How to insulate your water tanks and cylinders

A simple way to minimise your home's heat loss is to insulate the water tanks and cylinders in your home.

Hot water cylinders

Your hot water cylinder will supply your home and family with all the hot water they need. If you don’t already have insulation on your hot water cylinder, you should make this a priority as It’s easy to do the work yourself. Here's what to do:

1. Go to your local hardware store and buy a British Standard cylinder jacket.

2. Wrap the jacket around the cylinder so it covers as much of the cylinder as possible.

3. Don't tie the jacket too tightly as this will reduce the effectiveness of the insulation.

If the hot water cylinder is being used to heat an airing cupboard, any insulation will reduce its effectiveness. Un-insulated pipes will naturally release some heat, but you may need to slightly open the cylinder jacket to allow heat into the cupboard.

If you're considering replacing your hot water cylinder, they are now available with factory applied foam insulation, which is considerably more effective than an insulating jacket.

Cold water storage tanks

If you have a gravity-fed water system, you will probably have a cold water storage tank that feeds water to your hot water cylinder and some of the cold water taps in your home. This will generally be located in your loft.

Cold water storage tanks must also be completely insulated against the cold. The best way to do this is to buy a jacket. The jacket should extend down to the insulation on the loft floor – additional loft insulation matting can be used to fill any gaps.

Consideration must be made for water tanks/cylinders in the loft that include an overflow return. Provision must be made for the overflow to feed back into the tank/cylinder; this is usually achieved by a funnel contraption fitted through the top cover of the tank/cylinder.

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