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Specialists in Electric Hot Water Cylinders

How Can I Tell If My Mains Water Supply Is Suitable for an Unvented Cylinder?

15 June 2023

Without a ready supply of hot water at the taps, many of the things we take for granted about modern life are impossible. It’s challenging to wash the dishes or even take a shower. But if you’ve been living with a vented water cylinder, chances are good you haven’t always had the reliable hot water you want.

An unvented cylinder can help. However, you’ll need to ensure that your mains water supply is suitable. What’s the minimum flow rate? What else should you know?

Why Choose an Unvented Cylinder?

Before we discuss your mains water supply, let’s talk about why you might want an unvented cylinder instead of a vented one. A vented cylinder works with gravity to feed lower-pressure heated water to the taps in your home. In contrast, an unvented cylinder holds high-pressure water and forces it through your plumbing to provide a better washing or bathing experience.

However, to utilise an unvented cylinder, your mains water connection must be up to par. Specifically, you must have at least the minimum flow rate of water required by your cylinder’s manufacturer.

The Minimum Flow Rate

For most homes, a minimum of 1.5 bar of pressure, or the equivalent of 20 litres per minute, is the minimum flow rate to use an unvented cylinder. Most manufacturers require no more than 2 bar, and some will actively restrict any water flow greater than that. So, as long as your home’s mains connection can provide at least 1.5 bar/20 litres per minute of water, you can use an unvented cylinder.

What If My Connection Isn’t Good Enough?

If your mains water connection does not provide at least the minimum flow rate, there are a few things you can do. The first thing is to consider whether the lack of flow is due to infiltration of the water line into your home. Roots, rocks, and cracks can all impede water flow, leaving you with less pressure than you should have.

If there’s no obstruction or damage to the line, you may need to communicate with your council to determine the next steps. In some cases, the junction may need to be modernised to provide enough water to your home.

How to Choose the Right Unvented Cylinder

Once your water connection is up to date, it’s time to choose an unvented cylinder. You’ll find many different brands and models on the market, and they’re not the same. It’s important to ensure you buy and install a cylinder that’s capable of providing ample hot water for your household without being too large. It’s also critical that your cylinder is installed properly – UK law stipulates that only G3-certified plumbers can install, maintain, or repair unvented cylinders due to the pressure involved.

At EasyFlow, we work with customers just like you to choose the right unvented cylinder. We can also check your mains connection and troubleshoot any issues before installing a new water cylinder. Contact us today to learn more.


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