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Hot water immersion heater on ground floor

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edchalkedchalk Forumite
45 posts
Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
Hi,

We’ve had an offer accepted on a ground floor 2-bed flat that currently has no gas connectivity. Hot water is currently supplied from a large immersion heater and we’ve noticed that there’s a rather noisy electric pump installed for the shower under the bathtub.

My question is, if we were to arrange to get our flat connected to gas (consent approved already from freeholder) and we ripped out the immersion heater to install a smaller and more efficient combi, will we still need the noisy pump under the bathtub ?

Ie is the existing pump likely to be compensating for the hot water cylinder not being in the roof, or could it be some sort of generic pump to compensate for poor water pressure ?

Many thanks in advance for any advice

Ed

Replies

  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    The pump is to give you decent shower pressure, upon converting to a boiler you shouldn't need it.
  • Moss5Moss5 Forumite
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    The hot tank gets cold water from somewhere, do you know where?
    Have you measured your cold mains pressure and flow rate?
    You need to check that your water supply is suitable for the gas combi boiler that you hope will produce a perfect shower.
  • jk0jk0 Forumite
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    Is there definitely gas in the road? It's not cheap to connect even if there is.
  • Section106Section106 Forumite
    88 posts
    edchalk wrote: »
    Ie is the existing pump likely to be compensating for the hot water cylinder not being in the roof, or could it be some sort of generic pump to compensate for poor water pressure ?
    It could be either. If you have low mains water pressure then you might still need a pump to get a decent shower.

    Some pictures of the hot water cylinder would help people advise. If you have an unvented system then the hot water should already be at or near mains pressure.
    My question is, if we were to arrange to get our flat connected to gas (consent approved already from freeholder) and we ripped out the immersion heater to install a smaller and more efficient combi, will we still need the noisy pump under the bathtub?
    What you really need to know is whether you would ever be able to save enough on your energy bills by converting to a gas combi system to cover the cost of installing it. The efficiency of a combi boiler is only a small part of the overall equation.

    The answers to that will depend on various things including how long you intend to live there, how the flat is heated, and how much laying on the new gas connection will cost.

    If your main concern is the noisy shower pump it might be better to look at getting a quieter model, or having it checked to make sure it has been installed correctly. Pumps don't have to be noisy.
  • edchalkedchalk Forumite
    45 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Thanks for the advice so far. In answer to jk0, yes there’s gas running down the road, I’ve been quoted £800 to get connected to the mains supply which I think is reasonable.
    In answer to Section106, I think we’ll save money eventually if we stay there long enough but the thought process is also driven by aesthetics ... the immersion tank is very bulky and positioned right in the middle of a clumsy partitioned corridor area which could otherwise be nice open space. There’s also 5 very bulky electric or storage heaters that aren’t really to everybody’s taste. I’d much prefer to have them replaced with slimmer gas models that could be fired up when required by a combi.

    I’ve attached pictures of the cylinder and pump if that will help... I’m afraid I’m not able to test the cold mains flow rate as were in the post-offer, pre-completion stage. Is it something that the water board will know if I rang them ?


    https://ibb.co/5Bg8kW4
    https://ibb.co/hFrr4Mw

    Thanks again

    Ed
  • peachypricepeachyprice Forumite
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    Our hot water cylinder is on the first floor we still have a shower pump so being on the ground floor is a red herring. You won't get as good a shower just relying on the water pressure from the boiler and mains cold. Depends on how much you value a decent shower.

    You should be able to baffle the sound of the pump by sitting it on a mat made of neoprene or the like.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
  • Section106Section106 Forumite
    88 posts
    edchalk wrote: »
    In answer to Section106, I think we’ll save money eventually if we stay there long enough but the thought process is also driven by aesthetics ... the immersion tank is very bulky and positioned right in the middle of a clumsy partitioned corridor area which could otherwise be nice open space. There’s also 5 very bulky electric or storage heaters that aren’t really to everybody’s taste. I’d much prefer to have them replaced with slimmer gas models that could be fired up when required by a combi.
    Fair enough, cost is not always the most important thing I guess.

    However, bear in mind that radiators heated by a boiler need to be connected with pipes. If you have a flat with limited access to the space under the floor (or a solid floor), and no access above the ceiling, then those pipes may need to be run exposed across your walls.

    So if this is important to you then now would be a good time to ask your solicitor to check whether you would be permitted to have floorboards lifted and install pipework. (the picture of the pump suggests you have floorboards even though on the ground floor)
    I’ve attached pictures of the cylinder and pump if that will help... I’m afraid I’m not able to test the cold mains flow rate as were in the post-offer, pre-completion stage. Is it something that the water board will know if I rang them ?
    The cylinder appears to be a combination model - that has a small cold water tank sitting on top of the hot water cylinder. If so, it means your hot water is gravity fed rather than mains.

    The water company won't know about the mains pressure inside your flat as it will depend on the condition of the service pipe, stop valves and the internal pipework. All they will be concerned about is if the pressure/flow rate meets the legal minimum, which is so low as to be not worth bothering with if you want a decent shower. You'll have to wait until you have access to the flat to get it checked.

    The picture of the pump is too close to really tell anything, we really need a view of the whole pump and pipework under the bath. But it does appear the pump has been positioned on top of a rectangle of something (light brown coloured). Some manufacturers recommend placing the pump on top of a heavy concrete slab (like a patio paving slab), although as peachyprice says the alternative can be to use a neoprene mat or similar.

    At a guess, from that picture, you might just have something like a piece of floor tile which probably isn't dense enough to absorb the vibration - and might be making the noise worse by vibrating against the floorboards.
  • edchalkedchalk Forumite
    45 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Thanks again Section106, yes it seems to be a combination model so I’m guessing that the pump is just to generate a decent pressure for the taps & shower. I’m hoping it won’t be necessary to have one after the combi gets installed as they’ll be running off mains pressure rather than the combi tanks.
  • southcoastrgisouthcoastrgi Forumite
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    edchalk wrote: »
    Thanks again Section106, yes it seems to be a combination model so I’m guessing that the pump is just to generate a decent pressure for the taps & shower. I’m hoping it won’t be necessary to have one after the combi gets installed as they’ll be running off mains pressure rather than the combi tanks.

    You won't be able to use that pump after the combi is fitted anyway
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  • nofoollikeoldnofoollikeold Forumite
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    1. You need to measure the pressure and flow rate of your cold water supply to know if a combi is suitable. This needs to be done within your property, and ideally at several times to cater for low pressure / flows at peak usage times.
    2. Check the lease. Some freeholders don't allow the fitting of combi boilers, as they can "rob" other flats of water.
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