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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. Replacing taps with mixers for cold water on main and hot water on low pressure, especially adjusting the water temperature when showering, becomes a challenge. Most mixers simply don’t handle well the water pressure difference.


The recommended solution is to convert the hot-water system to main pressure. If you consider the high costs including a new main pressure hot-water cylinder, then you might  look for different solutions.  For landlords are such home improvements not rent deductible expenses. These costs have to be capitalized, but the depreciation on residential housing is zero rated, so, landlords don’t get anything back neither paid for wear and tear. In our rentals we have installed low pressure booster pumps  and here is why.




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 by moving the shower head up and down, that changes uncontrolled the water temperature. Moving the shower head up the water gets cold, and downwards you burn your skin - just a nightmare.


A shower booster pump provides constant hot-water pressure, resolving that problem.  You don’t need to make any changes to hot-water pipes in place. Just 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 several plumbers who tried to sell different costly solutions, but refused to install the booster pump. Once I accepted the alteration of hot-water with pressure regulation valves (still quite expensive). It worked, however after 7 years one leaking valve caused huge damage to the level below in a multi storey house. 


Consider—a pump might generate vibrations

The pump installed under the floor is almost not to hear. Another pump installed inside the hot water cylinder cabinet has been noisy. To reduce annoyance an easy to access ON/OFF switch can resolve that issue. In switch OFF mode the hot-water is still flowing on low pressure, and easy to switch ON when water pressure for showering is needed.


Technical solution and brand


We only installed booster pumps from Tempercon Ltd. The Model WPCL15GR15 has been working for years now. The pump boosts pressure automatically when the tap is open, and turns off when the tap is closed. Ready to install out of the box, 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

I trusted common sense, properly installed—it is a cost effective way to resolve a problem and importantly my tenants are happy.




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