A hot water cylinder can be found in most homes across the UK. Hot water cylinders are commonly used to ensure copious amounts of stored hot water is available on demand for baths, showers and kitchen use. The hot water cylinder most suitable for your home will depend largely on how much water you intend to use throughout the course of a single day, e.g. if you need a lot of water then you will need to make sure your new cylinder can hold a large enough amount of hot water to prevent running out of prematurely. Hot water cylinders are usually kept in an airing cupboard or loft, however an unvented cylinder can be placed just about anywhere.
We at PlumbNation Heating Supplies offer every type of cylinder for an assorted range of uses. You can choose from a Mains Pressure Unvented Cylinder, a Vented Cylinder, a Direct Cylinder, an Indirect Cylinder, a Thermal Store Cylinder or a Solar Cylinder. We supply pre-insulated copper cylinders and extremely high insulated stainless steel mains pressure unvented hot water cylinders.
Our wide range of hot water cylinders comes from the top cylinder manufacturers. These include: Gledhill, Heatrae Sadia, Santon, Vaillant, OSO, Glow Worm and Worcester.
If you require a bespoke / custom made cylinder designed to your exact specifications, please visit our Gledhill Special Order Cylinders page for more information.
Top Hot Water Cylinder Manufacturers
PlumbNation Heating Supplies Hot Water Cylinder Guide
An Unvented Cylinder works off the mains pressure water and therefore use the water mains pressurised system to move the domestic hot water around the property, thus eliminating the need for a header tank in the loft.
Unvented Cylinders offer higher hot water flow rates and are therefore able to provide higher water pressure for showers and baths etc. An Unvented Cylinder does not require a feeder tank so this frees up valuable space in the loft area and also gives you the option to site the Cylinder anywhere you want, freeing up further space in the airing cupboard.
Unvented Cylinders are generally manufactured out of top quality stainless steel; this ensures long life and durability. Unvented Cylinders can also carry a manufacturer’s guarantee of up to 25 years, particularly the Heatrae Sadia Unvented Cylinders range.
We at PlumbNation Heating Supplies offer a wide range of Unvented Cylinders from some of the UK’s most popular manufacturers.
A Vented Cylinder (or Cistern Fed Cylinder) has a header tank that is usually situated within the loft area. This header tank feeds through the cold water from the mains feed and relies on gravity to pass the water through the pipes to your heating/hot water system. A vented hot water cylinder is normally associated with a conventional heating system.
Vented Cylinders are manufactured out of copper, with the copper varying in thickness measured in grades. The better the grade, the better the resistance to copper corrosion, and therefore advances the longevity of the cylinder. A domestic vented copper cylinder is usually Grade 3.
All Cylinders supplied by us at PlumbNation Heating Supplies are compliant with the new Building Regulations, Part L.
A Direct Cylinder is heated via an internal element, usually an immersion heater. Immersion heaters heat the water in the cylinder directly, hence why the cylinder is called “direct”. The water in the cylinder is not heated via any other heat source. Once the water has been heated, it is then fed out the top of the cylinder and supplied to the required outlet i.e. a bath or a tap. Larger capacity Direct Cylinders can have up to three internal immersion heaters to ensure the maximum amount of hot water is available. Direct Cylinders are available in Vented Cylinder or Unvented Cylinder Models. Direct cylinders are normally used in a situation where no central heating is installed, mainly flats and apartments and therefore the immersion heater is connected to the electricity.
We at PlumbNation Heating Supplies offer the very best Direct Cylinders you will find online from the UK’s leading manufacturers. Popular choices include Heatrae Sadia, Santon and Ariston. Heatrae Sadia manufactures the Megaflo range, which is one of the most popular ranges of cylinders currently on the market.
Indirect Cylinders are heated via an external heat source, such as a boiler or solar panel. The water inside the cylinder is then heated using an internal coil/heat exchanger, which transfers the heat obtained via the external heat source, to the water inside the cylinder. Although the cylinder is heated via an internal heat exchanger, the original heat is obtained externally, hence why it is commonly referred to as “indirect”. Indirect cylinders may be fitted with immersion heaters acting as a supplementary heat source, but they will still be considered to be Indirect Cylinders. Some manufacturers supply an immersion heater as standard, any additional heaters will need to be purchased separately. Indirect Cylinders have a faster heat up and recovery time than that of a Direct Cylinder model. Indirect Cylinders are available as Vented Cylinder or Unvented Cylinder models.
Solar Cylinders have been specially designed for Solar Heating installations. A mixture of water and a special Glycol liquid (specially designed to absorb maximum heat from the sun’s rays) is circulated through pipe work in the solar panels. This liquid is then returned to the cylinder where the heat is transferred to the stored water via an internal coil/heat exchanger, the liquid is then pumped back to the solar panels to be reheated.
An additional coil is also required to obtain heat from an alternative source, if the heat from the Solar Energy is insufficient. This is most commonly referred to as an Indirect Twin Coil Cylinder. Direct Cylinders can be used for Solar Power with the added heat source being supplied via the internal immersion heaters. It is advised however to install an Indirect Cylinder, as this provides faster heat up and recovery time.
We at PlumbNation Heating Supplies offer a range of Solar Cylinders, both Direct and Indirect, from manufacturers such as Santon and Heatrae Sadia. As well as providing solar heating packs and boilers, Worcester and Vaillant also offer top quality Solar Cylinders.
Thermal Store Cylinder
A vented Thermal Store Cylinder allows for mains pressure domestic hot water and energy to be gathered into the store, which can be used for both heating and hot water. A Thermal Store Cylinder comes ‘solar ready’ which means that even if solar panels are not installation initially, the cylinder can be connected to them at a later date.
With a Thermal Store Cylinder there is no requirement for a pressure and temperature relief valve, meaning that design safe discharge facilities are unnecessary. A thermal store is cheaper than an unvented cylinder during “on peak” hours when heat pumps are used as the main energy input. The full output of the heat pump is passed to the store without losses through a heat exchanger. A thermal store cylinder is safe to use with a wood burning stove, in fact a thermal store cylinder can accept input from a number of energy sources.
When an alternative unvented cylinder is used with a heat pump, it is necessary to raise the temperature, often with an electric immersion heater, to thermally disinfect the storage vessel, which uses more energy. If a wood burning stove is used with a thermal store there is often no need to boost the temperature for hot water production. If however the heat pump will not sufficiently raise the temperature to give an adequate supply of hot water, an immersion heater and a thermostat pocket may be required. If this is the case we at PlumbNation Heating Supplies highly recommend the Gledhill Torrent Thermal Store Cylinder as it is supplied with an immersion heater and thermostat pocket as standard.