Home Shower Choices
So what choices do you have.
Showers direct from your Combi boiler.
You can run your shower direct from your Combi boiler, this will give you an instant power shower without the need for pumps, how come ? Combi boilers deliver mains pressure hot water so in simple terms all you need is to fit a shower valve, (I would recommend thermostatic) and pipe mains cold water and hot water direct from the Combi boiler and that’s it, the only down fall I can see and do come across frequently is if for some reason your Combi boiler breaks down then you will have no hot water, that means no shower and no bath. If this is a worry for you then fit an electric shower then if your boiler breaks down at least you can still have a shower. One other point with showers off a Combi boiler you will only be able to run one shower because you will not have the output ( realistically ).
Electric showers have been around well before me and will probably stay long after I’ve gone, why so popular ? Reliability, relatively easy to fit, cheap to buy. You can buy an electric shower from as little as 50 quid and to fit one you need a mains cold water supply and a correctly sized electric cable and that’s it and as long as you have power and water it will work, ok you could say there not that powerful, yes I agree but if your boiler breaks down you will be thankful of it.
So you have a gravity fed hot water cylinder and you want a nice powerful shower, this more complicated option is available to you, there are two main types, positive head and negative head.
Positive head shower pumps are the most popular and are normally fitted at the base of your hot water cylinder and is fed by cold water from your storage tank normally found in the loft and Hot water direct from the top of your cylinder (never connect direct to the mains water) both water feeds need to be fed at the same pressure and it’s the movement of water through the pump that turns it on when you operate the shower valve.
Negative head shower pumps
Negative head are Even more complicated and expensive these pumps are mainly used in loft conversions and bungalows where you don’t have adequate cold water tank height to operate the positive head pump, ok in simple terms negative head pumps have a built in pressure vessel which creates pressure between the pump and the valve which forces the water out and switches the pump on.
Showers from your unvented cylinder.
Not much different to the Combi boiler connections, hot feed directly from the cylinder and cold water from the mains, very simple to install and fantastic pressure and as I have said regarding unvented cylinders you get to run multiple shower for this type of cylinder at the same time unlike the Combi boiler which will realistically only run one power shower.
Shower from your bath tap.
Just to throw a spanner in the works, have you ever spent a night in a premier inn ( other hotels are available ) and noticed the shower is piped from the bath tap ? Well this is an option simply swap your bath tap for a thermostatic type with built in shower out put and there you go, this type would be better if you had either a Combi boiler or an unvented hot water cylinder and does save you the cost of fitting new pipe work for a shower valve.
As you can see there are various options for showers, I’ve given you a few options dependant on you hot water set up, the amount of hot water you use and your budget.