Cold Water Accumulators

Cold Water Accumulators

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Cold Water Accumulators (Buffer Tank) Improving Water Pressure and Flow Rate in the property

Cold water accumulators are designed to increase flow rate and stabilize your pressures, although the effect of having the accumulator on the system for most people seems like as if the pressure has been increased. There is a standing pressure, which is the pressure when no outlets are being used and a working pressure the pressure when outlets are running. When the accumulator is linked into the system the increased flow rate helps to maintain the pressure close to the original standing pressure but with a better flow rate, for as long as water is stored in the accumulator. This is why you may need bigger cold water accumulators than you would have hot water tank.

A cold water accumulator is used to combat the problem of low water pressure in your water system. It uses an adjustable, pressurized compartment filled with air to compress the water coming in from the mains supply stored in a neighbouring compartment, which in turn increases the overall pressure of the system. It doesn't actually increase the pressure of the system over its normal limit; instead it allows it to work at its fullest capacity.

Size of PropertFlat/Smaller HouseSmall HouseMedium HouseLarger HouseLarge House
Water Usage Kitchen
1-2 bedrooms
1 bath & shower
Kitchen cloakroom
2-3 bedrooms
1 bath & shower
Kitchen cloakroom
4-5 bedrooms
2 baths & showers
Kitchen cloakroom
Utility room
4-6 bedrooms
2 baths & showers
Kitchens
cloakrooms
Utility room
Multiple beds
4-5 baths & showers
Preferred Cold Water Accumulator 100
200
240
200
240
300
240
300
500
300
500
300
500

Cold water Accumulators Buffer tank working on mains pressure precharge

For example if you run your water tap at 4am you will find that there is a greater amount of pressure coming from your mains outlet, this pressure will be stored in your Buffer tank and will allow you to use this over the following day. Also as it’s a tank you are able to increase the flow of water into your property thus giving you a greater volume of water and better pressure than you would have in the middle of the day. This can give the property the feeling of a massive pump being installed in to the home when it’s only the use of the stored pressure in the buffer tank. Now this pressure will only be as good as the pressure your property has at any one time and the volume will only be as good as the size of tank you choose and the outlet and size of pipework from the tank. This is a relatively easy system to install and gives massive benefits to the home and does allow for bigger shower heads and quicker filling of baths, or if used in commercial usage huge gains in the volume of water available. These tanks can also be linked together to give huge amounts of water volume. This really is a one stop fix for a home with a low water pressure due to large demand on volume. I.E Lots of appliance using water at the same time and no drop in pressure. 

Tradeplumbing offers a complete range of expansion vessels to meet the requirements of most heating systems and for use with potable water. The expansion vessels are manufactured to meet the requirements of PED 97/23/EC Directive and BS EN 13831:2007 'Closed expansion vessels with built in diaphragm for installation in water'.DesignDeep drawn steel shell for increased strength and durability.The vessel is fabricated by MIG welding, eliminating interior roughspots and sharp edges, which helps prevent damage to the diaphragm.Pre-pressurised air chamber with butyl rubber diaphragm.The internal surfaces of the vessel are epoxy coated, to help prevent bacterial growth and corrosion.Epoxy coated in blue except for the 2 litre vessel which is coated in grey. Suitable for temperatures up to 99°C, resistant to ethylene or propyleneglycol mixtures and has low gas permeability. Altecnic expansion vessels are all tested according to the Pressure Systems Directive.

How a cold water accumulator works if pumped

In a closed hot water circuit, the water cannot be compressed so any increase in volume, created by an increase in temperature, has to be accommodated by an expansion vessel. When water is cold, the pre-charge pressure forces the membrane sack to collapse until the pump is started when the sack starts to inflate. As the temperature in the system increases, with the associated increase in pressure and volume, the expanded water enters the sack creating additional volume and lowering the pressure. When the temperature decreases, the pre-charge pressure forces the water from the sack and back into the main water circuit.

One solution is to install a Cold Water Accumulator to increase water pressure. A cold water accumulator operates by initially filling the tank through a ball float valve and then pumping water through the taps and showers at a greater pressure. The range of Altecnic Ultra Pro portable water expansion vessels incorporate a fully interchangable membrane and stainless flange inside a welded steel shell. Vessels are available in 24 to 1000 litre capacity, and are available in both vertical and horizontal models. They are suitable for use with both drinking water and heating applications.

Product Code
Description Diameter (mm) Height (mm) Size

ZI-332551

Horiz

270

480

24

ZI-318050

Vert

380

770

50

ZI-318051

Horiz

380

540

50

ZI-318060

Vert

380

850

60

ZI-318061

Horiz

380

680

60

ZI-318080

Vert

450

850

80

ZI-318081

Horiz

450

640

80

ZI-318100

Vert

450

935

100

ZI-318101

Horiz

450

765

100

ZI-318200

Vert

550

1253

200

ZI0318201

Horiz

550

1089

200

ZI-318300

Vert

630

1370

300

ZI-318301

Horiz

630

1237

300

ZI-318500

Vert

750

1600

500

ZI-318750

Vert

750

2140

750

ZI-3181000

Vert

850

2070

1000

ZI-332551

Horiz

270

480

24

ZI-318050

Vert

380

770

50

ZI-318051

Horiz

380

540

50

ZI-318060

Vert

380

850

60

ZI-318061

Horiz

380

680

60

ZI-318080

Vert

450

850

80

ZI-318081

Horiz

450

640

80

ZI-318100

Vert

450

935

100

ZI-318101

Horiz

450

765

100

ZI-318200

Vert

550

1253

200

ZI-318201

Horiz

550

1089

200

ZI-318300

Vert

630

1370

300

ZI-318301

Horiz

630

1237

300

ZI-318500

Vert

750

1600

500

ZI-318750

Vert

750

2140

750

ZI-3181000

Vert

850

2070

1000

ZI-1100000803

 

 

 

8

ZI-1100001203

 

 

 

12

ZI-1100001917

 

 

 

19

 

With a greater demand for and the introduction of mains fed appliances, like for instance: electric showers, combination boilers, and unvented cylinders. The mains supply for both pressure (the force of water measured in bar or PSI) and flow rate, (the amount of water measured in litres or gallons) is so important, nowadays.

A poor mains supply coming in to the property will cause pressure and flow fluctuations, as well as ultimately poor performance leading to dissatisfaction and very troubled wash times for the whole house. We’re sure lots of you have had to perform a whole host of dance moves under an electric shower to just get covered in water, or when you run the bath and it takes so long that by the time it’s finished running the water is cold.

With high performance showers becoming ever more popular, much like this one ****** and popularity in multi bathroom properties, the demands of the mains water supply are so much higher. Often the performance needs of the mains supply to meet the demands of these showers or properties is overlooked.

As many of the water systems in the UK can be victorian; they are just not able to keep up with the demand needed for more water... But now with a water accumulator in the setup, it can be.

The legal supply requirement from water companies (undertakers) is 1 bar and 9 litres at the water companies stop tap (road stop cock), which is often located at the metre, but this position can vary. It is not common to have pressure and flow readings this low, but it is common place to find poor flow rates with average pressures of around (2-3) bar, leading to pressure fluctuations and ultimately poor performance and unhappy household.

Accumulator technology is one way of overcoming poor flow rates by storing cold mains water in a sealed vessel, increasing volume and stabilising pressures to combination boilers, unvented cylinders and much much more.

Accumulators are not a new concept and have been used in many applications worldwide such as applications on ships, aircraft, farms as well as commercial pump sets. Using accumulator technology to help boost mains supplies.

We always recommend that you check the incoming mains pressure before installing a cold water accumulator in to your property this is to make sure that you will get the best results from the increased water flow in daytime use. Some properties don't have enough water pressure to give a significant increase in flow but may still may be better than what is previously available. we want you to have the best results so always want you as the customer to know what the biggest pressure you will gain from this increase in mains water flow in the house by fitting this cold water accumulator. Also by knowing your water pressure we are able to advise you of the best cold water system to install into your property as there are many other available and we can recommend the best one to suite your home. (pressure will be the same as highest point of 24 hours period)

Once you have your readings the next criteria required is that of demand: number of outlets, people living at the property, typical daily usage and taps and bath/shower specification. The more bathroom/ensuites and hot and cold outlets the larger the demand and the bigger the accumulator required. For high demand more than one accumulator can be installed in series to meet requirements, making them an ideal solution for sports clubs, small hotels and care homes.

The accumulator design has no power supply, drainage requirements or running cost and the design has on average a 50% air to 50% water ratio and when being used the accumulators cannot replenish until the outlets being run are no longer in use and turned off. All these factors mean the cold water accumulator must be oversized. Another key factor is the lower the pressure the lower the volume that can be stored in the vessel. So you will need bigger cold water accumulator to compensate for lower pressure and even in some cases a pump can be fitted but we feel this defeats the object of a eco friendly system that will have a longer life cycle and keep working with less complications with non pump fitted.

Accumulators can be used to increase flow rates to mains fed appliances such as combination boilers and some hot water systems. You can also have a similar version of this in hot water by buying a unvented cylinder this will give you a cold water accumulator for hot water these are called unvented cylinders and also greatly increase your hot water flow and pressure when installed correctly

Cold water accumulators have been fitted in the UK for many years and lots of companies have offered this technology to increase flow rates on mains supplies and now with a bigger percentage of combi combination boilers being sold and installed in UK homes, the cold water accumulator is the perfect answer to overcome shared mains, and high demands from flats in the same building when used with combination boilers are installed. This has been a big challenge to overcome when building a property with more efficiency in mind as a combination boiler cannot always be installed as low mains pressure (flow rate). Also Combi boilers are a very cost effective product currently and do save some pounds with some brands to your pocket or development if able to be installed. How it works the cold water accumulator is installed on the main supply where it provides an increase in water volume that helps maintain the flow rate produced by the combination boiler and without interruptions from other outlets within the building at peak times or from cold outlets within the property. On new installations with high flow combination boilers the accumulator can offer increased flow rates, stable pressures and given the boiler specification, performances more impressive than those normally associated with standard combination boilers.

Because each application is different it is difficult to give a simple sizing chart that would cover all options, and we would recommend contacting Tradeplumbing Technical Team to discuss your individual requirements. Sizes and weights of each accumulator model can be viewed under technical specification in each of the products. We also do have access to a huge amount of manufacturers and will always gain are knowledge to make sure you have the best suited system for your property we still always recommend that you have a qualified plumber to make the final decisions as its very important to have a onsite opinion and advice to what is best for you. One main factor to consider is the weight of the accumulator and where to put this as some properties would need reinforcing if it was to be situated in a loft or airing cupboard.

 

Some questions that we get asked about cold water accumulators (buffer tank)

 

  1. Can accumulators be installed on 15mm or shared main supplies

    1. Answer. Yes. Carry out pressure and flow tests then oversize the accumulator to meet demand that you require this is a great use of a cold water accumulator to increase you flowrate to the property

  2. Can the accumulators be installed horizontally in a loft?

    1. Answer. Yes. You will need to choose the Horizontal version as vertical versions cannot be used horizontally and some brands can only be used vertically as it voids the warranty if used in this manner.

  3. Can the accumulators be installed outside, in a open garage or shed?

    1. Answer. Yes. ,the stainless steel range is ideal and designed with this in mind, remembering no power supply, or drainage is required so they can go almost anywhere, basements garages etc. The pipe size can also be run in plastic from the accumulator to the house in the correct size needed to keep a high flowrate of water to your property.

  4. Can I drink the cold water from an accumulator?

    1. Yes, ideally we recommend a separate drinking supply as requested in water regulations, but the accumulators have been tested and passed for use on potable water, and the butyl liner contains no harmful Pilates

  5. How efficient is the accumulator?

    1. Very is the simple answer, yes there is a carbon footprint in the production in shipping, but once installed the accumulator requires no power supply, consumes no energy and is silent in operation, there are also no on going maintenance costs

  6. Does the accumulator improve my pressure and by how much?

    1. No, Cold water accumulators are designed to increase flow rate and stabilize your pressures, although the effect of having the accumulator on the system for most people seems like as if the pressure has been increased. There is a standing pressure, which is the pressure when no outlets are being used and a working pressure the pressure when outlets are running. When the accumulator is linked into the system the increased flow rate helps to maintain the pressure close to the original standing pressure but with a better flow rate, for as long as water is stored in the accumulator. This is why you may need bigger cold water accumulators than you would have hot water tank.

  7. Do the accumulators make any noise when in operation?

    1. No, there are no working parts within the vessel and therefore no noise issues, water at a good pressure can caused noise through pipe work if not clipped or supported but no noise from the accumulator. And with no power supply or running cost or ongoing maintenance it is both a greener and more efficient option.

  8. I have a combination boiler and the incoming flow rate is poor, can an accumulator be used to increase the flow rate?

    1. Yes, many installations where an accumulator will be used in conjunction with a new or existing combination boiler. Carry out pressure and flow tests and then select the accumulator size required, normally a 200L or 300L models or above. The accumulator will increase the flow rate allowing the combi to run at its maximum given flow rate and not be interrupted by other cold outlets being run. For an impressive performance look one of the new breed of combi store boilers, that have 40,50 litres of unvented store, linked with an accumulator you get a huge amount of flow rate.

  9. I have seen other websites mentioning accumulators, why should I choose your products?

    1. We have over 30 years experience in the plumbing and heating industry, and in this time have developed and sourced the best products for our customers giving good value for money from top quality manufacturers.