Can a new boiler increase water pressure?

Posted on 7/23/2019

Nothing wakes you up in the morning quite like a nice hot shower. But when the invigorating jet turns into a trickle, leaping out of bed doesn’t seem quite so appealing – especially on a cold winter morning.

So what can you do to increase the pressure? Don’t worry, it won’t necessarily mean you have to spend hundreds (or thousands) of pounds on a new boiler.

The water pressure coming into your home depends on a couple of things:

  • The height of the reservoir or water tower above your property. If your home is on top of a hill, you probably won’t get the same pressure as the people at the bottom
  • The number of people using the mains water pipe at the same time. When everyone’s getting ready for work and school in the morning, more people are taking water out of the pipe. So you don’t get as much as you might in the middle of the night

Top tip: Ofwat (Office of Water Service) guarantees the minimum standard of service from your local water company. If you think the problem might be low pressure coming into your home, get an expert to check. You might be entitled to compensation.

Increasing your water pressure – tips and tricks

The pressure coming into the house isn’t necessarily the same as the water pressure coming out of your taps and shower. That might be down to your pipes, your boiler, or simply the type of heating system you have. So here are some simple things to check.

  1. Descale your showerhead

    If your morning shower has reduced to a trickle, it could be because the holes in your showerhead are bunged up. This happens particularly in hard water areas where limescale can build up in the nozzles and stop the water getting through. You’ll find plenty of products in your local supermarket that will dissolve away the limescale – including lemon juice and vinegar, if you want a more environmentally friendly option that’s kinder to your taps and the planet. It’s simple to do and it can be very effective.

  2. Check the boiler pressure

    A quick look at the pressure gauge on your boiler will tell you if the system needs topping up. If it’s too low, the boiler won’t work as efficiently, and you might not get that piping hot shower to set you up for the day. Luckily, it’s another easy fix. All boilers are different so take a look at the manual and follow the simple steps to let extra water in to top up the pressure. You shouldn’t need any tools.

  3. Top Tip: If you can’t find the boiler manual, you can usually download a new one. Search for your make and model online.

  4. Low pressure in your cold or hot taps?

    The kind of boiler you have can affect the water pressure in both the cold and hot taps. If you have a combi or system boiler, the cold water coming into your house will be at mains pressure. Which is good, it’s usually nice and high. But with a conventional boiler, you’ll have a cold water tank (probably in the loft) which feeds water to your taps. If the water pressure is too low, ask an expert if you can raise it to increase the pressure.

    Low pressure in your hot taps and shower could be caused by your boiler. Combi boilers are great for saving space (there’s no hot water tank) but they can struggle with more than one shower at a time. They heat the water as it comes through the boiler, which is great for instant hot water. But they’re not really designed for homes with a lot of bathrooms.

  5. Consult the experts

    If you’re not sure what’s causing your low pressure, talk to a local expert and you might find it’s a common problem in your area. They should be able to tell what the issue is, and if it’s an easy fix or you need a new boiler.

Top tip: Combi boilers can struggle to get enough hot water to your shower if you have larger gauge old pipes. Ask your tradesperson if that might be the problem – it might be cheaper to change a few pipes than get a new boiler.

If your boiler is getting on a bit, it might be time for a new one that can deal with your demands for hot water. It might seem like a big expense but modern boilers are more efficient, so you should save money on your monthly bills.