Cold water tank in loft is missing its lid

oaksandacorns Posts: 26
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Hello all
Could anyone help dumb something r-i-g-h-t down for me please?

I've only known houses with combi boilers as an owner. I'm buying one now with a boiler in the kitchen, a cold water tank in the loft and an immersion heater tank in the landing cupboard, it has radiators in all the rooms (3 bed).

The surveys come back and listed as urgent is that the cold water tank in the loft is missing a lid. I asked the vendor to fix it, he agreed, but has come back to say as the house was built pre 1999 it doesn't need a lid and the tanks so old it'd need a lid making from scratch or the whole tank ripping out and a new one with lid putting in. It's feeling like he's going to say no to fixing it from the estate agent feedback. 

Can anyone help me understand what that cold water tank water is used for? I've been googling and can't work out if we'd be drinking, washing, brushing our teeth with it or if it's some sort of overflow only tank that we won't consume. I'm worried about dirty water moving in with kids. 

Any ideas on costs, if 1. what he says is right and no lids fit it anymore, or 2. it needs replacing with a new tank/lid combo?

Thankyou for any help x



  • TadleyBaggie
    TadleyBaggie Posts: 5,932
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    You shouldn't be drinking water that comes from the cold water tank. In my house all the cold taps/ toilets / showers are feed from the water tank with the exception of the kitchen. That's the only one we use for drinking water
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,243
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper PPI Party Pooper
    Our cold water tank had a sheet of chipboard over it.  It doesn't need a close fitted top, just something to stop anything falling or climbing into it.  You definitely need to check what is fed from the cold tank and what is direct feed from the mains.  Although ours is a 1930's house, all cold water is direct from the mains.
  • ic
    ic Posts: 3,285
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Mortgage-free Glee!
    As above - you only want to stop dust, dirt and crawly things getting in - after all it'll only clog up your pipes, but you won't be drinking it.  You'll also want to consider insulating it too - to stop it freezing (its just a cold tank, so no heat to lose).
  • Bendy_House
    Bendy_House Posts: 4,756
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    edited 15 October 2021 at 2:35PM
    OandA, this is all relatively minor stuff in the scheme of things. Yes, a lid will be needed since dust and 'webs will be landing in there, and it'll all end up in the water system.
    It sounds as tho' this is the CWS - ColdWaterStorage - tank, which is large and is used to supply the hot cylinder and very probably also the cold taps (apart from the kitchen cold, which is always (should always) be supplied from the mains). With your 'combi' systems, every cold tap was mains fed, so you could happily drink from them. With a CWS, you shouldn't be drinking from the cold taps, except the kitchen one - unless you confirm that the cold taps are also fed from the mains.
    As said above, getting a sheet of water-resistant board and plonking it on top will usually be enough. That won't 'comply' with current 'by-law' regs, tho', so ideally you should have this tank replaced with a nice new plastic jobbie with a neat sealing lid, anti-spider vents, and ideally even insulated in case of freezing temps up there.
    A couple of £undred, tops, for the tank, and a couple of hours(?) work to fit? Surely this shouldn't cost more than £400 to replace?

  • Thanks all, I'll ask the estate agent to ask the vendor if he knows the kitchen tap is off the mains or not. Fingers crossed x
  • Bendy_House
    Bendy_House Posts: 4,756
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    edited 15 October 2021 at 3:00PM
    The kitchen tap will almost certainly be mains. If it isn't, you'll be the only hoosie in the country that ain't :-)
    It'll be 'interesting' to know if the other cold taps are mains or tank-fed, but not a dealbreaker. If they are mains-fed, then great - drink away. If they are (and this is more likely) tank-fed, then don't drink (tho' it likely won't kill you, unless a spider sticks in your throat...) Tank-fed is the more likely, and should be considered 'quite normal' for such vented systems.
    This is minor stuff. Don't be surprised if the EA groans when you ask them for this info :smile:  It just won't - shouldn't - affect the decision to buy.
  • plumb1_2
    plumb1_2 Posts: 4,395
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    It should have a bylaw 30 kit fitted, available from plumbing merchant or toolstation etc
    about £25/30
  • Thanks again everyone, much appreciated.
    Heard back of estate agent... 
    "At this point if they were to get a lid, the only option would be to replace the whole tank as a by-law 30 kit only fits on newer tanks. This would cost them around the £1k mark. Your drinking water is fed directly from the mains and not the tank, so even if you were to have the mdf top like most others, this wouldn’t be an issue as this isn’t drinking water and would minimise anything that can get in there eg dust/insects."
  • The tank water contents needs to considered as drinkable water (potable) a suitable lid or a sealed lid is necessary but depends on when it was installed 1999 is significant = clued up vendor  :)   There will be earlier publications for your water region somewhere let the vendor source them.

    What condition is the existing gas boiler in, are you going to have a combination boiler fitted sooner or later and have all tanks removed ? If yes just put up with it and enjoy your new home  <3

    If not, consider.

    If the tank is plastic, a lid would have been available or its got damaged or lost.

    Possibly mention a suitable lid was available when the water tank was installed but is not available now and as any alteration needs to comply with above pdf. Tthe water tank installation needs to be updated.

    Or just ask for a low discount £600 ish   <3

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