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Monthly Archives: April 2016

  • How to look after your central heating this summer

    With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, people tend to forget their heating in the summer, but with only the need for hot water, it’s undoubtedly the best time for servicing and repairs to boilers, radiators and your central heating pumps.

    central heating pumps

    Standard Boilers

    Conventional boilers don’t have a summer mode. Some have an immersion heater attached to the cylinder so that you can heat the water with the boiler off, but it’s not particularly efficient and quite an expensive drain on electricity.


    The heating and hot water aren’t independent, so the boiler will still come on when hot water is needed. A cylinder thermostat and valves control the hot water, so these are things you should consider checking.


    Up in the loft, you’ll find the cold water storage and expansion tanks. Summer is a great time to check these as well. Check the overflow, and make sure the ball valves are shutting off correctly. If they’re not already insulated, cover and lag your tanks. This will decrease the time it takes to reheat the water in your cylinder.


    Central Heating Pump

    It is advisable to check your central heating pump as well, although you will need to ensure your heating is on for this. Make sure the radiators warm up thoroughly as expected and that the pump isn’t making any grinding or rattling noises. Other common central heating problems explained here.


    Combination Boilers

    Unlike conventional boilers, many combination boilers have a summer setting which provides hot water only. Combi boilers don’t store the water, either, which is great on the pocket as you’re only heating what you need.


    It’s advisable to clean your system once a year. Flush it through with industry cleanser, and when filling it back up, add in an inhibitor to prevent the metal in your system from rusting.

    Equally, if removing or replacing radiators, make sure you re-dose the system with inhibitor to avoid leaking radiators and corrosion.


    As the cold water is effectively warmer in the summer, it may also be a good idea to adjust the hot water temperature setting. This will give a better blend of cold and hot water. This may also work for showers - a slightly cooler shower may be more preferable in the summer.



    With new designs of radiators being introduced over the past few years, many people are looking to upgrade in order to improve the look of their home. Summer is undoubtedly a great time for replacing radiators and for essential radiator maintenance.


    Room thermostats and thermostatic valves make the running of your heating system more efficient, so the summer months are a great time to get these fitted. You won’t regret it in the winter when you’re saving money on your heating bills.


    Always make sure to drain the system of any air introduced by maintenance, repairs or replacements and to make up for the water you have lost. Be sure to add a small amount of inhibitor too.


    Doing the work in the summer not only prepares you for the coming winter months, but also means you’re less likely to go without central heating when you need it the most. See our full  range of central heating pumps.

  • 5 signs you should call a plumber

    Plumbing problems vary in severity, from a simple dripping tap to more serious flooding requiring drainage pumps. You can tackle some issues yourself; however, other plumbing problems require the expertise of a trained professional. If you encounter any of the following scenarios, it is time to call in a pro!

    drainage pumps

     1. The pipes are frozen solid

    Anyone who has been misfortunate enough to experience frozen pipes knows that it is best to call a plumber immediately. Generally striking during the winter months, frozen pipes can crack or burst, leading to extensive flooding and water damage to your home and possessions.


    Rather than taking a chance with a DIY pipe thawing, leave it to the experts. Call the plumber the moment you notice the pipes are frozen, before they rupture, to avoid a mess that might require the use of drainage pumps. See more information on how to prevent frozen pipes.


    2. Water pressure is inconsistent

    Many people simply put up with poor water pressure, writing it off as nothing more than a mild inconvenience; however, this can be a symptom of a far bigger problem. If you only experience poor water pressure with a single shower or tap, you may simply need to clear the fixture of a solid mineral accumulation; on the other hand, weak pressure throughout the house could indicate a larger problem with the mains supply line.


    Only a trained plumbing professional can diagnose the problem correctly and take the necessary steps to fix your water pressure, enabling you to enjoy strong, refreshing showers again!


    3. The taps won’t stop dripping

    Perhaps the most common plumbing issue, dripping taps are equally often dismissed; however, the constant dripping adds up over time, with a leak of one drip every couple of seconds amounting to around 1,500 gallons of water over the course of an entire year. This is bad for the environment and bad for your wallet!


    A persistently-dripping tap could also be a symptom of a much larger problem. A professional plumber will be able to uncover the true source of the leak, so don’t hesitate to give them a call.


    4. The bath won’t drain without using drainage pumps

    Blocked bath tubs only get worse over time; for this reason, it is best to deal with the obstruction as soon as possible. Not only can a professionally-trained plumber clean out the blockage but also they can make sure this is not part of a larger issue with your pipes and drainage.


    Catching the problem early will make it a lot easier to deal with; therefore, it is best to give your plumber a ring when you notice the bath draining slowly (as opposed to a solid blockage).


    5. The toilet is blocked - and even a plunger can’t help

    A blocked toilet is a pain at the best of times; however, if it still clogged up after you have had a go with the plunger, you should call your plumber urgently. Depending on the severity of the issue, the problem could go all the way back to the sewage main, which is why your domestic plunger won’t cut it.


    Trying to shift the blockage yourself could scratch the porcelain or damage the main; therefore, it is worth consulting a professional who can bring the tools and knowledge to get your toilet flushing again.


    Are you planning to sort out your plumbing problems? If so, have a look at the extensive range of pumps on offer from Pump Sales Direct to help you get the job done.

  • Which garden pump is best for which purpose?

    The garden water pump comes in many different forms suited to different jobs and situations around the garden. Jobs such as filling a pond or pool or watering plants around the garden are more easily done with a pump, as it’s the most efficient way to shift large amounts of water quickly. Find out more about choosing a pump for you pond.

    garden pumps

    The Garden Water Pump

    Though there are many kinds of pump available, the height of your garden and the level of the groundwater will determine how effective a pump is and therefore narrow the choice considerably.


    This guide will give you a better insight into which pump to buy for each environment.



    The most popular pump capacity is between 250 and 1,500 gallons per hour, but obviously the smaller your garden, the less you will need and the cheaper the pump will be.


    If you have a very small garden, a pump which only outputs 25 gallons of water an hour may be sufficient. It’s best to try it out in your own garden to determine which discharge head will work for you. Also keep in mind that pumps work harder on hot days, so it’s often advisable to buy a pump with slightly more power than you consider you’ll require.


    Submersible Pumps

    Submersible pumps work under high pressure, enabling water to be lifted from great depths. They are the most popular type of garden pump you will find.


    They can be used for many purposes such as watering the lawn or flower beds, including the use of sprinkler systems. Because they are high-pressure, they’re also suitable for cleaning paths and patios.


    The Power

    It is imperative that you choose a pump suitable to your needs in terms of its motor power. If you need to lift water from around 150 feet down, for example, the motor required to create adequate pressure will be 800 watts.


    Centrifugal Pumps

    As the name may suggest, this variety of garden water pump uses centrifugal force to move the water. Most pumps are made from steel, which ensures they are sturdy and long-lasting.


    Also look out for models which feature a removable cover, as this allows for debris to be removed easily.



    A pump situated above the water level will ideally need to be self-priming. Pumps require a suction pressure to draw liquid into the inlet. Centrifugal pumps use a mixture of air and water to prime.


    Having a self-priming model of pump will mean you don't have to pour water into the suction hose before use.


    Drum Pumps

    If you want to empty a container such as a barrel, ensuring no water is left in the bottom, then a drum pump is what you’re going to need. An attached hose and discharge head make it ideal for watering small gardens and flowerbeds.


    It’s worth considering that water from a barrel such as captured rainwater may contain dirt and debris, so a filter would be a good choice to reduce blockages.


    Many types of pump with varying capacities for various uses are available. Whatever your requirements, we are here to help. Browse our wide selection of garden pumps, where you’ll also find helpful guides and tips within our blog. Contact details are also supplied to help you choose the right pump for your needs.


  • Choosing a pump for your pond

    As spring takes hold, we often start to think about the garden - anything from simply mowing the lawn to planning some major changes. In the case of the latter, you may be thinking about adding a water feature. To create a healthy environment for animal and plant life, you need to ensure the water flows so that it is properly aerated and the best way of doing this is with a pump; however, with so many types of pond pumps available, how do you make sure you choose the right one?

    pond pumps

    Flow rates

    One of the first things to consider when choosing a pump for a pond is the amount of water flow you need. It is easy to assume you don't need very much, with pumps usually quoting their output in gallons per hour (GPH). A pump that delivers 1,000 GPH might sound impressive; however, this equates to just two pints a second. Spread across even a quite modest waterfall, this will produce a disappointing trickle.


    You also need to consider the size of the pond. It is generally accepted that you want all the water in the pond to circulate once every two hours; therefore, a 2,000-gallon pond will need at least a 1,000 GPH pump.


    Keeping fish

    If you are planning to have fish in your pond, you will need a greater flow rate because you will need filters to keep the water clean. To keep the fish healthy, you will generally need twice the flow rate of a pond that does not have fish.


    What size pond pump do you need?

    Once you have worked out how much flow you need, you might think it is simply a matter of getting a pump that can deliver the appropriate GPH; however, there is a bit more to it. You have to consider the 'head', which is the distance over which the pump has to lift the water.


    The greater the head, the less actual flow the pond pump will deliver; for example, a 15-foot head will roughly halve the GPH you actually get. You can make a rough calculation of the head by adding one foot for every foot in height, one foot for every 10 feet of pipe run, two feet for a 90-degree bend and one foot for shallower bends.


    Most pump makers produce a performance chart; therefore, armed with your flow rate and head information, you can calculate how big a pump you need. Pipe diameter is also important here. Greater water flows need larger diameter pipes, otherwise the pump will have to work much harder to push the water through the pipes.


    Running costs and reliability

    You can work out how much the pump will cost to run by taking the manufacturer's wattage rating, dividing it by 1,000 and multiplying this by the number of hours per month the pump will be running. This will give you a figure in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Your cost per kWh will he shown on your electricity bill, which will enable you to calculate the running costs.


    The health of your pond depends on a working pump; therefore, make sure you choose a reliable brand. Look at online customer reviews and also consider the length of the warranty supplied with the product.


    By choosing carefully and taking into account all the above factors, you can ensure that your pond pump will deliver many years of reliable service and you can sit back and enjoy your water feature. Find the right pump for your pond now.


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