Month: July 2015

Positive & Negative Shower Pumps Explained

If you are installing a shower or replacing one, there are so many things to consider. You’ll need to know about the flow of your water as well as which floor you are putting the shower in.  As well as deciding on the type of shower which suits you, you also need to think about the pump.

shower pumps explained

You don’t want shower pumps which are too noisy for a start. You also need to know whether to buy positive or negative shower pumps. This will depend on where your cistern or water tank is in your house. Although this may sound complicated, it is pretty straightforward.

Just think about where in the house your shower is – is it on the top floor or ground floor? You then need to know where it is in relation to your water tank or cistern.

You will need a positive shower pump if the bathroom and showers are on floors below the water tank – that is, your cold water tank is in the attic or if the cold water tank is above the shower head if you live in a single-storey flat or bungalow.

A positive pump needs a flow rate of at least 0.6 litres a minute and relies on gravity to start the impellers to pump hot and cold water. This type of pump must also be at least 50cm from the cistern.

A negative shower head pump works by sucking water from the tank to the shower and is the best choice for when the shower head is at the same level or higher than the water tank. This can be used in loft conversions, for example.

It is possible for a house to need both types of shower pumps, depending on where the showers are located – ground floor or top floor – and where the water tank is kept.

The tank position to the shower head does suggest the variety of pump that’s needed (positive or negative) however this is a general rule and as a general rule there are always exceptions. For example the shower type is important, generally an electric shower won’t work with a pump or a steam shower will need negative pump where a positive would usually work. If you are unsure on which pump is best for you, please contact our sales team.

Shop the full range of shower pumps online today at Anchor Pumps

Getting your home’s central heating system ready for summer

It’s officially summertime and although temperatures aren’t high enough to fry an egg on the pavement, August is set to be a scorcher in the UK.

Many people in Britain turn off their central heating systems between April and May as the spring temperatures rise, with the heating tends to be switched on again between mid-September and October. The summer period is when heating systems, and in particular the central heating pumps, are idle and is when many problems can start.

Central Heating Pumps

It’s important to keep the central heating system functioning properly throughout the summer months. If it is switched off for six or more months, the numerous moving parts, especially the central heating pumps that make up the system, will start to seize up. When the boiler is switched on again in autumn after such a hiatus, it may break down.

Central heating breakdowns are most common in autumn, when the big switch-on begins. Plumbers may be difficult to find , as well as to install new boilers. If the boiler you have is old and needs replacing, the best time to do this is also during the summer.

Of course, this is not advice to keep the heating and central heating pumps on throughout a sweltering day. You just need to keep the components of the system working, so the heating system needs to be on just for about 10 to 15 minutes per day. This applies also to central heating linked to a combi boiler. Householders often wrongly assume that as the combi provides hot water on demand, the central heating will also be working.

It’s also important to remember insulation during the summer. Insulation not only keeps a home warm and draught-free during the colder months, but it will keep it cool during a hot summer by preventing heat from the sun penetrating the walls, windows and roof. This way you can keep your home energy-efficient and your heating bills low.


5 Steps to installing a shower pump

Nothing beats an invigorating shower to relax aching muscles and help you to unwind. Unfortunately, many homes just don’t have sufficient water pressure for a decent shower. If this is your problem, don’t despair, why not try installing a shower pump to boost your water pressure to a strong level for the perfect shower.

installing a shower pump

Choose Your Pump
In order to get the most out of your shower, you need to select the right shower pump from the wide range available. Do you need a shower pump for a negative head system or a positive head system? A twin shower or a single shower pump? Unfortunately, it is never a case of one size fits all. Take your time to find out what type of pump will suit your needs best. Read our guide to choosing the best shower pump here. 

Check Your Water Pressure
Shower pumps operate at different pressure levels. Before you install your shower, work out if there is enough pressure available from your water tank to operate the shower pump when it is turned on. If there is not, you will need a negative head system. If there is, you need a positive head system, which generally requires a minimum inlet pressure of 0.2 bar.

Position Your Pump
It is best if you can place your shower pump close to the hot and cold water storage tanks. At the same time, however, shower pumps must also be easily accessible for maintenance.

Fix the Pipework
Having selected and positioned your pump, you will then need to plumb it in. Flush all pipework through to remove any debris first of all. Shower pumps are usually supplied with cold and hot water feed pipes that lead from the pump to the cold and hot water storage tanks. Once you have fitted these pipes, connect the pipe that leads to the electricity supply.

Prime the Pump and Plumbing
Before you can use your shower, you will need to prime the pump and connecting pipework. Switch the supply of electricity off, and run a bucket of water through the hot and cold water feed pipes and the pump. Keep pouring water until it runs out clear.

Anchor Pumps supply many all of the leading brands of shower pumps, such as Grundfos and Stuart Turner pumps.


8 Things You Need to Know Before Choosing a Pond Pump

Water features such as a pond can create a peaceful haven in the garden. If you want to keep the plant life and fish in your pond healthy, you will need to add a pond pump to circulate the water, so it does not become stagnant.

When you are choosing pond pumps you will need to consider the following.

pond pump

1. All of the water in your pond should be pumped every two hours. This means all the water is circulated 12 times a day, which is good for the plants, fish and filters in your pond.

You will need a flow rate of 3,000 to 4,000 litres of water an hour for a 6,000-litre pond and a 2,000-litre pond would need between 700 and 1,600 litres.

2. Waterfalls are an impressive addition to a pond, as people like the sound of running water. You will need to work out the volume of water needed to create an impressive waterfall. You need about 250-350 litres of water per hour of flow per inch (2.5cm). A waterfall with a wide lip will use more water than one with a narrow overflow edge. The ideal height for your waterfall is between 40cm (16 inches) and 90cm (36 inches).

Anchor Pumps has a good range of pond pumps available to buy online here:

3. Pond pumps are designed to work in harsh outdoor conditions, so buy one which comes with at least a two-years guarantee. Do not use a small water feature pump.

4. If you have fish, a pond pump must be able to run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without fail.

5. It is best to use two pond pumps to save money and have back-up so your fish don’t suffer if one fails.

6. Take the time to understand about maximum flow and pressure for your pump so you don’t end up buying the wrong one.

7. Always measure the height you want to pump water to from the surface of the pond and not the bottom.

8. You will need to think about the running costs too, which you can calculate yourself. The wattage used by the pump is usually stated on its box. If not, look for the amps used on the label attached to the body pump itself. You can convert amps to watts by multiplying amps x volts. For example, if your amp is .2 and your voltage is 220, then that is 44 watts.

This also means the pump will consume 44 divided by 1000 units of electricity per hour (1 kWhr = 1 unit)

To work out the costs, use the following formula:

Cost per year = “Y”
Pump power = “W” Watts
Pump runs “H” hours per day
Cost per unit of power =”C” in pence
Y=[W/1000 x Hx365 x C/100] in pounds a year.

Central Heating Tips: How to Bleed a Radiator

If one or more of the radiators in your home feels cool along the top but hot elsewhere, the most likely cause is a pocket of air trapped inside.

If one or more of the radiators in your home feels cool along the top but hot elsewhere, the most likely cause is a pocket of air trapped inside. Removing this air is known as ‘bleeding'; a simple procedure that will ensure your central heating system is always working at maximum efficiency.

Central Heating Pumps

The amount of trapped air that your central heating pumps through your radiator system builds up over time, so it’s a good idea to check your radiators at least once a year to see if they need bleeding. The start of the summer is the ideal time to do this as it will ensure your heating is fully functional when you switch it back on during the winter.

Finding air pockets
To check your radiators, turn on your heating and open the valve on each radiator as far as it will go. Once all the radiators in your property are hot, run a hand over the surface of each radiator, especially at the top edge, feeling for cold spots. While any radiator in a home can have air pockets, they are most commonly found in the highest radiators in the property, so check those first.

Once you are ready to bleed a radiator, the first step is to turn off the central heating. Each radiator will have a bleed valve at one of its top corners. Older models use a special key which should be provided by the installers, but if yours has gone missing, you can purchase one from any DIY store. Many modern radiators have bleed valves that can be turned using a flat-head screwdriver.

Safety first
Have some rags handy to catch or mop up any water that escapes during the procedure. Bear in mind that the water itself may be quite hot. Turn the bleed valve anticlockwise about a quarter of a turn until you hear a hissing sound as the air escapes. Try to let the air out as slowly as possible. As soon as the hissing sound stops and liquid begins to dribble out, close the valve tightly by turning it clockwise.

If you find that you are having to bleed your radiators on a regular basis, it’s possible that a large quantity of air may be entering the system. This could be the result of a faulty pump or leaking radiator valve. A wide variety of replacement central heating pumps are available here at Anchor Pumps. If the problem persists, it may be wise to consult a heating engineer because excess air in a system can quickly lead to corrosion.