I am always being asked about showers so on this page I will try to explain the types of showers and when they should be used.
Because of their incredible customer service I only recommend Mira showers when asked, although I will fit what ever the customer wants me to fit. Mira showers come in all shapes and sizes but there are only a few different systems that you need to be aware of. All of their showers fall inton one of these types
Low pressure showers- These are showers that will work, although not as powerfully as one would want. Typically 0.1 bar is all the pressure you get from a gravity fed system and most Mira showers will work with 0.1bar . you can tell if you have a low pressure system if you have an airing cupboard with a copper domed hot tank and a big water tank either in the loft or sited above the hot tank.
High pressure showers – These are showers that will work with a high pressure system like a combi boiler or unvented hot water system that incorporates a pressurised hot tank like a Megaflow. There will be no tank in the loft as both the hot tank and the cold taps are supplied from the mains.
Power showers – These are effectively a pumped shower with the pump either on the wall in the shower or with the box placed outside the bathroom either in the loft or airing cupboard. These showers take both hot and cold water and mix it with a thermostatic valve and then pump it through a pipe to the shower head.
Electric shower – These are a box in the shower that takes mains cold water and heats it, like a mini kettle, and then sends the hot water to the shower head. They come in various wattages from 7.5KW to 10.5KW. They do need their own separate electrical supply and are fused from 35amps to 50amps. if you already have one then its worth replacing it when the shower fails but if you don’t already have one fitted they are very expensive to fit and subsequently to run. Using water that has already been heated by your central heating is always going to cost you less to run.
You can increase the pressure of your shower by fitting a pump in the hot and cold feeds. Traditionally these pumps have been large and are quite noisy but there are now alternatives available that solve these problems. The SP2 shower power booster is a mini pump that is fitted into either the hot or cold or both feeds that recognises when the tap is switched on and boosts the pressure to a level of that’s more acceptable. The advantage of this is that as the pumps are on the hot and cold feeds any tap that suffers from low pressure will work the pump but if the bath taps are switched on the pumps recognise they are on and the pump doesn’t fire up. Clever?. Here’s the inventor explaining how it works
The other alternative is the pumped digital shower. These showers have a valve system that takes hot and cold water which is digitally blended and then pumped out to the shower head. The system is best installed in a loft area but could be installed under the bath or in a cupboard next to the bathroom as long as its accessible. They come with either Ceiling feeds, which are ideal for retro fitting into a bathroom that is already tiled or concealed where the hose is supplied from a spigot imbedded in the wall. Some also have two outlets which could either be set up as an overhead rain shower and hose and some can be set up as a bath filler and shower. It really depends on how much the budget for replacement will allow.