- Different showers serve different needs. From electric to thermostatic mixers and digital showers, your selection should factor in utility, space, and budget constraints.
- While self-installation might seem enticing, understanding the pros and cons ensures that you make a decision that’s right for the long haul, both in safety and quality.
- Beyond the initial purchase, be aware of potential future expenses. Whether it’s maintenance or energy costs, a forward-thinking approach can save you from unforeseen expenditures.
What is Shower Fitting?
Shower fitting refers to the process of setting up and installing various shower systems within a bathroom.
Whether you’re considering an electric shower, a thermostatic mixer shower, or another type, ensuring a correct fit not only guarantees the shower’s functionality but also ensures the safety and longevity of the installation.
The Pros and Cons of Fitting a Shower Yourself
The Pros and Cons
Shower Fitting Installation Process - Electric Showers
Electric showers heat the water using an internal element, similar to the mechanism of a kettle.
This heating occurs as water flows through the unit.
By adjusting the flow rate, users can regulate the water temperature.
While most of these showers lack a thermostat, the temperature may vary based on the incoming water’s temperature.
Preparing the Pipework
Firstly, install a 15mm pipe connecting the cold water supply to the shower wall. Position the shower unit and denote the points for the inlet pipe and power supply cable.
Utilise a detector to ensure no hidden cables or pipes. Insert the pipe through the drilled wall section, attach an isolating valve, and attach the requisite connector.
Prepping the Power Supply
Determine the cable size required based on the shower unit’s specifications.
The cable should run from the shower position to a ceiling-mounted switch, avoiding any hazard zones.
This type of shower demands a dedicated circuit, with the final connection handled by a professional electrician for safety reasons.
The circuit should be safeguarded by an RCD (residual current device).
Step 1 - Positioning the Unit
Hold the unit against the wall, marking the fixing points. When drilling into tiles, consider using a tile bit or masking tape for precision.
Secure wall plugs and apply sanitary silicone sealant.
Step 2 - Securing the Unit
Lead the pipe and electric cable through the unit’s backplate, and affix it to the wall.
Step 3 - Connecting Pipes
Attach the inlet pipe to the shower unit, ensuring a tight compression fitting.
Step 4 - Electrical Connections
Join the live, neutral, and earth cores to the respective terminals on the unit.
Step 5 - Adding the Cover
Place the cover, ensuring the rubber seal is correctly positioned.
Step 6 - Setting up the Rail
Secure the rail, ensuring the shower head remains at a safe distance from any water outlet, thus preventing water contamination.
Step 7 - Finalising the Setup
Attach one hose end to the handset, check all functions as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, and then secure the hose’s other end to the unit.
Shower Fitting Installation Process - Thermostatic Mixer Shower
Thermostatic mixer showers can be supplied by branching pipes from your existing plumbing system.
The water pressure in these showers is typically determined by the cold water tank’s elevation above the shower unit.
Step 1 - Inspection
Review all components to ensure completeness. Shield the valve openings to prevent debris intrusion during pipework.
Step 2 - Positioning & Pipework
Decide on the shower’s location and direction of pipe entry. Secure the hot and cold water pipes within the wall or panel for support.
Step 3 - Connections
Ensure the proper placement of compression olives and flush pipework before connecting to the shower valve.
After turning on the water, check for leaks and install outlet fittings following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Adding a Pump
For enhanced flow rates, consider adding a booster pump to the thermostatic mixer shower.
While these pumps can be concealed under baths or in cupboards, they aren’t compatible with combi boilers or main-fed cold water supplies.
- Always adhere to the manufacturer’s installation and operational guidelines.
- Thoroughly review the manufacturer’s safety precautions.
- Avoid installing in areas prone to freezing.
What’s the Price of Fitting a New Shower?
The cost of fitting a new shower in the UK varies based on the chosen model, brand, and any additional modifications or requirements.
It’s crucial to account for both the shower unit’s price and any potential installation fees if hiring a professional.
Here are the typical price ranges and average costs (including installation) in 2023 according to Checkatrade:
Shower Type: Electric shower
Price Range: £60 – £200
Average Cost: £130
Shower Type: Power shower
Price Range: £100 – £500
Average Cost: £300
Shower Type: Mixer shower
Price Range: £50 – £150
Average Cost: £100
Shower Type: Walk-in shower
Price Range: £200 – £2,000
Average Cost: £1,100
Are there specific water pressure requirements for different types of showers?
Yes, different showers have varied water pressure needs. Electric showers usually function well under standard pressure as they heat water on demand.
However, mixer showers, especially those without an integrated pump, might need higher water pressure, ensuring consistent temperature and flow.
If you have low water pressure at your home, it might be beneficial to consider a shower pump.
How often should I consider servicing or replacing parts of my shower unit?
Regular maintenance can extend the life of your shower unit. It’s advisable to have a professional check your shower every 1-2 years.
Signs like inconsistent temperature or decreased water flow might indicate that parts like the cartridge or filters need replacement.
What considerations should I keep in mind for hard water areas?
In areas with hard water, mineral deposits can accumulate in shower fittings, affecting performance and lifespan.
It’s advisable to consider showers designed to handle hard water or to install a water softener.
Regular descaling of electric shower units is also essential to maintain optimum performance.
Installing a shower requires meticulous attention to detail, understanding the varied processes for different shower types, and recognising the pros and cons of DIY installation.
Whether opting for an electric, thermostatic mixer, or any other kind of shower, adhering to safety guidelines and following each step carefully ensures a safe and effective setup.
If you are interested in having a new shower installed or any other kind of bathroom design project, get in touch today.