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  • Expansion vessels: Why are they so important?

    expansion vessel Flamco flexcon series

    Our home's heating systems are placed under enormous duress every day. In tandem with the homeowner's whims, a heating system has to apportion energy, heat and water to: changing the air temperature as well as for use in sinks, showers and baths. We can all point to one important component - the boiler. But other critical constituents of this process fly under the radar. None more so than expansion vessels. To highlight the importance of expansion vessels, we have put together this hopefully illuminating post.

    What are expansion vessels?

    Expansion vessels consist of a small steel container divided into two parts by a rubber diaphragm. One side of the rubber is filled with air or nitrogen, while the other is filled with water. The steel provides the vessel with a close to impenetrable exterior that won’t fold under hydraulic shock. The rubber diaphragm, on the inside, possesses an extremely low permeability which not only serves to contains pressure loss, but also helps to ward off corrosion.

    What is the purpose of an expansion vessel?

    Even in a single day, our home can go through many, many heating cycles. When there is demand for hot water, there has to be action on the part of our home. When water is heated up, it expands. And when it expands, your home’s closed water heating system has to be equipped to deal with the added pressure. That is where expansion vessels come in. Thanks to their rubber diaphragms and steel exteriors, they are more than capable of withstanding the effects of both thermal expansion and water hammer, preventing the system from failing or at worst, coming apart completely.
    Less commonly, an expansion vessel is also used as a replacement for a continuous pump in a pumped central heating system. Because expansion vessels can be adjusted to maintain a specific pressure level, they can be tweaked to maintain pressure even in the absence of a pump.

    Why are expansion vessels so important?

    In certain water heating systems, expansion vessels are an absolute necessity. Closed water heating systems, where there is a one way valve present, are vulnerable to increases in pressure. The only way to combat these increases is to introduce an expansion vessel. Without it, you run the risk of damaging not only the water heater, but the plumbing fixtures and the water pipes themselves.

    What should you look for in an expansion vessel?

    At Pump Sales Direct, we only stock the highest quality products that meet UK regulations, and the same applies to our range of expansion vessels. One of the most reputable and respected manufacturers of expansion vessels is Flamco, of which we are a stockist. Distinguished by their bold red exterior, Flamco pressurisation units are not only instantly recognisable, but amongst the best available today. The importance of ensuring that your expansion vessel matches the specifications of your water heating system exactly cannot be overstated. Fortunately, all of our product descriptions are loaded with detail and should be enough to help you decipher the best product for you. Even if it’s not, you can reach us by email or phone and one of our dedicated team will be more than happy to walk you through it.

  • How to save money on your water bill

    Grundfos Selectric Grundfos Selectric Central Heating Pump

    On 1st April this year, homeowners across the UK saw their water bills rise by 2% - culminating in an extra £9 expense annually. After this development, you can forgive many for believing that they have little to no control over their water bills. Armed with the right advice however, homeowners can very easily reduce the amount they are paying. Opting for more energy efficient appliances, making an effort to collect, conserve and reuse water as well having a better understanding of both water-greedy and water-efficient processes, will put you in the best position possible to save money on your water bill.

    Install a heating circulating pump

    Circulating pumps will minimise the amount of money you spend on heating water. Grundfos central heating pumps are able to do this by expending a small amount of energy to distribute hot water throughout the home, so that an instant source of hot water is available from any outlet at any time. Without a circulating pump, huge tanks of water are heated and allowed to cool without being used up; a far from efficient process. The addition of a Grundfos selectric circulating pump can alleviate this problem, making your home’s heating of water far more efficient - both in terms of energy used and money spent.

    Cut water usage by opting for eco shower heads

    There are a plethora of products out there that are tailor-made to make your home more energy and water efficient - one of the most affordable yet convenient of which is an eco-shower head. By affording you with complete control of your shower’s flow rate, you can adjust the amount of water you use. Eco-shower heads vary in the way that they are able to manipulate your shower. Some simply reduce water flow, others will aerate the water (increasing the water flow without using more water) and some even include a flow regulator that limits water output from the bottom of the shower hose. What unites all of these eco-shower heads is their ability to reduce your home’s water usage and consequently, your water bill too.

    Make better use of your water supply through reuse and recycling

    With the global population set to continue to rise, global water demand is expected to increase by 50% between 2000 and 2050. Freshwater supplies have never been so scarce, making it more important than ever to reuse and recycle water where possible. We can help you do just that. At Pump Sales Direct, we have grey water recycling systems and rainwater harvesting pumps that will dramatically improve the efficiency of your home’s use of water.

    Change your showering habits

    Just as important as the physical changes you make to your home, are the behavioural changes you make. There are plenty of slight adjustments you can make that genuinely do make a difference. If you normally take baths, take showers instead. If you have become accustomed to taking long showers, try to cut it down by a few minutes. Simple changes that often get overlooked can be just as effective.

    By incorporating this advice into your own home, you are bound to cut down on the amount of money you are spending on water. We are more than happy to help make this transition as smooth as possible by answering any questions you might have about any of our products. You can contact us by phone, email or through this contact form.

  • Three water reclamation systems you need to know

    Grundfos pump unilift 150 a1 Grundfos Unilift 150 A1 submersible pump

    As our constant search for sustainable methods of using water continues, more and more viable solutions seem to emerge. In this post, we will delve into three of the most popular - rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling and seawater desalination. Without these techniques, we run the very real risk of exhausting the world’s natural supplies of potable water. And the better we are able to understand and harness these techniques, the more likely we are to be able to properly manage and maintain our resources for future generations.

    Rainwater harvesting

    The most widely practised water reclamation technique is rainwater harvesting - and it owes its popularity to its simplicity. At its most rudimentary, it can involve nothing more than a bucket being placed outside. More complex alternatives are available however, and an astroturf lawn fitted with a water collection tank is perhaps the most elaborate example. One of the most practical rainwater harvesting methods is to install a water butt. Positioned at the base of a downpipe, a water butt will simply sit and collect rainwater, which can then be repurposed for use throughout the home at a later date.

    Grey water recycling

    Greywater refers to the relatively clean wastewater that emerges from baths, sinks, washing machines and other similar appliances after use. Unlike rainwater harvesting techniques which are comparatively simple, because of the recirculating that is necessary in grey water recycling, their systems are slightly more complicated - and, as you would expect, slightly more expensive. At Pump Sales Direct, the grey water recycling systems we have available are affordable and effective. You are just a few clicks away from reducing your home’s water usage by up to 50%. Accompanying any decline in your home’s water usage is a similarly healthy drop in your home’s water bills - proving that the installation of a grey water recycling system pays dividends financially as well as environmentally.

    Seawater desalination

    Seawater desalination is the most expensive and laborious technique for recovering usable water on this list - so much so that it has to be undertaken on a massive scale to prove financially viable. As one of the few truly rainfall-independent water sources, seawater desalination, for many areas, is an indispensable part of their water supply. In Kuwait for example, the water produced by seawater desalination provides 100% of their water use. The method by which this process is carried out varies from plant to plant. Amongst the most popular however, are: distillation, forward and reverse osmosis, and electrodialysis.

    Water reclamation technologies from Grundfos

    Grundfos, one of the best known manufacturers in the industry, produces a variety of pumps that are suitable for use in water reclamation - both domestically and commercially. Their range of wastewater submersible pumps are of the utmost quality and the addition of one to your home will undoubtedly bolster its ability to reclaim water - the Grundfos pump unilift 150 a1 is just one example. If you have any questions about any of our products, please do not hesitate to get in touch by phone, email, or through the contact form on our website.

  • Selecting a shower pump: Four things to look for

    single impeller shower pumps Single impeller shower pump

    Your bathroom can be dramatically improved with just one small change - the introduction of a new shower pump. With the right specifications and installed correctly, shower pumps can bolster the water pressure and flow of your shower - transforming a lacklustre trickle into a jet. Before you can make this alteration, you first have to understand the parameters within which you have to work to select the ideal shower pump. Uncovering whether your shower operates on a vented or unvented system, deciphering the best size and pressure rating of shower pump,  whether you require a single or twin impeller one, as well as the best location to position it are all essential considerations for those looking to make a purchase.

    Identify the water system your home operates on. Is it a gravity fed (vented) system or a mains pressure (unvented) system?

    Before anything else, you first have to identify the heating system your household operates on.  There are three main kinds in the UK: gravity fed (unvented) system, mains pressure (unvented) system and combination boilers. Shower pumps will only work in coordination with one of those heating systems - gravity fed (vented) systems. Gravity fed systems are actually the oldest and least efficient water heating systems and as such, are also the most likely to need the additional thrust offered by a shower pump.

    Check what size pump (and bar rating) is required

    The size (or pressure rating) of the shower pump you will need is dictated by the size of your house and the number and distance of the outlets it is tasked with serving. The more trying the task, the higher the bar rating your shower pump should be. Bar, a unit of atmospheric air pressure, gives an indication of the amount of pressure a shower pump is capable of generating. Shower pumps have a bar rating of somewhere between 1.5B and 4.5B. For comparison, a shower pump with a bar rating of 4.0B upwards are capable of providing for two entire bathrooms while a shower pump with a rating of 1.5B is only capable of boosting a single shower.

    Know the difference between single and twin impeller shower pumps

    Another distinction that is important to make at an early stage, is the difference between single and twin impeller shower pumps. While twin impeller shower pumps are able to boost the flow of water from two different sources of water (hot and cold), single impeller shower pumps can only increase the flow from one source of water.

    Decide between positive and negative head shower pumps

    Similarly, you have to be able to discern the differences between positive and negative head shower pumps. Positive shower pumps are reliant on gravity to work properly - the water tank must be positioned above the shower. Negative shower pumps on the other hand, are able to boost pressure regardless of the relative position of the shower and water tanks.

    Whatever your situation, you are sure to find a shower pump that suits your home to a tee at Pump Sales Direct. Salamander shower pumps and Stuart Turner shower pumps alike, you’ll find all of the most reputable brands on our website. Quiet shower pumps are a necessity - you won’t find the noisier shower pumps of yesteryear at Pump Sales Direct. If you have any questions about our products or any aspect of our service, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can do so, by email, phone or this contact form.

  • Central heating pumps: Everything you need to know

    central heating pumps Grundfos Magna 3

    Circulating pumps have become an essential component of any energy-conscious home. Operating on a closed circuit system within the home, they have rapidly overtaken traditional heating methods and become the new standard. Where old methods were inefficient, the latest line of central heating pumps make far better use of a home’s resources to generate the same supply of hot water - only more quickly, more effectively and more efficiently. In this post, we have outlined everything you need to know about hot water pumps - from when and how to install them, how they work and why they are far superior to their predecessors.

    How to install central heating pumps

    It is possible to install a circulating pump without any prior knowledge of how they integrate into the closed circuit system of a home but it is relatively tricky. We would recommend hiring someone with the necessary knowledge, skill and equipment to ensure your circulating pump is fitted flawlessly. Instead of improving your home, an incorrectly fitted circulating pump can actually be a costly mistake.

    What do hot water pumps do?

    As you can probably infer from the name, circulating pumps circulate hot water around the home. The components of a circulating pump (support bearings, a pump impeller and a motor rotor) combine to provide homeowners with an instant supply of hot water. The electric motor causes the impeller to spin, which, in turn, pushes water out and compresses it - eventually producing an instant supply of hot water in the process.

    What are the benefits of circulating pumps?

    In areas with rapidly expanding and urbanising populations, local authorities offer rebates on circulating pumps because of their ability to slash the volume of water being used in homes. This is testament to the water saving capabilities of hot water circulating pumps. Equally important is their ability to reduce the amount of energy being used and wasted in a home. Traditional heating methods are reliant on heating a massive volume of water, only for a mere fraction of it to be used. By providing an immediate supply of hot water only when needed, hot water pumps are far more economic with the home's resources.  By reducing the amount of energy that is committed to heating water, circulating pumps are also able to keep heating bills to an absolute minimum. Not only are circulating pumps beneficial for the environment, they are also beneficial for your finances.

    Shop hot water pumps from Pump Sales Direct

    At Pump Sales Direct, we stock a range of heating circulators. One of our most popular models is the Grundfos Magna 3. For good reason too, as well as being extremely efficient (it is compliant with EuP requirements) it also possesses an in-built pressure differential and temperature sensor which ensure that your home's heating system is always operating at peak efficiency. If you have any unanswered questions about the Grundfos Magna 3 - or any other of heating circulator pumps for that matter - please do not hesitate to get in touch by phone or email. Our dedicated team will be more than happy to answer your queries.

  • How to rejuvenate your bathroom

    quiet shower pumps

    If your bathroom is beginning to look tired and worn, it may well be time to consider making some changes. The thought of updating your bathroom décor is often accompanied by a sense of impending doom with the inevitable outlay of cash. An update to a rapidly deteriorating bathroom needn’t be an extremely expensive undertaking. On the contrary, with the right advice, you can rejuvenate both the appearance and efficiency of your bathroom affordably in one fell swoop. From replacing outdated, ineffective pumps with newer, more efficient alternatives to updating your décor DIY-style, transforming your bathroom for the better is very much achievable.

    Quiet shower pumps

    Replacing or installing a new shower pump is a practical move that will serve your bathroom well for years to come. If you don’t already have a shower pump installed, you only have yourself for to blame for the disappointingly weak water flow emanating from your shower. If on the other hand, you do have a shower pump bolstering your water pressure - and have had so for many years, it is most likely time for an upgrade. Technology moves at a rapid rate, and seemingly minor developments can culminate in major improvements in efficiency. This is true too of Salamander shower pumps and Stuart Turner shower pumps.

    At Pump Sales Direct, we stock a range of energy efficient products, a great deal of which are shower pumps. Designed to run with extreme efficiency, the installation of one of the latest models of shower pump can equate to a 50% reduction in energy consumption, which is of benefit to both the health of the environment and your finances. Another factor worth noting is just how quiet shower pumps are now. A new shower pump is worth the investment to achieve the kind of tranquilly quiet bathroom you have always hoped for.

    Décor

    A new shower pump will improve the practical makeup of your bathroom, but it won’t have the kind of impact (at least aesthetically) that actually altering your décor will have.

    Lighting

    A change in lighting can make a deceptively drastic difference to your bathroom. Scientific studies have demonstrated the strength of the relationship between lighting and mood.  Neglecting older fluorescent lighting in favour of newer LED lighting is an inexpensive way to generate a mood-boosting ambience in your bathroom.

    Paint

    In a similar fashion to the way a change in lighting can elicit a positive response, so too can a fresh coat of paint. Again, opting for lighter colours is the best strategy. While repainting your bathroom is inexpensive, it does however demand a fair amount of hard work. From ridding the bathroom walls of soap scum to painting around toilet tanks, painting a bathroom properly is no easy task.

    Armed with this knowledge, you should be well-equipped to go about injecting a new lease of life into your bathroom. If you are interested in purchasing one of our products but still have a few questions you need answering before you take the plunge, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us by email, phone or through this contact form.

  • Can a shower pump be used with a combi boiler?

    shower pumps

    At Pump Sales Direct, one of our most enduringly popular products is the shower pump. And as one of our most popular products, the burden of responsibility falls on us to provide all potential and current customers with the information with which to make a smart and informed purchase. As simple as the premise of a shower pump is - to boost the water flow emanating from a shower - there are a variety of surrounding complexities that can act as stumbling blocks for customers. One of the most prevalent of which we are going to attempt to answer today - can a shower pump be used with a combi boiler?

    What is a combi boiler?

    Combi (or combination) boilers are the culmination of a recent spate of research and investment into making a more compact, energy-efficient and cost-efficient replacement for the traditional boiler. While their comparable efficiency has made them a popular choice in recent years they still lag someway behind conventional boilers - partly because of their newness and partly because they can only service smaller properties.

    Essentially, a combi boiler is a central heating boiler and a high efficiency water heater rolled into one single compact unit. They operate at mains pressure, which means they don’t the hot and cold water tanks that typically provide for a traditional boiler - which has has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, they are able to provide an instant supply of temperature regulated water as and when required. On the other hand, they are only able to provide homes with a limited supply of water, meaning that combi boilers are only really sufficient for smaller properties where its capacity to provide hot water to only one source at a time isn’t an issue.

    Why can’t a shower pump be used with a combi boiler?

    Combi boilers’ reliance on mains pressure is both a blessing and a curse. While it saves space by rendering hot and cold water tanks redundant, it also negates the possibility of adding a shower pump to the system to bolster water pressure.

    What are the alternatives?

    Ideally, you made sure to check that the flow rate and capacity of your combi boiler is compatible with your shower prior to purchase. However, if you hadn’t, you may need to install an entirely new shower in order to get your water pressure up to the desired level.

    What if I don’t have a combi boiler?

    If however, you don’t have a combi boiler fitted in your home, shower booster pumps are more than capable of boosting your shower’s water pressure. Instead of being stuck with a shower that isn’t compatible with the rest of your home’s system, most traditional setups can easily be altered and adjusted for the better with the addition of a home booster pump.

    Stuart Turner shower pumps and Salamander shower pumps alike, we have a diverse range of quiet shower pumps available at Pump Sales Direct. If you have any questions or queries about any of our products, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member our team by email or phone - or even this contact form.

  • How long do shower pumps last?

    Grundfos shower pumps

    A shower pump can have a transformative impact on the quality of the showers in your home. There can however, be an imposing number of barriers to acquiring a quality and affordable pump that perfectly services your home. A shower pump is a sizeable investment and you want to be sure that every penny that you do put towards it is worth it. Acquiring a top of the range product that services your home perfectly is essential. With this in mind, we have put together this guide that answers many of the most common questions and queries that people have when it comes to Grundfos shower pumps. There are a number of inherent factors that affect the lifespan of shower pumps but it is worth noting that there are external factors that also play a role.

    Brand name

    A well-respected and well renowned brand name is often a signifier of quality and the same is true for shower pumps. At Pump Sales Direct, you will only find products from leading manufacturers, meaning that you can rest assured that each and every purchase you make is a worthwhile investment.

    Water quality in your area

    The hardness of water is dictated by the levels of dissolved minerals that are present within it. High volumes of magnesium and calcium make hard water particularly reactive - leading to a plethora of inconvenient outcomes. Washing your hands with a combination of soap and hard water is likely to leave behind a residue of sorts. Similarly, in the presence of heat, dissolved calcium reacts to form solid carbon carbonate, which is why hard water leaves behind scale in heating equipment throughout the home. Because of this reaction, the harder the water is in your area, the quicker your shower pump is likely to deteriorate. Therefore, the lifespan of a shower pump can be reduced by the quality of your water supply.

    So, what is the average lifespan of a shower pump?

    Typically, excepting the influence of all the aforementioned factors and any other uncontrollable interruptions, you can expect a shower pump to last for somewhere around eight years. Of course, this is just a generalised observation and if you are looking for further indication of the durability of the shower pump you are buying, you are best checking the duration of the warranty that has been offered to you. A warranty more or less guarantees the product’s survival. At Pump Sales Direct, the vast majority of our shower pumps are protected by comprehensive two year warranties.

    Where to direct any further questions and queries you may have

    If you feel any of your questions have been left unanswered, or if you simply need further explanation or clarification, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our dedicated team are ready and waiting to field any of your questions and queries. Call us on 0800 008 6405, email us or use the contact form on our website.

  • How do self-priming pumps work?

    self-priming pumps Flojet self-priming pump

    Self-priming pumps are a staple of the pumps industry.  From important environmental sustainability projects (water desalination plants) to huge commercial operations (petrochemical plants), self-priming pumps are incredibly important for many different people in many different environments. If, for whatever reason, you are not overly familiar with self-priming pumps and how they work, don’t worry. Before we get into the best ways to utilise self-priming pumps, we will first provide an explanation of exactly what self-priming pumps are and how they work.

    A self-priming pump is a form of centrifugal pump, the other of which is positive displacement pumps. Centrifugal pumps use centrifugal force to generate a pressure differential in a liquid. This pressure differential causes the liquid to move from an area of higher pressure to an area of lower pressure, allowing centrifugal pumps to pump fluids from one area to another. A (non-self-priming) centrifugal pump requires its casing to be completely submerged in liquid for it to be able to operate properly. As air is far harder to pump than liquid, the presence of air in a (non-self-priming) centrifugal pump renders it air bound. Meanwhile, a self-priming pump is able to operate in an air-water mixture by transforming this mixture into a fluid that can be pumped.

    Self-priming pumps have their in-built water reservoir to thank for this ability. The reservoir of water allows self-priming pumps to recirculate water within the pump at will, ridding the pump of the air that prevents it from operating whenever necessary. For this reason, self-priming pumps have the rare distinction of being able to turn a previously unpumpable mixture of air and water into a fluid that it can comfortably exercise control over.

    Self-priming pumps’ ability to work in a mixture of air and water makes them far more versatile than their non-self-priming counterparts, which allows them to work in a broader range of environments. In industrial chemical processes, a lot of the chemicals involved are volatile, making the ability to self-prime vital when air does seep into centrifugal pumps. Similarly, the number of air entrained liquids involved in the paper-making process makes self-priming pumps a common sight in paper mills across the world. As well as being suited to these industries, self-priming pumps are also popular in the wastewater treatment field amongst others.

    At Pump Sales Direct, we have a range of only the highest quality self-priming pumps available at the most affordable prices. If you require any more information on any of these products, please do not hesitate to contact us - one of our helpful and knowledgeable team will be on hand to help. You can get in touch by telephone, email or through this contact page.

  • What is the most efficient way to heat a home?

    Efficiency is something to strive for - whether that means completing tasks at central heating pumpswork as quickly as possible, trying to cram a month’s worth of shopping into a single visit, or using up a full tank of petrol before refilling. While these are all examples of measuring efficiency in terms of time, the efficiency of a home's heating system can be assessed in a number of different ways. In environmental terms, efficiency means generating the necessary amount of energy needed to heat your home at the lowest possible cost to the environment. Financially-speaking, the same is true - you want to sufficiently heat your home at the lowest possible cost. When it comes to heating your home, the two don't always go hand-in-hand (as you'll find out later) but there are a select number of solutions that meet both criteria. Below, we have discussed some of the most and least practical ways you can improve the efficiency of your home’s heating.

    Why it isn’t worth switching to alternative energy sources for heating

    It is important to note that there are a number of different energy sources you can switch to, that will heat your home in a more energy efficient manner. However, because the technology designed to support them is in its nascency, there are both practical and financial barriers preventing everyday homeowners from making the switch from gas boilers. Solar heating, for example, has floundered because of its prohibitively expensive entry point. The same can be said of most renewable heating technologies. Ground source and air source heat pumps occupy a great deal of space and have lengthy and complex (not to mention expensive) installation processes.

    Why you should consider installing a heating circulator instead

    No matter what kind of heating system you have installed in your home, the introduction of one of our circulating pumps into your home can help cut heating costs.  By circulating hot water throughout your home, and removing the need for large tanks of water to be heated and re-heated, central heating pumps can dramatically reduce the amount of energy required it takes to provide your home with hot water. By cutting your home’s energy consumption, domestic hot water circulators make your home more environmentally-friendly, but there is also a financial incentive too. Because your home spends less energy heating up water, your heating bills will be reduced. Over time, you will easily be able to recoup your initial investment.

    Improving the efficiency of your home’s heating can be a tricky, time-consuming and expensive process, but you should leave this blog post armed with the knowledge to make better decisions about your home’s heating going forward. For more information on any of our products - or if you need some help or advice - please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can do so by telephone, email, or via the contact page on our website.

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