Shower problems and shower boosters
One of the challenges we have had here is water pressure for the upstairs showers. In an attempt to not have to use a shower booster, I have replaced the header tanks, increased pipe size, and removed clogged gate valves. All this has helped and was worth doing. But it only made a marginal difference. Guests still often tell me that the upstairs showers are a bit too weak.
So, I have been looking for some form of booster pump that is easy to fit, and gives just enough of a boost to give a good shower, without risking running the water tanks dry! The baths, sinks, and toilets all work perfectly so I didn’t want a huge full house system. Though a glass frame such as those available at Glass Shower Direct could completely change how the bathroom appears now, I will keep that thought on hold for now. However, while fitting the boosters, one thought crossed my mind, that is, about the drains. I am not very sure whether the drains would need a replacement too when the upgrade brings a boost in the flow of water from the shower head. In case the need arises, I think some wet room show kits could probably help. That said, I didn’t want the standard bulky and noisy shower boosters that you normally see around.
In my search, I came across a shower booster that had been shown on Dragons Den. I discovered that not only was it made in the UK, but it is made in Buxton just 3 miles up the road! So I promptly went onto their website showerpowerbooster.co.uk and bought a set.
I picked the shower in Tissington apartment to try them out as it was quite easy for access. The shower and bath taps are fitted onto a stud wall, with a bedroom on the other side. I had recently fitted a new shower but it didn’t manage much more than a trickle even though it was designed for low pressure and claimed a minimum of a 0.1 bar to work. So would be nice to get it working better.
The first thing I did was get a large bucket, put it under the shower and turn it on for 1 minute. I then measured the depth of water. This gave me a benchmark.
Then the hardest bit of the job – find all my tools!! An hour later… mark and cut a hole in the plasterboard of the stud wall behind the shower to reveal the 2 pipes. Following the instructions (yes I actually read them) I cut the required length of pipe out.
Installing the Shower Booster
Fitting the 2 pumps is very simple. Put them in place, tighten the compression joints.
There are several ways to wire them up, I chose using the 4 way cable. This means that as soon as one comes on, so does the other. This makes it a bit like the more usual dual impeller shower pump.
The next job is to turn the water on and check for leaks, fortunately there were none! Then I ran the shower to remove any air from the pipe and pump.
The pumps run off 12v via a transformer so initially I just plugged it in on an extension lead to check everything worked. After I switched the power on a little blue LED lit up to show that they are ready for action.
So now the moment of truth. Back into the bathroom and turn the shower on. Hey presto a much stronger looking shower. I went back to my initial test and ran the shower for 1 minute into the bucket. Measuring measuring it this time showed more than double the water depth than before. So it definitely works. Result! I can now connect the pumps to a conveniently placed unused fused spur.
Now I just need to clean up and replace the cut out plasterboard with a piece of wood, so that it can be an easily removable access panel. Not that I expect to need to get at them for a long time.
Since first writing this blog, I have installed a 3 of these boosters. Just 2 more to do!