Showers and Showerheads
The art of choosing the right shower for the right system
Choosing a new showerhead or shower requires more than simply picking a design that you like the look of. Believe it or not, you need to start with the system that you have in your house.
Types of System
There are three types of system: High Pressure (mains system), Combination boiler or Gravity-fed boiler.
- High pressure systems typically have an unvented cylinder such as a megaflo. The unvented cylinder provides large amounts of pressurised hot water so this is an ideal system for a high-performance showers, dual outlet showers (such as shower head and hand shower), and accessories such as body jets.
- A combination boiler heats water on demand and does not have a cylinder or a cold water storage tank to store the water in. You need to choose a shower that can tolerate fluctuations in waterflow which can occur when a tap is turned on, the toilet flushed or a bath filled. Thermostatic shower models will maintain temperature when this is a problem.
- Low pressure systems or gravity-fed systems comprise of a cold water tank in the roof and a hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard. There are ways to get around the problem of not having much pressure. Sometimes, the solution might be that you require a shower pump to help to provide enough water pressure for you to enjoy your shower. However, this should be checked by a qualified engineer as sometimes a shower pump is not the answer.
Janet White from Aqualisa says: “Digital showers are widely compatible with high-pressure, combi and gravity-fed systems. There are also a number of conventional thermostatic shower valves that have been specially designed to give gravity or low-pressure systems a boost”
Feeling the Pressure
The higher the water pressure, the stronger the flow of water will be. Showers are rated by the minimum pressure that they need to operate which is given in bars. It is therefore imperative to match your pressure rating correctly with the shower that you wish to use. A really common problem with showers occurs because the pressure is not powerful enough. So ask your plumber to do a pressure check on your system to find the pressure before choosing a shower. Once you have this information, you can select the style and design to suit your system.
Design of the Shower
Lucy Powell of Bathrooms.com says: “Decide whether you want a fixed head or hand shower and rail. A single valve offers you one showering choice only, so if you’d like the option of a fixed showerhead plus a moveable showerhead for rinsing, opt for a two way diverter valve. If you’re looking for a really luxurious showering experience, a three-way diverter allows you to add body jets, which can be positioned at a height of your choice.”
Style of Shower head
- Fixed shower head
img src=”https://my-plumber.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/essence-fixed-head-lifestyl-300×300.jpg” alt=”Fixed Head Shower” width=”300″ height=”300″ />
A fixed shower head is fitted to the ceiling or the wall and it is not moveable. This means that it is less flexible than a shower head that has a rail. However, in terms of design, it offers a stream lined finish and all the pipework is concealed.
- Overhead Rain Showers
These oversized drencher heads provide a really luxurious showering experience with water coming from directly above to create a rain shower experience. These can be real show stops with lights that change colour.
- Handheld showers
This shower head moves up and down a riser rail so that you can direct the water spray wherever you want. Great for washing hair, these often have settings that can be adjusted to make the spray softer or more intense.
Showers and Showerheads
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