Unvented Water Cylinder Engineers
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Combination valve replacement

If you are experiencing a reduction in the flow or pressure of hot water from an unvented water heater, there may be a fault with the Combination Valve. This fault might be a result of ware in which case it needs to be replaced, or it might be overdue for an annual service. If the hot water cylinder and the valves have not been serviced there is a high probability that the line strainer has become blocked with debris from the water supply and is not allowing water from the supply to pass into the cylinder.

Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

Unvented Water Heater Without TPR Valve

The Replacment TPR Valve

The Combination Valve, sometimes called the Pressure Reduction Valve or Cold Inlet Valve has a number of functions and combines different valves into one fitting. A combination valve contains the following components:

  • Pressure Reduction Valve: This reduces the pressure of incoming water supply to a suitable operating pressure for your hot water heater.
  • Check Valve: This prevents hot water from the cylinder from re-entering the fresh water supply, helping to ensure proper temperature on both sides.
  • Line Strainer: This is a metal mesh which for safety and water quality purposes, filters out small particles which would otherwise enter the cylinder
  • Expansion Valve: This is a safety valve designed to protect the water cylinder, other valves and hot water pipework. It operates when the pressure inside the cylinder builds up to an unsafe level.   

If the water flow at the tap reduces, it could be caused by one of the following:

  • The Combination Valve has not been serviced and the line strainer is blocked. This particular problem often shows itself by an initial burst of high pressure water from the tap, with the flow of water quickly reducing. In this case, an annual service would probably correct the fault by ensuring that the strainer was checked each year and cleaned if debris or a blockage of any type were discovered.
  • The Pressure Reduction Valve part of the Combination Valve is faulty and is not operating as it should as the spring and diaphragm are worn. The only solution is to change the Combination Valve. This is part of normal wear and tear and is more common on aging water heaters. However, new water heaters can experience this problem, so it should not be discounted on the basis of age alone.
  • There is a drip of water coming from the end of the cartridge. The solution is to fit a replacement
  • There is a reduction in the incoming water pressure. If the incoming water pressure is low, it will be low at the tap. In this instance, check that the main stop tap in the property has not been turned a couple of times to the off position. If in an apartment also check the that the tap in the corridor is fully open. If the mains supply tap/s are fully open, ask your neighbours if they are experiencing a reduction in pressure. If they are, the fault is out of your control and should be reported to the water supplier or in apartments the building manager.

Please Note: We do not recommend that anyone without the right experience and training attempt to diagnose and repair valve leaks or water pressure problems with an unvented cylinder. Only a trained professional should handle these issues, as dangerous situations could occur, causing serious injury. We highly recommend that you contact a professional provider like EasyFlow to handle all diagnoses and repairs.

In addition, you might notice water dripping into the tun dish. If the drip is cold, this will be from the expansion valve and might be a result of either a fault with the valve, caused by over pressure as a result of the heater not being serviced. Or by the fact that the unvented water heater is overdue for a service. In the latter case the drip is being caused by the water expanding as it is being heated and as the air gap or the charge I the expansion vessel has depleted the additional volume of water has nowhere to go and forces the valve to open under pressure.

Combination Valves come with a manufactures warranty of 12 months, but typically last for between five to seven years if they are serviced on a regular basis. When Combination Valves / Cold Water Inlet Valves are fitted with a new water cylinder, they should be installed above, or at least near to the top of the cylinder. This helps with servicing, replacement and reduces the risk of leaks if there is a fault with the valve. If the valve is leaking and the water supply is turned off, the valve will continue to leak if it is positioned near to the bottom of the cylinder.

If the valve needs to be replaced it must be replaced with a valve which is rated at similar pressure setting as the once prescribed by the manufacturer. This is for safety and for performance. With older cylinders, the original valves are often either not available or extremely expensive, due to the fact that they are no longer made. It is acceptable to use an alternative valve, providing the sizing and the pressure settings are consistent with the original.

The Benefits Offered by the Right Maintenance Plan

As mentioned, while these valves come with a warranty of just 12 months, a little bit of professional care each year could extend that many times over. Just one instance of professional maintenance every 12 months could extend the lifespan of a Combination Valve or Cold Water Inlet Valve by up to seven years. That does more than just save you time – it also saves hassle and money. It provides a significant amount of peace of mind, and ensures that you have a constant store of hot water that you can rely on for bathing, washing dishes and more.

At EasyFlow, we offer professional Maintenance Plans designed to ensure that your hot water heater lasts as long as possible and that you are able to reduce the number and cost of potential problems you experience with yours.

If you have an unvented thermal store, you already know that your insurer requires an annual inspection of the system in order to provide you with cover. Failure to do so can put your protection in jeopardy. Our Maintenance Plan includes an annual inspection that satisfies insurer requirements, ensuring that you are able to protect your home and belongings.

Our Maintenance Plans also include professional service from some of the most experienced professionals in the industry. We carry spare parts for the most commonly installed hot water heaters in our vans, ensuring that if there is a part failure, we can make an immediate replacement.

However, if your hot water heater is very old and has begun to corrode, it may not be serviceable. We cannot service or inspect unvented water heaters that have begun to degrade, as they present safety threats. Our professional service representatives can inspect your system to determine its condition and then make recommendations if a replacement is needed. We can even install the new hot water heater for you, ensuring that everything is connected and working properly and that you have a constant supply of hot water.

We also cannot service any hot water heaters if there are no available spare parts. This situation is more common than you might think, as many hot water heater manufacturers only design the cylinders, not the components that the cylinder houses. If the manufacturer of a component stops manufacturing it or goes out of business, and there is no comparable alternative, we cannot service that water heater. However, we will be happy to speak with you about your options.

Why Choose EasyFlow for Your Hot Water Heater Needs?

EasyFlow are experienced with all types of pressured unvented water cylinders. We service, maintain and install these cylinders in line with current regulations and carry a stock of replacement valves to reduce the inconvenience to our clients.

At EasyFlow, we have over 10 years of experience serving clients in Manchester and the surrounding area. We take a great deal of pride in our achievements and our sterling service record, and we remain dedicated to ensuring that each customer receives the utmost in terms of service quality and peace of mind. If you’re ready to experience what hassle-free hot water heater ownership feels like, we invite you to contact us today.

Call EasyFlow today on 0161 941 5571

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