Stuart Turner's tips for choosing the right pump

Each Stuart Turner pump is designed to provide solutions for a range of domestic and commercial applications. Our Monsoon and Showermate brands are ideal for the domestic market and offer homeowners a range of sizes to meet most needs.

Selecting the correct pump for your needs is not as daunting as it may seem. Just be sure to follow these simple steps: 

Step 1 - Assess:

  • Identify your water system
  • Decide what size pump is needed
  • Decide if you need a twin or single pump
  • Decide if you need a Universal or Standard pump, and
  • Choose the best location (consider accessibility for repair) 

Step 2 - Analyse: 

To identify your water system, you need to know what plumbing systems are used in the UK. There are four systems: open vented, unvented stored hot water, combination boiler, and thermal store. 

According to UK regulations, only pumps limited to a maximum flow of 12 litres per minute can be connected directly to the mains water supply. This means that only an open vented system can have a pump installed directly into the gravity system. You'll need to keep this in mind when choosing your pump. 

Your size of pump will be determined by the pressure requirements. How much pressure is needed to drive water to the taps and showers? We recommend 1.5-2.0 bar pumps for low pressure taps and showers and 2.0-4.0 bar pumps where higher flow rates are required, for example in a shower system with full body jets. 

High pressure systems (unvented) are normally fed water from the mains, cold water pressure. In some homes, the cold water main has inadequate pressure to support system demands. In this case, pumps can be used to improve pressure only in conjunction with a cold water break tank. Choosing the size of the pump will depend on the needs for tap and shower valve pressure. 

Twin or single pumps?

As you do your research, you'll discover that twin pumps are the most common in the UK, this is because they boost both hot and cold water supplies.

A single pump is used to boost a single water supply, hot, cold, or pre-mixed. A single pump can be used to pump blended water (as in a combination boiler) from a shower valve to the shower outlet if the system has been designed to do so.  

Universal or Standard?

Universal pumps: are fully automatic, work under positive and negative head conditions, are suitable for installation into open vented hot and cold water systems, and do not require gravity flow of water to start the pump.

Standard pumps: operate only under positive head conditions, are suitable for installation into open vented hot and cold systems, require minimum gravity flow of approximately 0.6 litres per minute. 

Choose the best location:

When choosing a pump, the installation location must be considered. All pumps are more efficient when pushing rather than pulling water. If possible, your pump should be installed on the floor next to the hot water cylinder. 

 Remember

  • Air locks increase if the pump is moved vertically away from the hot water cylinder.
  • Pumps placed in a loft have an increased risk of frost damage so should be sufficiently insulated.
  • Pumps should be installed where they can be easily accessed for servicing when required. 

Step 3 - Action: 

Once you've decided on a pump for your specific needs, you'll need to purchase and have the pump installed. When you begin the process of installation, please keep the following considerations in mind: 

  • Always ensure the pump has a cold water supply that is independent from the cold water storage cistern.
  • Pipe size should be 22mm diameter with a minimum number of bends and elbows to reduce frictional losses.
  • Note: where a pump is designed to accept 15mm inlet pipe work, the supply should be in 22mm as far as possible, then reduced down to 15mm to feed the pump, then stepped back to 22mm)
  • Isolation valves should be fitted to allow for future maintenance.
  • If installing a pump using copper piping and solder fittings, avoid flux contact on plastic parts as this can lead to plastic erosion over time.

To minimise noise:

  • On wooden floors... mount the pump on concrete to absorb vibration
  • Where pipe work passes through ceiling/walls, ensure it has free movement
  • Keep flexible hoses as straight as possible

All plumbing and electrical equipment must be installed by a competent tradesman.  

The above information is intended for general guidance. Should you require further advice or information, our Pump Assist Team will be happy to help you.

Simply call on 0844 98 000 97.

A simple guide is available to download on systems, pressure and pump types  explained

Written by Stuart Turner at 00:00

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