Weak flow from electric shower,

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by worcesterman47, 20 Jan 2020.

  1. worcesterman47

    worcesterman47

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    Hi people I'm looking for advice.we have an electric 10.5 kw shower but the flow is not impressive,we have a big cold water tank in the loft and a big hot water tank in the airing cupboard( I assume the shower is connected to these to work) we really need to improve the water power coming from the shower,I am thinking about getting a new shower installed anyway BUT also getting a pump installed at same time to increase the shower power would/should that work ? Also would the pump need to be installed in the loft or could it be fitted in the airing cupboard? Or is there another option to increase the power/flow from the shower head? Cost of pump ( or other option if any) is not a problem really...we just need to be able to have a nice powerful shower when we shower...phew! Cheers in advance for any help/advice.
     
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  3. stem

    stem

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    Instantaneous showers are usually connected directly to the cold mains water supply. Generally tanks don't provide sufficient pressure for them. This cold mains water is then heated as it flows over (in your case) a 10.5 kW electric heating element.

    If you have stored hot water in a cylinder with a gravity feed tank, you can fit a booster pump. Positive and negative head pumps are available so location isn't usually a problem. Most showers of this type are fed by stored hot and cold water supplies, and the pump boosts both to ensure a balanced water supply. This will probably be the cheapest way starting at around £600 for a straight forward installation if you employed someone to do it for you, but much would depend upon the work required to modify your existing pipework and electrics. The cost of a basic shower and pump would be about £150 each to buy.

    Or, if you have a gravity fed hot water cylinder, you can upgrade it to an unvented type which is connected directly to the cold mains water supply [instead of a feed tank above it] this will provide a better flow and pressure than a gravity fed system [provided you have a decent cold water supply] they can only be installed by a qualified installer and require an annual service, but this can be done at the same time as your boiler. If I had to guess, I think the cost would be 3 or 4 times more than a new shower and pump. Someone who does this for a living would be able to give a more accurate figure than me.

    A combi boiler is another option, although generally not recommended if you have more than one bathroom. They can generate hot water directly from the mains as your instantaneous shower does now but have a heating capacity much greater than 10.5 kW. generally a new boiler and install would be £2000 to £3000.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
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  4. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Get rid of the electric shower ,and fit a thermostatic mixer shower fed from both tank and hot water cylinder ,and boosted with a twin pump.
     
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  5. pete50

    pete50

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    This is what we did years ago. Electric showers are garbage no matter which make or how powerful the makers claim the flow to be. My shower makes pinholes in my skin if I have the shower head on the massage setting. (That was a joke for the pendants on this forum.) You do need a big hot water cylinder though.
     
  6. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Then if your boiler fails, you are stuck. No bath, no shower.
     
  7. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Not when you have a hot water cylinder and immersion heater.
     
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  8. worcesterman47

    worcesterman47

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    Hi guys,sorry not replied earlier but I was not receiving email notification for replies,anyway having read the suggestions I am leaning towards the booster pump option.i do have a big hot water tank in the airing cupboard and a big cold water tank above it in the loft(with a little header tank attached) is this set up gravity fed?....also if I get a booster pump fitted if it stopped working for any reason would I still be able to have a shower (albeit at a lower power) or would the shower not work at all until the booster pump was fixed ? I apologise if these questions sound a bit silly...cheers
     
  9. terryplumb

    terryplumb

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    Yes it's gravity fed.
    Yes you can shower if pump fails , but pressure will be dire.
     
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  11. stem

    stem

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    The large cold tank will fill the hot water cylinder and the smaller one the boiler & radiators, and yes that is gravity fed.

    It depends upon the height of the feed tank above the shower head. A minimum of 1 metre from the top of the shower head to the bottom of the cold water tank feeding the hot water cylinder is usually the minimum recommended, although some shower manufacturers will say more.
     
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  12. worcesterman47

    worcesterman47

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    Thank you guys...it's all a lot clearer to me now...VERY much appreciated.
     
  13. worcesterman47

    worcesterman47

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    Final question(I think)...I will be having my current electric shower removed...with the new one can I still choose to have an electric shower installed WITH a booster pump OR will I have to look for a non electric shower to use with the booster pump?...once again many thanks in advance.ps as you may have guessed I don't have much knowledge about all this.
     
  14. stem

    stem

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    The problem with an electric shower is that the water flow is deliberately restricted to a rate that can be satisfactorily heated instantaneously as it passes over the electric heating elements. If it were possible to increase the flow, the water coming out wouldn't be very warm.
     
    Last edited: 21 Jan 2020
  15. worcesterman47

    worcesterman47

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    So i should choose a non electric shower is best option then ?
     
  16. stem

    stem

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    There are pros and cons of each you have to decide which is best for you.

    Electric showers are connected directly to the cold water supply, they do not require any stored hot or cold water supplies as they heat the water instantly as it flows through them. They are independent from the rest of the heating & hot water system, so they still work if the boiler breaks down. The downsides are that they can't produce vast quantities of hot water, particularly in the winter when the incoming water is colder. (although some who are on a water meter actually see their low water usage as an advantage) They are quite bulky, and most of them don't look attractive. Electricity is expensive at about three times the cost of gas for heating hot water, but as they only tend to be used for a few minutes each day it generally doesn't cost that much.

    Power showers (one with a booster pump) provide an excellent flow of hot water but there does need to be sufficient quantities of hot and cold stored water available. The pumps do make some noise, which varies from pump to pump, so may not be ideal if the pump is near the bedrooms and there is an early riser and a light sleeper in the same household. The pump does use some electricity, but it is negligible.
     
  17. worcesterman47

    worcesterman47

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    Hi...thank you so very much for the in depth answers...I have been having a quick browse around and I found this ( just as an example for now) could/would I be able to use this shower to be able to have an increased power flow as compared to my current shower?...the shower in the link says it has an inbuilt booster ...

    https://www.screwfix.com/p/aqualisa...-white-chrome-thermostatic-power-shower/2115j

    Many thanks again
     
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