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Water tank help and advice needed!

(12 Posts)
user1465301834 Tue 07-Jun-16 13:25:42


I've just moved into a new flat and have no instructions for the water system so am trying to work out how to use it properly.

I have attached photos of what it looks like and it has a switch on the wall next to it. It doesn't seem to have any kind of thermostat. When this is on we get very hot water fine, but not loads of it.

Is this a standard immersion heater?! This is the only option in the flat and I always thought immersion was for extra hot water, not used as the main source?!

If this is the case do I need to keep turning the switch off and only turning it on a few hours before we require hot water to avoid high costs?

Any help or advice would be hugely appreciated!!


wowfudge Tue 07-Jun-16 13:29:22

What heating do you have?

user1465301834 Tue 07-Jun-16 13:40:51

Electric heaters...trying to work out how to use the timers etc for those as well!!

Spanglecrab Tue 07-Jun-16 13:45:21

The black plastic cover halfway up the picture is an immersion heater. Is there another one of these closer to the bottom of the tank?

user1465301834 Tue 07-Jun-16 13:48:44

No not that's visible or I can find, unless there's one right round the back that I can't see/feel

PigletJohn Tue 07-Jun-16 15:29:49

It is an unvented hot water cylinder. There should be a makers mark or brandname on it, such as Megaflo or Santon.

It operates under pressure, so, like a pressure cooker, it has multiple safety devices fitted to it, and should not be tinkered by an unqualified person. There is actually a sort of "licence" issued to qualified people, many heating engineers have it. They call it a "G3 ticket"

It is most unlikely to have anything wrong with it, but as you have just moved in you should have it inspected by a qualified person. If you find the maker's name you can look on their website to see if they have a list of approved installers; if not ask around for a trusted heating engineer and ask if the are qualified on unvented. It ought to be inspected annually, many people have it done with the annual boiler service. The maker probably has instructions you can download. Look out for any signs of dripping or overflowing, or noise of running water, which should be promptly repaired.

It is very well insulated and will waste very little heat if you leave it permanently on. If your flat has electric storage heaters you should use the timings for the cylinder as the off-peak electricity will be cheaper.

Sometimes they have both electric immersion heaters and gas boilers attached, and it is then cheaper to turn off the electric as gas is much cheaper. The electric immersion heater is useful when the boiler breaks down.

Electrically, it will heat up at the rate of about 1 litre per minute. They are usually 120-200 litres in size. The thermostat will stop drawing power as soon as it is hot. A gas boiler may heat it two or three times as fast.

PigletJohn Tue 07-Jun-16 16:13:25

try customer service here, though I think yours is an older one.

Footle Tue 07-Jun-16 17:02:25

Worth his weight in gold,that man

user1465301834 Tue 07-Jun-16 19:28:16

Thank you so much PigletJohn, so very helpful and great advice!!

user1465301834 Tue 14-Jun-16 21:21:16

Thanks again PigletJohn, it all seems to be working fine! We have no gas boiler so it's just electric. We have electric heaters but I'm not sure if they are storage heaters, we haven't worked out the control panel and were left no instructions for that either!

I wonder if you know generally if it is cheaper to leave the water cylinder switched on all the time so it just continually reheats water as it's used, or cheaper to turn it off when it's heated the water until the hot water runs out and turn it on again to heat up?

Thanks again for all your help!

PigletJohn Tue 14-Jun-16 23:39:06

It is very well insulated and will waste very little heat if you leave it permanently on. If your flat has electric storage heaters you should use the timings for the cylinder as the off-peak electricity will be cheaper.

A flat which has off-peak electricity (you can tell by looking at your electricity meter and your bill) usually has a timer to turn on the hw and space heating during the off-peak periods. In such a home it is usual to find an off-peak immersion element at the bottom of the cylinder, and a full-price one (usually turned off) near the top. Yours seems to have only one element, which is unusual.

user1465301834 Wed 22-Jun-16 09:03:47

Sadly no storage heaters or off-peak electricity. All sorted though, thanks so much again for your help!

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