A bad or good shower sets the tone for the start of your day. A bad cold shower can make you annoyed and grumpy. A good refreshing shower can wake you up to a positive start. If you are renovating a bathroom and fitting a new shower or need to fix a broken shower, it’s important to do some research. In this blog, we will guide you through the process of how to choose a shower.
Types of Shower
There is a wide range of showers on the market. However, they can all be fit into the key categories we’ve highlighted below;
As the name suggests, an electric shower is connected to the electricity supply. They have their own operating unit, which has a dedicated power supply. The unit is plumbed into your cold water system and as the cold water runs through, a heating element creates warm water. An electric shower can be economical as it only heats up the water on demand. It also means that hot water doesn’t run out. There is a great deal of choice in electric showers and the higher kilowatt rating you choose the more powerful the flow will be.
A mixer shower is described as such because it mixes cold and hot water from your plumbing system. Mixer showers are normally fitted as an integral part of the bathroom, so the pipework is often concealed. The hot and cold water is mixed within the unit and then pumped through a showerhead. For this type of shower, it is the showerhead where you have the most amount of choice. The showerhead can be fixed, adjustable or set as a handset on a rail. Mixer showers need to be linked to a combination boiler or large capacity hot water cylinder. They normally deliver a higher flow rate than electric.
A development of the mixer shower with an integrated control which makes sure that once the temperature is set, it remains constant. The water temperature is not affected if someone turns a tap on while the shower is in use. This type of temperature controlled shower is popular with families to protect children and the elderly.
To help you use less water eco showers have been developed to limit and control the flow of water. This type of shower is available in both electric and mixer units. Eco showers can help you reduce the water used by around 50%. If you want to choose a shower with strong environmental benefits then the Save Money Cut Carbon website is a great place to start.
As home technology has developed, so has the shower control panel. In both electric and mixer shower units, a digital control panel can be located within 10 metres of the showerhead. This means you can turn your shower on without being in it. No more cold shower gambles as you can make sure it’s the right temperature before you step in.
Identify Your Water System
To help you choose a shower, you need to know what water system your property has. If you are looking to update your central heating and replace your boiler, First 4 Plumbing can advise. If you are using your current water system, this guide can help you identify what you have.
Commonly found in older properties, gravity systems store the cold water in a tank and the hot water in a cylinder. The hot water is either heated by a boiler or an immersion heater. The pressure in the shower is reliant on the distance in height between the hot water boiler and the showerhead. If there are problems with pressure, a pump can be installed to improve this.
Mains Pressure Systems
Instead of a cold water tank, the hot water cylinder is fed from the mains supply. A pressure limiting valve is normally required to ensure the level isn’t too high.
Combination (Combi) Boiler Systems
Combination boilers heat water on demand and remove the need for a hot water tank. This means that you can have a constant supply of hot water and also save money. It is recommended you have a thermostatic unit for a shower linked to a Combi boiler to avoid temperature fluctuations.
How to Choose a Shower
If you are planning to replace your shower with a larger upgrade, it’s worth checking with a plumber if your current water system could support this. For example, a larger showerhead with a new mixer unit may struggle with water pressure if you don’t have a powerful enough boiler.
If you need to replace a broken shower with a limited budget, it is best to purchase a similar unit. For example, if your shower head is broken, it is best to replace with a similar size, to avoid issues with water pressure.
When fitting a new bathroom, consider if you can change the type of shower you have. Do you have the budget for a digital control panel? You need to think about the type of shower you want and plan how the budget you have can help you achieve that.
Plus don’t forget the importance of saving water so please consider an eco shower. For more tips check out this website.