While they may be an essential part of many millions of bathrooms across the country, plenty of people will need shower pumps explained to them before they can successfully select and install a suitable model.
Before you can understand shower pumps, you must also gain an appreciation for the other elements which will affect your choice and the type of installation that will be appropriate for your home.
It is not simply a case of picking a pump that fits your budget; there are also bylaws which will play a part in determining which products you can and cannot use. So here are some of the things to consider before you take the plunge.
Shower Pumps Explained – The Basic Options
The core purpose of booster pumps is to increase the pressure of the water which is delivered by a shower, ensuring that it provides a more invigorating and satisfying experience for those who are dissatisfied with a limited flow rate.
There are a range of pumps at different price points and designed for integration with different systems. But even the most affordable models should be able to improve matters, turning a weak flow shower into a decent one, serving as a water pressure booster.
The most important thing to remember before proceeding is that you are only permitted to fit pumps to a gravity system, which consists of a shower that is fed by a header tank or cistern. So if your system is powered directly by a connection to the water mains, installing a pump is not an option.
Unpicking the Restrictions
It may seem unreasonable to prevent people from installing pumps on a direct mains supply, or integrating a power shower booster before or after a combi boiler. But the reason behind this restriction is simple. The laws are in place to prevent pressure building up during the hours in which the system is not being used.
If a pump were present and pressure continued to rise, seals could be blown and leaks would occur. So with these factors in mind, it should be clear why gravity fed systems are the only ones suitable for the addition of a pump to improve shower performance.
Weighing the Options
If you have a gravity-fed system, with a water tank in the loft supplying your shower, then a pump could be a sensible investment. But to properly compare pumps, you will need to know a little more about how they differ from one another.
The key factors to consider are flow rate and pressure. Most pumps will be sold based upon both elements, with flow rate expressed in litres per minute and the pressure indicated in ‘bar’. In general, you should not get carried away solely by the advertised pressure rating, since flow rate is arguably more important and indicates that a pump can output a considerable volume of water in a short time frame.
The type of fittings through which the water is ultimately delivered will also affect pump performance. Handsets with hundreds of tiny pinprick holes create their own back pressure, akin to putting your finger over the end of a hose in the garden and turning a gentle cascade into a jet.
In contrast, shower heads that are designed to create a deluge via a smaller number of larger apertures cannot hope to deliver the same pressure benefits. All of which means that the pump ratings provided by manufacturers need to be considered in the context of these other contributors to overall performance.
With gravity-fed systems, there is clearly a finite limit to the capacity of the tank which supplies the shower with water. The pressure and flow rate of the pump, in combination with the type of shower head or handset to which it is connected, will determine the length of time it takes for the tank to empty.
As a result, it is necessary to do some calculations and to find out the capacity of the tank itself before you make a final decision. Powerful pumps will use the available water in a shorter period of time and for larger households with several people needing to use the shower each morning, this may become an issue.
You can search for shower pumps (http://www.anchorpumps.com/pump-type/shower) of all types on our site, allowing you to improve your shower experience with ease.