My guide discusses different choices existing to you when deciding on a shower for your new bathroom project.
Bath / Shower mixer
This is a bath mixer tap in combination with a hose & shower head.
- Reasonably priced as no extra shower item is involved
- Inexpensive because there zero connected added plumbing related expenses e.g. recessing supply pipes into the wall
- Inconvenient heat manipulation due to its low-level
- Possibly cheap seeming
- Hoses occasionally don’t reach out sufficiently to accommodate tall persons
- Can only be installed over baths, and not in shower enclosures
Manual shower mixer
This is a manual shower mixer valve.
Mixer showers are actually so-called due to the fact they mix together the hot and cold water resources (within a valve) before it is supplied at the shower head. They depend on an individual to regulate the shower temperature whenever fluctuations in water pressure produce temperature swings.
They are offered as surface mounted bar mixers, as well as in the form of hidden valves (take a look at thermostatic mixer showers below for more information - they look the same but function a bit differently.)
Some types can be configured with exposed chrome pipes instead of recessed pipes, which makes retrofitting a lot of these showers simpler and easier in certain applications.
- Heat level and flow adjustment is less complicated since the controls are somewhat more accessible when compared to bath fillers
- May be fitted on mains fed or gravity fed systems, assuming the pressure from the hot and the cold water come from a source using at the identical pressure - otherwise, a pressure balanced mixer valve is frequently attached.
- Is able to be fitted with a pump on gravity fed systems to improve water flow
- Often more costly to fit because the supply pipes (hot + cold) will have to be recessed inside the wall
- A mixer shower is not going to amplify the flow of water within your system.
- If the water flows from your taps at a low rate, that is the rate it will supply the shower.
- When other water is used in your home, the shower is certainly affected - this may lead to scalding
Invest in a thermostatic mixer instead for your safety & an uninterrupted showering experience.
This is a power shower.
This unit resembles a thermostatic mixer shower mainly because it blends hot and cold feeds, but it achieves this with the addition of an integral pump - hence the requirement of a power source.
All of the electrical work in bathrooms need to be done by a qualified electrician, who's going to self-certify the work carried out through their trade body e.g. NICEIC.
- Gives an outstanding shower experience with loads of water pumped out
- Higher priced shower units
- High-priced fitting, as plumbing & electrics must be present
- Sizeable flow rates empty cold water storage cisterns quickly consequently up-sizing may be necessary*
- Uses a good deal of water due to the large flow rate
- Can only be fitted to gravity fed systems because they need a reserve of water to pump from.
- Can't be used in conjunction with a combi boiler.
* The cold water tank should be not be less than 50 gallons if it supplies many outlets. A 25 gallon cold tank is appropriate for the shower by itself.
This is an electric shower for your bathroom.
Not to be mistaken for power showers, these types of units behave as on the spot water heaters, heating the cold water that passes through them, and because of this they need at least mains pressure of 1 bar, and a flow rate of 8 litres / minute.
They could be run off mains water (usually) or water out of a cold water cistern (requires specialist model).
Additionally, they require a power source, which will usually call for running a large 10mm cable straight from the fuse box (with an isolating switch or pull cord) to the shower unit.
All of the electrical work in bathrooms must be carried out by a certified electrician, who's able to self-certify the labor done through their trade body e.g. NICEIC.
- Temperature stabilisers assure reliable water temperature.
- Can be used with domestic water system.
- Not affected by boiler failures so is a great 2nd bathroom option.
- Poor flow rates in contrast to mixer showers & power showers.
- More expensive fitting, as plumbing & electrics will be required.
- Units lacking phase shutdowns can scald the following shower user.
Reduced flow rates (particularly with the lower Kw rated models) versus different shower designs might make washing shampoo from long hair a laborious task, so make use of an electric shower in a 2nd bathroom or en-suite as the arrangement to provide a showering alternative in case your boiler breaks down (as it will be unaffected).
This is a digital shower for your bathroom.
Digital showers are simply modernized mixer showers that function by using water from both hot and cold pipes and combining it using a digitally controlled processing device to achieve the wanted temperature. (This unit can be situated away from your showering area).
The water is subsequently provided to the shower outlet, be that via body jet, hand shower, fixed head or spray head at a continuous flow rate as selected by the individual.
Digital showers can be un-pumped (for use with combi / high pressure systems) or pumped (for use along with gravity fed systems).
- User friendly - Flow & temperature tend to be manipulated with the press of a button.
- Temperature choices could be pre-set for various users.
- Wireless controls allow showers to be turned on without leaning over baths etc.
- Can be fitted rapidly because of the remote siting of the processor box e.g. in loft.
- Can sometimes be quickly retrofitted as supply pipes are not hidden within the wall behind the shower.
- Can be used with virtually any home plumbing system.
- Gravity fed compatible styles come with a pump to raise flow rate (This is an excellent alternative to fitting a shower pump.)
- Eco settings can help minimize water usage by reduction of the flow rate.
- Well suited for older individuals with arthritis who might have trouble twisting manual valves.
- High-priced systems - count on paying above £400 as well as the cost of fitting.
- Cables are necessary (on non-wireless products) to hook up the control to the processor box.
- Electrical installation is needed.
- Handling faults will be past the remit of many professionals as a result of electrical circuitry involved so make sure you get a model which has a long service contract period.
- Wireless models can be afflicted by wireless interference.
All of the electrical work in bathrooms should be performed by a experienced electrician, who is able to self-certify the work performed by means of their trade body e.g. NICEIC.
- Very costly with very little actual advantages and several electronic components to stop working!
- Can sometimes be a bit ‘plastic-y.’
- May get improved value by having a similarly priced thermostatic valve in my opinion.
- Observed several experiences of units being temperamental through reports made by other professionals.
- Maybe a more financially sensible possibility when compared with installing a shower and a separate pump.
- I'd select an Aqualisa Quartz or Grohetherm Wireless if I could afford it.
Shower pumps could be used to boost water flow for the shower (or wholehouse) in gravity fed systems (those with a vented hot water cylinder) which gives a greater showering experience.
They cannot be utilised along with high pressure systems such as combi boilers or unvented cylinders.
When installing a pump it is important to note that you may need to increase the dimensions of the cold water tank inside the loft since it will empty much faster whenever the pump is being used. 50 gallons is enough for a single shower application.
They're typically sited in your airing cupboard adjacent to the hot water cylinder.
Many types of pumps are available depending upon the particular application.
Pumps are rated in bar which is the measure of pressure. The larger the bar rating, the greater the pressure.
A power connection is essential and all the electrical jobs in bathrooms should be done by a knowledgeable electrician, who is able to self-certify their job performed by means of their trade body e.g. NICEIC.
The electrical connections to an electric shower are covered by a number of laws:
An electric shower must be installed on a unique circuit instead of spurred through the other connections or equipment.
If putting in an electric shower in which there wasn't one there previously, an electrician will need to run a new supply from the fusebox to the bathroom - this could cause disruptions by means of lifting floorboards and following cables into walls that could then need replastering & redecorating.
Make sure that your consumer unit is capable of supplying the current required - will need to be rated above 60 amps.
An RCD (residual current device) needs to be installed as, either an element of your current consumer unit, or independently, interrupting the circuit for the shower. If you have a recently upgraded fusebox, then you definitely should be able to use this, otherwise it could be worth installing a new consumer unit.
The link to the consumer unit must be by means of a MCB (miniature circuit breaker). Fuse, switch and cable ratings are additionally important and a 10mm cable can be used for most installations. This will make updating your shower much simpler down the road.
Different ratings of electric showers require minimum cabling sizes supplying them.
Replacing an existing unit vs cable size
Showers anywhere up to 7kw may carry a 6mm cable given that the shower unit is within 18 metres of the consumer unit. Fuses and switches should be rated at 32 amps.
Showers up to 8.5kw may carry a 6mm cable as long as the shower unit is inside 18 meters of the consumer unit. Fuses and switches must be rated at 40 amps.
Showers to as much as 9.5kw carry a 10mm cable to units within 35 metres from the consumer unit. Fuses and switches should be rated 45 amps.
Showers to as much as 12.5kw should carry a 10mm cable to units within 35 metres of the consumer unit. Fuses and switches require a rating of 50 amps.
In every case, the circuit of the interrupted by using a double pole pull cord switch that has a neon on/off indicator and a mechanical indicator should the neon fail.
It is important, in every case, that the shower supply pipes are individually cross bonded to ground.