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Alternative to gravity fed shower

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by ssb1973, 30 Mar 2019.

  1. ssb1973

    ssb1973

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    Hi. We currently have a mains fed water tank in the loft, a vaillant thermocompact system boiler in the downstairs utility room, and a copper immersion tank on the upstairs airing cupboard. The boiler heats the hot water and stores in the copper boiler until required. The boiler also heats the central heating rads.

    We have on a few occasions had issues where the shower mixer lever has to be turned all the way to hot to get any heat out of the shower. It's a Trevi shower, and I've been told by previous plumbers it could be the cartridges that need replacing.

    Previously the mixer lever could be in the middle of hot and cold for a warm shower, but recently needs to be turned almost all the way to hot to get a comfortable temperature.

    I'm thinking of changing the shower, would an electric shower be a suitable replacement for the heating system I have now? Assuming I would need a new cabling?

    Ideally I want a shower which has more power, and works well with a good pressure. Thanks in advance for your help.
     
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  3. dilalio

    dilalio

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    Aqualisa quartz digital.

    Pumped shower and all the gubbins are in the processing unit which is not buried in the wall. If you want to go cheap and not pump it then just get a bar mixer.
     
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  4. ssb1973

    ssb1973

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    Thanks. The digital one is quite dear at around 500. Is the bar mixer electric, and would it need a new power line? I presume it would provide a higher pressure.
     
  5. dilalio

    dilalio

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    As I said above ^^^

    Dont keep referring to an electric shower. That's a completely different product using mains cold water and heating it as it passes through.

    If you want a POWERFUL shower from a gravity supply, you will need a pump, alterations to the pipework and space near your cylinder for the pump. You will also need a shower valve... a bar mixer is better than another "concealed" type valve as it's not in the wall and can be easily replaced in its entirety, in the future, when the thermostatic part fails, rather than you having to fork out hundreds for a replacement cartridge for a concealed valve.

    Add the cost of a pump and valve together and you're around the same price as the quartz digital which comes with everything included and is a good product and you can have an additional controller for it, outside of the shower cubicle... Even in your bedroom if you wish... So you can get into the shower when it's up to your desired temperature.
     
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  6. HERTS P&D

    HERTS P&D

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    Change the cartridge.

    Andy
     
  7. ssb1973

    ssb1973

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    Thanks, I will go for the bar mixer.
     
  8. Madrab

    Madrab

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    Whatever you do you will have to change the pipework to suit.

    1. A new bar shower will be similar in delivery - pressure and Flow - to the one you have just now
    2. An electric shower will require heavy cable run, and switch and new heavy duty power supply run from the fusebox and the cold water supply modified to run to the back of the shower unit. Usually rubbish pressure and flow unless you get a high powered one and even then it's not very good.
    3. A power shower, looks like an electric shower but uses the current hot and cold water supply who's pipework is modified to supply the unit. It has an inbuilt pump that boosts the water output, it will also need a standard sized power supply - A good halfway house will usually more than enough pressure and flow.
    4. Change the whole system over to fully pumped. Pipework and supplies modified to supply the pump but the other pipework can stay the same and a normal bar shower can be used. Tailor made pressure and flow can be delivered.
     
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  9. Some of the vintage trevi shower mixers were designed to work on Uk tank fed systems and they worked well.

    Hopefully the supplies are 22mm to the shower mixer,is so i would recommend a thermostatic sequential shower mixer valve. Many bar mixers valves reduce pressure/flow due their manufacturing technique.

    the above shower will only issue water at what is available at the shower inlet,manufactures minimum flow rates are just to ensure some water is shower delivered.

    As already mentioned a digital pumped shower is your best bet,it will work and well worth the expenditure :idea:
     
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  11. ssb1973

    ssb1973

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    Thanks, I think option 1 or 3 look the best for my needs. I think adding a pump is additional noise and cost, and also if it fails could cause issues. The power shower sounds like a good option, will do some research on it, don't like the sound of it having a pump, makes me think of extra noise and one more thing that could potentially break down.
     
  12. ssb1973

    ssb1973

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    Thanks, the Trevi shower would have been fitted when the houses were built circa 20 yrs ago. Not sure of the mm size of the supply. Does a thermostatic sequential shower mixer valve provide better pressure flow that other bar mixers.

    The reason that I place a lot of emphasis of pressure and flow is due to me having a Methven Waipori shower head, it doesn't work at its maximim potential without a pressure of minimum 0.35 bar. The bottom of our header tank in the loft to the top of the shower head on the floor below is about 1 metre.
     
  13. Madrab

    Madrab

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    With any power shower there is an added noise of course, but they are much quieter than the old ones used to be.
     
  14. dilalio

    dilalio

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    You have very little head of water to your shower outlet. For any kind of decent shower you would need a pump.
    Quartz digital still gets my vote and doesn't involve fecking about with tiles down the road, should it need attention.
     
  15. ssb1973

    ssb1973

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    Why a Quartz digital rather than a modern quieter power shower? Is the extra expense justified, as the power shower will deliver the increased pressure at a lower cost.
     
  16. homertimpson

    homertimpson

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    Just had our en suite and main bathroom refurbished having had electric showers for 10 years - acceptable flow in summer months, but next to useless in winter.
    I have the same loft tank, downstairs boiler and tank in the airing cupboard layout.
    Went for a Stuart Turner twin pump and cheap thermostatic mixer shower - the flow is now outstanding - kicking myself for having persevered for years with the previous poor setup.
    I sited the pump in the bedroom cupboard next to the airing cupboard - which put it as far away from our bedroom as possible, but a couple of feet from the copper tank.
    Spent some time putting down a 'sandwich' of underlay/lead sheets and carpet to deaden the pump as best I could plus foam pipe insulation on copper pipes going up into the loft to suppress vibration going over/through wooden framework plasterboard etc. It's in no way silent, but perfectly acceptable.

    Homer
     
  17. ssb1973

    ssb1973

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    Thanks Homer, but with the external pump I suppose you had to upgrade the pipes and a few other bits and bobs. Just wondering why you didn't opt for a power shower (I presume these have a built in pump). The modern ones are supposedly less noisy. Then everything is contained within the unit rather than relying on an external pump.
     
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