Vented hot water system – Installation advice from recommended installers

Vented Hot Water SystemTraditional vented hot water systems comprise of a cold water tank in the loft which is used to store water and a hot water cylinder made of copper located in the airing cupboard. These systems are typically found in older British properties. 

Vented systems feature a tank in the loft which supplies cold water to the system, which gets fed into the bottom of the cylinder where it’s heated up. Once the water has been heated up the water rises to the top and as the hot water gets used it is replaced by cold water from the tank in the loft, and so the cycle begins all over again.

The appliances requiring hot water are fed indirectly via the cold water storage tank, and because the water supply is gravity-fed – and therefore low pressure – sometimes a pump needs to be added to maintain a strong flow of water, both for the domestic hot water and the heating.

Two types of vented hot water systems

There are two types of systems – direct and in-direct – and the type depends on how the water is fed into the system or heated. Water in the cylinder can be heated directly by an immersion heater, which refers to the direct type system, or indirectly via the central heating boiler by way of a coil of pipe in the cylinder.

The appliances requiring hot water are fed indirectly via the cold water storage tank. Because the water supply is gravity-fed and therefore low pressure, sometimes a pump needs to be added to assure a strong flow of water both for the domestic hot water and the heating.

In an indirect heating system the water will be heated indirectly by a primary heat exchanger within the unit being supplied by the boiler. The heat exchanger is a much more economical option – the water is fed into the hot water cylinder which has a series of coils that heat the water. But if something goes wrong with your boiler, you’re left without any hot water at all until it’s repaired.

Advantages and disadvantages of installing a vented hot water system

The main advantages of installing vented hot water cylinders vented water cylinder – over an unvented alternative is that they are much less complicated – making them easier to install – and cost less to buy and maintain. The main advantages of these systems are:

  • They are low maintenance.
  • Vented hot water cylinders can be fitted by someone familiar and confident in DIY, or alternatively by a regular plumber.
  • Cheaper in comparison to other types of storage systems.
  • When the central heating isn’t in operation – for example during the summer months – an immersion heater can be utilised to heat the water that’s stored.
Just like unvented hot water systems, vented hot water systems do have some disadvantages. For instance, a pump may need to be fitted to improve the pressure of the water. And then there’s the cold water storage tank – you’ll need to find space for that.

Hot water systems and solar panels

Alongside their unvented hot water systems, Heatrae Sadia – a market leader in the hot water cylinder industry – manufacturer a range of vented hot water cylinders, such as the Megalife Indirect Vented Hot Water Cylinder.

If you’re looking for an alternative to conventional water heating, Heatrae Sadia have designed a range of vented and unvented systems which can be utilised alongside a wide range of solar systems. Their Megalife Solar model is one option, should you want to upgrade from a traditional vented system to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.

Builder Guide can assist you with all your heating and plumbing jobs. Simply fill in the quote form to get quotes from up to three firms who will be able to supply and install your hot water system.

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Vented hot water system – Installation advice from recommended installers

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Traditional vented hot water systems comprise of a cold water tank in the loft which is used to store water […]

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