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Water Source Heat Pumps Costs & Installation

Water Source Heat Pumps are environmentally friendly renewable energy systems that offer year-round heating. They can harness the constant temperature of a water source, whether it’s a river, lake or even a well, to provide consistent heating throughout the year.

To get a water source heat pump quote for free, fill in Warmable’s quick form and one of our expert advisors will get back to you ASAP. With our network of trusted engineers throughout the UK, we can help you to take steps towards an energy-efficient home.

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Water Source Heat Pumps

Discover the Efficiency of Water Source Heat Pumps

1. Apply Online

Fill out our quick online form with essential details, including your property specifications and heat pump preferences.

2. Receive a Call:

A member of the Warmable team will contact you to arrange a visit from a certified air to water heat pump engineer.

3. Engineer Quote:

After a thorough assessment of your heating system, you'll receive a free quote from an accredited heat pump specialist.

4. Installation:

Choose the best offer and schedule the installation at your convenience.

What Are Water Source Heat Pumps?


A water source heat pump is a highly efficient heating and cooling system designed to transfer heat from a water source to provide temperature control for residential or commercial buildings. These systems are particularly effective when the water source maintains a temperature of around 5 to 8 degrees Celsius.

Water source heat pumps are popular for their exceptional energy efficiency. They can achieve remarkably high efficiency levels, ranging from 300% to 600%, even on the coldest winter nights. This efficiency stands in stark contrast to air-source heat pumps, which typically operate at efficiency levels of 175% to 250% on cool days.

The key to the remarkable efficiency of water source heat pumps lies in their ability to harness and utilise the heat from the water source: for every one kilowatt of electricity they consume, they extract two kilowatts of free heat from the water source. 

This heat is then transferred into the building, resulting in a total heat output of three kilowatts. This efficient heat transfer process makes water source heat pumps an attractive option for those seeking both cost-effective and environmentally responsible heating and cooling solutions.


How Much Does a Water Source Heat Pump Cost?


The cost of a water source heat pump can vary depending on several factors, and understanding these factors is essential for evaluating the cost and long-term returns of your investment.

  • Initial Purchase Price: The initial purchase price of water source heat pumps is generally higher compared to other types of heat pumps. On average, the cost of a water source heat pump can be around £10,000. While this initial expense may seem steep, it should be viewed as an investment in energy efficiency and long-term savings.
  • Payback Period: The cost of a water source heat pump can be offset by energy savings over time. The average payback period for domestic water source heat pumps is typically around 5 years, while larger projects may have a slightly longer payback period, typically around 10 years. In some cases, you might even be eligible for financial assistance through heat pump grants, which can further reduce the upfront cost.
  • Longevity: Water source heat pumps are known for their durability. The optimal lifespan of these systems is at least 15 years, and with good maintenance, they can last upwards of 50 years. This extended lifespan significantly extends the potential payback period, making water source heat pumps an even more attractive long-term investment.
  • Energy Efficiency: Water source heat pumps are highly energy-efficient, as they use waste energy for both heating and cooling. On average, they can reduce your energy bills by approximately 15% after installation. This ongoing energy savings contributes to the long-term financial benefits of a water source heat pump.
  • Maintenance and Repair Costs: Proper maintenance is crucial to maximising the useful life of your water source heat pump. Fortunately, the repair costs for these systems are generally lower compared to their counterparts. However, the specific repair costs can vary widely depending on the type of repair needed. Regular maintenance can help minimise these costs and ensure the system operates efficiently throughout its lifespan.

FAQ About Water Source Heat Pumps

Are water source heat pumps environmentally friendly?

How does a water source heat pump work in the winter?

What is the lifespan of a water source heat pump?

How much can I save on my energy bills with a water source heat pump?

What pond size do I need for a water source heat pump?

Can I use a water source heat pump with a well?

What are the best water source heat pump manufacturers?

How efficient are water source heat pumps?

Can a water source heat pump provide both heating and cooling for my home?

Can water source heat pumps be used in commercial buildings?

Advantages of Water Source Heat Pumps

Advantages Description
Environmental Friendliness Generate fewer CO2 emissions compared to conventional heating systems.
Energy Efficiency Offer high energy efficiency, with 2-4 units of heat produced for every unit of electricity consumed.
Cost Savings Potential annual savings ranging from £395 to £2,000, depending on the replaced heating system.
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme Eligibility for RHI scheme payments, estimated at £2,325 to £3,690 per year for an average home.
Compatibility and Retrofits Work well with other heating systems and can be retrofitted to existing homes.
Long Lifespan Long system lifespan, often exceeding 50 years, with an average lifespan of around 15 years.

Disadvantages of Water Source Heat Pumps

Disadvantages Description
High Upfront Costs Require a significant initial investment, with an average payback period of around 5 years.
Installation Complexity The installation process can be challenging, though water source heat pumps tend to be easier to install than ground source heat pumps.
Planning Permissions Special planning permissions may be required in certain areas, adding potential complexity to the installation process.
Location Dependency Water source heat pumps require proximity to a sustainable source of water, limiting their feasibility in certain locations.

Types of Heat Pump

Why Should I Use Warmable For Water Source Heat Pumps Quotes?


At Warmable, we are passionate about helping British households and companies find the best new boiler prices. Whether you are looking for a new boiler that can save money or has a high efficiency rating, we compare hundreds of boilers and can help find the right one for you.



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Types of Water Source Heat Pumps


Open-Loop System

In an open-loop system, heat exchange occurs directly with water from a natural source, such as a river, lake, or well. Water is drawn from the source, circulated through the heat pump, and then returned to the source. This system is most efficient when a reliable water source is nearby.

Closed-Loop System

Closed-loop systems use a continuous circuit of water or an antifreeze solution in a closed loop. There are two main types of closed-loop systems:

  • Horizontal Loop: In horizontal loops, plastic piping is buried in trenches or spread over a large field. They are suitable for installations with ample available space. Horizontal loops are more cost-effective when land area is not a limiting factor.
  • Vertical Loop:  Vertical loops involve drilling boreholes into the ground, typically reaching depths of 100-400 feet or more. These loops are ideal for installations with limited surface space, but they may be more expensive due to drilling costs. The depth allows for efficient heat exchange with the Earth’s stable temperatures at greater depths.

How Does a Water Source Heat Pump Work?


A water source heat pump operates on the principles of heat exchange, using the temperature differential between a water source and the indoor space it is heating or cooling. Here’s how a water source heat pump works:

  • Heat Transfer via Water Loop: The heart of the water source heat pump system is the water loop. During the cold weather months, the system transfers heat from this water loop to provide warmth to the building. The water loop is a closed system that circulates water, and it’s connected to each individual unit.
  • Heat Exchange: Each unit within the system features a specially designed refrigerant-to-water heat exchanger. In heating mode, these heat exchangers are responsible for transferring heat from the water loop into the central heating system of the building.
  • Individual Unit Operation: In heating mode, when the building requires more heat, each unit operates to extract heat from the water loop. These individual units are responsible for maintaining specific air comfort requirements within their respective zones.
  • Energy-Efficient Fluid Heater: In situations where there isn’t sufficient heat available in the looped water, an energy-efficient fluid heater can be installed within the loop to assist in the heating process. This ensures that the building remains comfortably heated even in extreme weather conditions.
  • Water Source Considerations: Ideally, the water source should be in close proximity to the building, reducing the energy required to pump water to a significant height. This proximity not only improves the efficiency of the system but also increases energy savings.
  • Piping and Permissions: The distance from which water can be sourced depends on the diameter of the piping. Larger pipe diameters can allow water to be sourced from substantial distances, especially when the water source is at a lower elevation. When installing a water source heat pump, it’s important to consider the necessary permissions and paperwork, which can vary by location.

Areas Where You Can Get Water Source Heat Pump Installation


Warmable can help you to get water source heat pumps in:

London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Bristol, Nottingham, Southampton, Leicester, Coventry, Hull, Bradford, Cardiff, Belfast, Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton, Plymouth, Derby, Swansea, Southampton, Sunderland, Luton, Swindon, Warrington, Croydon, Bournemouth, Southend-on-Sea, Peterborough, Salford, Reading, Dudley, Northampton, Portsmouth, Preston, Walsall, and more.


UK Laws and Regulations About Water Source Heat Pumps


Certain regulations are in place to ensure the safe and efficient use of renewable energy systems and to protect the environment. Some of the most important regulations include:

  • Planning Permission and Building Regulations: Before installing a water source heat pump system, you may need planning permission and must adhere to building regulations. These regulations are essential for ensuring the safety and compliance of your installation with local construction and land use standards.
  • Environmental Permitting Regulations: Depending on the specifics of your water source heat pump installation, you may require an environmental permit from the Environment Agency or the relevant environmental regulator in your area. This is especially important if your system is drawing water from a natural source.
  • Groundwater Regulations: If your water source heat pump installation involves the use of groundwater, you may need to comply with the Groundwater (England and Wales) Regulations 2009 or equivalent regulations in Scotland and Northern Ireland. These regulations aim to protect groundwater quality.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): In some cases, you may need to conduct an EIA to assess the environmental impact of your water source heat pump project. This is more likely to apply to large-scale projects with significant environmental implications.
  • Health and Safety Regulations: Ensure compliance with health and safety regulations in the UK. This includes the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which requires employers to ensure the health and safety of their employees and others affected by their activities.
  • Electrical Safety: Any electrical work associated with your water source heat pump system must adhere to the IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671), which outlines electrical safety requirements in the UK.
  • Water Regulations: Water source heat pump systems involving water must meet water regulations. These regulations cover issues like water quality and safety.
  • Climate Change Agreements: Certain industries and sectors in the UK may be part of Climate Change Agreements, which set energy efficiency targets. These agreements might affect how you operate and report the performance of your water source heat pump system.


How to Earn Money With Your Water Source Heat Pump


Water source heat pumps are known for their energy efficiency. By using a water source heat pump, you can reduce your energy bills significantly. The savings on your heating and cooling costs can be considered a form of “earned” money, as it effectively increases your disposable income.

If your water source heat pump generates electricity (for example, through a heat pump driven by electricity), you may be eligible for the Feed-In Tariff scheme. This scheme allows you to earn money by selling surplus electricity back to the grid. However, water source heat pumps primarily produce heat, so this may not be a common option.

Installing a water source heat pump can increase the value of your property, making it more attractive to potential buyers or renters. This can potentially translate into financial gains when you sell or lease your property.

While the initial investment in a water source heat pump may be higher, the long-term savings can be substantial. Over the lifespan of the system, you can recoup your initial investment through reduced energy costs and potentially even earn money through the RHI scheme.

Contact Warmable today to get started!

How to Find the Best Water Source Heat Pump Suppliers in the UK


Warmable can help you find the best water source heat pump manufacturers in the UK. Selecting a supplier will depend on certain requirements, therefore you should assess your heating and cooling needs, considering factors like:

  • Building size
  • Insulation
  • Available water source

Obtain free quotes from multiple reputable websites such as Warmable to compare the initial purchase price and operating costs of their water source heat pump systems. This will help you understand the financial aspects of your investment.

Calculate the payback period for each supplier’s system by comparing the initial purchase cost with the energy savings and incentives offered. Different suppliers may offer varying payback periods based on system efficiency and incentives.

Check that your location is suitable for a water source heat pump, considering the proximity to an open body of water. The location may influence the feasibility and efficiency of the system.

Consider the brand of the heat pump offered by each supplier. Brands like Kensa, Mitsubishi Electric, and Daikin are known for their quality and efficiency. Choose a supplier that offers systems from reputable manufacturers.


How Does Water Source Heat Pumps Installation Work


The first step is a site assessment. A qualified technician or engineer will evaluate your property to determine the suitability of a water source (e.g., a river, lake, pond, well) and assess your heating and cooling needs. This assessment helps in choosing the right type and size of water source heat pump system.

Based on the assessment, the installer will design the system. This includes selecting the appropriate type of water source heat pump (open-loop or closed-loop), choosing the heat pump’s capacity, and planning the layout of the system.

The installer will usually help you obtain any necessary permits or approvals required for drilling, water abstraction, or environmental considerations, depending on the specific installation and your location.

The heat pump units are installed in your property. This may involve positioning them in specific zones to meet your heating and cooling needs efficiently.For closed-loop systems, the installation of the loop is a crucial step. This can be either a horizontal loop (buried in trenches or fields) or a vertical loop (created by drilling boreholes). 

In open-loop systems, the connection to the water source is established. Pipes are run from the heat pump units to the water source to allow the heat exchange process to occur. Filters and water treatment may be necessary to maintain water quality.

The electrical connections for the heat pump units are made, ensuring that the system is properly wired and connected to the electrical panel. After installation, the water source heat pump system is thoroughly tested to ensure it is functioning correctly. The installer will check for leaks, measure system performance, and make any necessary adjustments.

The installer will balance the system to ensure that heat is distributed evenly to different zones in your property. Zoning is particularly important in larger installations and multi-zone systems to optimise energy use.

The water source heat pump system is integrated with your existing heating and cooling systems, such as underfloor heating, radiators, or air handlers. This ensures that the heat pump works harmoniously with your property’s comfort needs.

The installer will provide training on how to operate and maintain the water source heat pump system. This includes understanding the controls and settings. Regular maintenance is essential to keep the water source heat pump system operating efficiently. Maintenance typically includes checking refrigerant levels, cleaning coils, and monitoring water source quality (for open-loop systems).

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