Showers, flow and control

With an abundance of shower types on the market, it is important for the consumer to recognise what type of hot and cold system is in the property where the shower is to be installed.

There are two hot and cold systems:

  • Low-pressure systems

These systems can be recognised usually by a cold water storage tank being in the loft. This feeds the cold water and the hot water, which is heated usually with a cylinder in an airing cupboard, to the bathroom via gravity. As the cold water storage tank in the loft is usually only one metre from the top of the shower-head, the pressure and flow-rate that this develops, is poor.

A basic shower pump giving a pressure of one bar- is equivalent to having the cold water storage tank ten metres above the shower-head. This type of thermostatic shower valve is most suited to a pumped-type shower to boost both the flow rate and the pressure. This makes the shower feel a lot more powerful and invigorating.

  • High-pressure systems

These systems are usually fed directly from the water main in the street. The hot water is generally supplied by a combination boiler / instantaneous water heater or an Unvented Hot Water system. Although the system is high pressure, you must take into consideration the fact that you will only get the pressure and flow-rate through the shower valve that the water supplier is providing to the property and no more than that,

When considering installing a shower-valve, it is important that you have the required mains pressure from the street, to run the shower-valve being considered. All manufacturers provide this information for each of their valves.