Discuss Loft cold water tank keeps running out in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

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Our bath and en-suite shower is fed from a cold water tank in the loft. My kids have decided they like the shower but stay in it a long time. This causes the tank to empty and airlock the shower pump. I then have to the disconnect and bleed the the cold water feed.

I there a way to make the water tank fill quicker so it doesn't run out? Can something be adjusted or will it require a new fill tap/valve? If so any idea how much this should cost?
 
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leelister6

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You're gonna need a bigger tank
 
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Bigger tank is best, but it no room consider a Shower Power Booster from Alan Wright or Flowflex
 
OP
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Does that power booster replace the pump? It doesn't look like much. How does it work? Would it be case of the water still runs out but then I just wait for it to refill rather than having to faff about bleeding.
 
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I missed the fact you already have a pump after an intermediate high level storage tank. Can you but up a simple diagram showing hot feed cold feed relative levels etc.centralheatking
 

Best

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Make sure the ball valve is filling as fast as possible.
Sometimes they can have debris stuck inside the nozzle part, or the washer is swollen and stays almost closed off.

Also tell your kids to only take a few minutes for a shower and also for them to turn shower off while they are soaping themselves.
The water - including hot water, that you are wasting down the waste pipe will be costly.
Laughable that we have regs for toilets being 3/6litre flush to save water nowadays and yet we have power showers that can empty a 200litre tank in minutes
 
A

Aire

I'd be looking at a bigger tank in the loft. If your header tank is running dry before your running out of hot water then it's definitely not big enough.
 
OP
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Thanks all. To answer some questions there is the cold tank in the loft and the hot water cylinder is in the 1st floor airing cupboard. The cold supply for the shower shower oddly has a run to the shower, back to above the cupboard and down to the pump and then back to the shower.

Here are a couple of the pictures from my thread when the shower pump first stopped working.

Does the hot water cylinder fill from the mains or is it likely to be filled from the cold tank?



 
OP
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Just to add as spam filter stopped me editing my post??? the central heating boiler is below the airing cupboard on the ground floor.
 
OP
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I'm no plumber but have questioned it. It wasn't done on my watch.

Can you elaborate on why the pump is piped wrong?

I will try and get a video of the loft tank filing and hopefully someone can tell me if that's as good as it gets and I need a bigger tank, or if it can be improved.

Is the overall install really that bad? If so what would you do to fix it?
 

Riley

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For a start I wouldn’t have done it in plastic but thats by the by. The pump requires a dedicated hot and cold feed. From your pic you can see that the hot feed is just teed off the main hot outlet. This will result in air being pulled into the pump also. You will need a suitable flange to sort this
 

Jones82

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Generally speaking most manufacturers recommend 50 gallons of water for each shower pump, you currently have 25. I would install another 25 gallon tank next to the existing one. Running out of water may also have damaged the pump.

Ask a plumber to quote for fitting an essex flange and fitting an extra tank for the shower, while your at it, how old's the pump? Anything more than 5-10 years and Id be tempted to replace that too. Don't be tempted by a £100 pump, you should be spending £200-£300 plus on a good brand with a guarantee.
 
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Could anyone recommend a pump that doesn't sound like an aircraft about to take off? I was tempted to put some matting under it but I'm going to change it I may as well try and get a quite one.

Also any idea as to overall cost for pump, piping and tank etc?
 

Riley

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Definitely ST but a paving slab and a bit of underlay under even a new one work wonders
 
W

Welder

Some observations:
  1. As mentioned, your fundamental issue is an incorrect install in that EVERY pump manuf says double your cold water store to avoid this issue.
  2. Plastic pipe is almost always problematic for showers. It restricts flow to much and a pump not getting enough water will cause the bearings to fail much sooner.
  3. Personally, I feel the way the hot supply to the pump has been installed is adequate in that it is taken from teh very underside of the tank outlet. This means the ability to take air in in minimised. I'd prefer to see a slight lift on that pipe and similarly I'd prefer it to be in 22mm until close to the pump to maximise available water to the pump. That said, with it running from just a 25 gal tank, it's the least of your worries.
  4. Noise is hugely reduced by mounting your pump on the very largest piece of traditional paving slab you can accommodate in the space. The highly dense concrete simply stops the vibration being transmitted through to the floor which is where most of your noise will come from. As rob said, you can indeed put a proper sound absorbing mat in too but at that point radiated noise and pipework vibration will be far more of an issue. This type of mat tends to be used for taking specific frequency vibrations out.
  5. Personally I'd never fix a pump down. Far too much transmitted vibration. Just let it sit on the supplied feet but make sure they correctly and properly installed.
 
A

Aire

Quietest pump you can buy is the salamander ct force range. Their pumps run at 46db where the Stuart Turner monsoon runs at 51. Both very quiet compared to the cheaper models and exceptionally quiet compared to pumps of 10 years ago. No matter how or what pump you install though, you will always hear them when they're running.
 

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