Water storage tank removal
Removing a water storage tank in your property can free up valuable, readymade storage space. Even the removal of the pipe work associated with the storage tank can make spaces more usable.
It is not unusual to find that the water storage tank has not been removed when a new "unvented" or "combination" boiler heating and hot water system has been installed. So, if you are short of a bit of space and would like advice on removing a storage tank could call HomeForce on 0131 315 0000.

What is a water storage tank?

What we mean here is a cold water storage tank, sometimes referred to as "a header tank", "holding tank" or "cistern". It is filled from the mains water pipe coming into a property. It holds cold water until it is needed; either when a cold tap is turned on or when hot water is drawn through the heating system or to the hot water cylinder.

As water is drawn from the tank a ballcock mechanism – like the one in a toilet cistern - allows mains water to feed into the storage tank to refill it.

What we don't mean here is a hot water cylinder – also sometimes called an "immersion tank" or "Hot Water Boiler". These can sometimes be removed too, but that topic is for another article.

Where is the storage tank usually located?

In many older Edinburgh properties the cold water storage tank is housed directly over your head as you enter the bathroom. If it's not in this location it may be in (usually at the top of) another cupboard in your property. In top floor flats or flats with accessible loft space you might find the water tank in there.

How do I know if a water tank can be removed?

If you have a combination boiler or an "unvented" heating and hot water system the chances are that your cold water storage tank will be redundant and can be removed.

In an "unvented" system mains water is piped directly into a hot water cylinder and with a "combi" boiler the mains water goes into the boiler and is heated when hot taps or showers are turned on. Cold water would usually then be taken from the mains giving you balanced pressure for hot and cold. Some people choose to keep using the storage tank in-case the mains water supply is disrupted.

It can be the case that to remove the storage tank you may need to change your heating and hot water system.

Why else might you change from or remove a water storage tank?

If you don't have very good pressure for your cold water then changing to a system that keeps water at "mains pressure" an unvented or gas boiler system for the hot and mains for the cold could be an option.

Sometimes water tanks may be made from materials that have been proven to be hazardous such as lead or very occasionally a cement containing asbestos.

With galvanised steel tanks there is also a chance of the tank rusting through and causing water to leak or be discoloured.

What do you do with the space?

Once the tank is removed you may find that the space is actually quite dirty with years of accumulated dust. You could just clean it out (a very dirty job) but we'd recommend framing the space and lining it with plasterboard or chipboard to make it useful.

If the space is not particularly accessible you may need to increase the size of the opening, putting double doors on the space above the door to a bathroom for example.

You might also want to think about putting a light in the space so you can find items when you need them. We'd recommend a bulkhead light so it's protected from knocks and bumps as you take things in and out of your new storage space.

To discuss removing a storage tank and making the most of the space it creates contact HomeForce and we'll arrange for a suitably qualified and experienced plumber and, if needed, joiner to come and see you.

Call us on 0131 315 0000