How to Boost Domestic Water Pressure
Our most commonly asked questions are ‘how do I boost water pressure to my house?’, or ‘can I use a pump to give me a more powerful shower?’
So why would I want to boost my water pressure?
Throughout the UK existing mains water has had its pressure reduced to combat leaks, or new buildings are going up and sharing the same mains pipe which can’t cope with the increased demand. This is generally only a problem at peak times but is increasingly becoming a frustration for many homeowners across the country. With promises of a ‘power shower’ with new bathroom suites, the disappointment that follows with household water pressure unable to keep up is becoming more and more common. So why wouldn’t you want to boost your water pressure? The next question on the tip of your tongue is “how do I boost my water pressure?”
First of all – what heating system do you have? If you have a combi/megaflow boiler system your only real choice is to boost your whole house, even if it’s just a kitchen tap that needs boosting. If you have a gravity fed system then you can choose to boost just a single shower or tap but if you have more than one outlet to boost, it is more efficient boosting the whole house. We would always suggest boosting your whole house anyway to safeguard against future problems. Do it once and do it right!
Why not take a look at our Water Boosting Sections on our website – specifically targeted towards domestic homes.
Don’t forget – we’re only on the other end of a phone or computer – and we don’t bite.
Can I attach a pump directly to my incoming mains?
Yes, however Water Bye-laws specifically exempt you from installing any pump that provides more than 12 litres per minute to your incoming main. Installing a 12 l/min pump is not a guaranteed solution and still relies on your mains being capable of delivering this volume. To put this into context, a single shower typically requires between 9-15 l/min.
More importantly pumps are not designed to ‘suck’ water only to push it and thus if the existing supply is inadequate then the pump will be starved of water and provide very little benefit. The pump will also not be operating efficiently and will be liable to fail prematurely.
How can I improve my water pressure then?
Firstly (on Unvented Pressurised Systems) you must install a break tank which will give your pump a reservoir of water to draw from. For a flat we recommend around a 125 litre tank and for an average family house around a 200 litre tank. The tank does not have to be anything special and anything you can buy from a plumber’s merchant is likely to be suitable as long as it has a sealed lid and you can install a ball valve onto the incoming main.
This tank should ideally be located as low down and as close to your incoming water supply as possible as the less gravity your incoming water has to overcome, the faster your tank will refill. You may wish to consider installing a slightly larger tank to reduce the risk of you running out of water. Please note however; that we do not recommend installing your pump in the loft.
For domestic water pressure boosting with Vented Gravity Systems we would recommend stainless steel centrifugal pumps as they are purpose built for this job. In most cases we recommend the 3 Bar Sentinel pump and there is usually only a need for a larger pump if the house has more than 2 floors or a particularly large number of bathrooms which may be used simultaneously. In these cases we would recommend the 4 Bar Sentinel pump.
If all of your outlets are at least a metre below your storage tank then a simple flow-switch could be used, but it is more common some or all of your outlets are not at least a metre below your storage tank then a BRIO or PRESFLO pressure sensing Fixed Speed Controller should be used. This will turn the pump on when it detects a drop in pressure in your pipe work and stop when the flow stops. Both of these controller will also protect your pump against dry-running. If you have a particularly large amount of bathrooms which may or may not be used simultaneously then you may wish to consider using the Variable Speed Controller along with the 4 bar pump. This allows you to set a pressure which you would like to maintain throughout the property and will slow down and speed up the pump as more or less outlets are opened to maintain a constant pressure at all of your outlets
If you are looking for an out of the box solution to your problem which will involve the least amount of additional plumbing and time spent on installation then you may wish to consider one of our all in one pump and tank solutions. They are a packaged water pressure boosting solution and incorporate a submersible water pump with either a Fixed or Variable speed controller. All they require is for you to plumb your incoming water main into the float valve entering the tank and from the outlet of the controller to the plumbing in your house.
If you would like to discuss your system or require help in selecting the best pump please call us on 01633 244777 to discuss the options or e-mail us using firstname.lastname@example.org