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Modern water heaters offer improved performance, reliability, and access to hot water throughout your home. However, they are not without their problems. If you’re experiencing loud banging noises from your cylinder, there is definitely an issue that needs to be resolved. A couple of things could be the cause of this situation. Sediment The most likely cause of a loud banging noise from your water cylinder is build-up of sediment at the bottom of your cylinder. All water contains at least some degree of sediment – dissolved minerals from the earth. Over time, these settle out to the bottom of the cylinder and begin to build up. With enough time, the sediment can become thick enough that steam may build within it. When steam bubbles release, they can cause loud noises. The solution to this issue is to have your cylinder drained and flushed regularly. It should be part of your annual maintenance, actually. Water Hammer Water hammer is a phenomenon unique to indoor plumbing and it occurs in very specific situations. If you notice that you hear the banging noise from your cylinder or pipes after flowing water has shut off, chances are good that it’s water hammer. What happens is simple – when the water heater is full, the inlet valve closes. Then, all the water flowing through the pipes crash into the closed valve, which can shake the pipe and make a banging noise. Fixing the problem usually means draining your home’s water supply (cutting it off at the mains and then opening a tap to let it all drain out) in order to recharge the air chambers. Note that this is most common with older homes. If you have a newer home, it could be that a water hammer arrestor has failed, or that you need them installed within your pipes. Water Pressure Finally, you may hear a banging noise if your water pressure is too high. Note that this noise will not come from the water cylinder, but from the piping within your home. Overpressure situations within your pipes can cause them to rattle and bounce, creating banging noises. The solution is to reduce the pressure of water entering your home, and this is something that should be handled by a professional plumber. If you’re experiencing banging from your water cylinder, it is best to call for professional help.

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While modern water heaters are built well and designed to last, they do require regular maintenance and can suffer from some issues that require repairs and replacements. Most of those problems stem from one thing – sediment build-up within your water heater over time. In addition, sediment can even affect your home’s pipes. Why is sediment and issue and where does it come from? Why does it build up in your water heater? The Source of Sediment No matter where you might live within the UK, all water contains dissolved minerals. Lime is probably the most common, but there are many others, including iron, magnesium, calcium, copper, and more. What Causes Sediment to Settle? Sediment is held in suspension when water is at cool temperatures. However, the heating process actually causes it to settle out, or to come out of suspension. As the water heats up, minerals condense, and small bits aggregate into larger and larger particles. Eventually, those particles are too heavy to remain in suspension and they settle to the bottom of the tank. The Problem with Sediment  While these minerals might be naturally occurring, that does not mean that they are harmless to your water heater. In fact, sediment build-up can cause a number of different problems. One of those is that, over time, the layer of sediment at the bottom of the cylinder can become quite deep. This limits the amount of water your cylinder can hold, reducing total volume. There is also the fact that sediment build-up can lead to a loud banging noise from the cylinder as steam bubbles up through the material and then escapes into the cylinder itself. Other problems caused by increased sediment include rumbling and popping sounds, increased energy bills, and even fluctuating water temperatures. How to Remedy the Problem If you suspect that sediment build-up is causing problems within your water cylinder, there is a simple fix. The water heater will need to be drained and flushed in order to remove the sediment. However, this type of maintenance should be handled by a plumber certified to work on unvented water cylinders. If you are in Greater Manchester and require this service please contact us on 0161 941 5571.

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With a modern hot water heater, you should have access to plenty of warmed water for use with showers and bathing, washing dishes, and for any other needs. However, if you’re running out of hot water on a regular basis, there may be any number of causes. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the more common ones. Cylinder Size The most common reason to run out of hot water regularly is that your cylinder is simply too small to meet your usage needs. Consider installing a larger cylinder to hold more water. Over Use It is possible that too many people are trying to use the hot water at the same time. For instance, if someone is taking a shower and you are also washing dishes, you will deplete your store of hot water twice as fast. Sediment Build-Up Sediment is found in all water and it settles to the bottom of the water heater cylinder over time. If your cylinder has not been properly maintained, it can build up to the point that it affects both the volume of water stored in your cylinder and the temperature your cylinder can maintain. Programming If you have a programmable thermostat on your cylinder, it is possible that it is set to a schedule that does not match your lifestyle. Make sure it is set to heat water so that you have a full supply ready during peak usage times. In some cases, you may have a timer on your cylinder rather than a programmable thermostat. Heating Element Issue If your water heater used to provide you with ample heated water but is no longer doing so, the issue could be a heating element inside the cylinder itself. Many water heaters use dual elements, and if one fails, the remaining element may not be sufficient to heat the water, causing you to run out quickly. If you’re experiencing problems with your water heater running out of hot water regularly, it is time to contact a heating engineer certified to work on unvented water cylinders. If you're in Greater Manchester, Warrington, Liverpool, Chester or Leeds, EasyFlow can help you. Call us now on 0161 941 5571.

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What Is an Expansion Vessel For?

Water heaters are wonderful devices that allow us to enjoy a stream of hot water when we open the tap. However, they can be complicated, particularly if you’re dealing with an unvented cylinder (also called a closed water heating system) and require quite a few components in order to work properly. One of those is the expansion vessel. What Is an Expansion Vessel? If you’ve noticed that there’s a smaller tank attached to your water cylinder, this is the expansion vessel. It may be mounted to the top of the cylinder, or it could be attached in some other location. With some models, it is actually within the casing of the water heater. It all depends on the make and model in question. You’ll find quite a few different styles of expansion vessels have been used over time, but the most modern (and most common) style uses a flexible membrane within the vessel itself. The expansion vessel actually contains two sections. A rubber diaphragm separates the two. One side of the vessel is connected to the hot water system and holds water. The other side holds air. How Does an Expansion Vessel Work? The purpose of an expansion vessel is to help prevent overpressure situations with an unvented cylinder. As water is heated, it expands. The air within the expansion vessel compresses and absorbs additional pressure to help ensure that your water heater operates in a stable way. A Schrader valve on the vessel allows more air to enter the system when necessary to prevent it from becoming over pressurised. Common Problems with Expansion Vessels For the most part, expansion vessels operate without any need for your intervention. You may need to drain and recharge your expansion vessel periodically depending on its age and the style of vessel in question. However, they can suffer from some problems, particularly as they age. For instance, hard water and even water treatment chemicals can cause the rubber membrane within the vessel to degrade and break down. Eventually, it will fail, requiring replacement.  If you think your expansion vessel needs to be repaired or replaced, contact a engineer experienced with unvented cylinders and their operation. EasyFlow can send an engineer to you if you're located in Greater Manchester, Warrington, Liverpool, Chester or Leeds.

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With modern water heating technology, you expect to have mains pressure hot water at the tap. However, there is a chance that you’ll open the tap and find that your pressure is very low. What is the issue? While there are several potential causes here, one of the most common is a failing (or failed) pressure reduction valve, or PRV. What Does a Pressure Reduction Valve Do?  Really, the name says it all. A pressure reduction valve, sometimes called a safety valve, is actually responsible for reducing the pressure of water flow to something that your home’s system can handle. The water within the mains is most likely at 60 PSI or higher. However, your home’s appliances, piping, and fixtures, likely cannot handle anything over 50 PSI. The pressure reduction valve’s job is to make sure that your water supply system does not become over pressured. Why Would A Failing PRV Cause Pressure to Drop? To be clear, a failing pressure reduction valve does not always lead to a drop in pressure. In fact, it can sometimes result in the opposite – an increase in pressure as mains pressure water pushes past the valve. However, it is also possible that a failing pressure reduction valve will cause a drastic, system-wide reduction in pressure. How Can I Tell If It Is My Pressure Reduction Valve? While the only sure way to tell if the pressure reduction valve is the culprit is to have your system serviced by a professional technician, you can do a quick check that will at least point you in the right direction. Check the hot water pressure at all taps in the house, including the kitchen, bathroom sinks, showers/tubs, and more. If the low pressure is consistent across the system, this is a good sign that the pressure reducing valve is to blame. However, if you notice that some taps have normal pressure while others do not, the cause is most likely something else. A number of issues can cause a reduction in pressure at some taps but leave others unaffected, including dirty shower cartridges, clogged filters, and more. Another quick check you can conduct is to look at the end of the pressure reduction valve. Do you see water leaking? It could be dripping, or it could be a more serious flow of water. If either is the case, the valve is failing and must be replaced. What to Do If You Suspect Your Pressure Reduction Valve Is Bad If you suspect that your pressure reduction valve is responsible for your loss of hot water pressure at the taps, you need to contact qualified help immediately. Call Easy Flow at 0161 941 5571 and we will schedule a service call to determine what the problem is and to get your hot water system back in working condition once more. In most instances, our technicians carry accurate replacement parts with them, so a repair could take mere minutes.

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When you open the hot water tap at your sink, you expect to be rewarded with a stream of piping hot water for your washing needs. The same thing applies when you set foot in the shower, or when you wash a load of clothes on the hot setting. However, there’s a chance that when you open that tap, the water that comes out will be lukewarm rather than hot. What’s the problem here? Actually, it could be one of several different issues. Check the Thermostat The first thing you need to do is to check the thermostat on your water cylinder. It should be located between halfway and one-quarter up the cylinder from the base. It will most likely be a plastic box with a round dial on it, although newer models might have a digital thermostat instead. Check that the thermostat is set for between 60 and 65 degrees. If it has been bumped somehow, the temperature could have been accidentally set lower than this, which would give you lukewarm water. If the thermostat is correctly set, the problem might still lie with it. There is a chance that the thermostat is faulty and will need to be replaced. However, the issue here is that your cylinder actually has two thermostats, and you will need to determine which one is bad before it can be replaced. Easy Flow can help do that. Check the Power Supply If you have a thermal store water cylinder, it can maintain the temperature of the water inside it for a long period even without a source of heating. The water will slowly cool down, eventually reaching lukewarm before it becomes cold. If the thermostat is not the problem, check the power to the system. The place to do this would be at the breaker that controls the water cylinder. If it has been tripped, then no power is getting to the system. Flip it back into position and see if the water heater turns back on. Note that a tripped breaker is often a sign that there’s a deeper problem that needs to be addressed, as circuit breakers are designed to trip in the case of over-power situations where the cylinder is drawing more electricity than it is designed to handle. Check the Fuses Depending on the water cylinder model in question, you will have one or more fuses that control unit operation in addition to the circuit breaker. If one of these fuses is blown, your cylinder will not receive electricity and will not operate. The good news is that replacing a blown fuse is usually not a difficult process, although locating the fuse in the first place can take some time. Failed Immersion Heater Finally, there is a chance that one of the immersion heaters in the cylinder has failed. If this happens, the remaining heater will still attempt to warm the water, but it will not be able to get it up to full temp and the result will be lukewarm water. In this case, the faulty immersion heater will need to be replaced. There you have them – some of the more common reasons that you could experience lukewarm water from the tap rather than hot water.

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Water heating technology has evolved a great deal over the last century or so. We’ve gone from having to manually heat water over an open fire and carrying it in buckets to being able to open the tap and enjoy immediate access to hot water for all our washing needs. However, if you’re like most people, you know only a little bit about the technology that allows this to happen. Your water cylinder’s operation is likely as little understood as how satellites work with GPS systems. One of the least understood pieces of your water cylinder is called the tundish. Knowing what a tundish is, what it does, and how to check it are important considerations for homeowners today. What Is a Tundish? While it might sound like some sort of pan or dish that is placed under your water cylinder, a tundish is actually something else altogether. It looks a bit like a plastic cup attached to piping on your cylinder. You’ll find it just off the pressure relieve valve and above the discharge piping. What Does a Tundish Do? A tundish performs two principle tasks. First, and most importantly, it serves to prevent any sort of cross contamination between an overflow pipe and a drain pipe. It serves as an air gap and provides a visible window into the overflow system, as well. Without the tundish in place, you would not be able to see any water flowing from the pressure relief valve to the overflow drain. How Do I Check My Tundish? Checking your tundish is actually very simple and requires no tools or even special training. Simply locate the tundish (often easier to do by locating the pressure relief valve and then following the line). Check the tundish for signs of water. If there is water flowing into the tundish, then you know that your pressure relief valve is leaking. This bit of information is very important because it tells you that there is a problem with the system itself. Of course, there could be more than one type of problem. The first and simplest problem to rectify is that your unvented cylinder pressure is too high. This might be nothing more than a need to adjust the pressure in the system, although we do not recommend doing this yourself, as the system is pressurised, and a mistake could be dangerous. The second potential problem (and one of the more common issues) is that your pressure relief valve is actually bad. This valve is only designed to open in the event that the system becomes over pressurised. If it is leaking and the system is not over pressured, then the valve is in danger of failing completely. It will need to be replaced. Checking your tundish regularly should be part of your basic home maintenance. If you see water in the tundish, it is important to get in touch with Easy Flow immediately as it indicates either an over pressure situation or a failing pressure relief valve. If you would like a qualified EasyFlow engineer to come and check any problems with your Tundish, call us on 0161 941 5571. Please check our LOCATION tab to see if we cover your area.

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Whether you’ve just had a new home built, or you’re replacing an aging unit, there’s a lot that you need to know about choosing a water heater. These appliances perform a simple yet essential task – supplying you and your family with hot water at the taps at all times. The right choice will ensure that you always have a ready supply of hot water, but the wrong choice could leave you paying more than you should, and still not enjoying the water supply that you deserve. What should you know about choosing the right water heater?   Capacity Perhaps the single most important consideration when replacing a water heater is that you get the right capacity (for a thermal store, unvented water heater). These cylinders actually store the heated water and hold it until you’re ready to use it. You need to make sure that the cylinder you choose is large enough to meet your maximum demand.   For most households, this is during the morning, when the children are getting ready for school, and the parents are getting ready for work. However, it may be during the evening for your home. Determine when there is the most demand for hot water, and then size your water heater replacement accordingly.   Energy Consumption Another important consideration here is the energy consumption of the water heater. Modern units are much more efficient than they were several decades ago, but you’ll find that there’s still a lot of disparity on the market. Generally speaking, the cheaper the hot water cylinder, the less efficient it is. That does not mean that you need to purchase the most expensive unit on the market, but it does mean that you need to realise that you often get what you pay for.   Timer or Programmer It’s important that the water heater you choose has a programmer or timer built into it. This ensures that the unit will heat water when electric rates are at their lowest, and store that water at the right temperature until you’re ready for it. This can save you and your family a great deal of money over the course of a year. In some instances, you can adjust the programmer to meet your usage needs, or the power situation in your area of the UK.   Insulation Quality Finally, you need to consider the quality of the insulation with the cylinder. This is what keeps the water at the right temperature. The higher the insulation level, the longer the water’s temperature can be maintained at the ideal temperature, and the less frequently the immersion heaters will kick on to reheat the water. It’s all about reducing demand for electricity and saving money, without sacrificing comfort.   In the end, there are many potential water heater models that might fit your needs. Perhaps the best path forward is to work with an expert – call EasyFlow at 0161 941 5571 and we’d be happy to discuss your needs and the options available.   Source:   https://www.homedepot.com/c/water_heater_buying_guide_HT_BG_PL https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/water-heating/selecting-new-water-heater

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In a perfect world, you’d be able to enjoy a constant supply of hot water at the taps without having to worry about much else. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world and there are many problems that can occur with your hot water supply. One of the most insidious issues to deal with is a hot water leak, which can begin very slow and cause a great deal of damage over time. To help you avoid those issues, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of residential hot water leaks.   The Drain Valve Your hot water cylinder is equipped with a drain valve at the bottom of the cylinder. This is used for maintenance – water is drained out of this valve when the heater is flushed. However, the valve can fail over time, allowing water to leak out. If this is the source of the leak, the repair is usually relatively simple. The water heater will be turned off, the water will be drained, and a new valve installed.   Inlet/Outlet Connections Cold water flows into your water heater, and heated water flows out. That means there’s both an inlet and an outlet connection at the cylinder. These can develop leaks over time. The leak might be where the incoming or outbound piping connects with the cylinder, or it could be a pinhole leak in the pipe itself due to age or wear (copper is particularly susceptible to this). Again, these should be relatively simple repairs once the source is identified (inlet or outlet), and will involve shutting down the tank, draining it, and then replacing the damaged section.   Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve At the top of the cylinder is another valve. This one is designed to provide protection in the case of overheating or if an overpressure situation develops. The TPR valve will open in either of these situations, allowing excess pressure and heat to escape. However, the valve can sometimes fail and cause a leak. A new valve will get you back up and running again in no time.   Cylinder Bottom This problem is most common with aging water cylinders. Over time, sediment builds up in the bottom, it encourages corrosion of the tank over time. This will eventually eat through the bottom of the tank and cause a leak. There is no repair for this issue. You’ll need a new water heater installed.   Leaking Pipes This is perhaps the most difficult leak to spot because your pipes are tucked away within the walls or the ceiling. The best way to check for pipe leaks is to keep an eye out for wet spots on the wall or ceiling, and then call a professional plumber immediately if you spot one.   These are some of the most common sources of hot water leaks. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, or want to schedule water heater maintenance to avoid these problems, contact EasyFlow at 0161 941 5571.    

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When it comes to water heaters, UK homeowners and property owners have several options. Vented water heaters were the norm for many years – these were installed high up in a home, and relied on gravity to pull water toward the taps. They weren’t particularly efficient, and the water pressure was usually very poor.   Unvented water heaters offer a dramatic alternative – mains pressure hot water at the taps without any need for the cylinder to be installed high up in a home. However, there are a few safety considerations to be made with unvented cylinders.   No DIY Repairs or Maintenance In order to work on unvented water heaters, even plumbers must have special certification and training. That means there is no DIY option for maintenance or repairs here. Never attempt to service your unvented cylinder on your own. Always contact an expert with unvented certification.   Annual Inspection It is part of UK law that any unvented water heater be inspected annually in order to qualify for homeowner’s insurance. It’s not just about legality, either – it’s about safety and peace of mind. A professional plumber will inspect the entire system and determine if it is safe to use or not. This can also help save you time, hassle and money by catching issues when they are small, before they become major problems.   Water Supply With an unvented water heater, it is important that the cylinder never be operated if the water from the mains is turned off. If you’ll be having any work done to your home that requires the mains water be disconnected, make sure the water heater is also turned off. Without water flowing in from the mains, it is possible that the water heater will attempt to operate with too little water in the tank. This can cause damage to the immersion heaters.   Unusual Noises In most cases, your unvented water heater should operate quietly. That’s one of the benefits over older, vented systems – no more gurgling and clanging from the pipes. However, if you do notice an increase in operational noise, it could be a sign that you have lime scale built up within the tank. Calling a professional to flush the cylinder is the only way to alleviate the noise and ensure that your cylinder is in good working order.   Worried about the safety or condition of your unvented cylinder? Get in touch with EasyFlow. Our plumbers are all certified for unvented cylinder repairs, maintenance and replacement, and we can easily troubleshoot your issue to determine the cause, and provide you with a cost-effective solution. Call us today at 0161 941 5571.

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