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Plodalot

Hi,

I've just moved into a new house which has a gravity fed hot water system with an old conventional boiler in the garage. The bathroom currently has a classic style mixer shower (where the mixer head rests on the taps when not in use). When the water has been mixed to the desired temperature and the shower switch flipped on the taps the water coming from the shower head is cold. It is almost like the pressure of the cold water is overiding the hot and preventing it getting to the shower head. The classic style mixer has the outlet for the shower head on top so the water must be forced out of the top of the unit.

We are having some work done in the bathroom. Due to a sloping celing I cannot stand in the bath as it is and have a shower. To that end (and because we prefer showers to baths) we are having a custom shower enclosure installed to cope with a sloping ceiling. I need a bit of advice as to what type of shower to install.

The hot water cylinder is quite short and dumpy so doesn't look like a massive capacity so I am concerned that boosting the flow of a normal mixer with a pump or installing a power shower will drain the tank too quickly and not allow for more than one shower in the morning.

In the not too distant future we will be replacing the boiler and I would prefer a combi (to get rid of the tanks as I will want to convert the loft) so ideally we would want a shower that'll work with both the gravity fed system and a combi in the future.

I am not a fan of electric showers and like a high pressured shower. Any advice as to what type of shower/pump to use with the current setup to ensure the shower is at a good pressure?

Thanks
 

andyplumber

Plumber
Gas Engineer
i think it would be best to replace your boiler now and fit a high pressure shower valve while the boiler is being fitted, get all the neccasary pipework into the roof space before you start your loft conversion, the only reason i say this is because if you do only have a small cylinder you might have to replace it with a bigger one to get more than on shower and install a pump to increase the pressure depending where your tanks are. The cost of a new clylinder range between £200- £400 and a shower pump between £150 - £500 depending on how much pressure you want it to push out, if you are to fit a shower for a gravity system you need to make sure you have a minimum 1 meter head from the header tank to the top of the shower head, so once you have shelled ou money to buy a pupmp and a new tank its not far off from a new boiler only. if you decied on a combi now make sure the combi can cope with extra rads and bathrooms if any in the loft conversion.
 

SimonG

Plumber
Advent Win
Good advice from Andyplumber. Make do for now until you change your boiler, don't waste money on equipment that will be redundant with the installation of a combi.
 
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Plodalot

Hi,

Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I can't afford to replace the boiler yet and I assume it'll cost around 5k to do so. Being able to have showers is the priority at the moment. I think there will be at least a metre between the shower head and the water level in the loft so will probably go for a mixer shower suitable for the system I have and see what the pressure is like. Then it'll be a case of weighing up the cost of a new boiler versus installing stuff to make the pressure better on the current system if necessary.

Installing a bigger cylinder is not really an option as the space it sits in is quite limited and it would mean contructing a new airing cupboard (something which the owners before last started to do but changed their minds halfway through).

Out of curiosity how easy is it to install a shower pump - does it mean major alterations to the system or is it simply a case of plumbing it inbetween the water supplies and the shower head?

I could go for a power shower from the start but this would need to be removed when the new boiler was installed. If that was in say a years time it would seem like a waste of money.
 

andyplumber

Plumber
Gas Engineer
fitting a shower pump can be a pain sometimes as it will depend on where your tanks are, and whether you need a negitive or a positive shower pump, also you will need a essex flange drilled in to the side of the cylinder or a york flange on top for you hot water and a separate cold water connection from your header tank,as you can't tee off the cold feed to the cylinder it must have it's own feed from the header tank also you will need power to the pump..

your right about the power shower, a combi will not work because you will be running at mains pressure and will blow the shower off the wall when you turn it on, (i've seen it happen) and it shouldn't cost about 5k for a new boiler installation unless your wanting a full new system, replacement conventional boiler to combi boiler including labour and materials would cost between £2100 to £2800 depending on boiler makes and models and kw
 
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J

justbath

I also agree with the fact that the variety can make it difficult to choose a shower enclosure. Choosing the right shower door can also do wonders for the look of your entire bathroom. Bathrooms are often narrow, so a well-planned, adaptable shower solution is even more important.
 
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