The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.

Choosing a Shower

water flowing from shower headNothing is better than getting up in the morning and getting into a hot shower with plenty of pressure and loads of water. It is what we all expect these days. But if you are one of the unfortunate ones with a slightly cold, dribble of a shower then you might be wondering what you have done wrong.

Choosing which shower is best for your particular situation is somewhat daunting. You have to consider your hot water system or if you need a pump and what about electric showers? Making the choice may actually be easier than you think, it is just working out how much you are willing to spend which might be the more difficult bit.

Electric shower

This is certainly the easiest option for most applications. The electric shower will heat the water as it enters the unit. It uses plenty of electricity and the heat can vary depending on the water source. For example the water coming from the unit will be hotter on a warm day. Sometimes it is difficult to get the water hot enough on the coldest days.

These types of shower will usually draw the water from the mains supply and need to have an isolation valve for maintenance so you don't have to turn off the mains water supply.

An electric shower should be installed by a qualified person and will need an RCD and maybe a separate circuit.

Mixer showers

This will use the same water system which feeds the taps in your bathroom and the same source of hot water. The hot water can be heated by your boiler or heated by an immersion heater electrically. The water is then stored in a cylinder until you want to use it. This can mean that if the shower is popular, for example in the mornings, the person who gets up late may have a cold shower.

The water in this system is usually gravity fed. This means that the cylinder must be situated above the shower or the pressure will not be good. However, the pressure can be improved by the use of a pump.

Also be aware that if someone else is running water or the washing machine is on, it may affect your shower. You may end up with the cold water not reaching your shower making the shower very hot. To avoid this, make sure the pipe work goes to the culinder independently.


Power shower

As indicated above, some showers can have their pressure boosted by the use of a pump. A power shower can be fitted if the water supply comes from a water cylinder and has low pressure. It should also have a dedicated hot and cold supply. It is also important that the cylinder is above the pump so that it always has water in the system. This will prevent air getting into the pipes and causing all sorts of noises. A large water cylinder of 50 gallons should be used as the water will be used up very quickly.