An unequal water pressure system is where the cold water pressure (500kPa) is much higher than the hot water pressure (down as low as 35kPa). This causes mixing issues, especially in the shower.

The simplest way to work out if you have unequal pressure is to look at your hot water cylinder, it should either have “Low Pressure” or “Mains Pressure” written on it. The other way is to turn both the cold mixer/tap on full and the hot mixer/tap on full, if there is a difference, then you have unequal water pressure.

If tapware is suitable for unequal pressure, it is can be described as an “All Pressure” mixer because, your plumber can make some small adjustments so the mixer can be used on mains or unequal pressure systems.

It is very important that you know what kind of water pressure you have before purchasing your tapware, as tapware designed for mains pressure installed on an unequal pressure system will not perform satisfactorily.

This may not be a problem with your hot water cylinder!  Contact your electricity provider (eg Mercury) and ask if your ripple switch hasn’t been turned back on, if it has then you will need to talk to a plumber.

If a leak isn’t glaringly obvious, go out to your water meter and record the reading. After a few hours of not using the water, get another reading. If the reading has increased you probably have a leak.

You may have a silent leak in your toilet, to work out if you do, put a couple of drops of food colouring into the toilet cistern (no one use it!) and after half an hour check to see if any food colouring leaked into the toilet bowl.

Use a damp, soft cloth and check if the manufacturer has any recommendations for cleaning solutions for those harder stains. Don’t use any abrasive cleaners or cloths as these can scratch the surface.

Toilet paper is especially designed to break down and if other types of paper are used it could cause clogs or damage your septic system should you have one. Avoid baby wipes, napkins, facial tissues and paper towels.

WELS is the New Zealand Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme. A WELS rating provides an average flow rate for a product when tested at various pressures. Similar to energy ratings on electrical appliances, this rating is displayed with a number of stars. The more WELS stars it has, the more water-efficient the product.

The WELS label displays three key pieces of information:

  1. The star rating out of 6. All products except showers can achieve ratings up to 6 stars. Currently showers can only achieve a maximum of 3 stars.  If a product fails any test or has a higher flow than the maximum rating, it can still be sold, but must carry a 0 (zero) star label.
  2. The rated water consumption:
    •    Litres per minute (for showers and taps)
    •    Litres per wash (for clothes washing machines and dishwashers)
    •    Litres per flush (for lavatories and urinals)
  3. The pressure application (only applies to showers and tapware in NZ) – mains pressure and/or low/unequal pressure.

Simply soak it in equal parts vinegar and hot water. This should dissolve the lime or calcium build-up from hard water which can distort the spray pattern.

A ceramic disc is an alternative mechanism to the traditional washers (jumper valves). Ceramic discs are more expensive but they make taps much easier to operate, have a longer life and are guaranteed not to leak for a longer period.

We strongly suggest that a registered tradesman installs all plumbing items. If an item is installed by a non-registered person, your product warranty and possibly your home & contents insurance may be void. If there are any damages caused during installation, a registered plumber is responsible to pay for those damages.

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