Cold water loft tank. Replace

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by WelderPaul, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. WelderPaul

    WelderPaul New Member

    Hi All. New to the forum.
    I rent a s/d farm cottage. The landlord had a bunch (of cowboys) call round to cavity fill and insulate the loft. They did the CF but the head bloke (white shirt) wouldn't go up the loft as he was frightened of spiders.
    The two lads that followed wouldn't lay the insulation because I have an asbestos cold tank and C/H header tank. End of that then. The landlord went along with this because it was free. The slate roof has no felt so I have the best loft in North Essex. A million flies can't all be wrong. Ha Ha!?

    As another winter approaches I'm thinking could I do this myself ? C/W tank has no proper lid and the C/H header is joined onto it by an overflow, in theory if the header level goes up Fernox (???) could enter the cold tank, the one I brush my teeth from; not to mention the dead flies.
    I'm ok at DIY, so is this all possible ? Wrap old tanks and move to corner of loft. Fit plastic (Screwfix) tanks. Insulate loft. Don't tell the landlord so he doesn't put the rent up, again.
    Any help and advice most welcome.
    Paul G
  2. Peter208

    Peter208 Active Member

    Sounds like a plan.
  3. just pumps

    just pumps Screwfix Select

    Basin & sink will be fed from cold water mains, your teeth are safe.
  4. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Screwfix Select

    Should be, but they often aren't (the taps, not the teeth!)
  5. WelderPaul

    WelderPaul New Member

    Many years ago I fitted a shower, nothing fancy, above the bath. I tee'd into the cold water tank ballcock feed in the loft so this is the only mains water in the bathroom.
    The house was a 3 bed (45 years ago) but the smallest bedroom was converted into a bathroom as this was a cheap option.
    I've often thought of brushing my teeth in the shower. :D

    Paul G
  6. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    The asbestos tanks make nice planters, i've got 4 in the garden, fill the holes with cement and give the whole thing a coat of sandtex paint. A lot of people don't realise the hazards, or lack thereof when handling asbestos cement, so you get these eejits who won't go into a loft because of an asbestos tank, although they probably walked around in a wholesalers warehouse with an asbestos cement roof. Unless you cut it or seriously abraid it the fibres stay put within their cement binder.
    rogerk101 likes this.
  7. WelderPaul

    WelderPaul New Member

    Thanks for the gardening suggestion but as I have no intension of knocking a hole in the roof and the loft trapdoor is 650mm square if it comes out it will be in pieces.
    Open to suggestions for this. Water spray on a hand saw maybe ???
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  8. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    I would leave it up there, push it into a corner, if you really need to break it up wrap it in plastic and break it with a lump hammer - sawing releases a lot of fibres so is a bad idea!
  9. WelderPaul

    WelderPaul New Member

    The house (S/D) has a hip roof so the area with the most head room is the spot where the old tank is, and the new tank will be, against the chimney (party wall).
    I will build a raised pallet to put the asbestos tank on so that the insulation can go under at the correct thickness.

    Thanks for all the replies.
    Paul G
  10. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    What are the dimensions of the old cold water tank?
    650mm square trap door opening is fairly large (actually larger than most)
    The tanks can usually be taken out end ways if the dimensions allow.
    You probably still qualify for a grant for loft installation, so if I were you I wouldn’t install or pay for the landlords loft insulation.
  11. WelderPaul

    WelderPaul New Member

    Off to screwfix to buy some disposable masks. I will get up the loft this afternoon and measure up.
  12. WelderPaul

    WelderPaul New Member

    Well that explains the 650 square loft hatch. The tank is 630 x 640 top opening, and a height of 640mm. The sides slope in slightly, presumably they were made in a mould and this aided release.
    That makes the job easier. :)
    I see Screwfix do a 1185 x 503 x 503 kit for £135.99 so that would do nicely.

    Paul G

    Heat likes this.
  13. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Yep they were made in a two part mould - when shifting it beware they are very heavy, one man at the bottom and one at the top is favourite
    Heat likes this.
  14. WelderPaul

    WelderPaul New Member

    My landlord at first insisted that he had the work done, I suspect so he had an excuse to increase the rent, but after more broken promises I got fed up and got on with it myself.
    I've fitted the Screwfix 42g tank and while I was about it the CH header tank as well. The only snag was that the feed to the hot tank was 28mm so had to source a bulkhead fitting
    as this didn't come with the tank.
    I'll give it a couple of days and re-check for leaks then insulate the tanks and the loft floor with fibre glass.
    Hopefully a warmer house and clean water to brush my teeth with. Jobs a good un.

    Paul G
    Heat and kiaora like this.
  15. You sound pretty clued up Paul so I hesitate to mention that you don't insulate under the new tanks.
  16. WelderPaul

    WelderPaul New Member

    I am just a simple welder, I didn't know that. The tanks came with (thin) lagging wraps but the area below the tanks should be left as the lathe & plaster ???
    The tanks sit on a 600mm high wood frame but with the draught that comes through the tiles I can't see heat rising to the tank base. Between the wood frame and the tank base is 10mm ply.

    ;) Perhaps a tent pitched over the tanks would be an idea.;) ( care needed when I knock the pegs in. ):oops:

    Paul G
  17. DIY0001

    DIY0001 Active Member

    Those tank lagging wraps are pretty useless. I did a check on mine using a thermal imaging camera, albeit one that was more sensitive than the commercially available types. ;) Compared to the roof and the other things in the loft, the lagging covered tank was distinctly warm.
    After seeing that I wrapped a thick layer of loft insulation around the tank lagging and the wood frame all the way down to meet the insulation on the floor. Held it in place (but not compressed) with some of that plastic tape that some heavy packages are wrapped with. I then got a large plastic bag and filled that with about 250mm of loft insulation and put that over the lagging on the tank lid so it overhangs the insulation around the side. Also replaced the foam lagging on the pipes with the thickest available. Even in the depths of winter, when the rest of the loft is close to freezing or below, the TI can't see any heat escaping from the cold tank or the space below it - and the airing cupboard with the hot cylinder is right below.
  18. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    I removed an asbestos tank from my loft, it just fitted through the widened loft hatch. I was able to take it to my main recyling centre which has a sealed skip for asbestos - doubled wrapped in thick polythene. You can probably do the same - call them first to see what their requirements are.

    Also be aware that the stated capacity of tanks is a lot higher than their usable capacity. My 75 gallon tank has a usable capacity nearer 50 gallons as the tank is never filled to the brim and the pipes out of it are not right at the bottom either.
  19. WelderPaul

    WelderPaul New Member

    Just the insulation to go now.
    Just drove home from Homebase with eight rolls of insulation in my car. God I was hot.

    Paul G
  20. DIY0001

    DIY0001 Active Member

    You probably have been anyway, but be sure to wear a face mask when fitting that stuff.

Share This Page