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Thinking about upgrading your vented cylinder for an unvented cylinder? There are plenty of advantages here, including less need for space, no need to put it in the attic of the home, better water pressure, and more. Still, it can be challenging to choose the right model given the number of unvented cylinder brands on the market.   From Gledhill to Telford, Santon to OSO, Heatrae Sadia to Megaflo, which are the differences between brands? What makes one stand out from the rest? In this post, we’ll explore what you need to know to make an informed decision.   Reheat Time from Cold One of the first things you’ll want to consider is how long it takes the cylinder to reheat from cold. That is, once you mostly empty the cylinder through a long, hot shower, or washing a load of dishes, how long will you have to wait before you have a full cylinder of hot water again? That can vary greatly from brand to brand and even model to model. Some of the better options on the market can reheat a full cylinder in 22 minutes, while others may take 24, 27, 30 minutes, or even longer.   Capacity for the Price The cylinder’s size – it’s volume – is an important consideration. However, you also need to consider the price for that capacity. While one unit might offer 170-litres in capacity, it’ll set you back around £900, not counting installation. Another brand’s cylinder of the same size would cost around £600 or so before installation. However, the more affordable option has a much longer reheat time than the second model (36 minutes versus 22 minutes). Compare your options and find an unvented cylinder that offers a good capacity for the price, but also compare with an eye for reheat time.   ErP Efficiency Rating Efficiency is a critical consideration, as it will affect the cost of operating your water heater over time. The more efficient the unit, the less it will cost to operate. However, that generally means you’ll pay more upfront. Ideally, you’ll opt for an unvented cylinder with an A rating, but that may not be in your price range. B and C ratings are also worth considering and will usually save you a little cash upfront without completely sacrificing energy efficiency.   Guarantee Your unvented cylinder will come with a guarantee against defects in materials and workmanship. However, the length of that guarantee can vary dramatically from brand to brand. Some brands offer a lifetime warranty on the entire cylinder, while others may only provide 35 or 30 years. Some brands even limit their coverage of internal components to just two years. Shop carefully so that you get the protection you need.   Need Help? We’re Here Need a hand comparing the various unvented boiler models on the market? We would love to help. Our certified unvented cylinder specialists can help you find the right brand, capacity, efficiency rating, and guarantee length for your needs and budget.

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Gas heat is used throughout much of the UK. However, there are millions of homes that are not connected to the gas network that still need hot water and heat. Unvented Water Cylinders offer a viable solution there, providing plenty of performance, reliability, and decent energy savings. However, like any other appliance, there are care and maintenance considerations that you’ll need to make with an electric boiler. Do You Really Need to Maintain Them Annually? The simple answer here is “yes”. You should have your unvented water cylinder inspected and serviced every year. The reason for this is that unvented cylinders, while offering better performance and reliability than vented cylinders, do have inherent risks. They are pressurised metal cylinders. If one or both of the safety systems were to fail, it could be very dangerous. Annual inspections and maintenance ensure that your cylinder does not become an explosion hazard. What’s Required in Terms of Annual Maintenance? If you have used gas or oil boilers in the past, you will be pleasantly surprised by how little an electric boiler requires in the way of maintenance. There are no specific annual replacements needed, the way there are with other types of boilers. Instead, you really only need a visual and mechanical inspection of the cylinder and the associated systems – including the pressure relief valve and the temperature relief valve. Both of these must be in good working condition for an unvented cylinder to be safe. Additionally, a qualified plumber will also check a number of other things on your boiler. These include the following: Checking all electrical connections to ensure tightness and that there is no corrosion Checking the tundish and surrounding area for signs of water Checking for signs of damage to wiring, such as rodent gnawing, etc. Check the air bubble in the cylinder tank Check and recharge the expansion vessel Check the thermostat for functionality/wear As you can see, it is important that you have it performed. It’s also important that you only work with a G3 qualified plumber. They are the only professionals licensed in the UK to service unvented cylinders (this doesn’t apply if you have a vented cylinder). At EasyFlow, our professional plumbers are all G3 qualified and capable of providing the maintenance that you need. It’s never been easier to ensure that you and your family have access to a constant flow of hot water. Call us on 0161 941 5571 today to schedule an appointment.

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Whether you’re building a new home or you’re improving your current home’s hot water system, you have many decisions to make. One of the most important is whether to use a vented or unvented cylinder. Is one better than the other? Actually, there are quite a few differences here. It’s important to make an informed decision, so we’ll walk you through the factors to consider. What’s the Difference between a Vented and Unvented Cylinder? Actually, the primary difference between these two types of water cylinders is right there in the name. A vented cylinder vents to the outside. It’s not pressurised. An unvented cylinder is not vented, and it is pressurised. However, while that difference might be obvious, it doesn’t really explain how each system works in your home. With a vented cylinder: The cylinder must be installed high up in the home because the hot water is gravity fed. There is a secondary cold-water tank that may freeze in winter if not properly protected. You do not have mains pressure hot water, which can make showering and washing up less enjoyable. There is no danger of overpressure situations. With an unvented cylinder: The cylinder can be installed almost anywhere, and it requires less room. There is no secondary cold-water tank needed. The cylinder connects directly to the mains for improved water pressure throughout your home. There is a risk of overheating and overpressure situations, but multiple safety devices are built in to prevent these issues. Other Considerations As you can see from the information above, unvented cylinders are generally better suited to modern life. However, that may still not be the right choice for your home. For instance, if you have a vented cylinder currently, connected to a regular heating system, then an unvented cylinder might over pressurise your heating system, causing problems. Another issue here is the mains pressure. If your mains pressure is low, an unvented cylinder is not going to improve things very much. Instead, you may need to have a pump installed to improve water pressure. Yet another consideration is the number of people in your home and the number of bathrooms you have. If two or more bathrooms will be used at the same time, this can create a drop in pressure for both with an unvented cylinder. With an older, vented-style cylinder, the cold-water tank ensures ample volume to prevent a pressure drop, although the system’s pressure will be lower than with an unvented cylinder in the first place. Moving Forward While unvented cylinders are usually the better option, that is not always the case. It’s important that you make an informed decision based on the specifics of your home, your family, and your use needs. The best way to do that is through a professional assessment. Contact EasyFlow today on 0161 941 5571 to schedule an in-home consultation with one of our G3-certified plumbers to determine whether you would benefit from an unvented cylinder. Summary Unsure whether to install a vented cylinder or an unvented cylinder? It can be quite challenging. While most UK homes are best off with a modern unvented cylinder, that is not the case for every home. A number of factors should be considered. First, you should begin with an understanding of how vented and unvented cylinders stack up to one another. In general, unvented cylinders do not create the same water pressure as vented cylinders, require more space for installation, and must be installed near the top of the home. Unvented cylinders offer mains pressure water, can be installed almost anywhere, and require less space, but must be installed by specially licensed plumbers (G3-compliant). You also need to consider other factors, including the number of people in the home, the number of bathrooms, whether you’ll connect the cylinder to your central or underfloor heating system, and more. Call EasyFlow today to schedule a professional consultation. One of our G3-licensed plumbers will be happy to discuss your needs and help ensure that you get the best water heater for your home and your family’s needs. Source: https://www.boilerguide.co.uk/articles/vented-and-unvented-hot-water-cylinders https://www.plumbnation.co.uk/blog/the-difference-between-vented-and-unvented-cylinders/ https://www.mrcentralheating.co.uk/faq/what-is-the-difference-between-a-vented-and-unvented-cylinder  

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Water Heater Maintenance: Does an Electric Boiler Need Maintenance? Gas heat is used throughout much of the UK. However, there are millions of homes that are not connected to the gas network that still need hot water and heat. Electric boilers offer a viable solution there, providing plenty of performance, reliability, and decent energy savings. However, like any other appliance, there are care and maintenance considerations that you’ll need to make with an electric boiler. Do You Really Need to Maintain Them Annually? The simple answer here is “yes”. You should have your electric boiler inspected and serviced every year. The reason for this is that unvented cylinders, while offering better performance and reliability than vented cylinders, do have inherent risks. They are pressurised metal cylinders. If one or both of the safety systems were to fail, it could be very dangerous. Annual inspections and maintenance ensure that your cylinder does not become an explosion hazard. What’s Required in Terms of Annual Maintenance? If you have used gas or oil boilers in the past, you will be pleasantly surprised by how little an electric boiler requires in the way of maintenance. There are no specific annual replacements needed, the way there are with other types of boilers. Instead, you really only need a visual inspection of the boiler and the associated systems – including the pressure relief valve and the temperature relief valve. Both of these must be in good working condition for an unvented cylinder to be safe. Additionally, a qualified plumber will also check a number of other things on your boiler. These include the following: Checking all electrical connections to ensure tightness and that there is no corrosion Checking the tundish and surrounding area for signs of water Checking for signs of damage to wiring, such as rodent gnawing, etc. Check the air bubble in the cylinder tank Check the thermostat for functionality/wear Additionally, there is a need to drain water heater cylinders periodically. The reason for this is build-up from sediment/debris/minerals within the water itself. For instance, a water supply high in lime will create limescale build-up within the cylinder through normal use. Over time, this build-up can become quite substantial, compromising the performance of the cylinder. By draining the cylinder annually, much of that build-up can be removed. This prolongs the lifespan of your cylinder and improves its performance when factored over time. As you can see, while there is not a lot involved with annual maintenance, it is important that you have it performed. It’s also important that you only work with a G3 qualified plumber. They are the only professionals licensed in the UK to service unvented cylinders (this doesn’t apply if you have a vented cylinder). At EasyFlow, our professional plumbers are all G3 qualified and capable of providing the maintenance that you need. It’s never been easier to ensure that you and your family have access to a constant flow of hot water. Call us on 0161 941 5571 today to schedule an appointment.  

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Today, there are two types of water heaters used in residential applications. One type is older and has been around for a long time – vented cylinders. The other – an unvented cylinder – has been in use for several decades, but still represents newer technology and is harder for consumers to understand. At Easy Flow, our goal is to help our customers understand the systems and appliances installed within their home, including unvented cylinders. The Basics of Unvented Cylinder Operation Unvented cylinders are connected directly to your mains water supply. That ensures there is plenty of pressure when you open the tap, and it is heated using either a series of electric heating elements within the cylinder, or via a boiler. Because of the design, there is no need for a cold-water storage/feeder tank, and no need to install it high up within the home. That frees up plumbing space, plus offers additional room for other things you might want. The Expansion Tank While an unvented cylinder does not need a cold-water storage/feeder tank, it does need what’s called an expansion vessel. Basically, water expands when it is heated. Because the cylinder is not vented, there must be somewhere for the excess water to go when it is heated. The expansion vessel is usually installed on top of the cylinder itself and serves this purpose. As the water expands, it moves into the expansion tank. When it cools, it flows back into the body of the cylinder itself. The tank should be inspected annually for safety. Air Bubble Expansion Some unvented cylinders use a different expansion method. Rather than an external expansion tank, they use an internal air bubble. In this situation, air is trapped within the cylinder itself. As the water heats and expands, the bubble becomes compressed, providing additional space for heated water. Like the expansion tank, your internal air bubble should be maintained annually to ensure safe operation. Ensuring Safety Vented cylinders allow all the pressure that builds up as a result of heating water to escape into the atmosphere. Unvented cylinders do not. Because of that, they have several safety systems installed. The first is a temperature relief valve that activates if the unit were to overheat and allows excess heat and steam to be vented safely. The second is a pressure relief valve that activates if the pressure reducing valve on the inflow side were to fail. Who Should Install Unvented Cylinders? Unvented cylinders offer excellent performance and better pressure in showers and at the taps throughout your home. However, they should never be installed by amateurs. In fact, only plumbers licensed to install unvented cylinders should be allowed to work in your home. A qualified plumber understands how to install unvented cylinders safely and quickly, and can also provide annual inspections to ensure ongoing safe operation of your hot water system. At EasyFlow, our engineers are fully trained and qualified to install unvented cylinders. Call us on 0161 941 5571.

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Unvented cylinders offer better pressure in the shower and at the taps. They also offer numerous other benefits over old, vented styles. However, because they are not vented, they must be installed and maintained by qualified, licensed engineers. As a homeowner, it’s important that you understand what qualifications are required to service an unvented cylinder safely. G3 Qualification First, it’s important to understand that only plumbers who hold a G3 certification can install or maintain an unvented cylinder. Those certified for gas systems, or general plumbers, should not be allowed to install or maintain such a cylinder in your home. However, they are allowed to install and service vented cylinders. What Is the G3 Qualification? The G3 qualification is actually based on the mandates spelled out in the G3 section of the Building Regulations Approved Document published by the UK government. It’s also known as an Unvented Hot Water qualification. Earning certification requires that the plumber complete a qualifying training course. Training courses are offered in a number of ways and through many different sources, including unvented cylinder manufacturers such as Gledhill. The training should include three elements at a minimum. These are as follows: Education in how vented and unvented systems operate and how they differ The design and installation requirements for unvented cylinders The maintenance steps and compliance requirements that apply to unvented cylinders per Building Regulations Requalification and Retraining Earning their G3 qualification is not a once and done thing for plumbers. Instead, it’s considered professional training, much like the training that nurses and other professionals must complete. As such, plumbers who install or maintain unvented cylinders must go through retraining and recertification every five years in the UK. Additional Considerations It’s not enough to find a plumber that claims to have their G3 certification. Make sure to ask for proof. They may show you a paper certificate, or a card. Either one is acceptable. Once the installation or maintenance service is finished, the plumber should put their G3 number on the certificate for the cylinder. Failure to do this (or working with a plumber who is not G3 certified) may mean that you lose your warranty if a problem arises or that you are not covered by your homeowner’s insurance in the event of a water heater-related claim. In Conclusion Ultimately, there are many skilled plumbers operating in the UK. However, experience and knowledge do not automatically make them qualified to install or maintain your unvented cylinder. Only qualified plumbers who have earned their G3 certificate should be allowed to do so. If you are not sure that your usual plumber has his or her certification, ask for proof. If you’re unable to find a qualified plumber, we’re happy to help. Get in touch with EasyFlow on 0161 941 5571. All of our engineers are fully trained and qualified for unvented cylinder installation and maintenance, and they’ll happily show you their G3 card on arrival.

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The ability to heat and store water in our homes reduces wasted time and effort and adds a lot of convenience to our lives. However, there are several options available to you in terms of how you achieve that. For UK residents, the primary choice is between vented and unvented cylinders. Once, unvented cylinders were the only option, but today more and more people are choosing to go the unvented route. Are unvented cylinders actually better? Yes, they are, but you’ll need to know a little more to understand why that’s the case. Why Unvented Cylinders Are Better Choices For most UK residents, unvented boilers are the better choice. Why is that? There are several reasons. Good Pressure – An unvented cylinder ensures good water pressure at all of your taps, including upstairs taps. Good Flow – Using an unvented cylinder helps provide good flow of hot water from all your taps. No Cold-Water Tank – With an unvented water cylinder, there is no need for a cold-water tank located in the attic. This is good news for homes without much in the way of upstairs space. No Mains Pressure – If your home has low pressure from the mains, then an unvented cylinder can increase your hot water pressure (but only for the hot water). As you can see, there are many advantages to installing an unvented cylinder. However, there are some drawbacks that should be considered, as well. For instance, unvented cylinders are usually more expensive than vented cylinders. For most residents, better access to hot water and improved water pressure are enough incentives to offset that additional cost. Unvented cylinders also require a specialist touch. Only plumbers certified to work on unvented systems can handle installation, maintenance, and repairs. You will also need to make an informed choice about your water cylinder. There are many different manufacturers, and each has their own set-up in terms of heating elements and even heating type (direct vs. indirect, gas vs. electric, etc.). Working with the right heating engineer can help ensure you make an informed decision. We have engineers in Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, Warrington and Leeds who can maintain and repair unvented cylinders. Call us on 0161 941 5571 or fill in a Contact Request and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

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Once upon a time, all water heaters installed in the UK were vented to the outside atmosphere. However, that changed in 1986, when unvented cylinders were made legal. These allowed homeowners to enjoy a number of benefits that were not possible with older, unpressurised types. Today, unvented cylinders are very popular, but how do they work? Unvented Cylinder Operation With vented cylinders, the water heater had to be installed in an attic or another location where gravity combined with the pressure of the mains could move heated water down through the pipes to the taps. This limited your ability to install water heaters in some homes, and also meant that hot water pressure at the taps was usually low. Unvented cylinders, on the other hand, are pressurised, and can supply mains-pressure water anywhere in a home without the need to be installed in an elevated location. An unvented cylinder is connected directly to the mains water supply. It uses electricity or gas to heat water to a pre-set temperature. The act of heating water causes it to expand, which creates pressure within the cylinder. That pressure pushes the water outward throughout your home’s pipes. However, because water expands when it is hot, there is a need to account for this additional space needed. An expansion vessel is attached somewhere to the system to handle this need. It may be attached to the cylinder, attached to the hot water system somewhere else, or even be part of the cylinder itself. Your unvented cylinder also includes additional safeguards against overpressure situations, such as a pressure reducing valve to limit incoming pressure and an expansion relief valve to allow overheated water to be discharged. A temperature and pressure relief valve is also fitted to your cylinder to provide additional protection. While unvented cylinders are safe for use within UK homes, they must be installed, maintained, and repaired by plumbers certified to work with unvented water heaters. If you’re experiencing any problems with your unvented cylinder, or would like to have annual maintenance performed, EasyFlow can help. We cover the areas of Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and Leeds. Call us on 0161 941 5571

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How Does a Combination Valve Work?

Unvented cylinders have greatly changed how UK residents access hot water within their homes. Rather than dealing with low water flow, they help ensure good pressure and excellent flow at all taps, all the time. However, in order to operate safely, unvented cylinders require a number of components. One you may have heard of is the combination valve. What is it and how does it work? From Many, One A combination valve is exactly what it sounds like – a valve that combines the function of multiple other valves. It’s a way to simplify and streamline unvented cylinder operation and to make maintenance and repairs easier. A combination valve usually includes four different types of valves. One of those is the pressure reduction valve, which reduces incoming pressure from the mains to a safe level. Another is the check valve, which prevents water from running out of the cylinder back into the fresh water supply line. In addition to these two valves, the combination valve will also include an expansion valve. This is a critical component and is designed to help protect the cylinder from over pressure situations and will bleed off water/pressure if dangerous conditions occur. Finally, your combination valve will usually also contain what’s called a line strainer, which is a piece of mesh that helps prevent debris from entering the cylinder. Problems with Your Combination Valve While combination valves make maintenance and repairs easier, they can suffer from some problems. For instance, the line strainer can become blocked, which reduces pressure and water flow throughout your home. The pressure relief valve can also fail, as can the expansion valve. When these fail, leaks can develop, which should drip into the catch pan under the cylinder. Finally, a failing pressure reduction valve can cause low pressure at the taps. The solution to all of these problems is to replace the combination valve, but that is not something you should handle on your own. A plumber certified to work on unvented cylinders can provide your repairs for you.

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It is tempting to forget about your water heater, particularly if it is working just fine. After all, out of sight is out of mind. And, if the cylinder is functioning just fine, why worry about it in the first place? While that might seem like a common-sense approach, it is the wrong one to take. Your unvented water cylinder actually needs annual maintenance just like any other system in your home. Why, though? Improved Safety Perhaps the single most important reason to invest in annual water cylinder maintenance is to ensure the safety of your home and family. While unvented cylinders are completely safe to use as long as they are installed properly and maintained correctly over time, they do carry some risks. Without proper annual maintenance, those risks grow. Improved Efficiency Another reason to consider annual water cylinder maintenance is that it can increase the efficiency of your system and ensure that it is in peak condition at all times. This offers you two primary benefits. First, improving the system’s efficiency may actually equate to reduced power consumption and reduced operating costs. So, you could save money over time. Second, improved efficiency means that your system is working properly, that the risk of a breakdown is minimised, and that you’ll experience fewer costly surprises. Catching Small Problems before They Become Major Hassles Your water cylinder is just like any other piece of equipment in your home. It is subject to wear and tear over time and will eventually need components replaced. At some point, hopefully years in the future, the cylinder itself will need to be replaced. With an annual maintenance plan, you get regular inspections, which helps to catch small problems before they become large ones. This ensures that you are able to maximise the lifespan of your water cylinder, saving you a considerable amount of money over the years. Maintaining Your Warranty Finally, you will find that having an annual maintenance plan for your water cylinder is essential to maintaining the manufacturer’s warranty. This applies to both the tank warranty and any extended warranty that you might have purchased along with the tank. If you cannot prove that you have had the water cylinder maintained properly over time, the manufacturer/warrantor will not honour the warranty agreement, meaning that you could be on the hook for a lot more money than you expected. How to Choose a Maintenance Provider Of course, you need to ensure that you choose the right water cylinder maintenance provider. Not all companies are the same. Look for a company that has a long history in the industry, as well as a track record of satisfied customers. Ask about the cost of the annual maintenance and what is included in each service. You should also ensure that technicians are available in the case of an emergency to handle any unexpected occurrences. At Easy Flow, we offer a comprehensive annual maintenance plan that covers everything from expansion relief valve testing to electrical ground checks. Call today at 0161 941 5571.

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