In an ideal world we would all have showers that drench you head to toe at a perfect temperature simply by the touch of a button. Sadly, this is not always the case, and many of us are left disappointed after longing for a powerful shower in the morning, only for it to give you nothing but a trickle.

This can be resolved by simply choosing carefully from the different types of shower available, working out what is best for your plumbing system.

What are the Three Different Types of Water Systems?

Gravity System

This system consists of a hot and cold feed, with a cold water tank usually found in the attic, and a hot water cylinder typically located in an airing cupboard. The pressure of the shower depends on the distance of the water tank to the shower head. Luckily on this system you can increase water pressure by adding a shower pump.

Mains Pressure System

A mains pressure system utilises a high pressure cylinder of water heated by a boiler or heated immersion using the main water supply. This will provide a high powered shower without the need for a shower pump.

Combination/Combi Boiler System

In theory this system should mean your shower never runs out as the pressurized water is heated on demand. If you want a powerful shower, the key is to make sure that the Combi boiler is powerful enough to supply a hot water flow rate of at least 12-15 litres a minute. Bear in mind the bigger the shower head the more pressure is needed.

What are the Main Different Types of Shower and What System(s) Do They Work With?

Electric Shower

Thermostatic Shower

Power Shower

What is an Electric Shower?

An electric shower is essentially a water heater. It uses the pressure of the mains water supply heating it as it passes through to the shower head, meaning that it can be used with any water system. This is the more economical option as it only heats the water you need. They can be purchased at 8.5kW, 9.5kW and 10.5kW, the greater the power rating, the higher the flow of water at the desired temperature.

What is a Thermostatic Shower?

Thermostatic Showers are safer than others as they provide a consistent temperature, which means that when using your shower it won’t be affected by someone else in the house using a water utility. This type of shower does however have a certain pressure requirement, so it may be necessary to install a flow regulator, but it should generally work with almost any water system.

These can type of shower comes in a variety of ways. Some homeowners take the hot and cold feed out of the wall and into a thermostatic bar valve, which is used to control flow and temperature. From the valve, the water may rise through a solid, rigid riser kit to the shower head or through a shower hose onto a slider rail kit, which is used to adjust the shower height.

You can also conceal a lot of thermostatic shower piping in the walls, depending on the scale of your bathroom remodel. This will give the finished result of a valve which is flush to the wall, with a shower head projecting either out of a higher point in the wall or ceiling to deliver the water to the shower.  

What is a Power Shower?

Power showers are ideal for homes with low water pressure, as it gives the flow a boost using an in-built electric pump. They mix hot and cold water to reach the ideal temperature and builds up pressure to give you better water flow. Great for giving you complete control of temperature and flow, but this does mean that it uses much more water and is therefore more expensive to run. Generally used where there is insufficient water pressure making it suitable for use with a gravity fed water system.

Now you know the difference between the different types of shower available, and what they'll do in your home, you should be able to make an informed decision when buying a new shower. If you need any more help at all in choosing a new shower, then call us on 0800 012 4489 or write in the comments below and we'll try our best to help!