylinder in the first place? It is a smart decision for a number of reasons, including: You’ll have mains pressure hot water at all taps, including those higher in the home and closer to the water cylinder. You’ll find that your baths fill faster, that your showers have better pressure, and that your sinks enjoy better hot water flow. You’ll be able to reduce some of your electricity consumption because unvented cylinders have better thermal store properties. The Available Megaflo Unvented Cylinders Today, Megaflo unvented cylinders are available to fit virtually any need or budget. For instance, the Megaflo Eco is the premier choice for those who want to enjoy invigorating showers while also doing their part to benefit the environment. The Eco features an internal expansion system, so there is no need for an expansion vessel installed on the top. Another popular option is the Megaflo Eco Slimline. This combines the environmentally friendly capabilities of the Eco with a slim design that allows this water cylinder to be installed even in areas where the dimensions are restrictive. This is a very popular option for flats and similar multi-family properties, but it can also be used just as easily in traditional single-family homes. The next item on our list is the Eco Plus, which offers twice the flow rate of the original Eco water cylinder. This is an ideal option for larger homes and situations where multiple water demands might need to be met at the same time. Anyone who has ever tried to run the dishwasher and take a shower at the same time can surely see the benefits of this design. Megaflo even takes eco-friendliness a step further. The Eco Solar is built with solar panels in mind. The goal is to help users reduce their annual water heating-related energy consumption by up to 60% (when used with the other Megaflo solar thermal accessories). Call EasyFlow for Your Megaflo Unvented Cylinder Is it time to upgrade your existing water cylinder? Perhaps you’re building a new home or buying an existing property that has a vented cylinder. Whatever the case, now is the time to upgrade. Contact EasyFlow, based in Manchester to discuss your needs, and we will be happy to determine which unvented cylinder will be the right fit for your situation and your budget. Already have a Megaflo unvented cylinder? We can help ensure that it is inspected every year and properly maintained. Ask about our maintenance plans and how they can prolong the life of your water cylinder.

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Water cylinders provide you with the means to enjoy hot water with the turn of the tap. They supply all the water you need for washing up or showering, let you draw a relaxing bath, and more. However, like all equipment in the home, they’re subject to wear and tear, and you will eventually need to replace yours. How do you tell when it’s time for a new water cylinder? Below, we’ll highlight key signs that it’s time for a new water cylinder. Waning Hot Water One of the most obvious signs that your water cylinder needs either a little care or could be ready for replacement is a reduction in the amount of hot water produced. This could be a sign that one of the immersion heaters has failed inside the cylinder, that sediment has built up to a significant degree within the cylinder, or that corrosion has caused the anode rod to fail. To be clear, you’ll need to measure hot water production over time. Make sure that the shortfall is not due to hot water usage in the home – did someone take a longer than usual shower? Did you recently run the dishwasher? Measure hot water production over a week or so. Parts Are No Longer Available Unvented water cylinders require annual maintenance. During that maintenance service, parts may need to be replaced – pressure relief valves, temperatures sensors, and the like will need to be replaced over the life of the cylinder. However, if you find that replacement parts are not available for your cylinder, it’s a prime sign that you need to upgrade to a newer model. At EasyFlow, we carry replacement parts for most water cylinders, including some that are no longer manufactured, but if replacement parts are unavailable, the only option will be to replace the cylinder itself. Increasing Costs An aging water cylinder suffers from reduced efficiency – it has to work harder to heat the same volume of water. That increases your energy usage, which means you will be paying more to heat your water. If your operating costs are going up and there are no other changes (you’re not using more hot water, your energy rates have not gone up, and there are no other problems with the system), it could be a sign that your water cylinder is ready to be replaced. Visual Corrosion Water cylinders are manufactured from durable material – stainless steel and copper are two options. They’re designed to withstand the effects of long-term usage and wear. If you’re seeing corrosion on the exterior of the cylinder, at any of the valves or sensors, or anywhere else on your water cylinder, it’s a good sign that it is nearing the end of its life and needs to be replaced. Call EasyFlow Do any of the signs discussed above sound familiar? If so, call EasyFlow to replace your aging water cylinder before it fails outright. Not sure your cylinder is ready to be replaced? We’re happy to inspect it and advise you.

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Range Tribune were known as premium manufacturers of water cylinders in the UK. While the marque still lives on, Range is no longer an independent company. Instead, the Tribune line of unvented water cylinders is now being manufactured by Kingspan. Despite that change in ownership, Tribune unvented water cylinders still deliver an ideal mixture of performance, reliability, and quality. What should you know about your choices from Kingspan? The Manufacturing Metal Kingspan continues to use high-quality duplex steel to manufacture the cylinder body. Stainless steel offers excellent resistance to corrosion (although it is not immune to it), as well as outstanding strength and resilience. Because of the unique material, these unvented cylinders can rival the corrosion resistance of metals like copper, while still delivering better strength and durability. The Lines Kingspan manufactures two lines of Tribune unvented water cylinders: Xe and HE. The Xe Line: You’ll find that the Xe line includes a wide range of different options. These run the gamut from the Xe Pre-Plumbed, which includes pre-fitted plumbing and is almost ready to go for installers, to indirect options like the Xe Indirect and direct models like the Xe Direct. The Xe Indirect Solar, Pre-Plumbed Solar, and Pre-Plumbed System-Fit unvented cylinders round out the options. The HE Line: The HE line is designed primarily for good efficiency, and is more affordable than the extreme efficiency-focused Xe line. It includes both direct and indirect heated models, as well as pre-plumbed and solar-focused unvented cylinders. What Do Direct and Indirect Mean? The Tribune direct and indirect models are perhaps the best sellers for Kingspan (solar options are growing in popularity, but certainly make up a minority of sales at this time). That means you are most likely interested in one of the two, and knowing the difference matters. Direct Direct unvented cylinders are designed to directly heat the water within them. This is done using electricity and immersion heaters that sit within the centre of the cylinder itself and heat the water around them. Direct cylinders are the simplest to install, as they do not require additional components to function (such as a boiler). Indirect Indirect models are the reverse of direct unvented cylinders. These are installed with a gas or oil-fired boiler, which acts as the primary heat source for warming water. The heated water is then transferred to the water cylinder, where a backup immersion heater will maintain the proper temperature. Which Is Right for You? Kingspan’s Tribune line of unvented water cylinders remains one of the most popular options in the UK, and there’s something for everyone here. However, choosing the right option can be confusing. Do you need direct or indirect? Would a Xe or HE model be better for your needs and budget? Instead of struggling along on your own, get in touch with EasyFlow. One of our G3-qualified plumbers will be happy to discuss both the Xe and HE models and help you make an informed decision.

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