What is a power shower?
When we go and provide a new quotation for a new bathroom installation or ensuite bathroom, one of the main talking points is always about the type of shower that the customer would like installing. Quite often their reply is simply: ‘I want a power shower‘.
Thats fantastic, wonderful, but do you realise that what you class as a ‘power shower’ actually might not be the same thing that we assume it is.
Are there different types of power shower?
It would probably shock most people to realise that there are numerous different types of power shower and for us at least, we would look into 3 different options with the customer in order to ascertain their exact meaning of a ‘power shower’.
Pumped Electric shower.
This is the type of shower we would assume the customer means when they ask for a power shower. Depending on the type of hot water heating system they currently have in their home, this is sometimes the best choice in order to get a ‘power shower’.
- A pumped electric shower works by taking a hot and cold supply from the hot water cylinder and cold water storage tank. The water is fed directly into the shower and then a pump inside the shower unit forces the water out of the shower head. An electrical supply (normally 3A from a lighting cicuit or similar) is required in order to make the power shower work.
Thermostatic Power Shower.
In our opinion, the electrically pumped power shower isn’t the prettiest of things, and nowadays there are many better looking options and effective means of creating a power shower for the customer.
Many customers don’t want to see a ‘white box on the wall’ which typically looks like an normal electric shower. In all the glossy brochures they’ve been looking at, they’ve seen built in shower valves and thermostatically controlled showers.
This can still be a power shower!
- In order to make a built in shower, or thermostatic shower a ‘power shower’, a separate twin impeller shower pump, or similar needs to be fitted in the backend of the water system. This will then will force the water to the shower. We have installed many of these types of shower pump and have become an expert in the fitting of Salamander Pumps. Very similar in essence the the above electric power shower. A hot and cold feed from the cylinder and tank are required, but due to this type of pump being installed normally in the airing cupboard, and the pipework being altered there, it means that a number of different types of shower can be installed in the bathroom. As a customer, you are even able to have body jets, rain can shower heads and such to create that super luxurious power shower.
Combination Boiler / Unvented System
With the pumped electric and separately pumped shower, they are only suitable for types of hot water system that are gravity fed.
If you have a combination boiler or unvented installed, then neither of these will work on your type of hot water system. This is not an issue though, as with these types of water system, the water is already ‘pumped’ or pressurised and in these cases any of the traditional thermostatic showers will create the ‘power shower’ the customer is looking for, without the extra requirements of adding pumps and such to the system.
As more and more people change their boiler and central heating in their homes, it will become more common to us as bathroom installers to find that we don’t need to add extra pumps to water systems to create power showers, and that in fact, the customer already has one.