ARTICLE courtesy of Dorf, PHOTOGRAPHY courtesy of Dorf
Whilst most new homes are built with mains water pressure for hot and cold water, a large number of homes over 15 years of age operate with unequal water pressure. An unequal water pressure system is one which has cold water pressure (500kPa) that is much higher than hot water pressure (down as low as 35kPa). This causes mixing issues, particularly in the shower.
The easiest way for you to determine if you have unequal pressure in your home is to look at the hot water cylinder. If it says “Low Pressure” then you will most likely have unequal water pressure in your home*. The other way is to turn the mixer onto full cold and compare the water flow rate with how fast the water flows when you turn it to the full hot position. If there is a difference, then you will have unequal water pressure.
*unless you are on tank supply, in which case you are likely to have equal low pressure.
When tapware is suitable for unequal pressure, it is often described as an “All Pressure” mixer because, with small installation adjustments made by your plumber, the mixer can be used on either mains or unequal pressure systems.
By far the most effective solution to the mixing problem in unequal water pressure systems, is the use of venturi valves in the shower mixer. The venturi valve uses the power of the jet effect created when higher pressure cold water is pushed through a venturi valve. The jet effect then pulls through the hot water at a much faster rate, giving a more satisfactory shower experience.
Another solution to the unequal pressure is the use of restrictor valves which reduce the pressure of the cold water to give a more even water pressure between hot and cold.
It is essential that you understand what kind of water pressure you have prior to buying your tapware. Using tapware designed for mains pressure on your unequal pressure system will leave you disappointed with your choice, since they will not perform satisfactorily.
Dorf has tapware that is ideally suited to mains pressure and to unequal pressure. Ranges such as Jovian, Arc, Epic, Arona, and Kytin are designed for mains pressure. Dorf Balance V and Serene are designed to work in All Pressure situations. Dorf Balance V incorporates a venturi valve in the shower mixer, whilst Serene uses a restrictor valve.
In most urban situations, you do have the opportunity to upgrade your water system from unequal pressure to mains pressure by changing your hot water cylinder. This is a more expensive option, however it is worth considering as part of a major renovation of your house. It is worth discussing this option with your plumber. With Dux hot water, you can also take the opportunity to move the cylinder outside, thereby freeing up additional space inside your home.
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To view these ranges, visit the Dorf website and also check out more product videos found under “Technology” on the Home Page.
You might be interested in reading: Water saving tips.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for your home renovation, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.