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Should I add a shower to bath if pressure not great?

(20 Posts)
aufaniae Thu 24-Jan-13 17:14:19

The pressure in our new house is not great. (Gravity fed).

I'm looking at baths and taps. I'd like to get a shower riser thingy (i.e. the shower would be attached to the wall, running off the same feed as the bath water).

But is it worth doing if the pressure isn't great? (I don't mind if it's not a great shower, as long as it's OK).

Our budget is very limited so the alternative would be to wait till we have the money and put in an electric shower further down the line, over the bath. (Will this look ugly?!)

If we do decide to go for the electric shower later, should we go for a bath which has the extra room for a shower at the end now anyway (seen a great one in the sale!) or will it have to all get ripped out again anyway to put a shower in?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

I did ask my plumber but I'm not sure I explained myself properly and I've rung him several times today already!

PigletJohn Thu 24-Jan-13 21:04:34

electric showers are all pathetically weedy.

I gather you have a tank in the loft, and a hot water cylinder. What colour is it?

Fill a bucket at the kitchen cold tap, time it, calculate how many litres per minute you get. Do the same at the hot bath tap.

OneHundredSecondsofSolitude Thu 24-Jan-13 21:21:23

I've got this same issue. Doneone told me that you need 5 bars? Anyway 5 of the units of pressure or something. Each meter above where the shower head will be equates to 1 of these units. So our tank is in the attic above the bathroom so I reckon we've only got one bar of pressure (if indeed bars and pressure are the things)

To try it out we bought a fugly device that fits over the taps of the bath with a shower hose and attachment attached

It seems ok, a bit weedy and certainly difficult to control the temp

I think I might but one of those mixer taps with the hose and shower head attached despite the shit pressure

A weedy shower has to be better than none and I can see no other affordable solution

cantspel Thu 24-Jan-13 21:33:57

put in a pump it is a bit noisy but gives you a decent shower and is not very expensive.

PigletJohn Thu 24-Jan-13 21:34:01

Ten metres of head give one bar of pressure, which (depending on flow) gives a quite good, but not stunning shower. 0.5 bar (from 5 metres) would give rather a soft shower.

You really need to measure flow with the bucket. A shower needs both pressure and flow but the solution will depend on the results.

OneHundredSecondsofSolitude Thu 24-Jan-13 21:46:57

What does the colour of the tank have to do with it?

Sorry for hijacking op smile

OneHundredSecondsofSolitude Thu 24-Jan-13 21:48:34

Ten metres of head give one bar of pressure, which (depending on flow) gives a quite good, but not stunning shower. 0.5 bar (from 5 metres) would give rather a soft shower.

But when is a tank 10 meters above the bath? confused

Surely even if the bath were downstairs and the tank in the top of a very high attic it still wouldn't be 10 meters would it?

PigletJohn Thu 24-Jan-13 22:14:51

mine is grin

the colour of the cylinder gives a clue of its age, thickness of insulation, reheat efficiency, and operating pressure. This can be useful information.

It might be plain copper; red jacket; yellow, green or blue foam; or white casing.

PigletJohn Thu 24-Jan-13 22:16:38

it might even be grey galvanised, but I should think they mostly rusted away by now.

OneHundredSecondsofSolitude Thu 24-Jan-13 22:32:00

Mine isn't sad I think it's probably less than one meter

More happily my cylinder is foam. Greeny grey

PigletJohn Thu 24-Jan-13 23:21:41

then you probably need a pumped shower. You can buy a shower mixer plus a shower pump, or something like the Aqualisa Aquastream which incorprates a small pump in the enclosure. This one runs off a low-voltage transformer in the loft or nearby.

Having the pump drive only the shower means that you will not have the noise of the pump when using other taps.

Some plumbing skill is required to install a power shower correctly or it may draw air into the pipes.

FishfingersAreOK Thu 24-Jan-13 23:38:23

Definitely get a skilled person to install - we had pumped showers installed by the botch-it previous owners in our last house...but OMG the problems we had with airlocks!! We solved one eventually by having the pipes refitted by a competent plumber - so that any airbubbles would actually be dispelled - rather than just causing constant airlocks <shudders at memory>

MandaHugNKiss Fri 25-Jan-13 00:05:22

We have a pump. So I'd say pump!

Bunbaker Fri 25-Jan-13 00:10:31

"But is it worth doing if the pressure isn't great?"

I'd say no. We had one of those shower risers and the only thing it was good for was washing my hair with me bent forward over the bath.

grendel Fri 25-Jan-13 00:10:49

Our shower is so weedy I want to cry whenever I use it.
Anyone who has had a power shower fitted, could you give me an idea of the cost of the pump and the cost of installation? (I would want it fitted properly, not botched by over-confident DH!)

80sMum Fri 25-Jan-13 00:28:46

If and when your budget can bear it, I would suggest you consider replacing your hot water tank with a pressurised one, such as Megaflow. It means you won't need a noisy pump and can do away with the cold water tank in the loft, as all water (hot and cold) would be from the mains and delivered at mains pressure.

PigletJohn Fri 25-Jan-13 00:52:31

Start with that bucket.

aufaniae Fri 25-Jan-13 01:23:37

Wow, thanks for the useful advice everyone!
I'll try the bucket thing tomorrow. Not sure what colour the tank is, I'll have a look.

The plumber is talking about running the new stuff off the mains rather than from the tank. There was a good reason for this, I forget what now! The bath runs from the tank already though so I guess this will stay the same? Not sure if any of this makes a difference?!

aufaniae Fri 25-Jan-13 01:23:55

I think what we'll do is just do a bath for now, and add an electrical one later, what do you reckon?

aufaniae Fri 25-Jan-13 09:40:20

PigletJohn you're right we do have a tank in the loft, and a hot water cylinder.

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