Oh please help me sort out the shower (fleeced again?)

Joined
15 Feb 2008
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
Am I just getting bad plumbers (daft woman emoticon) or am I just stupid?

After days, nay, years of your experience and time on here sorting out what to do with my vented, one-pipe system, I thought I found a good un.

New boiler in, house toasty, everything fine.

But the new shower he fitted seems to be crap. There are two opinions:

1. the plumber, his mate and some people on here: on any vented system with the header tank just a few feet above shower head, it's gonna be crap...

2. according to simond (on here) the flow should be (whatever? even on an unpressurised system? I'm assuming that's what you meant) at least 5-6 L per minute and the thermostatically controlled temp (assuming enough hot water in the cylinder) should be 38 degrees when on that max setting. Right?

Well it isn't (any of the latter). It comes out at about 2.5L per minute and at 33 degrees.

OK so there's perhaps an installation problem? Or is the first version also right or possible (I just need a pump?)

Me and my Darling Husband are DIY idiots (can you tell? :D ) but we're unsure about how to proceed.

When I call the plumber tomorrow, I really need advice about how to deal with it. Has he just fleeced me? He's had thousands of our cash for this job.

I told him I wanted two proper showers each morning; I said I thought we'd perhaps needa bigger cylinder. He fudged it and told me there would be more hot water - but seems to have put one in exactly the same size. The physical capacity of it is 1050mm by 400 mm: it says on the front 114 L hot capacity. As someone else pointed out, with a pump, there is no way this would deliver two proper showers.


So... I'm left thinking a. there is an error, it was a Friday night, he wanted to take the money and run or b. he must have known all along there would be a pressure issue, he had some old cylinder he needed to get rid of, he hoped we'd just ask for a pump, bit of an extra job for him...?

I really don't mind paying for the job I asked for but one of the key things I asked for hasn't happened. What do I ask him to do tomorrow that isn't going to **** him off or make him switch his phone off and will get him back to do the job properly?

Or should we cut our losses, and try and do the job ourselves
:eek: and :confused: God knows how: we don't know a washer from a brick...

Please. Thanks
MonkeyBird
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
23 Feb 2007
Messages
21,178
Reaction score
1,936
Location
Norfolk
Country
United Kingdom
You must have the hot water cold storage tank at least 1 metre above the shower head to stand the slightest chance of getting a 'dribble' out of any gravity shower. The shower also needs to be plumbed back to the same cold storage tank for its own independent cold supply.

Anyone in your situation I came across would always be told by me that they needed a shower pump, fitted correctly to get a decent shower.

You could on the other hand have had this one piped incorrectly, got some dirt in it during installation, or even have got an air lock in it.

Are the shower isolating valves both turned fully on/open?

Without being there to see it is almost impossible for us to tell
 
Joined
26 Oct 2004
Messages
5,232
Reaction score
469
Location
Surrey
Country
United Kingdom
I don't suppose he's had 'thousands' for fitting a shower mixer.

Fact is there are all sorts of showers out there and most of the imported ones make a bad job of running at low pressure.

If the thing is unusable then it is reasonable to go back to your plumber and say it doesn't do the job. If you sourced the shower you have very little in the way of complaint you can make.

If it doesn't work at about 5 litres/min when it is down by the bath taps, something is wrong. Cheaper mixers have smaller waterways and can restrict the flow. Pipework can also have this effect as Dave points out above.

If the head is only a couple of feet then the performance could only ever be marginal with a perfect set up. I asked you to try the shower head lower down to determine whether the thing was piped up wrong.

The simplest solution would be to fit a pump, as Dave says.
 
Joined
15 Feb 2008
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
No, he had 3 grand for fitting a new boiler, new tanks in the loft, new cylinder and shower, and 3 ays labour that turned into 5!

I did the thing suggested about lowering to bath tap level... I'll ask him about a fault tomorrow.
 
Joined
26 Oct 2004
Messages
5,232
Reaction score
469
Location
Surrey
Country
United Kingdom
Sounds like he lost on your job if it was £3K parts and labour.......
 
Joined
15 Feb 2008
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
He might have done: he did the quote though and told me that was what it would cost. I didn't ask him to do any extras.

I did realise when he stayed all week, it would have been more labour than he quoted for....

I'm not wanting to sound bitter about him: the heating job seems fantastic. And I'm happy to pay for a pump if that is the solution. The problem is though since he's put in a smallish cylinder (when we asked for a larger one), a pump is not going to help us get close to the two morning showers we asked for (we don't have time in the mornings to wait for the water to heat up again).

I just don't want to be given guff if they've just made a mistake that's easily fixed. Would the sensible thing to do to offer to split the cost of putting things right?
 
Joined
23 Feb 2007
Messages
21,178
Reaction score
1,936
Location
Norfolk
Country
United Kingdom
If the new cylinder is one of the fast recovery new types, then it will be physically smaller but give the same amount of usable hot water for you.
 
Joined
23 Jun 2008
Messages
1,213
Reaction score
2
Location
Wiltshire
Country
United Kingdom
i have followed your posts.

but it is unhelpful for those replying not to know the full history.

it you insist upon starting new threads at least include the appropriate links to previous related posts.

it would help everyone, even you. :)
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
2 Aug 2008
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Location
Somerset
Country
United Kingdom
Sorry, but I have to ask . . .

I assume your new boiler is a combi, so why didn't you go for a direct system with a mains pressure shower?

Seems to me, you've paid for a new cylinder and tanks you simply didn't need you wouldn't be having any problems with pressure, temperature or having enough hot water for 2 showers in the morning.

Surely a direct system would have been the better (and cheaper) option!
 
Joined
23 Jun 2008
Messages
1,213
Reaction score
2
Location
Wiltshire
Country
United Kingdom
Sorry, but I have to ask . . .

I assume your new boiler is a combi, so why didn't you go for a direct system with a mains pressure shower?

Seems to me, you've paid for a new cylinder and tanks you simply didn't need you wouldn't be having any problems with pressure, temperature or having enough hot water for 2 showers in the morning.

Surely a direct system would have been the better (and cheaper) option!

:?: :?: :?:
 
Joined
2 Aug 2008
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Location
Somerset
Country
United Kingdom
What's confusing you space? I don't understand the requirement for having a cylinder here.

Please qualify your ???'s.
 
Joined
15 Feb 2008
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
Sorry guys, I can see I've not been clear.

Some history...

I posted months ago asking for advice on updating our boiler: we have an old (1950s) one-pipe system with commercial size steel pipes (about 2inches diameter). With lovely school radiators. We did NOT want to strip all this out and replace with typical modern stuff, partly because of aesthetics, partly because the big pipes are all 'outside' the wall/floor etc - that is, they run around the skirting and act like extra radiators. When the boiler was working (it was a Stelrad Mexico conventional boiler with cylinder etc, on a gravity fed vented system - I only know all this cos of the erudite experts on here :LOL: ) the house was lovely and warm even on a low setting because the pipes added to the output IYSWIM.

So when the boiler died, we really REALLY struggled to find a gas fitter who wasn't phased, terrified or horrified by our plan to just replace one conventional boiler with a newer one. Either because they couldn't or didn't know how or some other reason.

We finally found someone. It was a trial. But we now have a conventional boiler as before. Heating works beautifully.

In addition to replacing the boiler, we asked him to replace the hot water cylinder for a bigger one. He didn't. We asked him to replace the shower (a thermostatic mixer over the bath). He did, but it doesn't work.

We believe he must have known it (the shower) wouldn't work. He actively told me it would: when I said I wanted to be sure we could have two proper, hot showers each morning, his exact words were 'don't worry, this will 'murder' it'. the problem we have is we don't know how good/bad the previous thermostatic shower was because we have never used it since we moved in as it leaked and was broken.

On another post, simonD advised that if the shower head was turning over less than 5-6 L of water when held at bath tap level, and/or the temperature was wrong, there might have been an error in installation.

Both of these 'experiments' suggest (if simond is right) that there is an error. We're reluctant to go back to this bloke now - we think he probably had underestimated costs of the work and just wanted to get out. I think we'd rather see if we can fix the airlock/dirt/installation problem (if there is one) ourselve. If someone helpful can give us an idiot's guide....
:rolleyes:

And when I say idiots, I mean REAL idiots: you're gonna have to tell me things like: 'ok, remove the nut here, unscrew this this way, take off this bit of kit'. Only if you want to like, obv. Damsel in distress and all.

Is this enough info? What else would you like/need to know to advise?

Thanks - as always - I have really appreciated the frank and professional advice on this forum.
 
Joined
15 Feb 2008
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Country
United Kingdom
When I say 'he didn't' replace the cylinder I mean he did replace it, just not apparently for a bigger one. The water is hotter so would have been less of an issue if the shower could be used.

But given people are saying the dribble we have could be normal (ie NOT an installation error), if this is the case, then he must have known (he replaced one of the tanks in the loft - he will have known exactly where hte feeder tank was)... So his suggestion of an additional pump would NOT deliver what we asked for because the cylinder wouldn't supply nearly enough water (ie for two showers)

The cylinder says hot capacity 114L. It looks exactly the same size as the one he took out (though properly insulated) and measures 1050mm by 400mm. I was hoping (I know, I should have written it down) for something huge. My fault.
 
Joined
2 Aug 2008
Messages
78
Reaction score
0
Location
Somerset
Country
United Kingdom
I assumed it was a combi because it didn't say anywhere that it wasn't and the vast majority of new boilers are combis. No reason to assume it isn't a combi because it has a cylinder and tank - some kind of thermal store is pretty essential if you regularly run 2 showers simulateously.
 
Sponsored Links
Top