Selecting the Right Shower Pump

If you suffer from poor water pressure in your home a shower pump can often be the perfect solution to boosting water performance. The results are; improved shower performance, quicker bath fill and strong flowing taps. However, it is important to make sure that you get the right pump for your heating system.

Which heating system do I have?

GRAVITY FED
If you live in an older property there’s a good chance you have a gravity-fed system, renowned for poor pressure and flow.                                                                                .

I have this system
MAINS FED: COMBI BOILER
Combination boilers are common and rely solely on mains pressure to deliver water around your home.                                                                                .

I have this system
UNVENTED
Unvented systems require a separate hot water cylinder to store a quantity of hot water at mains pressure.                                                                                                                                      

I have this system
 

Gravity Fed System

Salamander Pumps manufacture a range of products suitable for gravity-fed systems, including CT Xtra, CT Force, CT Bathroom, Right Pumps and EVE.

Watch our video on gravity-fed systems to understand how to identify this type of heating system.

It is important to choose the right pump for your system as incorrect selection can mean the pump will not work. To decide which option is best consider the sections below.

 

Do I need a positive head or negative head pump?

A gravity-fed system is either positive or negative head.

A positive head pump will only work in a positive head system and a negative head (universal) pump will work in both a positive and negative head system, so if you are not sure choose a negative head pump.

Read on to learn how to determine if you need a positive or negative (universal) head pump –

 

How to check if your system is suitable for a positive head pump?

A positive head pump will activate when a minimum flow of water passes through the pump and out of the pumped outlet, such as a shower or tap, naturally (without assistance from the pump). The minimum flow rate required for our positive head pumps is 1 litre of water per 30 seconds, the video on the right shows what this flow rate looks like from a tap.

Carry out the following test to determine if a positive head pump is suitable for your system. You will need to test all outlets, such as showers and taps, that are going to be pumped to determine if they have the required minimum flow rate.

For showers and mixed hot and cold taps –

  1. Turn the water to fully hot.
  2. Time how long it takes to get 1 litre of water, if it takes less than 30 seconds then its positive head.
  3. Repeat the process for fully cold – both hot and cold must get 1 litre of water in less than 30 seconds for the system to be suitable for positive head pumps.
  4. For showers, you also need to get 2 litres of mixed water (hot and cold together) in 30 seconds.

For hot or cold outlets, such as a hot or cold tap –

  1. Time how long it takes to get 1 litre of water, if it takes less than 30 seconds then its positive head

If you cannot measure the water flow rate, then you can check if the system is suitable for a positive head pump if there is more than 600mm between the base of the cold-water storage tank and the highest point in the system after the pump. For example, the illustration to the right shows a shower with pipework below the dotted line indicating the 600mm point.

If you are unable to achieve the minimum flow rate of 1 litre per 30 seconds from all outlets that are to be pumped you will need to install a negative (universal) head pump.

 

What do I want to pump to?

You need to work out whether you want to pump to the shower only or additional appliances, for example bath taps, the toilet cistern or washing machine. The CT Xtra twin range will pump the shower only, all other ranges are suitable for multiple household appliances. View our shower pump selector guide below for further information.

 

Do you want to boost either hot OR cold water or both?

Hot AND cold water

In cases where both hot and cold water are to be boosted a twin pump is needed. Twin pumps have two impellers, one at each end of the pump, one for hot water and the other for cold water.

Hot OR cold water

In cases where either the hot or cold water is to be boosted a single pump is needed. A single pump only has one impeller which can be connected to either the hot or cold water supply.

What bar rating do I need?

Selecting the right bar pump for you involves considering the size of your shower head and how many outlets you want to pump to. View our shower pump selector guide below for further information.

Or choose EVE which can be set to either 1.5, 2.0 or 3.0 bar using a touch control panel on the front of the pump.

 

Shower Pump Selector Guide:

Here is a guide to which type of pump you’ll need to boost the water in your home. Once confirmed you can then select which pump range you prefer:

For installations where both the hot AND cold water are to be boosted (requiring a twin pump):

I want to boost:

Pressure/ bar rating required:

Shower ONLY with a shower head of 100-120mm.

1.5 bar

Small bathroom and a shower with a shower head of 100-120mm.

2.0 bar

Larger bathroom or multiple smaller bathrooms with a shower head of 120mm+.

Multiple bathrooms, 150mm+ shower heads and/or shower with massage function and body jets.

3.0 bar

 

Where pumped water meets mains-fed water the selected pump should match the mains pressure as closely as possible - you can either choose a pump which meets the mains pressure as close as possible or use a pressure reducing valve to lower the mains pressure, being mindful of the shower head size.

This would occur in installations such as:

  • When a whole house pump has been installed to boost all outlets across the home, and at the kitchen sink the hot water is boosted by the pump but the cold water is supplied from the mains,
  • When a pump has been installed to boost only the hot water to a shower, which is supplied by mains fed cold water.

Anywhere pumped hot water meets mains fed cold water, a negative head pump should be used.

 

Which pump range should I choose?

The CT Range of shower pumps have a regenerative impeller. They are long-lasting, hardworking, compact, and easy to install.

CT Xtra pumps are suitable for positive head installations and are available in 1.5 or 2.0 bar.

CT Bathroom pumps have been designed specifically to meet the demand for increased water supply to the bathroom.  With positive head and negative (universal) head models available in 1.8 or 2.6

CT Force pumps have robust brass ends and brass impellers, and the range includes positive and negative (universal) pumps. Suitable for boosting the shower, bathroom, and whole house. The products in this range include a 5 year warranty and are available in 1.5, 2.0 or 3.0 bar.

The Right Pump range of shower pumps have a centrifugal impeller, making these pumps very quiet and allows them to offer maintained pressure at increased flow rates. Suitable for boosting the shower, bathroom, and whole house, available in positive and negative (universal), and up to 3.0 bar pressure.

EVE is an innovative premium twin shower pump, suitable for any gravity-fed system, removing the need for specification. It will work in positive and negative head systems and can be set to 1.5, 2.0 or 3.0 bar depending on preference and requirements. Unlike other shower pumps EVE will maintain pressure even when additional outlets open within the home, providing the ultimate shower experience.

Mains Fed Heating System

If you have a combi boiler in your home your system is mains fed and relies on the local water authorities to provide water to your property boundary. This means that your water pressure and flow may vary at different times of day e.g.. when your neighbours are also using water too, or you may constantly have less water pressure and flow than you would like. Salamander Pumps offer a range of mains booster products including inline pumps and accumulator tanks to improve mains water pressure and flow in domestic and light commercial installations. 

Inline Pumps are quiet, compact and easy to install. CombiBoost will boost mains water flow up to 10 litres per minute. HomeBoost is an intelligent inline pump, it recognises when mains water pressure and flow are low and automatically boosts the flow up to 12 litres per minute. This improves shower performance and allows for stronger flowing taps and quicker bath-fill

Click here to find out more about HomeBoost or watch our product video.

Accumulator Tanks can offer even more flow than an inline pump, delivering up to 36 litres per minute. The AccuBoost range of accumulator tanks store water at pressure in the vessel and release this water into the system when there is demand in the property. They are available in a range of different tanks sizes, depending on your requirements, how many outlets you want to run at once and what space you have available in the property. Selected models will fit into a standard kitchen cupboard. 

Choose a pumped model when mains water pressure and/or flow are low - or when you are not sure on your mains water pressure/flow. Choose unpumped only when flow is more than 9 l/min and pressure is 2.0 bar.

Link multiple tanks together to increase performance. Only one tank should be a pumped model in this scenario. 

Click here to watch a video giving an overview of the products available in our mains booster range. 

Unvented System

AccuBoost offers a range of accumulator tanks suitable for boosting mains water performance in an unvented system to provide better pressure and flow to your shower(s), bath, basins, taps and toilet. Water is stored at pressure within the vessel and released when there is demand within the property. The AccuBoost 300 or the AccuBoost 450 are recommended to deliver the required flow rates.  

Choose a pumped model when mains water pressure and/or flow are low - or when you are not sure on your mains water pressure/flow. Choose unpumped only when flow is more than 9 l/min and pressure is 2.0 bar.

Link multiple tanks together to increase performance. Only one tank should be a pumped model in this scenario. 

Click here to watch a video giving an overview of the products available in our mains booster range. 

 

For further pump selection support please give us a call on 0191 5162002 or email tech@salamanderpumps.co.uk.

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