Types of showers
When wishing to install a shower for the first time in your home you may be wondering which shower to choose. The type of shower that you choose depends largely on the plumbing and electrical arrangements in your home. You cannot just buy any shower you need to know which heating system that you have installed in your home. There are gravity-fed systems that use a cold water tank in your loft which will feed a hot water cylinder. You may have a combi-boiler that supplies your hot and cold water to your home. There are also pressurized systems which has the water pressure already determined for your system, therefore you will not need a shower pump which some showers need to control the flow of water.
Showers for the home come in many types nowadays. The latest ones are digital and really are innovative with a wireless control panel to set the temperature to exact requirements. This can be done even through a mobile phone and Bluetooth connectivity. The shower can be set at the right temperature before you step in and some control panels can be hidden away from the bathroom wall. This type of technology does not come cheap with prices ranging up to £1000 depending on the brand.
A cheaper alternative that can be used in different spaces such as a converted outhouse are electric showers. These heat the water up as you use it from the cold supply and also save energy. However, you are unlikely to get a powerful flow of water. The power you do get depends on the wattage which can range from 8.5kw to 10.5kw. Please get a qualified electrician to fit this shower. The disadvantages of it though is that the shower can run cold if someone in the kitchen, for example, runs the tap. This is because of a safety feature cutting the power to the heating element to stop the water getting too hot. The water pressure can drop too causing a reduced flow of water when a tap is turned on. Power showers have an advantage over this. These showers have a built in pump that boosts flow rate and temperature so that they are not affected by water use elsewhere in the house. Check whether this type of shower can be installed, they are usually OK for a gravity-fed system but not systems where you cannot use a pump to boost water pressure (combi-boiler and pressurized systems).
Mixer showers can work off the combi-boiler or immersion heater and have a stronger flow. They are useful to use from the immersion heater if the boiler breaks down. Bath and shower mixers work from the hot and cold bath taps and you need to experiment with these to get the right temperature. They are not very useful as you have to crouch in the bath to use them.
Water pumps are used on showers to boost the flow of water but there are certain water systems only that you can use them on. Find out if it is suitable to your needs before purchasing. These are used if the water pressure in your home is low and the flow to your shower needs boosting. Water pressure is measured in bars. Check with a plumber about this. A power shower has a built in pump.
Showers are available in modern or traditional designs and brands. Some brands include Aqualisa, Atlantes, Vetri, Certo and Totem. You can look around for the price and brand that you like in the type of shower you need. Most of the specifications will be included in the shower’s description.
You will then want to decide whether the shower is going to be over the bath or in an enclosure. There are many enclosures that you can choose also in different types. You need to choose the space it will be obviously according to your plumbing arrangements. You can get walk-in, quadrant, frame less, D-shaped or off-set quadrant enclosures so take your time having a look which will suit you. Maybe you want a wet-room. The shower trays come in rectangular, quadrant, square and slimline. It is best to buy a complete shower enclosure and to discuss it beforehand with your plumber to get the right requirements to suit your needs. The doors can be infold, sliding, hinged or neo-angle. Shower doors are available for the bathtub in various types too.
The shower space can be creative with the use of tiling or waterproof wall panels to suit your taste. Look for accessories such as showerheads. Some have different flow types such as rainfall and I have seen ones that light up to make the water look different colors. Eco spray patterns save water. Some digital showers have concealed controls which you can press to divert water flow from one showerhead to another. They usually have a quiet operation and can boast an LED showerhead which is self-powered by the force of running water. Lightweight handsets prevent damage to the bathtub if accidentally dropped. Some colors include white gloss, brushed steel effect and chrome for electric showers, brands include Triton, Trance or Mira. They have variable power control and good guarantees. Look for deals on luxury showers.
Whether your shower type requirement is electric, boiler-fed, mixer or power shower I am sure that you will find the right one. If you buy the shower unit, mixer and waste then the plumber can supply the pipes. The builder can supply plasterboard, timber and nails. Get a shower expert to do the job if it is a first time installation or you are unsure of the fitting. Always get a qualified electrician to fit the electrical parts and make sure that they are fully insured. Look at the labor costs as you may have to pay for the removal of the bath as well as the installation of the shower. Find a rated and trusted plumbing service to do the installation. Visit a showroom and get ideas and advice. See shower reviews and check out warranties.
Enjoy your new shower whether it is an over the bathtub one or a shower enclosure one. Whether you decide on a digital thermostatic shower to use the latest technology or a simple electric shower. Showers are not just for washing and they can now create a relaxing bathing experience with LED lights and controlled water flow and temperature. If you have any comments feel free to leave them here. Julie@goyourhomeimprovementsi.com