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Discuss Can high mains pressure damage an electric shower? in the DIY Bathroom Remodelling Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

Hi, planning to update electric shower, not sure what Kw rating current one is, but it works well at the moment during summer, so don't necessarily need to go for a higher rating. The cold mains pressure to the cottage we are working on seems pretty high - when I replaced a kitchen tap valve and was turning the mains on and off, it only needed to be turned on a short way to have plenty of pressure to the cold taps. If I turn it up to provide a higher pressure to supply the shower to ensure good all year round shower flow, is there risk of damaging a lower rated shower if the pressure in the system is too high, or is that a problem that cannot occur?

If it can be a problem, is it worth getting the pressure checked properly to avoid potential damage?

Hope this makes sense, thanks in advance for any comments.
 

Aquarius

Plumber
Gas Engineer
The pressure is pretty much the same, stopcock fully open or not, just difference in flow. Your shower will have a max static pressure (no flow through pipes), sometimes up to 10 bar (really high). If you’re unsure, obtain a pressure gauge and check at an easy reference point, such as a garden tap, or washing machine valve.
 

Stigster

Esteemed
Plumber
As Aquarius rightly says, you are adjusting the flow rate and not the pressure by altering the stopcock. If the stopcock has been opened any amount for more than a few moments, anything downstream would have already been subjected to the max pressure the service can provide, regular fluctuations excepted e.g. at night when most outlets in the area are closed and the pressure can rise a bar or two in some areas.

In my experience, if a fitting or appliance is going to fail it will usually fail soon after the pressure is applied.

If in doubt check your static pressure with a gauge as Aquarius suggests and fit a 3 bar pressure reducing valve on the incoming main to mitigate it if you are above 4 or 5 bar I would say.
 

Ben-gee

Esteemed
Plumber
To answer your question. Yes too high pressure will damage your electric shower, it will activate the pressure relief valve which will then have to be replaced.
 
The pressure is pretty much the same, stopcock fully open or not, just difference in flow. Your shower will have a max static pressure (no flow through pipes), sometimes up to 10 bar (really high). If you’re unsure, obtain a pressure gauge and check at an easy reference point, such as a garden tap, or washing machine valve.
Thanks very much Aquarius, appreciate your comments and advice
Post automatically merged:

As Aquarius rightly says, you are adjusting the flow rate and not the pressure by altering the stopcock. If the stopcock has been opened any amount for more than a few moments, anything downstream would have already been subjected to the max pressure the service can provide, regular fluctuations excepted e.g. at night when most outlets in the area are closed and the pressure can rise a bar or two in some areas.

In my experience, if a fitting or appliance is going to fail it will usually fail soon after the pressure is applied.

If in doubt check your static pressure with a gauge as Aquarius suggests and fit a 3 bar pressure reducing valve on the incoming main to mitigate it if you are above 4 or 5 bar I would say.
Thank you Stigster, appreciate the information and advice, very helpful
Post automatically merged:

To answer your question. Yes too high pressure will damage your electric shower, it will activate the pressure relief valve which will then have to be replaced.
Thank you Ben-gee, your comments much appreciated
 
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Thanks to those who replied with comments, I very much appreciate the lesson in the distinction between pressure and flow rate. My thoughts are at the moment that I can probably tweak the flow a bit more to see if it will make any difference to the shower flow, but it is likely the the taps will then run too fierce to go much higher.

Thanks again : )
 

Ben-gee

Esteemed
Plumber
Think again.
The flow from an electric shower is rarely determined by the water pressure/flow available - it is determined by the ability of the shower to heat up the water on demand. Therefore it is advantageous to have the highest kilowatt rating you can.
You may be fine now, but in the winter when the shower has to heat water from a lower starting temperature you may find it not so good.
The shower has a flow valve which slows the water down so that the shower has enough time to heat the water as it passes through it.
 
Think again.
The flow from an electric shower is rarely determined by the water pressure/flow available - it is determined by the ability of the shower to heat up the water on demand. Therefore it is advantageous to have the highest kilowatt rating you can.
You may be fine now, but in the winter when the shower has to heat water from a lower starting temperature you may find it not so good.
The shower has a flow valve which slows the water down so that the shower has enough time to heat the water as it passes through it.
Thanks Ben-gee, I shall keep thinking!
 

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