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Replacing and shifting hot water cylinder - mains or low pressure?
Before renovating the bathroom and kitchen we need to replace our old hot water cylinder. It's currently in a cupboard in the kitchen, the plan is to put a new cylinder in the ceiling space above the bathroom (which is next to the kitchen). I'll create a hole in the bathroom ceiling for the cylinder to go up through, as the bathroom will be relined during its renovation anyway. Then we'll gain a whole lot of space in the kitchen.
I have to admit I'm confused with mains pressure vs low pressure and I have no idea which to buy. Is it simply a matter of how much pressure you like in the shower?
Another thread mentions that mains pressure cylinders will only last 10 years - that pretty much rules it out in my case, as replacing the cylinder would require a bit of demolition and reconstruction every 10 years. But as I understand it low pressure is the less desirable option, with lower shower pressure and limited choice in tapware. (In fact, if I have a mains pressure cylinder put in, will I need to replace all the tapware in the house straight away?)
This is for our PPOR.
If you are changing from low pressure to high, then you may find any mixer taps need to be changed, which can include the shower.
Seperate taps should be ok
In addition there are water temp safety valves that are likely to be needed due to new regs and a different pressure regulator (low pressure systems use a Nefa valve)
So it is not just a matter of cylinder replacement, I suggest you talk to a plumber & get some quotes.
if putting the cylinder in the ceiling, you will also need to consider weight loading (180litres of water weighs 180 kg plus the weight of the cylinder) so needs to be over a supporting wall.
There will need to be an overflow tray with a waste pipe going somewhere, which can be fun getting out from roof spaces.
You should also check for any special building regs. eg cylinders on the floor need to be strapped in place so they dont move in an earthquake
Last edited by Keithw; 25-03-2009 at 11:59 AM.
If you have a low pressure tank/ system and you don't want to go to the cost of a high pressure tank and fittings you can install a Hot Water Boost Pump which will allow you to use a low presure tank and give higher water pressure and you still dont need to upgrade you taps , just do a search on trade me for Hot Water Boost Pump
Can anyone recommend a good cost effective plumber in Christchurch?
I've decided to get 3 quotes:
1. to install a new cylinder in the ceiling
2. to install a new cylinder in a different corner of the kitchen
3. to install an outdoor hot water heat pump
Mains pressure in any case. I'll way up the costs and pick the best option.
We just replaced our old low pressure cylinder with a mains pressure one. You won't regret it!
We also put our new cylinder under the house and so will gain some extra space when we come to remove the old one.
Also, we had no taps that needed replacement to suit the higher pressure. Got a couple of small leaks though from poorly installed shower heads which was quickly fixed. So watch out for leaks in the first couple of days if you do decide to go for mains pressure.
Not sure about having a cylinder in the ceiling space though as you are considering. Would prefer it to be easily accessible.
What about leaks that you cannot see (pipes in the walls) ? Won't that be expensive to fix later ?
Yeah, there will be pipes in the wall no matter where the HWC is put, but the ceiling idea sounds like more hassle than it's worth - I wish we had space under the house for it!
Those builderscrack links are just what I needed, I'm going to post on there and see what happens.
Thanks for the mains pressure endorsement Rolf. =) Did you find the building consent process to be straight forward and cost acceptable (if it was needed)?
No building consent needed as far as I know.
so has anyone who replaced a HWC with high pressure had problems with leaks from pipes in the walls ?
I've heard of it happening, but with decent couplings and piping, properly fitted, it should not be a problem.
One point: You are moving the hot water cylinder up, so gravity creates its own pressure on any water going down. The higher up you move the cylinder, the higher the pressure at the shower head.
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