URGENT Leaking hot water cylinder (pressurised) HELP

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Andy Hall wrote:

Mine was installed by a complete gibbon, and I had to help him read the instructions.
It isn't quite as bad as you make out, because its cold water you fill it with. And that won't go BANG - just piss out of any joints. The standard way to pressure test a steam boiler is to fill it with water and pressurise it...for that reason..
The real danger is, if it ever boils. Thats why its equipped with safety valves and a pipe to vent steam out of. THIS is what needs to be thoroughly tested. A boiler of steam DOES explode, and is lethal.
Even iof you do get a 'qualified' p[lumber to instrall it, I'd suggest reading the nstructions and cheacking up on what he does, and making sure any recommended tests are carried out.
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Agree throughout. Would the thing come with instructions on how to test? And surely separate pressure and temp release valves would be sufficinet here. Thats what I have today, and clearly would ensure I had in the future!
If I can't locate Polystel, any recommendations for reasonable cost/performance replacements? Or anyone know of anyone who'd sell spares for Polystel ?
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IMM & Andy
That isn't what I wanted to hear - but my head tells me you are both correct.
IF I could get a plumber to even consider coming around I'd be keen to wash my hands. I can't yet get one to even quote within a month! I'll try again on Monday. Thank god the gaffer tape is holding!
So as far as the pressurised tank goes - I'll leave it to the pros to fix/replace - unless I go for a heat exchanger unit. I'm happier with wiring than plumbing and have just read up on these - and think I could cope with them.
Andy - you are correct about the red central-heating pressure vessel. Though not sure I understand what you mean by "In this case you have a sealed system and you would use an indirect heat bank with its own header tank built in."
Without taking the pi$$ too much - do you have any make/models of tanks you think may suffice that I could research more to see if its in my capabilities? My research suggests its doable if a little complex...
(Note 8/10 for DIY is my rating for other bits I've done - not directed specifically at plumbing where I'd say its a bit lower - so point taken over saftey)
ALL of your help is much appreciated so far.
Regards
RJ (near Heathrow)

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On 11 Jan 2004 08:00:03 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@mail.com (RJ) wrote:

Your heating primary circuit is sealed and the red vessel is there to absorb the expansion of the water in that circuit as the boiler heats it. Inside it there is a diaphragm with air or nitrogen behind it. The alternative would have been an open vented system which has a small header tank open to the air typically in the loft.
With a heatbank, the water in the bulk of the tank is not maintained under pressure, it is fed from some kind of header tank open to the air. If your heating system had been open vented, you could have connected the heatbank directly to the primary circuit and have the bulk water inside part of that circuit. The expansion of that water would be taken care of by the header tank. This would be called a direct heatbank since the bulk water in the heatbank cylinder also runs through the boiler.
However, when you have a sealed primary system as you have, the pressure can be anything up to 3 bar and the heatbank cylinder is not designed to take that. To get around this, the heatbank can have an indirect coil (rather like your existing cylinder) and the bulk water inside is heated indirectly - the water in the coil remains part of the primary circuit and is sealed and under pressure from ther red expansion vessel.
You still have to have provision for the heatbank water to expand and this is done with a header tank. You could do this by having a separate header tank in the loft, or some manufacturers (e.g. DPS) offer packaged heatbanks with the header in the top of the package immediately over the heatbank cylinder itself.
With the indirect arrangement, you end up with three lots of water:
- the primary circuit, under pressure as it is today and feeding an indirect coil in the heatbank.
- the heatbank water, open vented and heated via the coil to 75-80 degrees rather than the 60 of the existing cylinder.
- the mains water which is heated as required using the heatbank water via a heat exchanger with a separate pump to the heating pump to circulate it between heatbank and heat exchanger,

If you buy a packaged heatbank it's not that bad. You should be able to hook it up to the existing plumbing quite easily.

.andy
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Christian on this ng has just installed a DPS Pandora heat bank. Do a Google on Pandora. and look at it on http://www.heatweb.com . No overflow is required. You fill it up with hose and add the appropriate inhibitor.
The same pipes you have around the kaput unvented cylinder just need connecting to the heat bank. flow and return from the boiler, to the flow and return of the heat bank. The Pandora has an integral heating coil just like the unvented cylinder. The cold feed from the cold mains to the cold mains feed of the heat bank. The hot draw-off pipe at the top of the unvented cylinder is the DHW outlet on the heat bank. Forget the overflow pipe as it is not applicable. The wiring can be advised by the heat bank makers. Get one with a back up immersion heat, they supply them fitted and fit the thermostat too.
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I've looked at the Pandora and spoken to the guys at heatweb - very helpful and he convinced me I could fit it! Pricey - but I guess every option I have will be as well!
So many thanks for this suggestion.
Still don't know what the red thing is....

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The Pandora is about the same price as an unvented cylinder. But with the problems they have.
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On 12 Jan 2004 05:06:45 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@mail.com (RJ) wrote:

The expansion vessel for the heating primary circuit.

.andy
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Not "that" red thing - I know that! ;)
The thing in top-left corner on the top of the cylinder. It has an electrical connector to it and I can't work it out. Its on the end of a T for the boiler in/return.
Pandora is looking more & more likely. Any other alternatives worth checking out?

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On 12 Jan 2004 11:23:48 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@mail.com (RJ) wrote:

I was going to say it's an immersion heater. The make is right and the shape of the top is like an immersion heater cover. However, from enlarging one of the photos it appears that it says 240v 3A. An immersion heater would normally be 13A or more. Also I wouldn't expect it to be located as described.
Where does the other end of its lead go? To a terminal box along with the lead from the cylinder thermostat?
If so, then it's possibly a flow switch, pressure switch or thermostat or something like that.

You could look at what Albion has.... .andy
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(RJ) wrote:

<<<snipped>>>
I think he meant this red thing:
http://www.basecsys.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/tank3.jpg
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On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 23:34:26 GMT, "BigWallop"

Nope, he already mentioned that he realised that this is the CH expansion vessel.
The one on the top appears at first sight to be an immersion heater, but when you look more closely, I don't think that it is.
.andy
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(RJ) wrote:

This appears to be a high temperature boiler cut out. It is on the boilers return from the coil. If the return is too high it means the boiler is running away. The cylinder is up and over temp and the difference between the flow and return is minimal. It could be because of a number of problems all occurring at once, which means the cylinder will get and hotter and in danger of exploding if the pressure relief does not open.
Some versions of unvented cylinders have a high-temperature relief valve. If high temperatures occur, typically 90-95C, the valve physically open to an overflow pipe.
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That would make sense. The plate shows that it was made by Redring with a model code of IHC 2; but this doesn't appear on their web site - it looks quite old anyway.

.andy
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Boiler high temp cut out? I could go along with that! The cylinder does have a 90' temp release valve as well. So this must be a secondary type. I guess it'll do no harm to put this on the boiler return of any new cylinder I put in anyway.
(RJ) wrote:

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What is underneath the cover. take it off and have a look.
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Look at the Range cylinders thermal store. They may have one that is readily in stock.
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On 12 Jan 2004 05:06:45 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@mail.com (RJ) wrote:

Is it an immersion heater? Difficult to tell from the pictures whether it is sitting on and/or attached to pipework, or if it is sitting on the top of the cylinder.
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(RJ) wrote:

It's a Redring IHC 2 immersion heater. Immersion Heater Coil 2, 240 volts ~ 3Kw.
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Nope.
The imerssion heater goes in the centre of the tank - but it isn't cabled.
The red thing is deffinately not a heater, it connects only via the end of the T piece and teh cabling going to it is <<13A - probably 3 or 5A cable going to a junction box.
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