Plumbing & Heating Help and Advice | XPRESS Cylinder Spares


    Does your property meet energy performance standards?

    Did you know that as of 1st April 2018 it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the energy performance standards within their privately rented property are met? This means that all landlords will be expected to carry out the energy efficiency improvements needed to ensure their property reaches a minimum rating of E, in line with the legally required energy performance certificate (EPC).

    Landlord EPC responsibilities

    What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

    An EPC informs the landlord and their tenant of how energy efficient their property is, letting them know how costly it will be to keep the house warm and lit up. The EPC will also tell them how they can achieve a better rating by making improvements to the property. The more energy efficiency improvements the landlord makes, the better the ERP and the lower the bills are for their tenant.

    What if the property doesn’t reach the legal requirement?

    If the property falls below an E rating, the landlord will need to improve efficiencies and arrange for retesting before they can let the property.

    How can the EPC Ratings be improved?

    • Consider your boiler – A newer energy efficient boiler can save you money on your electricity bills and assist in raising your EPC Rating.
    • Check your hot water cylinder – New foam insulated cylinders with cylinder thermostats can decrease your bills and increase your rating.
    • Improve insulation – Loft and cavity wall insulation can boost your ratings. Loft insulation of 270mm thick is recommended.
    • Low energy lightbulbs – a switch to energy efficient light bulbs from standard ones could potentially save you around £70 per bulb according to British Gas.
    • Secondary heat source – wood burning stoves can be appealing to a tenant aesthetically and can have significant impact in improving your efficiency score. Utilising this cheap energy with a multi-fuel thermal store can stand to decrease your energy bills further and push up that rating.
    • Double glazing – this has a large impact on the energy rating of a property. Where the glazing is old, you may need to consider upgrading to newer windows.

    What tenancy agreements does the New EPC apply to?

    This new requirement applies to all new tenancy agreements, meaning those who have just entered the rental market, and properties that have started a new tenancy lease. For tenants that started their contract before 1st April 2018, this currently does not apply. However, in April 2020, all existing tenancies will need to be rated E. The changes in 2018 are the stepping stone for the requirement to be implemented across all rented properties, improving efficiencies nationwide.

    If you require any spare parts to ensure the efficiency of your hot water cylinders, please browse our range of products, available for a wide range of cylinders.

    Want any further hints and guidelines to be efficient? Why not read our other blog:  


  • Five things you need to know about: Titanium Immersions

    Titanium Immersion

    1 - They’re naturally corrosion-resistant

    Titanium has a high boiling and melting point, high strength and a very low density. With these useful metallic properties, titanium has a higher resistance to corrosion than a typical incoloy, making it the perfect material for an immersion.

    2 - They’re ideal for homeowners with hard water

    A build-up of limescale over time will reduce the effectiveness of your equipment and can shorten the lifespan of your immersion heater. The properties of titanium provide greater resistance to the degrading reactions hard water can cause on cylinder parts.

    What does ‘water hardness’ mean?

    The ‘water hardness’ is determined by high levels of calcium and magnesium compounds that occur naturally in your water, typically measured in how many milligrams of calcium per litre.  Where hard water is heated or settled, the limescale build up can increase; accumulating quickly over time within a hot water cylinder.  Signs of hard water include residual soap scum on your bath, shower or dishes and scale build-up in your pipes.

    3 - They can save you money

    If you use a lot of hot water, or live in an area with hard water, you might be replacing your immersions more frequently. Although a titanium immersion may cost more than a standard incoloy immersion, their durability and resistance to corrosion will help them to last longer – reducing the need for frequent replacement and, ultimately, saving you money.

    4 - They’re great for business use

    Businesses or properties that use a hot water cylinder more than normal – such as hairdressers - would benefit from changing their immersions to titanium. Excessive use of the immersion reduces its expected lifespan. The strength of titanium means it has a high tolerance against repetitive heating and will typically last longer.

    5 - You could have one tomorrow!

    We have a wide range of titanium immersions available, suitable for a variety of cylinders. Place your order by 3pm and take advantage of our free next business day delivery (when you spend £200) to receive your immersion as soon as tomorrow! Take a look at our extensive range of immersion heaters available to you today.

  • Our top 10 tips for saving hot water

    Did you know that just one drip per minute can cost you 0.545 Litres of water per day? That’s 16.35 Litres per month and a whopping 199 Litres per year! *


    Reducing the amount of hot water you use will cut the amount of energy you use, in turn helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Approximately 72% of carbon emissions are released from heating, according to Anglian Water.

    Running your hot water for just five minutes can use enough energy to power a 60-watt bulb for 14 hours.


    Cutting back on your hot water use can save you money too. Heating water is accountable for approximately 25% of the average British householder’s energy bills.

    hot tapHere are our top 10 tips to help you save…

    1. Check for leaks

    A dripping tap loses more water than you think - that also goes for those discreet leaking hot water pipes. Not only are you wasting water and energy, the associated cost can mount up. With the possibility of one drip a minute using nearly 200 litres of water per year, the costs can quietly rise.

    1. Time your showers

    Try cutting your shower time by one minute! Figures from Energy Saving Trust indicate that you could save £15 in energy bills and a further £15 in water bills (if metered), per person, per year. For a four-person household, that’s a saving of £120.

    1. Showers v baths

    It may seem obvious, but the volume of water you can save by taking a shower can be significant. Team this up with timing your showers, to make real savings. The Energy Saving Trust state that a family of four can save up to £20 a year on gas bills if one bath a week per person is replaced with a five-minute shower.

    1. Turn off

    Consider filling the sink to wash your face or shave instead of letting the water pour away, and always turn it off between uses rather than letting it pour freely.

    1. Insulate

    To avoid losing energy or heat from your water unnecessarily, ensure your pipes are sufficiently insulated, and your cylinder is not installed in a cold space. All pipes carrying your hot water supply should be considered too.

    1. Low-flow features

    There are many low-flow accessories available to use around your home. You can fit shower heads and taps with flow restrictors with little noticeable difference to the user, resulting in instant savings. According to the Energy Saving Trust, replacing an inefficient shower head in a four-person property could save you around £65 in gas bills, and £100 in water bills if you’re on a meter.

    1. Be efficient with your dishes

    Just a small change such as buying a washing up bowl, instead of filling a full sink or letting your hot tap pour, can lead to further savings.

    1. Service your hot water cylinder

    Unvented hot water cylinders require annual servicing for compliance with most warranty terms; however, servicing them can also save you hot water. Keep your unit running as efficiently as possible to avoid unnecessary loss of energy.

    1. Consider a new cylinder

    Since 2010 the government has produced minimum heat loss figures that all manufacturers must adhere to, so if your hot water cylinder is over 10 years old it may not be compliant with these new regulations. Check the age of your unit, a swap for a more energy efficient cylinder could benefit you! When purchasing, check out the Energy-related Products (ErP) rating; the closer to A-rating, the more efficient the product.

    1. Use your dishwasher

    You might be surprised to hear that your dishwasher can be more energy efficient and save more water than washing your dishes by hand! Not only this, most dishwashers in the UK are cold water fed, therefore not depleting your hot water store. To ensure you benefit from the water savings (if you’re metered) and energy bills, just make sure your dishwasher is full!


    * calculations made by ‘Leak Calculator

  • Survey Says…

    According to HomeServe’s commissioned survey, compliments go to Gas and Heating Engineers as they are voted Britain’s most trusted traders in 2016. Their trustworthiness polled at 67%, with this being the quality the surveyed homeowners believed to be the most important attribute of their trade person. Honesty was also featured high on homeowner’s requirements, reaching 47%.

    Of the total people surveyed, 85% believed qualifications and accreditations were either an extremely or very important factor of their trader.

    Following the Gas and Heating engineers lead at 22%, Electricians polled at 11% and Plumbers at 8%, which is very much a compliment to the industry.

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