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  • How pumps are being used to save lives

    Water for Life - shower pumpsBy definition, a pump is a device that moves fluids by mechanical action. The form which this mechanism takes is becoming more and more diverse. We are all familiar with central heating pumps and shower pumps, but pumps are increasingly being used to save lives across the globe, thanks to the latest technology. From people suffering from heart problems in the UK, to those struggling with respiratory problems in Malawi, pumps have been able to grant them all a new lease of life.

    Preventing death from waterborne diseases

    In many areas across the world, people do not have access to clean, safe drinking water. Often dependent on a single body of water, residents often have no choice but to consume contaminated water plagued with disease. Inevitably, this leads to countless deaths from diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and cholera.

    That is why it is so important that wells are built to provide safe drinking water. Fresh water can be transported up to ground level from hundreds of feet below using submersible pumps, providing residents with water they can consume without risking death.

    Saving those that are too ill to undergo a heart transplant

    A research programme headed by world renowned heart surgeon, Sir Magdi Yacoub, has made huge strides towards saving the lives of those who would otherwise die waiting for heart transplants from cardiomyopathy. Instead, a 3 by 5 inch pump is implanted into the abdomen and attached to the left ventricle. Deputising for the failing left ventricle, the HeartMate 2 allows the heart to continue to pump fresh blood around the body.

    While the heart is bolstered by the pump, the patient is given high doses of heart failure drugs that the diseased heart would not otherwise be able to cope with. Many patients, who were so ill that they were taken off the heart transplant list, were able to make a full recovery thanks to this pump without even having to undergo a transplant.

    Innovations that are saving people in the developing world

    In the developing world, conventional medical technology is invariably too expensive to procure. Fortunately, researchers at world leading universities like Rice and MIT have created viable, cost-effective alternatives for those in developing countries in desperate need of medical assistance.

    Bicycle pump nebuliser

    One such example is the spawn of MIT’s Innovations in International Health; a nebuliser constructed using a bicycle pump. For the unfamiliar, a nebuliser provides emergency relief for patients suffering from respiratory diseases. The bicycle pump replaces the air compressor of the nebuliser, and allows it to run in the absence of electricity, making it a more cost-effective and versatile replacement.

    Fish tank pump CPOP machine

    Another example of innovation at its finest is the fish tank pump that is being used to ensure the survival of premature new-borns in developing countries. Researchers at Rice University have created a functioning Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine for a tenth of the price - using only a box and a fish tank pump. Trialled in Malawi, the device had an immediate impact, the survival rate of premature babies jumped from 43% to 71%.

  • The History of Hygiene

    Today, we almost take our instant access to steaming jets of hot water at the flick of a switch for granted. Many of us forget the technological advances that have occurred over the past millennia that have morphed and evolved into the likes of the Stuart Turner showermate that we have today. Some of our ancestors braved waterfalls whilst others went months or even years without washing at all. Of course, bathing practices varied wildly across the planet as social and cultural factors dictated. To enlighten you on how human washing habits have changed over the years, we have put together this quick history of hygiene.

    Ancient Egypt

    The Ancient Egyptians were known to have used a substance called natron for bathing. A kind of naturally occurring soda ash that, when combined with oil, made a primitive version of soap. Besides using natron regularly, esteemed members of Ancient Egyptian society had their servants pour jugs of cold water over them in order to maintain a sense of cleanliness.

    Ancient Rome 

    Stuart Turner showermate Ancient Roman bathhouse in Bath

    The Ancient Romans are famous for the aqueducts they instituted across their lands to supply the bathhouses that were a feature of every city. It was commonplace for Romans to attend the bathhouses not only to wash, but also to socialise. Thermae, large imperial bath complexes, and balneae, their smaller-scale equivalents, generally contained a caldarium (hot bath) a tepidarium (warm heated room) and a frigidarium (cold bath) as well as a gymnasium, a library and areas to eat and drink. Although soap was still strictly a luxury good for the Romans, it was common for men to apply oils to their bodies before bathing.

    The Middle Ages

    During the late Middle Ages, hygiene declined as a priority for society for a number of reasons. Public bathhouses became rife with prostitution, and consequently became seen as a place of sin and a place to be avoided. The rise of linen clothing, which was easier to wash than their woolen predecessors, made it easier for people to wash only their face, hands and neck to retain an illusion of cleanliness. Laundry rather than bathing became a weekly routine as perceived cleanliness was supposed to reflect not only the soul of an individual, but also their social status.

    18th and 19th century

    1767 saw the first patent for a shower by William Feetham from Ludgate Hill in London. Although the earliest showers required a hand pump for use, they were more popular than baths because the servants had less water to carry away. In the mid-nineteenth century the increased prevalence of indoor plumbing and the mass production of soap made washing far easier and far more regular.

    20th century

    Tank-less water heaters developed during the 20th century and they became popular for their ability to provide an instant supply of hot water. By the time the 1990s rolled around, 62% of all households in the UK had a shower and there was the choice between an electric shower, a mixer shower and a power shower.

    Today

    Today, 86% of all households in the UK have a shower, and we are fortunate enough to have access to whatever pressure and temperature we desire.

  • A look at some of the world’s most spectacular water features!

    Whether it's a simple garden feature, or a state-of-the-art focal point of a room; water features have been used by architects across the globe to decorate and embellish the architecture of some of the most important cities in the world. Such is the ferocity and complexity of the jets of water that you can’t help but wonder what kind of booster pump they use? Regardless, it is impossible to deny the sheer spectacle of the following water features.

    Banpo Moonlight Rainbow Fountain (Seoul, South Korea) 

    booster pump Banpo Bridge

    The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain in Seoul, South Korea, connects the Seocho and Yongsan districts and is not only a thing of beauty, but also a marvel of efficient engineering. The water that shoots out of the world’s longest bridge fountain is recycled directly from the River Han itself and the 10,000 lights that illuminate the water are energy-efficient LED nozzles. Music, lights and water all synergise to perform a several shows a day, with the day and night shows having distinct sequences.

    Trevi Fountain - (Rome, Italy)

    The oldest and most famous water feature on the list; the Trevi Fountain in Rome was built in 1762. With the backdrop of the Palazzo Poli, the Trevi Fountain plays host to sculptures of mythological Greek gods and creatures as well as the papal crest. As the largest Baroque fountain in the world, it attracts millions of visitors every year. According to ritual, throwing a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder will ensure you return to Rome in the future. It is estimated that €3000 are thrown into the fountain every day and the coins are collected to prevent theft and support the poor people of Rome.

    Swarovski Crystal Head Fountain (Innsbruck, Austria)

    The Swarovski Crystal Head Fountain in Innsbruck, Austria, conceals the entrance to the Crystal Worlds theme park. The way the structure is embedded into the surrounding hills makes it seem as through the crystal head is emerging from the green landscape itself.  The water spilling out from the head’s mouth only serves to further make the crystal head seem as though it is a living, breathing thing.

    Friendship of Peoples Fountain (Moscow, Russia) 

    booster pump Friendship of Peoples Fountain

    Located in the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy in Moscow (VDNKh), the Friendship of Peoples fountain is the centrepiece of the entire park. Dressed in national attire, the sixteen golden sculptures of women that surround and look out from the central fountain are symbolic of the republics that made up the Soviet Union as of the fountain’s construction in 1952.

    Crown Fountain (Chicago, USA) 

    The brainchild of Catalan artist Jaume Plensa, the Crown Fountain incorporates two facing 50 feet tall glass brick towers separated by a black granite reflecting pool. The towers display the faces of Chicago residents and the spout of water is designed to appear to be falling from their mouths. The dichotomy between the faces on the facing towers is supposed to be a representation of the diversity of the ethnicity and age of people in Chicago.

    Which fountain is on your bucket list to visit?

  • How much water do you use in a shower?

    World Water Day is fast approaching on the 22nd March, and there is no better time to review how much water you use in the shower. Whether your shower is nothing more than a 30 second, Formula 1 pit stop, or the half an hour highlight of your day, it is essential that you have the right shower pump to maximise the efficiency of this experience. World Water Day is a global effort to tackle water conservation and installing the correct shower pump is just one of many steps you can take to play your part. shower head

    How much water do you use?

    The average person in the UK uses approximately 62 litres of water in a single 8 minute shower. Of course, this is dependent on an array of factors. From the flow rate of your shower to whether you use a gas or electric hot water heater to the temperature of the shower itself.

    How much does it cost to run a shower?

    Similarly, the cost of running a shower is also dependent on a variety of factors. In general however, for the average person in the UK, an 8 minute shower costs approximately 25 pence. Over the course of a year, the average UK family spends approximately £416 showering.

    Tips for saving water in the shower

    In light of the UN’s sustainable development goal of halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and increasing water recycling and safe reuse, these tips are the essential guide to doing your bit for the planet:

     

    • Have a Navy/combat shower

     

    Named after the supposed proficiency of US armed forces, a navy or combat shower is where you turn off the shower whilst you apply shampoo and soap, and then resume the shower when you are ready to rinse. Ruthless military efficiency does in fact reduce the amount of water used and money spent.

     

    • Collect the water you waste while the shower heats up

     

    While we wait in anticipation of the shower reaching our desired temperature, we are wasting litres of water. Collecting this usually wasted water and using it instead to, for example, water plants, is a simple exercise you can carry out to save water.

     

    • Don’t brush your teeth in the shower

     

    You may be a great multi-tasker but you are not great for the environment. Brushing your teeth or shaving in the shower whilst litres of water go to waste may be time saving but it is not energy or money-saving. A simple change like this can benefit the planet and your pocket.

    Ideally, this guide has given you some simple tips to help you save water, energy and money and has encouraged you to become an active participant in World Water Day.  

  • The quietest shower pumps on the market

    If the water flow of your home shower is sluggish, installing a shower pump can boost the water pressure. Despite the efficiency of shower pumps, one of their drawbacks is that they can be noisy. Although completely eliminating noise from a shower pump is impossible, as the pump mechanism produces vibrations when being used, some pumps are a lot quieter than others.

    quiet shower pumps

    Say Goodbye to Noisy Shower Pumps

    There are lots of reasons why you will want to buy a quiet shower pump. For a start, a noisy pump can be irritating and in some cases may disturb the sleep of household members if the shower is used at unsociable times. Rather than being a pleasant experience, you may find a noisy shower pump can make showering stressful. You'll also want your shower pump to do its job without being reminded of its presence every time you turn the shower on.

     

    Noisy shower pumps are usually a feature of cheap brands, so it's often worth spending a bit more for a quiet pump that doesn't draw attention to itself. Leading manufacturers have recognised the importance of producing quiet shower pumps and have incorporated the latest technology to reduce vibrations and make pumps as noise-free as possible without compromising on efficiency.

     

    Quiet Shower Pump Brands

    Pump Sales Direct sells a range of shower pumps from leading brands that are recommended for their quietness. Grundfos Amazon positive or negative pumps are renowned for being quiet, making use of innovative brass impellers to reduce vibration and noise. For those who relish a noise-free environment, the Stuart Turner Monsoon range of shower pumps are also hard to beat. Low-voltage pumps, anti-vibration feet and brass bodies all keep noise output to a minimum. Top brand Salamander is famed for the efficiency and quietness of its shower pumps, with the Salamander CT Force ranges among the quietest on the market today. Available in positive or negative, the CT Force has been made with quietness in mind, so you can expect technology that keeps vibration and noise to an all-time low.

     

    If the noise of your shower pump is driving you mad, it can be worth consulting Pump Sales Direct to discuss options for quieter pumps. There are also several ways you can help to reduce noise impact, such as choosing where you place it. Hollow materials such as timber increase vibrations, whilst placing it on a concrete block or mounting pad can dampen noise levels.

    Don’t put up with that noisy shower pump any longer! Contact our expert team today.

     

  • 5 common shower pump problems explained

    Shower pumps are designed to last for many years without requiring a large amount of maintenance. However, there are areas that may need looking at to ensure that your pump continues to operate smoothly.


    At Pump Sales Direct we have an extensive knowledge of the plumbing sector, shower pumpsespecially around the operation of shower pumps. We want to ensure that you get the best from your pump, so here we look at five common problems with shower pumps and how they can be resolved.

     

    1. Blocked Pump Filters

    When there is poor water flow from your shower head, you should ensure that it has been cleaned and descaled properly. However, if this hasn’t helped, it could be that the filter within the pump has become blocked. This is often the case in areas that have hard water, or it could be due to debris getting into the filter during installation.

     

    Before you start, you need to switch off the service valves and ensure the electrical supply to the pump is disconnected. The filters need to be removed and then gently cleaned. They are usually positioned behind the pipes connected to the impellers. Once they've been replaced, you can reconnect the pump and refill it.

     

    2. Airlocks

    Another common problem with shower pumps is airlocks, which can restrict the flow. To remove the air, the pump will need bleeding. Switch off the pump’s electrical supply, and turn on the shower mixer and other taps that the pump feeds to empty the water and then switch them off again. The pump can be vented directly by taking the connection pipes out once the valves have been turned off.

     

    3. A Noisy Shower Pump

    Noisy pumps are not just inconvenient; they can also be a sign of a more worrying problem. The noise could indicate that the pump is jammed and not allowing the impellers to rotate. This could be a result of limescale building up in hard-water areas, the seals could be stuck or there could be an electrical issue.

     

    Older pumps can also become noisy due to where they are positioned or a problem with the pipes. The pump should have anti-vibration feet fitted, and the pipework needs to be properly supported.

     

    4. A Cold Pump

    Shower pumps will not perform efficiently if they get too cold, so it’s important to protect it with insulation. This will stop it bursting or becoming damaged in freezing weather.

     

    5. A Leaking Pump

    The seals on pumps can deteriorate after a period of time. If your pump begins to leak, it could be that they need replacing.

     

    Shop our full range of shower pumps online at Pump Sales Direct.

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