I have been a plumber for over 40 years and one question I have heard over and over again is “What can you do to improve my mains water pressure?”.
For a lot of my career, the answer was “not much” because boosting the flow and pressure on water mains used to require a complicated and expensive set-up or a new water main.
Happily, we now have a much easier option from Salamander that can be fitted in a day and in this video I am going to take you through the whole process from start to finish.
Before any installation, we need to select the right product from the Salamander range. Now if all this sounds a bit daunting don’t worry because Salamander has a technical team that can help you to get it right.
It all depends on what you have in the way of flow and pressure to begin with and what you want to achieve.
It could be that you have a house full of people and several showers and bathrooms that everyone wants to use at once or it could be that you simply want to put a bit more oomph into your shower.
All of this is achievable with Salamander.
Now it could be that you need nothing more than a simple mains boost pump. There was a time when pumping your mains water was not allowed but now the Water Regulations allow you to pump up to 12 litres per minute.
This will give you a very nice shower and help you to fill your bath faster.
Now it is worth mentioning at this point that a slow hot water flow may simply be because your combi boiler is struggling to heat the water fast enough in the winter when the water comes into the house a lot colder.
Your plumber or heating engineer should be able to give you some advice on this.
The first thing they will do is find out what kind of pressure you have already and they will also measure your flow rate to see how close you are to that magic 12 litres per minute.
Now this house has three ensuite showers and a bathroom so we are really looking for more than 12 litres a minute. At the moment they have a morning routine where they all use the showers at different times because the flow rate is just not enough.
Just as a point of interest they actually had the water service pipe renewed all the way from the main in the road as part of a lead replacement programme but the new pipe has made very little difference because the old 1/2 inch tapping on the main was not changed.
So what I have recommended for this home is an AccuBoost tank and since they have plenty of room in the cellar we are going to fit the largest one in the range. If you don’t have room for something like this there are smaller units. There is also the option of using a pump and the AccuBoost tank.
I am going to fit the tank on its own but I have told the homeowner that they can have a pump added to the unit if they want to boost the flow rate even more. I am hoping that the AccuBoost on its own will do the trick but, for the purposes of this video I am going to fit a smaller pumped unit so we can see what the difference is.
The good news is that neither option is complicated.
The more technically minded of you might be wondering just how this tank can boost the flow rate without a pump so let me explain what is going on.
The mains water is coming into the house around 7 litres a minute, but this can vary at different times of the day. This house is on top of a hill and is probably the last property on the line so there is a drop in pressure during the busy periods. There is also an ensuite shower in the loft conversion so that often finishes up with no water at all when everyone else is using the showers.
During the night the pressure and flow inevitably go up when people aren’t using water so this extra pressure will force water into this Boost cylinder. Inside the AccuBoost is an EPDM rubber balloon and as the water pressure comes in the balloon is compressed.
There is a non-return valve on the mains to make sure the water doesn’t simply flow back into the mains when the pressure drops. So, the mains pressure compresses the balloon and the water in the cylinder is under maximum pressure. When a hot or cold tap is opened the water will rush out as the rubber balloon expands to push the water out.
Now this is a big cylinder so there is enough water here to give the home plenty of showers but as the cylinder is emptying it is also filling up again. You can think of it like a buffer taking out the spikes in demand and steadying the flow.
If however, we didn’t have enough room for a large tank we might want to fit a pumped unit so the AccuBoost could begin filling at a faster rate.
The real beauty of this technology is its flexibility. It can be configured to suit the space available and the demands of the home.
Salamander AccuBoost Accumulator Tanks
Unsure which model to choose?
Site survey form: https://bit.ly/3OburA1
You can submit this form to the Salamander team who will help to specify the correct product.
Product selection grid: https://bit.ly/3n6t75F
This shows the length of time that each product will deliver certain flow rates.