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In order to select the most economical type of shower it is important to recognise certain factors that can determine which shower is best for you. A mixer for example, would be the best choice in a household where both hot and cold water are supplied at equal pressure from the main storage system.

Most modern showers are designed to be flexible to different water pressures (such as stored hot water and cold mains). It is important to note whether or not the chosen shower is capable of coping with certain systems and can regulate a safe level of water through the boiler.

Such systems would include those of hot water being supplied from the mains via either a multipoint or combination boiler. To ensure the shower is adaptable to such conditions, it may be worth checking installation requirements with the manufacturer or to have it fitted by a registered plumber.

  Types of shower available


Push-on mixer:

The hose and spray parts of the shower can be connected to the bath tap as and when required, as seen in the diagram. The water temperature can be adjusted via the taps. Most suitable for use over a bath.

It’s a good choice because…

It is cheap and extremely simple to install.

It’s not so good because…

The hose connection though simple, is easily dislodged. Also, adjusting the temperature is inconveniently low and fiddly.

Bath/shower mixer:

Here, the hose and spray of the shower are combined with a bath mixer tap, and once again, the temperature can be adjusted through the bath taps. Most suitable for use over a bath.

It’s a good choice because…

It is very cheap and no extra plumbing is involved.

It’s not so good because…

Temperature control is low which can prove to inconvenient and it is fiddly to adjust.

Manual mixer:

The hose and spray of the shower are part of a wall unit and the hot and cold water supplies are connected to a single valve The temperature and pressure of the water are controlled either one or a variety of knobs (in more expensive showers).

It’s a good choice because…

It’s height being part of a wall unit, makes temperature adjustment much more convenient.

It’s not so good because…

It is more expensive than the previously mentioned mixers. Also, the hot and cold water supply pipes will need to be plumbed in.

Thermostatic mixer:

The hose and spray of the shower are part of a wall unit and the hot and cold water supplies are connected to a single valve. It is complete with a built in stabiliser to self-adjust the water temperature and to prevent it from becoming too hot.

It’s a good choice because…

The controlled temperature makes it extremely convenient. Also the thermostat means that the temperature and flow of water should not be affected when water is being used elsewhere in the house.

It’s not so good because…

It is the most expensive of the different mixer options.

Power shower:

A single unit containing a powerful electric pump which is capable of altering both the water pressure and temperature. This type of shower can be fitted provided that there is a water supply from a cold water cistern and a hot water cylinder.

It’s a good choice because…

Both the pressure and temperature of the water are easily adjusted making it convenient to use.

It’s not so good because…

It is not suitable for water heated directly by the shower or where the water is supplied by a combination boiler under mains pressure. Also, the removal of waste water can be slow if the waste pipe is not big enough. It is best to use a 50mm (2in) waste pipe if possible (see Installing a shower).

Electric shower:

A wall unit heated electrically, it is plumbed into a mains cold water supply. It is important to note that for this type of shower to be installed, the mains pressure needs to be at least 0.7kg/sq cm (10lb/sq in). The unit allows the temperature and pressure to be adjusted as appropriate via a knob.

It’s a good choice because…

Some models have a stabiliser for the temperature so that the water supply remains unaffected by other taps elsewhere in use within the household. It can also ensure that the water supply does not run too hot or too cold.

It’s not so good because…

Because the control knob only allows for the option of high temperatures at less pressure, or lower temperatures at a greater pressure, the spray is often weak in the winter when the mains water is colder. This problem is combated in some models which are available with a winter/summer setting. The unit must be wired to an electric power supply according to Electricity Board requirements.

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SubjectPosted by Replies Posted at
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Forum Topic Separate pump, or all in one unit? amj 1 07 Nov 07 at 19:28
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Forum Topic fitting new shower PAUL247 1 28 Aug 07 at 14:12
Forum Topic Help - combi boiler / mixer shower Vicc 2 13 Aug 07 at 14:16
Forum Topic Very confused... please help. matt_d 8 12 Aug 07 at 19:30
Forum Topic Thermo mixer shower myros 2 25 Jul 07 at 11:53
Forum Topic weak power shower Forsh 22 10 Jul 07 at 12:18
Forum Topic Gravity shower pressure query djbobbins 13 04 Jul 07 at 13:30
Forum Topic Hot water for shower shultz 4 03 Jun 07 at 15:16
Forum Topic Problem ! shello 3 30 May 07 at 9:03
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Forum Topic Best Type of Shower - Power Vs Cost! JTaylorUK 1 11 Feb 07 at 17:03
Forum Topic Power shower jake123 1 02 Feb 07 at 8:53
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Forum Topic Shower woes ricko'shea 5 01 Jan 07 at 22:34
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Forum Topic Help!! Weak hot water and want a good shower! TanC 1 07 Dec 06 at 23:31
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Forum Topic I know nothing! amandaclegg 9 30 Jun 06 at 0:26
Forum Topic Replacing Power Shower muzzmackay 3 14 Jun 06 at 19:53
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Forum Topic Mixer Shower johna106 1 12 Feb 06 at 17:58
Forum Topic shower Hue 0 06 Feb 06 at 19:15
Forum Topic pressure prob i think???help leonuk 5 30 Jan 06 at 22:00
Forum Topic which shower ihoward 1 30 Jan 06 at 15:08
Forum Topic Mixer shower valves Mick of Nebraska 8 16 Jan 06 at 10:57
Forum Topic Help. No mains water supply. Any solutions out there? Pete_in_Wales 2 14 Jan 06 at 1:54
Forum Topic Triton T90 Madhatter 3 10 Jan 06 at 14:52
Forum Topic new shower howthickami 6 02 Dec 05 at 17:48
Forum Topic What KW Shower? Dacy 6 23 Nov 05 at 11:20
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Forum Topic which shower, 9.5 or 10.5 mcgill 7 07 Nov 05 at 17:51
Forum Topic Electric or Thermostatic shower??? Gert_Lush 3 27 Oct 05 at 12:39
Forum Topic Aqualisa Quartz or Mira Magna bodgeitandsee 9 18 Oct 05 at 23:53
Forum Topic Shower got no power Muppettmaster 1 21 Sep 05 at 12:19
Forum Topic Water pressure dever 1 18 Aug 05 at 21:33
Forum Topic Which shower? bat21 4 30 Jun 05 at 15:24
Forum Topic Push fit water connection woldsboy 1 22 Jun 05 at 12:39
Forum Topic venturi showers chrisrorke 2 09 May 05 at 12:57
Forum Topic confused and unwashed bry444 6 10 Apr 05 at 2:42
Forum Topic Electric Showers - Advice Laney31 5 22 Mar 05 at 9:50
Forum Topic Venturi showers? pcl8on 1 10 Mar 05 at 15:19
Forum Topic Shower - small hot water tank Mackay68 1 19 Oct 04 at 15:05
Forum Topic HELP, stored hot water, cold mains rolleya 7 06 Jul 04 at 13:47
Forum Topic No shower Muppett 2 14 Jun 04 at 16:14
Forum Topic bath/shower mixer rapidroy 0 05 Apr 04 at 11:40
Forum Topic Advice DaveA 0 19 Mar 04 at 20:25
Forum Topic electric shower Linda 1 03 Oct 02 at 20:12

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