HOT WATER SYSTEM

There are two types of hot water systems available

There are two different types of hot water system that can be installed in a property, vented and unvented. Let’s take a quick look at the pro’s of each one

Pros of an unvented hot water system

Most homes will utilise hot water storage cylinders to supply hot water and due to the ease of installation, the majority of newly built properties will be fitted with unvented hot water systems.

These type of hot water systems work directly from the mains water and enables hot water to be supplied and because the pressure comes directly from the mains water the flow rate is much better compared to a vented water system. Unvented hot water systems have safety devices inbuilt to help it cope with the high pressure and expansion of water.

You may find you have a small tank sitting in the loft for venting and feeding your central heating, however, unvented cylinders provide hot water constantly at mains pressure, so there is no requirement for a cold water storage tank and the extra pipework to link it up. And because you’re relying on the pressure from the mains rather than just gravity, you can situate the hot water cylinder in almost any location.

An unvented hot water storage cylinder can be heated directly by an electric immersion heater, or indirectly by most heating systems – although appliances that burn solid fuel are the exception.

Unvented hot water systems do have certain advantages, not least because they are an efficient way of storing and distributing hot water throughout your home at mains pressure. Other advantages include:

  • Fast filling baths
  • Hot water at mains pressure
  • No restrictions on wherein a property the system is installed
  • No need for cold water storage
  • Utilises existing pipework
  • Drinking water at all taps

The main drawback with this system is that they are not compatible with all types of taps and showers. Besides the homeowner needs to be discerning when selecting the capacity of a cylinder, as buying something which is excessively large would mean vast quantities of heated water could go to waste and could generate a rise in energy bills.

A Vented Hot Water System
Power Flush Machine

Pros of vented systems

These work from the supply provided by the cold water storage tank. They are generally connected to the cylinder via a vent pipe. An additional benefit of having a vented system installation is they are simple to set-up as well as require low maintenance. They are specifically designed to minimize the use of power so that translates into lower utility costs. Another great feature is that they are compatible with practically all types of water outlets. The cold water tank is mostly fitted in the attic although; it can be fitted elsewhere depending upon the space available on your property. They are an efficient source of heating and hot water.

Some limitations of this type of system are; they may require the use of a pump to enhance the pressure of water flow. As the flow relies on the force of gravity it is relatively slower. In addition, a vented system needs a cold water storage tank and a pipe connection which occupy space; something which may be at a premium in a bedsit or a small flat. This system is better suited for limited outlets of water.

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