Best Thermal Store Cylinders | UK Guide | 2023
If you are considering upgrading your home water-heating system, you should probably think about purchasing a thermal store cylinder. A hot water cylinder is a practical alternative to conventional water-heating solutions and has a smaller footprint that makes them ideal for smaller spaces. The best thermal store cylinders are also very efficient, providing you with all the hot water you will ever need. Need some suggestions for making the right choice when choosing a hot water cylinder? Our guide breaks down all of the information you need when choosing the best thermal store cylinders for your needs.
Thermal Store Cylinders Explained
Thermal store cylinders house water, although they can also be combined with your existing mains water and gravity-assisted heating systems. There are two main types of water store cylinder for you to consider, with each one having their own benefits and drawbacks. A direct thermal store cylinder utilises an integrated immersion heater to keep water warm, with the best models including multiple heating elements for better performance.
Indirect thermal store cylinders are also popular, although they will need to be combined with external boilers in order to produce hot water for your home. However, some indirect thermal store cylinders will also make use of an integrated immersion heater to provide you with some additional heating performance.
Unvented Thermal Store Cylinders
This type of thermal store cylinder is connected directly to your cold mains water supply. This type of cylinder draws water from your cold mains water pressure, producing hot water that can be used by any showers or taps in your premises that are fed by the mains pressure system. If your current water pressure leaves a lot to be desired, such cylinders are a good idea for improving pressure performance. Unvented cylinders are fairly compact, so good for smaller spaces that have little room for a larger water storage tank.
As these are pressured systems, unvented cylinders utilise multiple safety features in order to work effectively. These include relief valves which prevent temperatures from becoming too hot, while also keeping pressure levels within a safe range. They also tend to include multiple thermostats. The majority of unvented cylinders are made from high-grade material, such as stainless steel, which is better suited to higher pressure levels and significant temperatures. Copper is another popular material for this type of cylinder, however cylinders made from this material tend to be quite expensive.
Vented Thermal Store Cylinders
Unlike unvented store cylinders, a vented water storage cylinder utilises a gravity-fed system, rather than conventional water pressure. A vented thermal store cylinder uses water from a cold storage tank in order to feed water into the cylinder itself. The cylinder will then take care of the heating of your water. Heating is handled by an immersion heater that is placed within the cylinder itself, although it can be heated indirectly if you have a standard boiler connected.
Although vented thermal store cylinders are fairly flexible, they tend to deliver lower overall water pressures. However, they are usually quite affordable and easy to install. They are also fairly simple to maintain. That being said, if you want to improve the water pressure performance within your home, you may find yourself having to invest in additional pumps to compensate for lower pressure levels. Because they need to utilise a cold water tank, there are also better suited to larger buildings and not a great fit with tight spaces such as apartments.
Product Reviews – The Best Thermal Store Cylinders
If your heating system needs an upgrade, you should probably think about swapping your current water tank storage with a quality thermal store cylinder. Below are some of the best value products in this category for you to consider.
Gledhill Torrent GreenHeat Thermal Store Cylinder 250L SP
If you are looking for a thermal storage cylinder to deliver mains pressure hot water, the Gledhill Torrent GreehHeat SP is a good option. Designed to be used with unvented system boiler units, this thermal store cylinder comes with its own electric immersion heaters for reliable performance. This quality cylinder utilises thermal store technology to ensure hot water is delivered at the same pressure levels as mains cold water. An ideal upgrade to your current primary heat source, the GreenHeat SP will not let you down.
This is an open-vented style thermal store, but still benefits from a sealed heating system. This also includes immerse back-up, meaning you will not left without hot water should you run into any problems. This thermal store is also very easy to install, with no advanced qualifications needed in order to fit it within your home. It is also incredibly well insulated, making it an energy-efficient upgrade to a current hot water tank. It is also a very safe choice, with little worry need to worry about legionella contaminating your water supply. If you are looking for an eco-friendly thermal store, the GreenHeat SP will also impress thanks to its partly recycled copper construction.
Gledhill Torrent GreenHeat Thermal Store Cylinder 170L HP Heat Pump
This Gledhill Torrent GreenHeat HP thermal store is an ideal upgrade from the previous product in our shortlist. This thermal store has been designed for more intensive use, with the 170-litre capacity making it perfect for larger residences and buildings. This primary heat source unit can be used with both ground source and air heat pumps, while an integrated electric immersion heater provides you with a useful backup should you encounter any issues.
It can also be combined with wood burning stoves, as well as solid fuel boilers, making it one of the most versatile thermal store cylinders around. Installation is fairly straightforward, with no qualifications required in order to fit it in your building. This sealed system also provides you with effective protection against salmonella contamination. You can also install them fairly simply to your mains water supply, with no check valves needed.
Gledhill Torrent GreenHeat Thermal Store Cylinder 350L SOL
The Gledhill Torrent GreenHeat SOL thermal store is a good option for those who have solar-powered heating systems already installed. Designed for use with either an unvented system boiler or regular open vented system, this is an energy-efficient option. With an immersion heater included as backup, this open vented thermal store cylinder provides you with hot water consistently. It is also fairly flexible, with the option to connect it to a wood burning stove if you have a more traditional heating system in your home.
It is also easy to install, with no unvented qualifications needed to carry out setup. With some parts made from recycled copper material, this store cylinder is also an eco-friendly solution. The sealed design means you will not have to worry about harmful containments such as salmonella tarnishing your water supply. You also require no check values in order to connect this thermal store directly to your mains water supply. If you are looking to lower the cost of your energy bills, the GreenHeat SOL is a superior choice of thermal storage cylinder.
Albion AT0096 Green Mainsflow Indirect Thermal Storage Cylinder 160
The Albion AT0096 Green Mainsflow is a versatile thermal storage cylinder that can be used to provide you with hot water throughout your home. It can be used with a wide variety of boiler types, including LPG, gas or oil fired systems. Because of its versatility, it can be used in older properties and new builds along. It also makes an essential upgrade if you are planning on significant refurbishing and renovation to your existing property.
This thermal store cylinder is a good idea if you are looking to get rid of a bulky tank in your loft space, especially if you plan on adapting your loft to use as additional living space. The flow rate of this thermal storage cylinder is also impressive, with the flow rate more than twice what you might expect from a standard combi boiler. You do not need to settle for less water pressure with this thermal store, with the flow rate allowing you to shower at substantial pressures and fill a bath completely in just a few minutes.
Tristor Manual Fill 200L Direct (Immersion Only) Thermal Store Cylinder
This Tristor manual fill thermal store cylinder is a good option for those who may have trouble to run a discharge pipe or overflow pipe. It is particularly useful for locations such as flats and apartment buildings. An integral filling loop allows for efficient filling of the main unit, with the cylinder disconnecting from your mains water supply once sufficient water capacity has been achieved. With a generous 200-litre capacity, this thermal store cylinder is sufficient enough for large households requiring a significant amount of hot water on a regular basis.
The superior design of this thermal store cylinder means you do not need to worry about flooding. An innovative overfill device comes as a standard feature here, giving you a thermal store cylinder that will deliver hot water consistently, with no worries about flooding or damage. This thermal store cylinder also comes with a 2-year guarantee, although you can extend this to a 5-year guarantee if you ensure the unit is regularly serviced by a qualified engineer.
This Tesy thermal water cylinder is a good option for those who want to ensure hot water is delivered throughout the home consistently. Although compact, this thermal storage cylinder will prove more than sufficient for most households, with the 80-litre capacity providing you with enough heated water to cope with regular showers, baths and other daily needs. The exterior of this unit is finished with a glass ceramic material, which helps retain temperature levels.
A patented piston mechanism also ensures refilling is handled precisely, with no need to worry about overflowing and flooding. Freeze protection is also included, meaning you can always look forward to hot water, even in the midst of winter. A light indicator is included so you can keep an eye on heating status. This unit is also good for those with less space to install a larger cylinder, with the wall-mounted design making it particularly versatile and easy to install in some apartments.
Rheem Mts105200 Marathon 105-Gallon Tall Thermal Storage Tank
The Rheem Mts105200 Marathon thermal storage tank will satisfy the needs of larger households and commercial premises, with the 477-litre tank capacity making it one of the more heavy-duty solutions in our shortlist. This extra-large storage tank can be used with all manner of water heating systems, including indirect systems, heat pump systems and solar-powered systems. An electric heating backup element means you can ensure you always have a minimum of approximately 180 litres of hot water to use. It also compensates for any drops in pressure or energy failures.
The collector feed and other fittings are located at the front of the tank itself, making maintenance incredibly easy. The high-quality tank will also hold up well for a considerable amount of time, with rust and corrosion not an issue you have to deal with here. The fibreglass tank is particularly strong when you compare it to other cylinders out there. The brass drain valves are also first-rate, while the bowl-shaped base means sediment will not collect within the tank, keeping your water supply pure and free of potentially dangerous contaminants.
Thermal Store Cylinder Buying Checklist
One of the most important things to consider when selecting a thermal store cylinder is tank capacity. Need a cylinder for a commercial property? You will almost certainly want a larger capacity that can provide hot water consistently to multiple outlets. However, most households will not need anything to substantial, with an 80-litre cylinder usually more than sufficient for everyday hot water supply needs.
An unvented thermal store cylinder is usually the preferred option for most individuals. They can be used with existing plumping and pipework and installation is fairly straightforward. There is also no need for additional pumps as they operate with existing mains pressure. Integrated safety mechanisms also mean you will not have to worry about your cylinder bringing water temperatures to unsafe levels, while pressure levels are also reliably maintained. Provided you purchase a stainless steel cylinder, they are also fairly inexpensive.