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Many homeowners are frustrated by low water pressure and flow rates. Stuart Turner Mainsboost products are designed to solve issues relating to low incoming mains pressure and flow. Here we discuss some of the key considerations when selecting a product from the range.

Many homeowners are unaware that many home improvements, such as changing to a combi boiler or introducing additional bathrooms or en-suites, can have a detrimental effect on water pressure. Although regulations do state the minimum pressure levels for dwellings, this is measured at the communication pipe serving the premises – this means that water output can vary throughout the property – particularly from floor to floor. For many, a shower suddenly being reduced to a drip when someone has turned on the kitchen tap downstairs is a current occurrence – and this is a common issue with low water pressure. However, many are unaware that this can be overcome, with the appropriate solution.

The Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT), which regulates the water sector in England and Wales, says that over a 24-hour period, water companies must maintain average water pressure of 7 metres static head (or 0.7 bar) in a communication pipe serving premises. In Scotland (where the sector is regulated by the Water Industry Commission for Scotland), the minimum pressure should be capable of filling a nine-litre bucket within one minute at a pressure of 10 metres static head (1 bar) from the communication pipe.

In many homes, the traditional hot water immersion heater and central heating boiler (which is fed by a cold-water tank, usually located in the loft) is being replaced by a combination boiler or mains fed unvented cylinder. Combi-boilers are often preferred due to their easy install and space-saving abilities. However, they are an unvented system, which means that water pressure is only provided by the mains water supply via the communication pipe. This can lead to poor water pressure, as, unlike vented systems, gravity does not push the water through the system, which can cause major frustrations for the homeowner.

There is a solution – installers should look to suggest solutions such as Stuart Turner’s Mainsboost system. These systems can be easily fitted directly onto the incoming mains water supply and work to increase the available flow rate, improving water pressure levels.

The Mainsboost system is a sealed vessel which contains a 100% virgin butyl diaphragm chamber. The chamber is surrounded by a positive pre-charged air pressure, which is sealed within the vessel. When the diaphragm is full (the water is supplied under the mains pressure), it expands to create a state of equilibrium between the water pressure and pre-charged pressure. When an outlet is opened, the water is forced out of the vessel, increasing flow rates, and boosting the incoming mains supply. This creates improved water pressure to the opened outlets and enables multiple sources to be used at one time without the pressure dropping. Once the outlets are shut off, the diaphragm will refill and pressure equilibrium will be re-set.

When suggesting the use of this type of solution, there are a number of factors installers must consider:

Incoming mains pressure and flow; static pressure of 2.0bar or less will require a pump in order for the vessels to “charge”.

Supply and demand; what is the realistic peak demand for the household.

Number of occupants; the average person uses 125 litres of water per day. Use this to calculate how much stored water you’re likely to require.

Location, location, location; where is the system being installed? 2.0bar incoming pressure at ground level won’t charge vessels which have been installed on the 2nd floor. Allow for system loss and don’t forget your weight calculations if installing in the loft.

If in doubt, give us a shout; Stuart Turner offers a Site Survey form designed to collect the information required to recommend a solution by one of our experts. You’ll find it at stuart-turner.co.uk/mainsboost

It is also vital to discuss the additional benefits of installing a solution such as this to the homeowner. For instance, the need for maintenance on this type of system is minimal. The systems can also vary in size, meaning they can be conveniently fitted into existing spaces within the home.

To find out more about Stuart Turner’s Mainsboost range, please visit: http://www.stuart-turner.co.uk/mainsboost