Digital Shower?

Postby gurthod » Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:06 pm

I've got a 9 year old house which i'm told has a low pressure water system installed. The mixer shower in the en-suite is shockingly bad (very weak flow). I've considered putting in a new mixer but am not sure if it will make any difference unless i install a pump at the same time (want to avoid if i can as one in old house was very noisy).

I've seen that you can get a digital shower nowadays which promises really good flow rates.

Has anyone got any experience of using or installing these?
Are they as good as the manufacturers say?
Have i got any other alternatives?

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Simply Build It

Postby bobplum » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:32 pm

ive never known any one to fit a low pressure system on purpose so i assume you have low pressure because of were you are(HAVE YOU TRIED GETTING YOUR WATER SUPPLIER TO ADJUST THE PRESSURE)
i have fitted a few digital showers and they are very good especially at maintaining the correct temperature and relatinely easy to install
if i were you id find out what pressure i do have in the house,either thru a plumber or buy your self a tester then contact the shower maker and find out what pressure the digital shower will work on and with this imformation you can make an informed decision
best of luck
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Postby rosebery » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:39 pm

You have two choices really:

Pump the existing (irrespective of whether you change the shower mixer) to make it a power shower. BTW I'm assuming that when you say mixer you mean a thermostatic mixer shower and not a bath/shower mixer). Just because the one in the old house was noisy dosn't mean a new one has to be. There are a number of quiet pumps on the market.

Fit an electric shower. The digital bit of type of which you speak is the control mechanism.

Both involve some work.

Assuming you would fit any pump adjacent to the HW cylinder to pump the existing you need to fit a special flange in the HW cylinder so that the HW take off for the shower is separated from the rest of the system. This separated take off is then fed to the hot side of the pump. You'll also need a separate feed from the CW Storage tank in the roof down to the pump. Both these new feeds can then be taken to the shower. This involves extra pipework, of course. I've just realised that you said ensuite shower - so it's possible that dedicated feeds are already in place in which case they can be used but there's still the need to find a location for the pump.

If it's an electric shower then you'll need to feed it with mains cold water - ie NOT from the CW storage tank. Perhaps that can be provided from within the roofspace direct from the mains feed that's supplying the tank. Whatever it will involve some repiping. You also need to get electicity to it. That must come from a dedicated RCD protected circuit fitted with a suitable isolator. In other words a new cable will be required from the consumer unit. This will inevitably be a minimum of 6mm or perhaps even 10mm cable depending on the shower and the distance. Ordinary 2.5mm TC&E power cable will NOT do and you can't just take a feed off the upstairs ring. This electric work is notifiable to your local Building Control as it involves both the consumer unit and the ensuite which is a special location - both under Part P of Blg Regs.

Hope that helps for a starter to help you decide which way to go.

Get detailed quotes for both I would suggest.

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Postby gurthod » Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:11 pm

Cheers for your help guys.

Just to clarify, the area i live in has notoriously bad water pressure!

I think i'll probably go for an electric power shower. Seems to be the easiest and cheapest, but getting leccy to it sounds like a chore, but i know a good sparky!

Thanks again.
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Postby rosebery » Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:44 pm

If you have a CW storage tank in the roof and a HC cylinder in the airing cupboard then you have a low pressure system irrespective of the pressure that the supply company provides the mains at.

Just to clarify there is a difference between an electric shower and a power shower as covered in my earlier post.

If the mains water pressure is low then you need to select an electric shower rated to operate at the pressure the water co provides. Electric showers are fed by mains cold water.

Good luck with your project.

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Postby gurthod » Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:06 pm


Thanks for your response. I have a low pressure water system then which was basically what i was getting at in my orginal post.

The reason for choosing a power shower over a "standard thermostatic mixer plus pump" is to make the installation easier ie i dont have to fit a pump in the supply somewhere. The power shower will have an integral pump. Now that i've claified this, is there really the need for all the electrical work you mention and building control etc?

What are the best power showers on the market?

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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:50 pm

from reading other posts, mira seems to be the brand of choice for the professional when it comes to all things 'shower'.

even a power shower with an integral pump (do they exist?) is going to need an electrical supply it just means that you will probably be able to run it as a spur rather than 10mm cable with a dedicated isolator at the consumer unit. get someone in to do this if you are not up on your part P - water and electrics dont mix at the best of times let alone in the hands of well-intentioned diy-ers! (no offence intended BTW)
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Postby billobach181 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:00 pm

If it's of any help I have a Digital Shower made by Aqualasia and it is great. I installed it 4 years ago and so far I have had no problems with it. It's easy to install and works off a 5 amp fuse rating. I ran a new cable from the consumer unit fo it but it will work very well of a mains 13 amp socket.
I also have an elactric shower in the bathroom which is not a patch on my Digital one.
Best of luck
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Postby Puffin2014 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:24 pm

Digital showers are renowned for being expensive – but I’ve found this article on a new product on the market from Bristan which is kind of in between a thermostatic mixer shower and full digital shower, but without the hefty price tag (I’ve seen trade prices from £250.71 + vat, which is about £300). And it looks really easy to fit and stylish too!
Take a look:

Has anyone fitted one yet?
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