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Cold water flows into your water heater. The immersion heater warms that water. When you open the tap, hot water flows out. It’s as simple as that, right? Well not if you have a thermal store water cylinder. The water in the cylinder never actually gets to the tap. If you have a thermal store water heater, the hot water in the store passes through a heat exchanger and returns, after having given-up its heat, back to the thermal store cylinder. The heat exchanger passes the heat from the store to the fresh cold water passing through the heat exchanger from the water main. This high temperature water then enters the blending valve to be mixed with some cold water to ensure that when the water reaches your taps, it does so at the correct temperature.   The truth is that to safely enjoy hot water at the tap, you need the right equipment. One of those pieces is the blending valve, also called a mixing valve. Not sure what this might be or what it does? It’s a critical element to your family’s comfort and even affects safety. What Is a Blending Valve? Simply put, a blending valve is nothing more than a piece of equipment attached to the water heater cylinder that blends a small amount of cold water with the hot water from the heat exchanger in your tank on its way out into the pipes in your home. It blends cold water and hot water, thus the name. Why Is a Blending Valve Important? You’ll find that blending valves are critical for several different reasons. We’ll discuss those below: Safety – One of the most important reasons that you need a blending valve on your water heater cylinder is for safety. Scalding water can cause serious burns and a blending valve reduces the temperature of the water to a safer level. This is particularly important for homes with small children who are more susceptible to higher temperatures. Prevention – Your water heater cylinder is a prime place for bacteria to breed and thrive. To prevent that, the water must be stored at a high temperature; too high for safety in your home. A blending valve allows you to keep your water at a temperature high enough to kill bacteria while still ensuring that everyone in the home can use the hot water without worry. Savings – Finally, a blending valve allows you to “stretch” your hot water. Because it may only drop the temperature of the water by a few degrees, you still get good, hot water from the tap. However, you use less heated water than you would without the valve in place. This allows you to save in several ways. First, you save water, which is always good. Second, you save energy, which is also good. Finally, you save money (on both water and energy consumption), which is great. Do You Have a Blending Valve? Your cylinder may or may not be equipped with a blending valve. As a general rule unvented water cylinders do not have them and thermal store cylinders do have them, but there are some exceptions and blending valves are, in some cases, now being fitted to unvented cylinders. The only way to make sure you have the benefits offered by this piece of equipment is to have the system inspected by a professionally trained plumber. At EasyFlow, our plumbers are certified for unvented cylinders, but we’re also happy to help with other plumbing needs, including the installation of blending valves if you currently lack one. The many benefits offered, including greater safety for your little ones, make this a must-have option. Contact us today for more information.

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With an unvented water cylinder, there is a need for a header or feeder tank. This helps keep the system primed and working properly. However, if the level of water within the tank drops too low, you may experience a wide range of issues with your hot water system, including pressure drops, temperature drops, and more. If you have a Gledhill PulsaCoil water cylinder, you have a plastic top up cistern attached to the water cylinder. How do you check the header tank level? It’s actually not very complicated.  1. Locate the Header Tank The first step here is to locate the header tank and ascertain its condition. Note that Gledhill actually offer an optional sight glass for the plastic header tank that allows you to see the water level without doing anything else. If your tank is so equipped, simply look at the level of water in the sight glass. If it is low, top off the tank. If it is not, check it again later in the year.  2. No Sight Glass If your system does not have a sight glass, you’ll have a little more work to do. You will need to remove the plastic top to the header tank. Then, using a handheld torch (if there is not enough ambient light), check the water level within the tank. There is a fill line marked on the side of the tank so all you need to do is check the level against that mark to determine if you need to fill the tank. If you do not currently have a sight glass, but you would like one installed, Easy Flow may be able to install one for you to make maintaining your water cylinder simpler and easier. 3. Fill the Tank (If Necessary) The Gledhill PulsaCoil has a manual fill header tank. What that means is you must top up the tank regularly by hand in order to maintain proper operation of your system. You will simply need to add water to the tank until it reaches the fill line, which is roughly halfway up the wall of the tank.  4. Close the Lid Once you have checked the water level and/or topped off the water in the tank, simply replace the lid and make sure that it is well sealed. Leaving it loose could speed up evaporation and reduce the level of water in your tank. How Often Should You Check the Header Tank Level? While it is necessary to check the header tank water level regularly, you do not need to do so very frequently. Gledhill recommends three to four times per year. It should also be part of your annual service. As you can see, there is not a lot involved with checking the header tank unit. The most important thing is to ensure that you do not forget to do it regularly.

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When you open your hot tap, you expect to be rewarded with a steady flow of heated water. In most cases, that’s exactly what happens, but there can be issues that prevent this from happening. If you’re experiencing no hot water at the taps, there are a few common causes that might be the issue. We’ll explore those below.   Blown Breaker   Perhaps the most common reason for no hot water at the taps is that the water heater isn’t working. This is usually because a breaker in your fuse panel has blown. Breakers are designed to trip in the case of overvoltage situations to prevent fires, shocks and other dangerous conditions. If the breaker has tripped, simply reset it. Watch to see what happens – if the breaker trips again, you need to contact a professional for help.   Blown Fuse   In addition to the breaker, your hot water heater probably has a fuse that controls its operation. This is a layer of redundant protection designed to help ensure your safety. Check the fuse and if it is blown, replace it. If it blows again, then call for help. If you’re not sure where your fuse is located, check the owner’s manual, or call a professional to help.   Dead Immersion Heater   Yet another possible reason for no hot water at the taps is a problem with one or both of the immersion heaters in your water cylinder. These are heating elements that sit within the body of the cylinder, and are designed to be surrounded by water. They heat up, and warm the water around them. Over time, immersion heaters are subject to wear and tear, as well as scale build-up from minerals in the water. This can cause them to fail. When that happens, your water heater will no longer warm water. A failed immersion heater must be replaced – it cannot be repaired.   Sediment Build Up   Finally, there is a chance that sediment build-up has blocked the outlet line. This will prevent water from flowing out of the water heater and to the taps. However, this is not a situation that develops overnight. It’s usually one that occurs slowly, and chances are good that if this is the issue you’re facing, you’ve also dealt with slowly decreasing pressure at the tap for some time now. This is a dead giveaway that there is sediment slowly accumulating at the bottom of the water heater. Eventually, this will cause the cylinder itself to begin rusting out.   If you’re struggling with no hot water at the taps, you could be faced with any of these four potential problems. There are other possible issues, as well, such as a blockage in the hot water line, or an issue somewhere else in the system. Don’t try to go it alone here. Call for professional help. You can reach the expert at EasyFlow at 0161 941 5571. We can offer hot water heater repair, maintenance, installation and more.

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