Cold Water Plumbing
When it comes to cold water plumbing, water travels from your main stop-valve via the rising main. From here it can be directed in one of two different ways – through an indirect cold water supply (this is the more common way) or through a direct cold water supply. In this article, I will tell you a bit more about the latter one and discuss some of the pros and cons with both systems.
Just like it says in the name, when it comes to direct systems, all pipes and WCs that carries cold water are directly connected to the rising main. In most houses where central heating has been installed, you might find a so called feed-and-expansion cistern or even a hot water cylinder cistern. With a direct plumbing system, there are several different ways to supply the hot water but the two most common ones are through combination boilers and gas heaters with multi-points.
Direct or Indirect Systems?
Despite the direct plumbing system being cheaper to install and also less complicated to work with, many water companies nowadays prefers the indirect system and some of them only allow for this system to be used. The water companies’ say that indirect systems are better for busy periods like early mornings, as they will have less of an impact on the mains. Another thing that the water companies’ also like with indirect systems is that a householder’s own water system is mainly kept separate from the mains supply. This means that there is lesser of a risk for the mains to be contaminated through a backflow. A backflow is where dirty water from a household is being sucked backwards and up the mains. It is very important for water companies to provide and maintain a high quality of water and according to regulations, all water systems should have a device of some sort, preventing backflows from happening. There are some positives for the householder as well when it comes to indirect systems. By having a cold water cistern, you will always have a reserve of water, should you suffer a water cut. The indirect system is also quieter than the direct system.
However, there are drawbacks to the indirect system as well. They could provide a less than ideal ‘head’, so if you are a fan of a decent shower, you might want to look elsewhere. There is also a higher risk for indirect systems with a cistern and pipe work in the loft to freeze, if they are not correctly insulated but both of these issues can be rectified by using an unvented hot water system.