The top floor area around the tank in the airing cupboard is too uncomfortably hot.
Insufficient insulation around the pipes in the airing cupboard.
What you can do
Check how well the pipes are insulated. (The tank has built-in insulation and is not designed to be insulated further.)
If there are exposed pipes, or old insulation (also called ‘lagging’) has become hard and cracked, it is an easy do-it-yourself job to insulate the pipes. It will reduce the wasted heat and save you money. See pictures below the instructions.
- Remove old, inadequate insulation
- Roughly measure how much exposed pipework there is – cold as well as hot. You will not be able to reach some of the pipes behind the tank. Don’t worry about those.
- Buy foam pipe insulation (lagging) sleeves at a hardware shop or DIY store.
Note: The sleeves come in metre-or-so lengths, and in two thicknesses: for 22mm and for 15mm pipes. You will mostly need the larger diameter one, but one length of the 15mm sleeve will be useful too.
- Also buy some tape to attach the sleeves with. Special tape is available, or you can use electrical insulating tape, which is cheaper.
- Switch the heating system off and let the pipes in the cupboard cool for a while. You can put the insulation on when the system is hot, but you risk burning yourself.
- Find some scissors to cut the sleeving with.
- Cut pieces of sleeving to size and slip them over as much of the exposed pipework as you can. The sleeves come slit down the length to make it easy to fit over the pipe. Cover the bends in the pipe too. Do not cover the pumps, even though they get hot.
- Make sure the insulating sleeves stay in place by wrapping tape around the sleeve in appropriate places.
The more bits of pipework you can cover, the less heat will escape. Lagging the pipes is, therefore, perhaps a job for the most obsessive person in the household.
If this does not work
Because the tank stores quite hot hater, it will always be warm in the airing cupboard (which is why you ‘air’ your clothes there). However, after insulating the pipes you should notice a reduction in the heat in the hallway. If not, your system may be producing incorrect temperatures and should be checked by a Gledhill-trained plumber. (See general Heating page.)