London Plumbing

Boilers & Megaflos installation

We are seeing more and more people installing Megaflo heating systems in their homes, but what are they and why are they becoming so popular? Well, a Megaflo is essentially a brand of hot water tank – but the major difference is how they are plumbed in.

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Megaflo Loft installation

London, Cricklewood Nw11
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London EN5, BARNET
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Another type of loft conversion is converting non-residential spaces (most commonly warehouses, docks, former factories or water towers) into habitable loft rooms. This form of loft conversion has its origins in the USA. This form of loft conversion first became popular in the SoHo section of New York City during the 1960s. Artists created loft conversion living spaces on the upper levels of obsolete industrial buildings, sometimes located in the heart of the city. In the pioneering period of lofts, most London buildings were not zoned as residential and the loft conversions were being used illegally as living space. In 1971, New York City legalised the residential use of space in SoHo. Loft living became popular throughout the London. Loft living spread to other neighbourhoods including Camden, Hackney, Barnet, Enfield.

The first stage of any loft conversion is a close inspection of the loft space to find out its exact dimensions and whether loft conversion is feasible. On entering the loft one needs to establish if there is adequate room under the ridge of the roof. A measurement of 2.3 metres is required to allow enough headroom, although you may find that you can still get a useful loft room from as little as 7 feet (2.1 metres), and there must be at least 2 metres clearance above the position of the access stairs. 1.9m above loft staircase is sufficient for one bedroom loft conversion. 

Due to the slope of the roof and the required loft conversion access headroom, the feasibility of a loft conversion is dependent upon a minimum height of approximately 2.2 m (7 ft 6 in) measured from the joist to the apex. Providing that this requirement is met, most properties will likely possess the potential to have the loft space converted.

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New loft conversion dormer, windows and roof lights were added to this top floor master bedroom conversion to add more natural light and liven up the living space. A new staircase was created to maximise the available floor area. It rises up from the 1st floor to make the best use of the available space. Innovative storage solutions were developed to make use of all available space. Original touches, such as shutters, lighting, complement vaulted ceilings, create a modern and natural living environment in the new loft conversion.

We are seeing more and more people installing Megaflo heating systems in their homes, but what are they and why are they becoming so popular? Well, a Megaflo is essentially a brand of hot water tank – but the major difference is how they are plumbed in.

Older, traditional heat only systems have cold water expansion tanks up in the roof, and it is the height of this cold water tank above the hot water cylinder that generates the pressure that delivers the hot water to the taps. For taps on the lower floors, this tends to work perfectly, but for bathrooms upstairs the pressure is often not great and so you get issues like weak showers or baths that take an age to fill up. In many cases, this is sorted by installing a pump that drives the water from the hot water tank to the required faucet, but installing a Megaflo does away with all these issues!

Megaflo cylinders form what is known as an unvented system – this is pressurised to mains water pressure, ensuring a strong flow of hot water when you turn a tap on in the home, regardless of where it is located. The actual pressure in this type of hot water cylinder is normally about 3 bar, which is equivalent to a cold water tank being 30m above the tap for a heat-only system. The cold water is fed into the bottom of the tank at mains pressure. This forces the hot water out at the top and this then travels to the tap. This means that you have great pressure all the time, so gone are the days of the dreaded dripping shower!

Since the volume of water increases as it gets heated, all unvented systems require some sort of expansion vessel to absorb this increased volume. The nice thing about the Megaflo models is that they contain an enclosed air bubble within the tank itself, which acts as the expansion vessel so you don’t require an external one. It’s worth mentioning, though, that over time the air bubble can be absorbed into the water; this can be recharged as part of an annual boiler service.

Megaflo cylinders also have great safety features incorporated into them. This includes thermostatic controls that prevent the water in the cylinder ever being heated above 100 degrees centigrade, as well as expansion release valves that allow expansion to take place if the cylinder doesn’t perform correctly. There is also a temperature and pressure release valve situated on top of the tank, which vents water if it hits unsafe temperature levels. Megaflo cylinders also include a 60mm-thick layer of polyurethane foam to insulate them. This ensures that once the hot water is created it stays warm for longer, minimising the need to reheat the water.

So having looked at the advantages of the Megaflo cylinders, what are the issues with them? Well, not many performance-wise, however they are significantly more expensive than other unvented cylinders.

Unvented systems are also generally more expensive to install compared to heat-only boilers. They must be installed by a competent and qualified G3 engineer; this is a legal requirement in the UK and all installations must be certified and registered with the local council. This means that your average plumber/heating engineer will not actually be allowed to install one in your home.

The other issue – and this is not just Megaflo, but all unvented systems – is the high pressures involved. Obviously if everything is working correctly then the performance will be great, but all pipework needs to be able to withstand the higher pressures!

The performance of the Megaflo cylinders makes them extremely popular – the hot water is delivered to every tap at mains pressure and the tanks themselves are well insulated, ensuring they operate very efficiently – but be prepared to pay more to install one of these in your home!

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