So you’ve just bought a investment property, and your planning on turning it into a HMO (house of multiple occupancy) these are the HMO plumbing tips you need to know.
or you’ve already done 1 or maybe more and just looking for some extra tips on the plumbing and heating systems in these type of properties
well you’ve come to the right place…..
Over the last 4-5 years we’ve worked on a number of developments for a number of different investors. One recurring theme is that heating and hot water (especially) are been over looked, and or undersized.
So we have put together some quick tips to help you on your way
HMO Plumbing Tip Number 1 – Flow rate and pressure
these are commonly mistaken to be the same thing so i will explain each individually
flow rate is the rate at which the water flows out of the tap of draw off point
is the amount of force pushing the water out of the tap or draw of point
attach a 15mm pipe and a 22mm pipe to a water outlet
both will be the same pressure, however the flow rate on the 22mm will be more as the pipe is bigger allowing more water to flow through.
So now you know the difference how does this effect my HMO i hear you ask?
the new property you have bought may have brilliant water pressure cold water absolutely flying out of the cold tap. However if the supply pipe to the property is not large enough 25mm+ then you may struggle to run more than one shower at the same time.
If you fail to size the supply pipe to the property you will have complaints of the showers running slower when more than one person is using the water at the same time. or say for example if there is the washing machine and a shower been used downstairs. no water at all may come out of the taps and showers upstairs at all!
The solution to this, in the early stages of you project determine you existing supply size and know how many water draw off points (sinks, basins showers, baths etc) you will have in the property. and choosing a supply pipe size to suit your needs. usually a 25mm MDPE minimum will serve the average size HMO. but check with your chosen plumbing and heating engineer and they will be able to check that your supply is adequate
HMO plumbing Tip Number 2 – Your Hot Water system
When doing a HMO with 2 + showers or baths a standard combination boiler will simply not do the job. Stored hot water is a must depending on the size of your project will depend on the size of storage you will need whether its a standard hot water cylinder, a unvented cylinder or a storage combi.
At Hirst Gas Services We use some calculations to determine the size of a cylinder and or system that need to be taken into consideration when choosing which product suits which job.
Please make sure your plumber knows these calculations and sizes your system it is very important
If your system is not sized correctly you will have problems of showers running cold, or running out of hot water especially at peak times. If not taken in to consideration early in the project this could prove costly trying to right wrongs when fully decorated and tenants moved in
HMO plumbing Tip 3 – Quality affordable Materials
From the boiler and cylinder to the taps and everything in between. affordable quality is the way forward.
When working through your project it may be tempting to save a few quid here and there by using cheaper materials, We see this as false economy. By using a good quality brand you are ensuring that when something does go wrong parts are readily available. All too often we are called to HMO jobs where substandard showers etc have been installed and after 12month they are blowing hot and cold. Trying to trace parts for cheap internet bought showers is near on impossible and the only other option is to replace them. Buy cheap buy twice is the saying and this certainly applies to plumbing materials. Here at Hirst Gas Services we use a local supplier who only supplies materials that are built to last. and when the unfortunate breakdowns do happen parts are available for a cheap repair.
A lot of boilers now can be bought with long manufacturers warranties so why not spend that extra £100+ on your boiler and get the extra 2,5,7 or even 10 year warranty. give yourself peace of mind that you wont have to fork out for expensive boiler repairs any time soon.
I hope you found these HMO plumbing tips useful and if we could help any further with your project give me a call on
or drop us an email on