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Water Heater Troubleshooting: Understanding Common Problems with Unvented Cylinders

Today, unvented cylinders are the most frequently recommended option for residential hot water needs. They offer superior pressure in the shower and at the taps compared to vented cylinders. They do not take up as much room as vented cylinders, and they can be installed just about anywhere that there’s access to the mains, as well. However, they can suffer from a few common issues. For homeowners, it’s important to understand the most common problems you might face with an unvented cylinder.

 

No Hot Water

 

Perhaps the single most common problem you might experience with an unvented cylinder is no hot water. This can present as cold water when you open the hot tap, or no water flow at all from the hot tap. A couple of different issues can cause this problem, including no power to the water heater due to a tripped circuit breaker, or a problem with the residual current device installed on the unit. Regular maintenance will ensure that there are no reasons for your water heater to trip the breaker and that the RCD is in good working condition, as well.

 

Thermostat Issues

 

Your unvented cylinder will be equipped with a thermostat. This allows you to set the temperature on the water heater to your preferences (and to ensure safety for members of your household). It is also an important tool for helping to prevent overheating and overpressure situations. It is possible for the thermostat to malfunction in a number of ways, all of which can be prevented through annual inspections and regular maintenance by a G3-certified plumber.

 

Expansion Vessel or Air Bubble Problems

 

Unvented cylinders have either an expansion tank or an air bubble system. This allows the unit to accommodate the increased volume of heated water without any danger. However, both expansion tanks and air bubble systems can become depleted over time. This mean there is less expansion room for heated water and increased risk for your home. Annual maintenance is the best way to avoid this problem.

 

Pressure Relief Valve

 

Hot water creates a great deal of pressure within an unvented cylinder. If this builds up to dangerous levels, the tank could split. A pressure relief valve helps prevent this from happening by allowing excess pressure to be vented. If the valve fails, this cannot happen, though. Again, annual maintenance ensures that this valve is in working order.

 

Pressure Reducing Valve Failure

 

Because an unvented cylinder is connected directly to the mains, a pressure reducing valve is needed to ensure that incoming water pressure remains at a safe level. If the valve were to fail, the cylinder could become over pressured. Annual service ensures that your valve remains in good working condition.

 

As you can see, the single most important thing to do to prevent these common problems with unvented cylinders is to ensure that your water heater is properly serviced and maintained. Call EasyFlow on 0161 941 5571 to schedule your maintenance.