BATHROOMS & KITCHENS
have the opportunity to fit an independent pump
to improve the water flow rate and pressure. This
is down to end user preference.
When specifying a shower, it’s important to
consider that most mixer showers will have a wallmounted
temperature control and will require
pipes that need to be channelled into the wall.
Therefore in most retrofit scenarios the installer
will have to remove the tiles.
Traditional mixer showers can come in
exposed and concealed versions. For small new
build projects, concealed versions where just the
controls and outlets are visible are ideal, as they
can provide a sleek design and a greater amount
Suitable for nearly every type of project, mixer
showers are easy to control with users simply
having to turn a dial to change the water flow or
change the temperature to the desired preference.
Electric showers, as the name suggests, heat water
through electricity by sending electrical currents
to a heating element. Cold water then flows past
the element and is instantaneously heated before
being delivered through the showerhead.
Electrical showers are most commonly available
in 8.5kW, 9.5kW or 10.5kW. They are designed
to be installed directly on the cold water main,
which feed the property in question. A common
misconception is that the power rating affects
the flow of water through the showerhead but
this is not the case. The power rating is only
representative of the speed of which the water can
be heated as it passes through – therefore, if the
property has a high flow rate, the electric shower
will need to have a higher power rating.
For those projects that only have access to
stored cold water rather then a cold mains feed, a
negative head pump should be used.
Electric showers can easily be installed by a Part
P certified plumber or electrician and are ideal
for retrofit situations. Electric showers can easily
be replaced without disturbing tiles, providing
the new model is compatible with the original
shower’s pipework and cable entry points, as well
as the existing cable in situ, i.e. the size and length
of cable, existing fuse and also the minimum
water pressure requirement.
Additionally, because electric showers only
heat the cold water supply as required, this means
that not only are they extremely economical but
if the boiler breaks down, a property will still
have access to hot water unlike mixer and smart
showers which are heated by the boiler or stored
Therefore electrical showers are ideal for
projects where there are a high number of building
occupants such as student accommodation, which
requires a constant supply of hot water.
The shower is often a
mark of quality
<<< Continued from page 31
32 BUILDING PRODUCTS | APRIL 2018
Smart showers, also known as digital showers,
possess a digital thermostat, which enables the
end user to set a precise water temperature. The
hot and cold water then flows into the shower’s
smart valve and is mixed to this exact temperature.
This type of shower can usually be fitted with
one of two valves to suit low-pressure systems,
such as a traditional gravity fed (pumped) version
and a standard (un-pumped) version for highpressure
systems such as a combination boiler and
When installing or upgrading a traditional
mixer or electrical shower, there will usually be
some disruption to tiles if the water or power
cabling is not compatible with the new unit. With
most smart showers this issue is removed, as the
smart valve can be located away from the shower.
Ideal for projects with a sustainable focus,
smart showers can significantly reduce water
consumption, as most products are available with
an eco setting.
Simple to control, most smart showers can
be turned on via a wired or wireless remote
control and allow the user to adjust the
temperature, flow and to choose the desired
outlet, if multiple outlets are available. Due
to the system’s versatile and customisable
features, smart showers tend to be best suited to
residential, hotel and leisure projects.
Whether it’s a retrofit or new build project,
there is a shower type that will provide the
suitable option. With a variety of shower types on
the market, it can often be difficult specifying the
correct shower for the project however the correct
selection will greatly improve the performance,
installation time and cost as well as the energy
and water efficiency. Specifiers should also ensure
they choose a trusted brand who cannot only
supply a shower system that performs, but also
provide support after the initial sale.