Low water pressure and flow is a common problem that many people across the UK have experienced. However, by boosting the flow from incoming mains, you can hugely improve the water flow from taps, showers and baths. While many believe that the Water Supply and Fittings Regulations (1999) limit the boosting of a mains water supply without consent, Kenneth Vance, Training Manager at Salamander Pumps, explains how you can easily improve the water flow around a house.
While there is a general misconception that you cannot boost mains water due to the Water Regulations of 1999, there is actually an effective way to improve water pressure in your house, as well as the flow efficiency of your boiler.
Government regulations state that pumped mains water must not exceed 12 litres per minute (l/m). However, many households are experiencing a flow much below this. During busy times of the day, such as mornings and evenings when residents have a high water consumption, it’s quite common for the mains water pressure to dip for the whole street to well below 12l/m.
Boosting mains water pressure
To help improve mains water flow for its customers, Salamander developed its HomeBoost mains water pump, which is in line with the Government regulations. Attached directly to the existing mains water supply, the HomeBoost pump increases water pressure and flow up to 12 l/m, but not above.
As water pressure fluctuates depending on the time of day, the intelligent mains pump works by monitoring the speed of the inner turbine, which allows it to monitor water flow through the pump. The HomeBoost then converts this flow into a digital signal, which lets it recognise when levels are low, and how much the pump needs to work to bring the flow up to 12l/m and not above, in keeping with the Water Regulations.
However, the pump will only kick into action when needed, if the water flow is already at 12l/m or more, the pump will stay in standby mode, meaning that pumped water flow will never exceed 12l/m.
The HomeBoost pump is designed to be ideal for small to medium combi boilers (24 to 28kW) and can be fitted either horizontally or vertically within 15 to 20 minutes on non-restricted mains, as well as electric showers. However, if more than 12l/m is required then a different style of pump, such as a single negative head pump, will need attaching to a cold water tank as a “break tank”. This can be done by connecting the main cold water supply into a 50-gallon (225-litre) cold water storage tank and fitting the pump to the outlet pipework from the tank.
As well as increasing water pressure, the HomeBoost pump can also improve the overall performance of combi boilers. The boilers are designed to run with a water flow of 12 l/m, but are often producing a much lower volume. By boosting to the correct flow rate, the boilers are able to run more efficiently at their optimum level.
As well as improving the boiler’s efficiency, the HomeBoost pump itself is extremely effective, as it only works when required. Operating at just 46dBA, the pump holds the Quiet Mark accolade, an international award from the UK Noise Abatement Society. The pump is also compact, fitting into tight, out-of-the-way spaces.