Cold water tank replacement

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Senh, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. Senh

    Senh New Member

    Hello all,

    I have an old galvanised metal cold water tank that needs replacing, I've purchased a cistern plastic tank replacement and was recently quoted £1,600 for a 2 day labour + pipe materials.

    The old metal pipes we have are of odd sizes so I was told this would require special tools to remove. Please see attached images.

    20180321_182449.jpg 20180321_182424.jpg

    I would greatly appreciate any expert advice regarding the costs as I did not expect it to be this high.

    Many thanks!
  2. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Total BS,a days work, totally over priced..

    Still BSP(British Standard Pipe) thread fittings, straight forward job.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  3. No special tools at all required,I would get another couple of quotes, as I think they are trying to have you over for just changing that tank.
  4. Dave does Gas

    Dave does Gas Screwfix Select

    As the rest have said someone is pulling your chain, that at most is a days work plus a couple of hundred at most for materials. Get a few more quotes.
    Be advised though as its a Galvi tank it may not be possible to remove it from your loft an the cost should reflect that its not being disposed of.
  5. Senh

    Senh New Member

    Many thanks for the quick replies.

    Just a quick clarification, the special tools might have to do with cutting the welded part of the pipes connecting to the old tank, the plumber needs to cut right at the base of it (please see below image) so that he can slide it out of its wooden compartment. I don't know if this justifies the extra day. Is it normally costly to do this?


    I've already paid for the tank, so the £1,600 is for labour + pipe materials.

    I'll look around for alternative quotes and for plumbers that specialise in steel services.
  6. Where are you Senh?

    As said above, these existing fittings are unscrewed, and adaptors to go from that to copper are commonplace.

    £1600 for labour and some pipes? That's borderline criminal.
    KIAB likes this.
  7. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    Ordinary plumber can do the job, nothing special.
  8. He would almost certainly undo the pipes at the gate valves shown, or even further down if there are other connectors there. Basically, wherever it's most convenient for him. Then he's screw on an adaptor fitting - BSP screwed fitting one end and compression (probably) other end, and will continue to the new tank in copper.

    Nothing specialised required for undoing that tank connection - it either simply doesn't need undoing at all there, or - if it's in the way - it can be cut off with a hacksaw or angle grinder. Or even hit it a few times with a club hammer.

    This is even a straight-forward DIYable task for anyone familiar with plumbing.
    KIAB likes this.
  9. Senh

    Senh New Member

    Hi again,

    That's a relief to hear! On inspection, I was told it would be a days work but notified later that it will be a 2 day job considering the circumstances.

    I'm based in SE1, close to Elephant and Castle station. Could anybody recommend a good plumber by any chance?

    In the meantime, I will seek further quotes that doesn't exceed 2 days worth of work.

    Many thanks all.
  10. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Super Member

    I changed my asbestos tank for a plastic one, it's not rocket science. Straight forward job.
  11. retiredsparks

    retiredsparks Super Member

    As usual so called Plumbers (or as i call them water based tar mackers) taking the pish.
    For that money, i will fly back from spain, do the job, make my own tea, not go into your wifes underwear drawer, not pee in your CW tank, be polite, wipe my feet in and out, guarantee it for 1 year....and be back in a tapas bar by10 pm... getting ratted on the local Rioja.
    get my drift amigo ?
    2 hours tops.
    seneca likes this.
  12. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Super Member

    Will probably need to make a sturdy base for the new tank, NOT MDF but ply, thick too at least 18mm, well supported.
  13. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    Is there a reason why you want to replace the old tank, and don't just eliminate it completely?
    The only reason I can think of for keeping a header tank is if your mains water flow rate is not good enough to run a household, and that some sort of accumulator device is necessary.
    You live in the centre of London, so I can't imagine mains water flow rate is so low as to require that.
  14. Dr Bodgit

    Dr Bodgit Super Member

    The OP likely has a vented hot water cylinder...expensive to replace with an unvented one.
    KIAB likes this.
  15. KIAB

    KIAB Super Member

    And so old fashion today.
  16. seneca

    seneca Screwfix Select

    Are you assuming the op has a combi boiler then Roger?
  17. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    Are you assuming the op has a combi boiler then Roger?

  18. seneca

    seneca Screwfix Select

    Then if he does away with his cold feed tank how is he going to get his hot water?
    Dr Bodgit likes this.
  19. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    With an unvented hot water cylinder with a heat exchanger getting its heat from the boiler ... like they do in every other country around the world, where almost no one ever uses a header tank except for when there is insufficient flow rate from the mains for normal household use.

    I've lived and worked all round the world, and the UK and Ireland are the only countries that still have header tanks in lofts. Some of the ex colonies like South Africa and Australia used to have header tanks back when they were colonies, but they stopped using them as soon as they were no longer forced to by British Standards (or BS!)

    In fact in those countries they're just called hot water cylinders, with no specification about whether they're vented or unvented ... because they're all unvented.
  20. seneca

    seneca Screwfix Select

    Thanks for the explanation Roger, I would still go with the vented system though unless there was a combi boiler.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice