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Why is my Water Pressure so low?

It can be frustrating if all of a sudden your water pressure has decreased or you experience extreme hot and cold temperatures in the shower! There are often simple reasons why this is happening and this blog will talk you through a range of water valves and how they affect your pressure and temperate, as well as how these issues can be resolved.

Pressure Balancing Valves

These are quite common and used when you have a single tap that controls both the temperature and flow of the water. You can experience a sudden change in shower temperatures when other fixtures are in use. For example, if someone else flushes the toilet whilst the shower is running, this will have an immediate effect on your shower as the cold water is diverted away from your shower and to the toilet.

If you experience this quite often, talk to your plumber about installing a thermostatic mixing valve which controls the water flow in a different way.

Diverter Valves

These are used when you have a bath and shower combo, these are used to divert water from the bath tap up to the showerhead above. Over time, the valve can wear and no longer open enough to send the full water pressure up to the shower, leaving you with a lower pressured shower.

You can identify this is the issue if you run the bath and notice that the flow from the bath tap is significantly stronger than when it runs out of the showerhead. The good news is, it is easy to resolve. Get in touch with your plumber to confirm the prognosis and then replace the old valve.

Water Pressure Reduction Valve Needs Adjustment

Are you worried the water pressure throughout your home is failing, it may be due to a water pressure reduction valve. Some homes have these installed at the main water line where the water enters your home. This is another valve that is easily replaced, but something that your plumber needs to carry out for you – contact them today to investigate.

There may be other reasons why your water pressure may be failing, however these are not related to valves. You could find you have a broken pipe, but this is usually quickly noticeable due to the leak that usually results from the break. This needs professional advice and repair as quickly as possible to avoid any leak damage.

A final reason for reduced pressure could be that your showerhead is clogged up. This is something you could investigate yourself, simply remove your showerhead and take a look in! There are a range of cleaning solutions that are designed to help de-clog showerhead available in supermarkets.

If you are worried about your water pressure, do get in touch with your plumber who can investigate safely and professionally. Our plumbers will always give you honest and helpful advice to ensure your water pressure is back to its best as quickly as possible!

22 Aug 2017

An Overview of different Hot Water Systems:

Much like our previous post about different boiler types, we're now sharing an overview of different hot water systems to help you identify what is best suited to you and your needs and marry this up against the boiler choices you may have in mind.

Vented cylinders are used when a cold water storage tank is in place and therefore found in older homes with older heating systems. The purpose of the vents are to allow for expansion as the water get hotter.

Overall vented cylinders tend to be cheaper as they have a much simpler construction, however they do tend to have a lower water pressure, as they rely on Gravity to provide the hot water to your taps.

Unvented cylinders are fed directly from the cold mains water feed, enabling them to deliver hot water at mains pressure, which can improve the performance of your shower and bath. They are independent and so don't rely on a cold water storage tank, which in turn saves you storage space.

The water can be heated via a variety of means, either an immersion heater or by solar energy. As this cylinder, doesn’t have vents to allow for heat expansion they are required to have an expansion valve fitted and safety discharge to accommodate this.

In order for an Unvented Cylinder to work the property must have a minimum incoming cold mains flow rate of 18lpm.

If the property does not have the minimum 18lpm on the incoming mains an Accumulator can be installed which is an additional item that can be used to improve water flow rate.

Accumulators are useful in homes that do not have enough Flow Rate for a Combination Boiler or Unvented Cylinder. As the installation of the Accumulator will boost the flow rate allowing the installation of whichever appliances suit the home and homeowner.

To install an Unvented Cylinder, Engineer's require an extra Qualification called a G3. Without this the installation, would invalidate the Manufacturer's Warranty and cannot be registered with Building Control which would affect any future sale of the property.

If you have any more questions on these products or are interested in installing them in your home get in touch with us today and we’d be happy to help.

30 Jun 2017

What type of boiler do I need?

Whether your fuel supply is Natural Gas, Oil or LPG there is a boiler that will suit your requirements.

There are three types of boilers; Regular, System and Combination, please see below the explanation of each:

Regular Boiler

This boiler is installed if a heating system has a separate Hot Water Cylinder which is normally a Gravity Fed Vented Cylinder.

With this system, the home would have F&E tanks in the loft to top up both the heating system and the hot water tank. The Circulation Pump and Zone/Motorised Valves are sited externally to the boiler. The heating system is not pressurised with this boiler.

System Boiler

This Boiler also requires installation with a separate Hot Water Tank, either a Gravity Fed Vented Cylinder or a Pressurised Unvented Cylinder. However, where this boiler differs from the Regular Boiler is that the heating system becomes a ‘Sealed System’, this means that the F&E Tank in the Loft is isolated and the pipework altered so that the heating system is Pressurised.

The advantage of this is that less oxygenation can occur by the water being exposed to the air in the F&E Tank, which causes sludge, leaving the system cleaner for longer. Also, the homeowner would not lose a small percentage of heat from the open vent into the F&E Tank. The system being pressurised makes it more efficient and can mean that previous radiators that were poor to heat perform much better. The Circulation Pump is sited within the boiler with the Zone/Motorised Valves positioned externally.

Combination Boiler

With this boiler, there is no need for a separate Hot Water Cylinder as the boiler heats the hot water on demand as soon as the home owner turns the tap/shower on. The Circulation Pump and Valves are all contained within the boiler so it is ideal for homes that are tight on space.

Like the System Boiler the heating system becomes a sealed, pressurised system. The advantage of a Combination Boiler is that the Hot Water is also pressurised, meaning that that long dreamt of power shower can become a reality.

Unfortunately, this boiler cannot be installed to every home as it requires the correct incoming flow rate on the incoming cold mains for it to work correctly. If you are thinking of having a Combination Boiler installed, please make sure that your incoming flow rate is checked before the work commences.

As a company, we would not recommend a Combination Boiler if the home has more than one Bathroom. This is because for example if the hot water flow rate from the boiler is 12lpm and someone has a shower in the main Bathroom, then another turns the Shower on in the Ensuite the flow rate would be greatly reduced resulting in two very unsatisfactory showers. There are other solutions to this problem, so if this scenario sounds like your home, please give us a call if you would like some advice.

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