Vented hot water cylinders are dependent on the supply of cold water from a large tank which is located in the loft space. Also known as ‘gravity fed water systems’, vented cylinders rely on gravity and the elevation of the water tank for more powerful water pressure. They are considered the most traditional means for household hot water production and are also a cheaper alternative to other hot water systems.
How do they work?
Vented systems are known as ‘gravity fed hot water systems’.
Vented cylinders (also called open-vented cylinders) need to be supplied by a large tank of cold water which is kept in the loft. The natural pull of gravity carries this water via a vent pipe down to the hot water cylinder which heats the water.
Vented cylinders rely on gravity and the height of the cold water tank dictates the pressure. The greater the height, the more powerful the water pressure. This means that the cold water tank should be placed in the loft.
As the water is heated it expands, but the presence of the vent pipe and tank in the loft provides an escape route for the excess.
The cold water is heated either directly from an immersion heater within the hot water cylinder or indirectly through the central heating.
What are the benefits?
- A vented system is usually cheaper to install and require lower maintenance because they are more basic in design.
- A vented installation is the preferred option only if the property owner doesn’t want to pay for an upgrade to an unvented system.
- If the mains water supply is cut off you will still have access to the tank of water in the loft.
Do I need a new cylinder?
An vented hot water cylinder generally lasts for over 30 years when fitted correctly by an intaller. If your cylinder is beginning to leak water, then it is time to replace it. At any point, the leaking water can get worse and cause substantial damage to your property. Always check for any damp patches surrounding the cylinder and consult your plumber to check for any signs of water damage.
Hot water cylinder capacity varies between 90 and 400 litres for domestic supply. To make sure you pick the perfect cylinder for your home, PlumbNation has a wide range of vented cylinders that are suitable for almost any property. These include:
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