After a hard day at work we all like to unwind, and stepping into a nice hot invigorating shower is an ideal way to do that. To get the most from your shower, it’s important that you choose the right one for your requirements.

The Right Shower System

It’s very important to select the correct shower to suit your system. It should be borne in mind that water ‘pressure’ and ‘flow’ are not the same things. To illustrate this point, an instantaneous electric shower delivers water at high mains pressure, but a relatively low flow rate is necessary to allow the water to heat up as it passes through the shower unit. On the other hand, a conventional gravity-fed supply system delivers hot water from a storage cylinder under comparatively low pressure, but often has a fairly high flow rate when measured in litres per minute. Both the hot and the cold water pressures are determined by the height (known as the head) of the water storage tank above the shower. Provided there is at least 3ft between the bottom of the water tank and the showerhead, you should get reasonable flow rate and pressure.

Adding a pump can increase the pressure and the flow, making it possible to choose from a large range of different showers including power showers, as the flow and the pressure ratio can be altered by fitting an adjustable shower head that provides a choice of spray patterns.

Electric Showers

Electric showers are particularly beneficial, since they draw on cold water supplies and heat the water is and when it is required. This completely eliminates the need for a hot water store for your shower, which will eventually save you money on your heating bills, and is good for the environment too. This also allows the user to have instantly warm showers, and it also allows electric showers the versatility to be installed in virtually any home, new or old.

Electric showers are available in a number of power outputs, usually 7.8 kW, 8.5kW, 9.5kW and 10.4kW. These kilowatt measurements ultimately decide the flow rate; the higher the kilowatts, the higher the flow rate and the more powerful the shower. However, higher kilowatt output electric showers are also more expensive.

Most electric showers come complete with a variable power setting to give optimum economy, even during summer months, when incoming mains water will have a higher ambient temperature.

Power Showers

Where possible, power showers are a fantastically invigorating way to boost ordinary gravity-fed showers. Combining a powerful pump with an internal mixing valve, power showers mix hot and cold gravity-fed water, resulting in a strong, refreshing water flow. If the home in which you wish to install a new shower has both a cold water storage tank and a hot water storage tank, then you’re ideally prepared to enjoy the advantages a power shower has to offer. However, you won’t be able to use a power shower in a home which has a combination boiler. Power showers are available with either manual or thermostatic functionality.

Thermostatic Showers

A thermostatic shower holds the temperature of the water between + or – 1 degree Celsius of your chosen temperature. Essentially, this eliminates any sudden drops or surprising explosions of temperature while you’re showering. These rapid changes in temperature often occur when somebody in the house has flushed a toilet or turned on any product which uses mains water, while the shower is in use. A thermostatic shower regulates the temperature of the water by using a thermostatic valve. This allows you to set the water temperature, and the valve will maintain the temperature at this level.