Increasing your water pressure
"How can I increase my water pressure?"
Is a question we get asked weekly by someone in South West London. We've created a free consumer advice guide on the various solutions available to homeowners, simply follow this link to download it here: www.lowwaterpressuresolutions.com
Do you suffer from low water pressure in your home? Well, you're not the only one. It's becoming an increasingly common problem. We get calls weekly from customers asking us to take a look at their systems and come up with a solution for them. When it comes to 'water pressure' there are actually two factors at play; your 'water pressure' and your 'flow rate'. From your point of view, however, the real issue is whether you are able to have a decent shower or a sensible amount of water coming out of your taps to enable you to wash-up, fill the bath etc.
Regardless of the cause of your weak shower, the solutions are basically the same;
a) Upgrade your incoming water mains (usually the 'go-to' procedure for most builders, but not a guaranteed solution)
b) Boost your house's pressure using a booster pump or similar solution
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of these two options:
1. Upgrade your incoming cold water mains
This involves contacting Thames Water (or you local water supplier), and applying to upgrade your water mains. It will mean having the stopcock in your pavement upgraded (and possibly the old lead pipe that runs from your stopcock to the middle of the road to join the main water mains).
You will then need a plumber to run the new larger bore cold water mains from the pavement into your house (usually 25mm blue poly pipe).
Your water company would need to do the final connection, when they upgrade your stopcock.
- This can often be the most inexpensive way of increasing your water pressure
- It is fairly 'green' too, as there's nothing electrical / mechanical involved, just a new plastic stopcock in the pavement and new larger bore main into your home.
- There are no guarantees that it will actually work and solve your water pressure problem. For example, Thames Water has no obligation to make sure you have an awesome shower every morning! All they need to do is ensure you have water coming into your home but the pressure or flow rate is not their concern.
- It can also be expensive. If everything goes smoothly that's great, but sometimes the water company needs to close off the road to dig it up in order to complete the work. Also depending on what's involved in running the new larger bore main into your house – the price can rack up considerably. In addition, if you need to take-up paving / tiles etc. in the front of your house, then that will add to the cost.
- Unfortunately the route into the house isn't always as straight forward as you'd hope.
- There can also be a long lead time. Some of our clients have waited 2-3 months for Thames Water to come out. If you're in a hurry, this probably isn't the solution for you.
- A lot of homes have a shared water mains; so if one your neighbours isn't keen to contribute to the upgrade, then the cost will fall to you and therefore this may not be the ideal (or fair) solution.
2. Install a break tank and a constant pressure pump
This involves fitting a cold water storage tank, similar to the one in your loft. Your weaker cold water mains then fills this tank, and from there we boost the water to the rest of the house, by way of a 'constant pressure pump'.
- Guaranteed results and 100% success rate – this is the system we recommend to our clients, and have had only positive feedback about every installation, and zero problems.
- These are 'constant pressure pumps', so we can set the pressure to between 1 – 6 Bar and no matter how many showers are being used at the same time, the pump will adjust and keep the pressure to what's been set, for example a constant 3 Bar.
- They're extremely quiet and can be fitted in bedroom cupboards or loft bedrooms.
- Their cost is usually comparable to those incurred when upgrading your water mains, except this solution is guaranteed to do the job. To supply and fit your looking at a starting price of £1500 + vat.
- They do require quite a bit of space for the tank etc. But cold water storage tanks come in a variety of shapes and sizes – so they can be fitted in awkward areas. We've fitted long thin tanks in roof spaces, and tall boxy tanks under stairs. So, wherever you have a space – we can usually find a tank to fit it.
- The pipe sizing throughout your home needs to be done correctly. We can't connect these pumps to small bore pipework (e.g. 15mm), and expect your rain shower to work as it should. Most houses don't have 15mm pipework everywhere though, so this isn't typically an issue, but it is something to think about.
Low water pressure can be very irritating, and it won't get better – in fact it's only likely to get worse as more and more houses are built and the population density of London, the South East and cities across the UK increases – so fitting a booster pump is worth considering if you are concerned about the water pressure in your house.
Also, if you are looking to add a shower room, or an ensuite, or you're converting a house into flats, then, again, a booster pump could be worth looking at. It will help to ensure that your pressure stays constant and everyone gets a great shower – regardless of the time of day or the number of people using water in the house.
If you're suffering from poor water pressure, please give us a call on 0207 738 8967 and we can book in a free, on site survey and give you an estimate. Every home is different, so it's not a one size fits all solution, but there is always a solution. Please also have a look at some of our case studies
And if you'd like to speak to any of our customers then please do let us know, we can definitely arrange that, as we have never had a customer that wasn't 100% satisfied with this solution!