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How to fix low hot-water pressure or boost low hot-water pressure investor friendly? Tips for the hot-water booster pump installation.


Low Hot-Water Pressure

Inexpensive Solution to boost Hot-Water Pressure


Still very common are low pressure hot water systems. That was okay in the past with separate water taps in kitchen and bathroom. Nowadays replacing taps with mixers for cold water on main and hot water on low pressure  - for instance showering becomes a challenge to get the mixed water temperature right. Most mixers simply cannot handle that range of water pressure difference.


Home owner-occupiers possibly prefer to convert the hot-water system to main pressure. For landlords is it not the very cost effective solution. Imagine when tenants keep complaining about the hot water pressure, would you apply for council’s building consent to upgrade to main pressure with all the related costs for new piping, main pressure hot-water cylinder, etc? From taxation point of view such home improvements are not rent deductible expenses. These costs have to be capitalized, but the depreciation on residential housing is zero rated, saying, landlords don’t get paid for improvement, but neither for wear and tear.


Needless to say landlords have to find a way to “repair” inefficient hot water pressure and here is one of the cost effective solutions.



Booster pump for low hot water pressure


Low hot water pressure systems have been installed in homes before the 80s with a header tank in the roof space. The height of the header tank above the water outlet determines the pressure.  Imaging a shower hose attached to the mixer, when moving the shower head up and down that changes hot water pressure. Moving up the water gets cold, downwards hot, just a nightmare.


To fix that problem we installed several times a shower booster pump.  The beauty is, you don’t need to make any changes to bathroom or piping and keep everything that is already installed. You only need to cut the hot water pipe to fit in the booster pump, easy like that. The pump itself starts/stops water-flow regulated and is installed in three easy steps:


· Find the right place for the booster bump as the installation instruction explains

· Cut the pipe to fit in the pump, and

· Get a power point (230V AC-50Hz) installed or us an extension cord



Tips for the booster pump installation


Find an open minded plumber


I talked to a number of plumbers who tried to sell different costly solutions, but refused to install the booster pump. Once I accepted the alteration with pressure regulation valves (still quite expensive). That installation has worked approximately for 7 years until one valve started leaking causing damage to the lower level of a two storey house.  Nobody was home at the time—surprise, surprise, coming home from holiday.


Consider—a pump might be noisy in some locations

The pump installed under the floor (bathroom with hatch) is almost not to hear. Another pump installed inside the hot water cylinder cabinet has been louder. To reduce annoyance an easy to access ON/OFF switch resolved that issue. In switch OFF mode the hot-water is still flowing on low pressure, and easy to switch ON when water pressure is needed.


Technical solution and brand


We only installed booster pumps from Tempercon Ltd. The Model WPCL15GR15 has been working for few years now. The pump boosts pressure automatically when the tap is open, and turned off when the tap is closed. Ready to install, the pump is pre-wired with NZ standard 3-pin plug (230V AC-50Hz, 120W), all you need is just a power outlet (or extension cord).  For a proper installation Tempercon Ltd supplies Flow Switch and a Check Valve as package deal.



Booster Pump related comments


Here are two comments posted on Property Talk, I believe both writers haven’t seen a completed installation, yet:


“I looked at the 'boosters' and reached the conclusion that they would not last more than 12 months (some may be a bit better). If they go wrong there may well be a flood, (check with your insurance co). My plumber wouldn’t have a bar of them because he claims they will invariably fail and he will be blamed.”

“I am sure it would overheat if it ran continuously. 
eg take a student flat (on second thoughts, with student hygiene reputations perhaps a family with kids might be a better illustration ) anyway, with the tenants having showers one after another, the pump could be running fairly continuously for an hour or so at a time, limited obviously by water cylinder capacity & reheat time.”


In summary;  Properly installed—it is a cost effective way to resolve a problem and for people with common sense a durable solution.


You might expect that tenants are happy now. Hmm, in one case the first comment was, yes—it works fine but we ran out of hot water now. Try to please everyone, good luck.



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Klauster Blogs lead to a real person, IT professional, investor, landlord and business owner with interests in technologies, properties and trading.



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