A cistern is a waterproof container usually made to store water. Most of the time people confuse cistern with water tank. Water tank is a sealed container and have the tendency to store water at above atmospheric pressure, whereas cistern is open to atmosphere and are usually used to store the rain water. Cisterns are of different types, usually characterized in three types.
Types and Sizes
Three most common types of cistern are:
- Galvanized Steel: Galvanized steel cisterns are not suitable for domestic use. These are heavy, a bit expensive and more incline to corrosion.
- Rigid Plastic: Rigid plastic cisterns are of the same size as that of galvanized steel cisterns. They are easy to replace s well. Rigid plastic cistern is capable of handling the heat and can be used for central heating system (as feed and expansion).
- Flexible Plastic: Flexible plastic cisterns are made of polythene and are round in shape. These are not capable of handling heat and cannot be used as feed and expansion. They are flexible enough to move from one place to another even at areas where rigid cisterns could not pass through.
The actual capacity of normal cistern is 50 gallons (227 liters). Those cisterns which are used for hot water storage or for central heating systems may be smaller in size. Remember cisterns are never filled up to the edge. So, we can say that the normal capacity of the cistern for water storage is more than the actual capacity.
To keep the water from pollutants and dirt, lids are used. Though, they are not airtight but have tendency to keep the dirt, pollutants and insects out of the cistern. Make sure that the cistern is well insulated.
If you are installing cistern in attic, take special care.
Before start working make sure that water supply is turned off. If you are replacing old cistern, drain the water off from it by open the faucets and store water in clean containers. Remove all the water connections from the cistern. For corroded and rusted pipes, use saw to scrub it off.
Whichever cistern you have chosen to install, give a proper support to it on its place so that no unpleasant incident takes place. The surface should be flat on which you are going to place cistern.
Now you have to give connect the pipes to the new cistern. Tank connectors are there to help you connect the pipes to the cistern. If your cistern does not have a hole on the side for pipe, drill a hole. You can use hole saw or a special tank cutter to cut a hole. Apply plastic washer to seal the hole. Use a threaded pipe with a compression or capillary joint to pass through the hole and secure it with nuts. Install the ball valve
and gate valves properly before truing on the water supply.
Secure the pipes properly to prevent any damage.Make sure that the outlet should be 50mm above from the base of cistern. Ball valve should be fixed in such a way that the water level is 100mm from the top of cistern.
Make certain that the overflow pipe is properly fixed and it discharge water away from the house. The overflow pipe should be attached 25mm above the water level and 20mm below the ball valve outlet.Vent pipe should also be connected for hot water cylinder. It should be connected in such a way that is rise 400mm above the cistern and 50mm above the water level.Do not forget to insulate the pipes and cistern. Special insulation kits are available in the market which can be used to insulate the pipes and cistern itself.
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