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Do I need a shower pump?

(13 Posts)
ShutYerCakeHole Thu 30-Mar-17 16:52:35

I'm going round in circles, can anyone help?

I'd like to buy a thermostatic shower valve. We're replacing an electric shower as the pressure is terrible.
We have a combi boiler, the pressure gauge usually says 0.5 if that's relevant.
Thanks in advance!

BananaPie Thu 30-Mar-17 20:59:32

I don't think you can use a pump with a combi boiler.

PigletJohn Thu 30-Mar-17 22:53:46

no, you can't

Run the bath hot tap into a bucket, time it to full, calculate how many litres per minute it delivers.

Then do the same with the shower, then take the head off the hose and see how much the hose can deliver.

Then do it at the COLD tap at the kitchen sink.

What are the numbers?

How old is your home? Is it a house or a flat? Does it have a water meter? Do you know where the inside and outside stopcocks are? (if so, verify they are all fully open, then backed off half a turn).

Idefix Fri 31-Mar-17 06:54:02

Pj does the turning the stopcock like that increase the pressure?
Dh had a chance to do a previsit to our house and the water pressure was a trickle generous in all the taps. No bucket to do the test properly.

PigletJohn Fri 31-Mar-17 10:04:07

No, but if the stopcock has been turned down, it impedes flow.

Some people do it deliberately if they have a noisy valve and can't be bothered changing the washer.

ShutYerCakeHole Fri 31-Mar-17 15:21:32

Thanks for replies,

PigletJohn :
Hot bath tap - 8.3
Shower - 4
Shower without head (hose down into bucket) - 4.2
Kitchen cold tap - 21.4

- shower was turned 4/5 of the way on, still barely lukewarm. If I turn it on fully the water heats, but trickles out. If it's turned halfway on or less (freezing), the pressure is great.
The shower is ancient but I don't know if the problem is the shower or the water.

It's a 70 yo house, there is a water meter. There's only one stopcock I know of. I'm afraid I can't tell what position it's in - pics attached!

PigletJohn Fri 31-Mar-17 15:38:19

I note you have a combi, so no hot cylinder or cold tank

the water flow at the kitchen tap is fine, so it's your internal plumbing.

The hot bath tap is good enough. A empty bath holds about 100 litres of water (needs less if you are fat) so would will in about 10 mins. Hot water from a combi will become cooler as more water flows through it.

The behaviour of your shower mixer is strange. Perhaps it is faulty. Post a pic please.

You can turn the T-handle on your stopcock. Try to turn it fractionally shut, then open fractionally, and work it to and fro. If it won't turn, look at the pipes going into it. If there is lead piping, don't try to force it. A plumber can change the internals of the stopcock as they are mostly of a standard design and you can get new ones with parts that fit. This is a better job than adding an extra stopcock on the same pipe (often seen).

What is the pipe made of above and below the stopcock?

PigletJohn Fri 31-Mar-17 15:57:47


I see you have an electric shower. They are always weedy and unable (especially in winter) to supply much water that's hot.

Looking at the hot water supply to your bath taps, it should be fine with a mixer shower. I particularly recommend the round Aqualisa mixers.

ShutYerCakeHole Fri 31-Mar-17 17:51:40

Thanks PigletJohn , I can't post a pic of the shower at the moment, but it's 20+ years old so possibly just worn out.
The pipes to the stopcock are copper, I can't move the tap but will get someone stronger to try!

Will check out Aqualisa, do you recommend thermostatic?
Can I also ask, many mixer showers I've seen require minimum 0.1 pressure - with a reading of 0.5 on our boiler gauge does that mean they're not compatible?

PigletJohn Fri 31-Mar-17 18:54:14

the pressure in your boiler is not the same as the pressure in the taps.

Aqualisa round shower mixers have a very good thermostatic design.

PigletJohn Fri 31-Mar-17 19:03:09

I mean this sort™-609-thermo-mixer-shower

they have a knob or a rotating lever on the front

not the electronic ones

Looks like they have taken some models off their webpage recently, you may find old model Aquavalves on sale, possibly reduced. It's a very good shower.

PigletJohn Fri 31-Mar-17 19:08:30

more examples

ShutYerCakeHole Fri 31-Mar-17 19:09:25

Aha! I thought it was the same blush - thanks for clearing that up.
Will check those out now. Much appreciated.

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