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Meet the Expert: Cost of Moving or Replacing a Cold-Water Attic Tank

Requests for moving or replacing cold-water attic tanks is keeping Owen Murphy Plumbing services busy.

This month, Owen shares his knowledge and a few tips for homeowners on cold-water attic tanks and when replacement is a necessary job.


OLT: Why do many houses in Ireland still have cold-water attic tanks?

Owen: Many houses in Ireland still have a conventional heating system, gravity fed from a cold-water tank in the attic and a hot water cylinder located in an airing cupboard.

The cold-water tank re-fills the hot water cylinder and, in many instances, would also be used to supply upstairs bathroom taps and toilet water.

Cold-water tanks tend to be handy for a reserve water supply, especially when supply is disrupted or during mains water peak times.


OLT: When is the job of moving or replacing a cold-water attic tank likely required?

Owen: Homeowners undertaking an attic conversion often want to move the existing cold-water tank to free up space. Often switching to a different model means the tank can be concealed from view.

There are also other reasons why a tank might need replacing due to its age or integrity. For example, some of the older cold-water tanks were made of galvanised metal and can be prone to corrosion and rust, evident by dirt and debris found in the tap water the water tank services.

Cold-water attic tank replacement becomes a priority when leaks appear, but the best course of action is to catch the problem early because water tank leaks can be a real issue– especially if a tank splits and floods the home.

Updating a heating system is another reason to remove a cold-water tank, as modern systems like combi-boilers are fed directly from the mains.


OLT: What is the cost to move or replace a cold-water attic tank?

Owen: The cost of removing a water tank will depending on accessibility to the space. Some tanks can be too big to move as one unit and have to be dismantled in situ and then disposed of or scrapped.

If directly replacing a cold-water attic tank for a newer model, then a homeowner would be looking to spend between €200 – €350 including tank and re-connecting pipework.

A cold-water tank is not needed when upgrading a gravity feed central heating system with a combi boiler or an unvented heating system, as water will be fed directly from the cold-water mains.

The cost to switch to a new heating system starts from €2,500.

To get an accurate price for a heating upgrade, request a quote here from our network of qualified heating and plumbing specialists.




OLT: What should a homeowner look out for when inspecting their cold-water attic tank?

Owen: An attic cold-water tank should have a tight-fitting lid, as poorly fitting lids can leave the water exposed to dust, insects, and rodents, which would pollute the water supply.

Check for any signs of leaks. We’d highly recommend the replacement of older, galvanised metal tanks as these tanks do tend to leak.

A cold-water tank should be insulated, and pipework fully lagged as an un-insulated tank risks freezing in the winter.

If a homeowner is unsure about their current water tank and thinks an attic cold-water tank replacement is needed, we would be happy to offer advice on next steps.

With over 10 years of heating and plumbing experience, Owen Murphy Plumbing offers Plumbing Services across Cork City and surrounding areas. For a no-obligation plumbing quote, you can call Owen direct on 0876176100 or post a job via Onlinetradesmen.

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