non electric hot water pump


Postby nickpw30 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:40 pm

I'm trying to install a shower in my 1st floor studio flat. I fitted a mixer tap but when i turn on the hot water tap, pressue is low and then when you lift the shower head above the waterline in the hot water tank it stops coming out altogether and after a few seconds starts flowing back into the hot water tank. I'm now considering fitting an electric shower or a shower pump, but on looking round the flat there aren't enough fuses in the mains box to cater for a electirc shower or pump? I've been told to look for a 'non electric pressure pump' but can't find any on the net? does anyone have any ideas where i can find one? I've been told that they should cost no more then £200. Cold water pressure is perfect hence the idea for an electric shower, but lack of power source in the bathroom puts that idea to bed. Water supply comes up from the flat below, not via a cold water tank in the loft. Any ideas welcome. thanks, nick
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Postby stuart_craigon2003 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:53 pm

you've said it your self "when you lift the shower head above the waterline in the hot water tank it stops coming out altogether and after a few seconds starts flowing back into the hot water tank"
I'm afraid to say "Well yes!" that's what a gravity system is all about. there is only so far up a building you can use a gravity system before it will cease to function at all. What to do it to find one of the fuses or mcb's in your box and try to uprate it to cope with the new electric shower. don't fit a pump there are a bugger to work with, it takes for ever to get one in and you would have to put it under your bath meaning you'll have to take the bath panel off - BAD MOVE!. An electric shower is much easier. Run a spur from a DP switch some where close by that is on your newly uprated mcb or fuse and run it to either a new pull cord you can hang from the bathroom ceiling or a DP switch you can put outside the bathroom (the latter i would recommend). Then attach your shower to it and connect the flow to the shower to your cold bath tap. This should work okay.

PLEASE PLEASE FOR GOD SAKE DON'T TAKE ANYTHING I HAVE SAID AS GOSPEL, I'M NEITHER A PLUMBER NOT AN ELECTRICIAN! ALWAYS GET PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND IF IN DOUBT BAIL OUT AND GET A QUALIFIED PERSON TO DO THE WORK!

P.S. - IF YOU ARE IN RENTED ACCOMMODATION YOU WILL NEED TO GET PERMISSION FROM YOUR LANDLORD BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING!!
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:25 pm

ok:

under no circumstances attempt to install an electric shower yourself, for two very good reasons;

1- it is illegal under current regulation to carry out such work without the necessary approval. any electrical undertakings in kitchens and bathrooms must be part p compliant and the same goes for installing new circuitry.

2- get it wrong and you could end up killing yourself or someone else - no joke.

you say that your water supply comes from a pipe from downstairs flat - this is your incoming main and if you have no cold water storage tank this suggests that your flat is mains fed.

a pump cannot be installed on a mains fed system as it raised technical problems besides being illegal. however, the fact that you have a hot water cylinder and the shower pressure disappears when you raise the shower head above the top of the tank suggests that it is in fact gravity fed. are you sure you have no cold water storage tank feeding the cylinder? it may be directly above the cylinder and not necessarily in the attic.

most likely being a flat is that all of your cold water is mains fed but your hot water is gravity fed. again this might be a barrier to installing a pump as the hot and cold sides must be balanced (supplied from the same source at the same pressure) to prevent scalding. you'd have to run the cold side of the pump from the same cold water storage tank as the cylinder - though i suspect that the tank will be too small to service both hot and cold if pumped.

contrary to the previous post and depending on the format of your system, a pump would probably be a better option than installing an electric shower. you do not necessarily need to have a spare mcb at the board, pumps are usually fed via an FCU from existing nearby ring/socket.

this you could ordinarily do yourself without approval as it wouldn't come under part p. however the fact that it's in a bathroom clearly means that it is, even if the FCU itself is not in the bathroom.

given the doubts about the type of system that you have and your apparent novice status i'd be inclined to get in a professional to take a look.
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Postby stuart_craigon2003 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:45 pm

Question, Who told you that it is illegal to install a shower? If it was why would B&Q be offering this? Google "diy.com/diy/jsp/bq_advice/common/howtos/installelectricshower/main.pdf"

I agree, connecting it to the mains consumer unit may be the rest is not.

Also installing a pump on a mian is not illegal and i have never heard of it ever being, well not in scotland anyway!

I must say i will learn something if am wrong.
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:55 pm

"Question, Who told you that it is illegal to install a shower?" - errrrr..... the law of the land??!!?? any work carried out on electrics in kitchens and bathrooms MUST be carried out by a qualified person. that's part of the new regulations, not sure if part p has made it into scotland yet but even if not you cannot assume that the person you are giving advice to on this site is in scotland!

"If it was why would B&Q be offering this?" - i am very well aware that B&Q dish out info telling people how to do it themselves and frankly i feel that such institutions are neglecting their responsibility somewhat by encouraging such practices, despite all their disclaimers. besides B&Q advisories DO make it clear that anyone undertaking such work needs to be well informed with regard to both the work they are carrying out AND the law. and anybody who pops along to a DIY store, picks up a leaflet how to install an electric shower then goes home and does it with no other experience or training is an idiot and is asking to get fried.

and any person who is well informed enough would know NOT to undertake such work unless qualified.

"Also installing a pump on a mian (sic) is not illegal and i have never heard of it ever being, well not in scotland anyway!" - let me assure you that it is illegal to fit a pump on a mains circuit - can't speak for scotland but frankly i'd be very surprised if it they allowed it. i suggest that you go away and check with you local water authority. i'm sure that they will confirm my suspicions, though i'm sure that somebody else on this site will happily confirm it for you first.

"I must say i will learn something if am wrong." - well then hopefully you've learned something!
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Postby stuart_craigon2003 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:51 pm

I most certanly have, My applolguise for being snippy about it, I was in a rather bad mood last night so i do appologuise. Thanks for advice though
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