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 week.

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. But I didn’t want the standard bulky and noisy shower boosters that you normally see around.

picture of a shower booster pump

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.

Getting started

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.

testing the shower performance

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.

cutting the pipes

Installing the Shower Booster

Fitting the 2 pumps is very simple. Put them in place, tighten the compression joints.

fitting the shower booster

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.

fitted shower boosters

Testing

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.

Update

Since first writing this blog, I have installed a 3 of these boosters. Just 2 more to do!