Water

How to Diagnose & Fix Low Water Pressure

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Low water pressure can have an adverse effect on a wide range of domestic activities, from having a shower to watering the garden or pressure-washing the car. If low water pressure is a problem in your house, don’t despair. Boosting water pressure can be achieved and we have the products to do it.

What’s Causing the Low Pressure?

Firstly, you need to identify what is causing the low pressure. Some people find that the pressure is low throughout the year, but in some locations it varies from season to season, depending on the local water demand.

There is sometimes a tank in the loft which feeds water to the house, and this can take a long time to fill up. This means that the water pressure from your mains supply is low, and it isn’t strong enough to push the water through the system up to the tank at a decent flow rate.

Could Clogged Pipes, Leaks or Designer Taps be the Culprit?

The behaviour of the water that comes from for example, your shower, is determined by the combination of two factors: the water pressure and the water volume. Either or both of these factors may be the culprit.

You need to check that the stopcocks on the water pipes both within and outside the house are fully open. It may also be that some of your pipes are clogged up. If you have had any pipework renewed, check to see whether you are getting better water pressure from the taps connected to these pipes.

If you are, some of your older pipes may be clogged. You may need to ask a plumber to take some action, such as flushing the system with special chemicals to remove deposits.

It’s also wise to check for a leak, especially if you have a large property or one where the mains water supply crosses the garden. You may not be aware of a leak unless you have a water meter installed. Again, a plumber can check the pressure at various points to determine whether there may be a leak.

Some modern taps have lower flow rates and are specifically designed for use with high-pressure systems. If you have recently installed new taps and now find that the flow is not as good as it was, this could well be the reason.

If you have a mains pressure-fed hot water system, you may find that there is a pressure regulator just after your mains stopcock. It could be worth having this professionally checked to ensure that it is functioning correctly.

How Can You Boost Water Pressure?

In many cases, the issue is simply that the mains water pressure is low. The good news is that this can be addressed through the use of a special pressure boosting pump such as the Grundfos Home Booster, and the installation is not complicated or expensive.

The Home Booster is an electric pump which is specifically designed to increase water pressure. The Home Booster should be suitable for most homes, but if your home has several stories or is otherwise a very large property, you can team it up with a second unit. This also gives you some resilience because you can use the second pump as a back-up; useful if, for example, you have bed and breakfast guests.

What Models are Available?

The Home Booster is available as a 3 Bar or 4.5 Bar model. The 3 Bar pump can deliver up to 3.6 Bar pressure. It operates using a CM 3-4 I pump.

The 4.5 Bar version holds 200l of cold water and can deliver a pressure of 5.6 Bar with a flow rate of half a litre per second which means that you’ll certainly notice the difference.

These are reliable, robust pumps from a long-established brand. They have a handy control panel with indicators for the pump status and pressure, together with a reset button.

The system includes a pressure manager to ensure consistent performance, and if you want more water, you can add a 180-litre “slave tank” which is also available on this site. You can use this with both the 3 Bar and 4.5 Bar Home Boosters.

Will it Boost Your Enjoyment of Your House and Garden?

Better water pressure delivers a host of benefits. Baths fill more quickly, and showers are faster. You can wash your own car with clean water rather than using the expensive recycled water at the carwash. You don’t have to pay someone to jet-wash your patio. The list goes on.

Common Water Leaks in the home!

Common Water Leaks

Water leaks in the home can be from a variety of sources, from dripping taps to leaking toilets. Water leaks can be costly, so looking after your heating and water system correctly should be a priority. Many properties use macerating pumps such as the Saniplus. These should be regularly maintained to avoid any leakages.

Even if a leak is relatively minor, it may still cause plenty of damage over time, and if you’re on a water meter it could cost a lot too. Fixing a leak will save you money and avoid damaging your property any further. Here are some of the most common water leaks found in the home.

While some will require the services of a professional plumber, many can be dealt with by anyone with some competent DIY skills.

Dripping Taps

Possibly the most common water leak is the dripping tap, usually caused by a washer wearing out. There are several reasons a tap may become leaky: they are not turned off properly; over-tightening of a tap; turning a tap off with force which can cause wear to the tap washer; a quarter-turn tap may develop a leak due to debris becoming wedged in the quarter-turn tap valve or water being too hot. Turn off the water supply before investigating.

Leaking Radiator

This is often discovered around October time when the heating is turned on and radiator valves have become stuck over the summer months from lack of use. Replacing the valve is a fiddly job and best left to a professional, but it is a good idea to check if tightening up the coupling nut will solve the problem first. Corrosion of the pipes is also common, as they are permanently exposed to water.

Leaking Toilet

Possibly the most irritating water leak is from the toilet, and this can leak in several ways. A crack in the tank or bowl must be replaced immediately. A damaged or broken ballcock and float valve can lead to an overflowing cistern. A faulty fill valve or worn feed line can cause water to constantly drain into the cistern. Combine this with a blocked overflow pipe and the tank may overflow.

Leak Under the Bath

A leak from the bath, especially in an upstairs bathroom, can cause some very serious damage to ceilings and floors, so it is essential to not only spot it early but to get it fixed immediately. A leaking bath can be caused by poor seals around the wastes (overflow or plughole), the sealant around the bath failing or leaking pipes which may require the side panel of the bath to be removed to spot the issue. Bath leakage is commonly identified by damage and staining to the ceiling of the room beneath.

Leaking Shower

A leaking shower hose is very common and generally occurs when the hose has exceeded its life expectancy (which is normally long). It is easy to replace with a new hose. Enclosed shower leaks can be similar to bath leaks. Check the pipe work and sealant joints. Pipes can be hidden behind tiles so are harder to get at. Look for signs of damage such as tiles lifting. Shower pumps can help improve the performance of your shower and increase the water pressure. High-quality pumps have good safety and durability records and continue to improve, but there is always a chance that a pump valve is the cause of the leak.

Leaking Sink

This is normally caused by one of the following three issues: a leaking water hose that causes lots of mess, spraying water everywhere; a leaking drain line that can be identified by letting water run down the drain or emptying a full sink; a faulty drain seal around the plughole that is easily identified by filling the sink and leaving it and seeing if the level drops or if moisture appears beneath the sink.

Leaking Pumps

You may have booster pumps, domestic sanitary pumps or heating circulation and hot water pumps in your home. It is always best to use high-quality pumps that are known for their durability and safety records. Cheap, low-quality pumps may be the cause of leakages in the home. Pumps are becoming increasingly more reliable, but leaks do occur, mainly due to the vibration they produce when the power shower or central heating is on.

Leaking Boiler

This is possibly one of the most expensive leaks to fix. A boiler can leak at any age, but cheaper boilers are more likely to leak than more expensive ones. There are many boiler parts that can go wrong and start to leak, and it is advisable to call out a professional plumber if your boiler is leaking.

These are the most frequently found water leaks in the home. If you discover a leak, you should try to ascertain where it is coming from. Turn off the water supply to prevent more water from leaking. Then either attempt to fix it if you feel it is something you can do, or call out a professional plumber to carry out the repairs. The quicker you deal with a leak in your home, the less damage it will cause and the cheaper it will be.

The disturbing effects of water pollution and how you can help!

effects of water pollution

Water pollution is a problem the world over, and its effects can have a detrimental impact on the environment and our health. There are lots of ways that water pollution can be reduced, by making changes to the products we use, and how we dispose of them. Making use of water treatment systems, domestically and industrially, such as Grundfos pumps, can also help to win the battle of reducing the disturbing effects of water pollution.

Damage to ecosystems

One of the most serious consequences of water pollution is its negative impact on aquatic ecosystems. Fish and other marine life exposed to dirty water full of contaminants and waste can be susceptible to disease. In many cases, they may die.

Pollutants in our seas and rivers can increase the growth of toxic algae. When fish and marine animals are exposed to toxic algae and other pollutants, such as lead or cadmium, their health is compromised.

Water pollution can upset the delicate balance of our ecosystem, and may cause a decline in certain species. Many birds, fish, dolphins and other sea creatures washed up on beaches often perish due to the effects of exposure to pollutants.

Harm to human health

The real danger of contaminated fish exposed to pollutants is if they end up in the food chain. When humans consume these fish, they can become ill. Poisoned seafood, especially raw shellfish, can cause hepatitis and typhoid in humans, for example.

It’s not just eating fish polluted by dirty water that can cause ill health to humans. Swimmers, surfers and fishermen who come into contact with contaminated water can experience a number of health issues. Ear infections, skin problems and stomach upsets are frequent complaints that are often the result of human exposure to water contaminants.

In poor countries, the technology and resources aren’t always available to supply clean, drinking water. When pollutants contaminate drinking water, the consequences can be devastating. It’s estimated that around 14,000 people die or suffer disease annually from drinking polluted water.

Careful disposal of waste

Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to reduce the disturbing effects of water pollution. One of the most important ways to reduce pollutants from entering seas and rivers is to be more mindful about how we dispose of waste.

Items such as wipes, medicines and nappies should never be flushed down a toilet. There is the risk that they can’t be filtered properly by waste disposal systems. The end result is that they make it into our rivers and seas, causing potential harm.

Chemicals, such as paints, cleaning products and cooking fats should also never be poured down the sink. You can usually dispose of these safely at waste recycling centres.

Avoid chemicals

If we become less reliant on chemicals, there is less chemical waste to pollute our waters. Find ways to reduce your reliance on chemicals, whether at home, in the garden or at work.

There are many natural products that can be used for cleaning that are just as effective as some of the more hazardous items. Lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar make excellent ‘green’ cleaning agents. If you buy cleaning products, choose environmentally-friendly options.

Adopt an organic approach to gardening. Avoid using pesticides and chemicals to control aphids. Instead, consider companion planting and biological controls, and create a compost pile for disposal of kitchen scraps.

Reduce and save

Think about ways you can reduce and save. Reduce your use of chemicals, plastic, packaging or other items that may harm the environment and end up in our seas.

Save water. If you use less water at home or work, it can help to safeguard this scarce resource. It can reduce the amount of contaminants entering the water system.

Consider installing a water efficient toilet with dual flush or an efficient shower pump. Only use the dishwasher or washing machine when it’s full, and select economy modes. This saves water and electricity.

Be clean

Being careless with litter and waste increases the risk of it ending up in rivers and seas. Dispose of litter carefully if you visit a beach, in particular. Try to recycle as much as possible.

If you have a dog, always pick up and dispose of pet waste, to avoid it running into drains and water supplies. Maintain your car, so that it doesn’t leak oil or chemicals onto driveways that could get washed down drains.

If you’re a homeowner or business that uses water or waste systems, make sure you install efficient pumps. These can help to keep systems clean and avoid contaminants entering the wider water supplies. Even if you have a tank, pool or pond, a submersible pump can help to keep systems clean and avoid dirt and pollutants entering drains.

Upgrade systems

Inefficient or outdated waste or water disposal systems at home or work could contribute to the rising pollution levels in our water, so upgrade your systems if necessary.

The price you pay will be minimal, compared to the importance of protecting the environment and safeguarding our seas. If you’re thinking of buying a new pump for domestic or industrial purposes, this is a great way to save water and keep it clean.