Choosing a shower for your home
Guidelines to help you choose the best shower for your home
Choosing your shower depends of the plumbing and electrical arrangements within the home or the adaptions you wish to make. Will the shower rely on pre-heated water and the regular water pressure? Or do you require water flow to be boosted and to heat the water only when it’s needed? Why not read our guidelines before talking with your plumber?
Electric showers use the cold water supply, however the flow rate also relies on the unit’s KW power rating to heat water; especially in very cold weather. As a general guide, flow rates are as follows:
7.5 KW Electric Shower supplies 3.5 litres a minute
9.8 KW Electric Shower supplies 4.7 litres a minute
12.5 KW Electric Shower supplies 6.0 litres a minute
If your bathroom has low water pressure, power showers are a great solution; although a little more expensive to run. This type of shower combines water from both the hot and cold supply and uses a built-in pump to deliver an invigorating shower experience. A power shower gives you greater control of flow rate and temperature when compared to other types of shower, and is unaffected by simultaneous use of the water supply elsewhere in your home.
Mixer showers are thermostatically controlled and require both a cold water supply and also hot water from either a Combi boiler or an immersion heater. The direct water flow is often stronger than from an electric shower. Bath and shower mixers are controlled by the bath taps.
Learn more about water pressure
Water pressure is the amount of force used to push water through pipes and is measured in ‘bars’. The UK statutory minimum for cold water supply to domestic properties is 1.0 bar (14.5psi); which is able to raise piped water by ten metres (0.4 bar would result in 4 metres). The rate of water pressure is determined both by local consumer demand and the height of the supply reservoir or water tower. The normal cold-water flow rate is 9 litres per minute through 15mm pipes. However, this will be reduced if external and internal stop taps are not fully open.
Gravity-fed water supply
Hot water supply to baths and sinks is usually through a gravity-tank fed system; usually located in the roof space. The water pressure depends on the distance of the bath tap or shower head below the bottom of the cold water storage tank. Every additional metre depth increases the water pressure by 0.1 bar. If an upstairs shower relied on a gravity-fed supply and was positioned just one metre below the tank, the 0.1 bar water pressure would prove unsatisfactory. However by installing a booster pump to your gravity-fed electric shower, the water pressure can be raised by up to 2 bars (35 litres per minute).