Let’s face it, given the choice, no one really wants to see their water heating cylinder. Although there are over 30 brands of this type of water heater, it seems not one manufacturer has come up with anything that could be viewed as either attractive, funky or a work of art.

For this reason, we want to hide them away. In a bespoke cupboard, in the loft, under the stairs or perhaps away from the house altogether, so people sometimes find themselves in a predicament from a size and shape point of view.

In years gone by, there was never really much choice when it came to selecting the size and shape of your hot water cylinder: it was, well, cylinder-shaped and the size you needed for your household. So always an upright cylinder of a fairly uniform format and ratio in terms of height and diameter. However, there are now quite a few choices and variants to help you get hold of a cylinder to suit the space you need to fit it in.

Horizontal Cylinders   

These are a great solution when vertical space is limited or simply to free up room within living areas. Typically these would be mounted in the loft space (we suggest you check that the area is equipped to take the weight once full, of course).

They are supported by feet or cradles and the cylinders are generally made from stainless steel. Several manufacturers are now coming up with this orientation, and one of our favourites is the Joule range. They start at 125L and go right up to 500L in both direct and indirect types and they also offer solar versions.

Short Cylinders


Again, if it’s height that is the issue, but you don’t have unlimited width, then you may want to consider sticking with a vertical format, but a shorter, wider type.

Once again, Joule offer a short range, and as an example the 200L direct or indirect model is just 1150mm high (600mm diameter) compared to a typical standard height of around 1500mm for that capacity cylinder.



Slim cylinders

Frequently, there can be issues with limited width and/or depth of an area – a tall airing cupboard for example. So there are skinny cylinders to help out with this. As an example a typical diameter for this type of cylinder would be around 478mm, such as the Kingspan Slimline offering, again available in both direct and indirect, up to 210L.

There are also a few slightly slimmer units from other manufacturers, right down to 60L.

When faced with size restrictions, other thoughts could include looking at wall mounted ‘flat back’ type water heaters, instantaneous water heaters (although not generally as a whole house solution) or perhaps simply going for a smaller capacity unit, providing it could meet the minimum needs of the household.

We also have a useful search tool that can help you filter down available cylinders to suit your space. Or better still, give the hot water geeks a call at Electrical Deals Direct on 01934 253600, and they’ll have the answers. Guaranteed.

So there you have it. Plenty of options to explore to help ensure you won’t have to catch site of an ugly steel tank in your home!