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Homeowners

  • Five Water-Saving Tips for Homeowners

    Saving water isn’t so much a necessity here in the UK but there are many places where water is not as easily accessible, and it is worth being mindful when it comes to using water in our homes. Not only will this help with being wasteful, as we shouldn’t take water for granted but it can also reduce your water bill significantly.

    We have put together five water-saving tips for homeowners to implement both in and outside your home, as well as an all-important grey water recycling system for you to use:

    Low-flush toilets

    By investing in a low-flush toilet instead of a full-flush toilet you can save up to 350 gallons of water per week! The main advantages to low-flush systems are water conservation, as new systems use as little as 1.6 gallons per flush compared to a full-flush that can use anything between three to seven times as much water every time you pull the chain. Water efficient toilet systems can also save money on your water bill.

    Turn the water off when not in use

    – We often forget or can’t be bothered to turn the tap off when completing daily tasks like shaving or brushing our teeth. Just to put into perspective exactly how much water you could save will ensure you never forget to turn the tap off again! The average household can waste up to 30 gallons of water a week just by leaving the tap running.

    Low-flow showerheads

    We all enjoy a long, relaxing shower after a hard day’s work, but with working five to six days a week that amounts to a lot of water usage. Low-flow showerheads can save over 200 gallons and what’s better, this can be done without forfeiting a refreshing shower.

    Use alternatives to water

    As summer is just around the corner many of us have turned our attention to cleaning up the outside of our homes including the garden and patio. Perhaps it is worth using other alternatives instead of reaching for the hose pipe. Try sweeping your patio or outside area and save on water! When watering your lawn, it is best to do this early in the morning or late afternoon when temperatures are low and sunlight is not as intense, this will cut down on evaporation and can save hundreds of gallons of water a week.

    Grey water recycling

    A grey water pump can recycle wasted water from household systems and put it back into other appliances to be used again. Baths, showers, sinks and dishwashers can all provide recyclable water to pump back into your toilet, washing machine and outside taps – in case you can’t break the hose pipe habit. Grey water recycling pumps are usually found in more commercial properties such as hotels and universities, however, they are also suitable for home use and are becoming increasingly more common with homeowners today.

    What water saving tips have you tried and how much water have you managed to save?

  • Hot water pumps: What to look for

    Hot water pumps circulate hot water throughout your home, ensuring that the hot water pumpsnetwork of radiators that warm your home are amply supplied. There are three key characteristics that all high quality hot water pumps share; they are energy efficient, quiet and cost effective. At Pump Sales Direct, all of our hot water pumps possess these qualities in abundance. And today, we are going to explain why these traits make our central heating pumps absolutely worth paying for.

    NB: For the purposes of this post, the terms hot water pump, central heating pump, circulating pump, circulation pump and heat pump are all interchangeable.

    Quiet

    A home is a place to relax and bask in, should you so choose, quiet tranquillity. The last thing you want is a sub-standard circulating pump buffeting your ears with its rattling as it struggles to spread hot water through your home. Warming your home shouldn’t have an unsolicited accompanying soundtrack. In a poor quality circulation pump, the interior mechanisms that endow it with the ability to control the movement of hot water can generate an irritatingly loud thrum. Fortunately, shopping with Pump Sales Direct, you will only ever encounter hot water pumps from world leading brands (Grundfos, Biral, Wilo, Lowara and Smedegaard), all highly regarded for the supreme quality of their products, meaning you are guaranteed to get your hands on a product that works flawlessly.

    An ill-fitting, or improperly fitted, heating pump will also generate unwelcome noise. If you are uncertain about exactly what size pump you need, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
    Call or email and a member of our team will be happy to provide you with some clarity. When it comes to installing your pump, it is worth consulting this installation guide we created a while ago, which sets out in meticulous fashion, how to fit your new purchase. If you aren’t feeling confident enough to do it yourself, don’t be afraid of asking a more competent ‘DIYer’ to help out.

    Energy Efficient

    Circulating pumps circulate hot water around a home. Put in such rudimentary terms, this role sounds - and is - relatively simple but the ways in which central heating pumps strive to accomplish this task efficiently however, are not so straightforward. Electric controlled wet rotor pumps for example, allow central heating pumps to intelligently adapt to your heating systems demands - as and when they change, making certain that water is heated only when absolutely necessary. By minimising the amount of energy your home expends heating water, your home becomes more eco-friendly and less of a burden to the environment.

    Cost-effective

    Reductions in the amount of energy your home expends, courtesy of a circulation pump, are also accompanied by reductions in your heating bill. The initial outlay for a central heating pump of course varies depending on the model you go for, but, chances are, in the long-term, you are more than likely to not only recoup this cost, but actually save money.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • How do garden water pumps work?

    Garden pumps are an essential component in keeping your garden fresh, green, garden water pumpsand clean. There are different types of pump, namely submersible and external – but the basic premise of how they work is relatively similar. This article aims to give a brief explanation of how garden pumps work and outline their various functions.

    Anatomy

    A submersible garden pump's primary component is its impeller which moves the water through the water intake pipe and the water outlet pipe. The intake pipe is connected to inbuilt filters which clean the water as it passes through before being re-distributed via the outlet pipe.

    The pump is often powered by an electric motor which is why it is essential that a submersible pump is entirely waterproof. The electricity flows through wires in an enclosed block to separate the current from any possible contact with the water – thus ensuring personal safety.

    It is the electric motor which turns the impeller, and the vanes of the impeller discharge the water with each revolution. Due to the impeller's high speed, the flow of water appears continuous. In terms of composition, the garden pump is perhaps one of the most straightforward desgins.

    Submersible or Non-Submersible

    A submersible pump is relatively easy to grasp. The pump is placed beneath the surface of the water, meaning it is suited to gardens where space is at a premium. Submerging the pump creates a more aesthetically pleasing result since there is minimal machinery exposed.

    An exposed non-submersible pump sits to the side of the pond and has a more complex installation process. Before activating the pump, you need to make sure that the pipes contain water to ensure the pump does not begin by sucking air. It is also advisable to have secure housing for your external pump in order to separate it from small children and sunlight.

    Function

    Garden pumps can be utilised in numerous ways. Firstly, they can be used to maintain your garden’s water features, for example, a pond or a fountain. A pump will keep the water circulating around your pond, this keeps the water fresh and helps prevent the build-up of algae. In this regard, a filtration pump is ideal because it aids the oxygenation of the water. Garden pumps are exceptional at keeping water running and preventing stagnation.

    A garden pump can also be used to water the lawn since the installation of a pump allows you to transfer large amounts of water to different areas. This feature can also be used to fill a pool elsewhere in the garden.

    In summary, garden pumps are a beneficial addition to your garden – especially if you are considering creating a water feature or already have one that requires maintenance. Garden pumps come in varied forms and offer a range of possibilities, one is sure to fit your needs, and here at Pump Sales Direct, we have a selection of high-quality garden water pumps. For more information, call us on 0800 008 6405, email customerservices@pumpsalesdirect.co.uk , or use our contact form.

  • Condensate Pumps Explained

    condensate pumpcondensate pump could be the only thing standing between you and the overdue resolution of the dampness issue in your home that has been lingering for far too long. Unfortunately, the inner workings of condensate pumps aren’t exactly common knowledge, and this lack of familiarity and understanding on the part of homeowners can often be the stumbling block that prevents an issue like this from being resolved much quicker. With this in mind, Pump Sales Direct have put together this guide that covers everything you need to know about condensate pumps.

    How is condensate formed?

    In the process of heating your home, heating systems also produce latent water vapour. As is inevitable in any form of HVAC process, steam is produced - giving rise to the welcome temperature change that the product is designed to. However, when this same steam cools, it condenses into water droplets and becomes a waste product.

    Why is it so important to remove condensate?

    As well as causing dampness or even flooding in large quantities, the latent water vapour (or condensate) that accumulates below your boiler can also contain traces of potentially dangerous contaminants. These factors serve to underline the importance of finding a way to dispose of condensate properly.

    What are condensate pumps and how do they work?

    Put simply, condensate pumps help get rid of all of the steam (or condensate) that can build up in your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, condensing boiler or refrigerator over time. By transferring energy from a motor to the condensate itself via a rotating impeller, the pump is able to remove condensate quickly and effectively. Generally speaking, there are only relatively small amounts of liquid involved and condensate pumps often have small tanks for exactly this reason. The tanks allow them to store condensate until levels increase enough to activate the float valve, whereupon the condensate is released into a drain.

    How do I know if I need a condensate pump?

    Assuming it isn't the fault of your own central heating pump, finding dampness or worse in the pipes that service your HVAC is the clearest illustration you can find of the need for a condensate pump, but there is another important telltale sign you should be on the lookout for.

    What normally distinguishes a condensing boiler that is in need of an accompanying condensate pump, and one that isn’t, is location. Enough distance from a convenient drain, or positioning well below ground level, will prevent a boiler from ridding itself of condensate on its own.

    Typically, boilers are reliant on the natural action of gravity to drain condensate away. A condensing boiler located in a basement then, is poorly placed to take advantage of the gravitational pull that so many others boilers rely on. If your condensing boiler is in your basement, or a similarly ill-equipped location, and is not currently being serviced by a condensate pump, it is well worth exploring the possibility of purchasing one.

    For a range of condensate pumps, shop online at Pump Sales Direct.

  • How to create and maintain the perfect garden pond

    garden pond

    A pond is an attractive proposition for many homeowners. A body of water brings with it a burgeoning ecosystem of aquatic wildlife and vegetation, as well as aesthetic value. Despite the obvious advantages of having a garden pond, the effort required to actually build and maintain a thriving pond is an insurmountable stumbling block for many. Creating the perfect pond may not be as painstaking a task as you may have anticipated. With this quick guide as a head start, you may find it a great deal easier than expected.

    Construction

    The construction aspect of installing a pond into your garden is far and away the most costly and arduous component of the whole endeavour. Before lining the pond, the turf itself has to be excavated to your desired shape and depth by hand - whether you choose to dig it yourself or hire someone else is completely up to you. From there, a pond filter has to be installed to keep the water clean. A not altogether essential but nevertheless significant step is to surround the pond with rocks, stones or slabs as both a practical and decorative addition.

    Wildlife

    The type of wildlife you intend to attract to your pond will also dictate how you maintain it. Koi fish, while relatively hardy and resilient, require a finely tuned set of conditions in order to flourish. Neutral pH levels, excessive filtering and sterilisation of bacteria are all prerequisites for a koi pond.

    And while your instinct may agree to this in order to cultivate glistening crystal-clear waters, much of the wildlife typical of British ponds actually prefer to operate in much more congested waters full of vegetation. Tadpoles for example, depend on a bountiful source of algae as their primary food source. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends that only around 50% of surface water should be free from vegetation.

    Plants

    Any plants that you choose to inhabit your pond serve a practical purpose as well as an ornamental one. Certain plant species will help oxygenate your pond and some will even attract other species and wildlife. Other pond plants with unassuming names like water fern and floating pennywort are actually invasive and can have a devastating impact on the surrounding ecosystem - be extremely careful which plant life you choose to introduce.

    Cost

    Costs can vary wildly depending on the size of your pond and the type of life you want to live in it. Even within a single species, costs can differ dramatically from one purchase to another. Koi fish for example, a hugely popular pond species, can range in price from £10 to thousands and thousands; it all depends on your preferences.

    Maintenance

    submersible dirty water pump

    Even the most unkempt garden pond requires a certain amount of maintenance. Thinning out overgrown plants and removing any debris that may accumulate in the water are minimum requirements for a healthy pond. A full and thorough overhaul in which a submersible dirty water pump is used to drain the pond is required once every five years.

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