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Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 6:07pm

Post Subject: Water pumps

I am fitting out a 50' narrowboat. Would yo suggest I use a variable speed water pump or the traditional type with an accumulator tank? The pump will feed sink, handbasin and shower.


Posted: Fri May 15, 2009 7:21pm

Post Subject: Water pumps

Dear Martyn, it all depends upon your budget, what you are trying to achieve, and how much you worry about the pump cycling and the pressure variations it causes. I am a little concerned when I see the phrase variable speed pump and accumulator together in case you think an accumulator will have a similar effect to a variable speed pump. All an accumulator can do is to make the cycling period of the pump longer so it may not cycle while (say) filling a kettle but probably will whilst taking a shower and it will provide a store of pressure so the pump can be left on over night with little chance of it operating and about 03.30. If its cycling that concerns you then by all means buy a variable speed pump and accept that if the control circuits fail you will be buying a new pump. If you want a cheaper option one of the "bypass pumps" may not cycle as long as its output is only moderately more than the flow rate. However at least one manufacturer of this type of pump says you can not use an accumulator with it. If you want the option to fit an external pressure switch if the inbuilt one fails and you do not find cycling a problem you might just as well go for a standard pump and fit an accumulator to minimise it running at night if you think it is worth it. If you fit a pump that has a slightly lower output than the shower it will not cycle when the shower is in use with the motor running all the time. My personal choice would be an ordinary pump from a reputable maker and as I have children staying overnight an accumulator so I can leave the pump on for them to flush the loo, wash hands or get a drink of water. If we only had adults aboard I might well do away with the accumulator and institute a "turn the pump off at night" policy. Incidentally I find a water pump switch in the galley and another in the loo very useful. Tony Brooks

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