Water pressure is how much force the water has and is measured in bar or PSI. Flow rate is how many litres or gallons of water come through the pipes. Combination boilers, electric showers and unvented cylinders rely directly on water main pressure and flow rate to function properly. If the water supply from the water main is inadequate, customers will experience fluctuations in water pressure and flow rate, especially at times of high demand.
High performance showerheads are quite popular, and many people prefer homes with multiple bathrooms, increasing the demand on the water supply. Often, the ability of the water main to meet consumption requirements is overlooked when selecting a home or installing appliances. Even if water pressure is taken into account, many consumers forget about flow rate. Pressure is irrelevant if the flow rate is insufficient.
Water companies are required by law to maintain water pressure and flow rate of at least 1 bar and 9 litres at the stop tap. The stop tap is usually, but not always, located at the water metre. The water supply usually does not drop as low as the legal limit, but inadequate flow rates and pressures near the 2-3 bar mark are not uncommon. Pressure modifiers present a fairly simple solution to water supply issues. These accumulators store cold water from the main under pressure inside a sealed tank. This pressurized storage helps to even out pressure and flow fluctuations, providing a steady supply to unvented cylinders, combination boilers, etc.
Pressure modifiers are not a new technology. They have been used on ships, on farms and in commercial pumps for a number of years. In the home, these water accumulators are often used in conjunction with a combination boiler to improve the boiler’s flow rate and prevent the use of other cold water taps from decreasing the boiler’s efficiency.
Pressure modifiers can be installed in lofts, in the garage, in the basement, in a shed or even outside. Since the liners contain no harmful materials, pressure modifiers are safe for potable water storage. Because they only store water for use when needed and do not require a power supply or constant maintenance, pressure modifiers offer an energy efficient and “green” solution to water flow problems.