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Last edited 28 Jan 2022
Types of showers
The Building Regulations Approved Document G: Sanitation, hot water safety and water efficiency suggests that the term ‘sanitary appliance’ means a ‘… WC, urinal, bath, shower, washbasin, sink, bidet and drinking fountain. It also includes appliances that are not connected to a water supply (e.g. composting toilet) or drain (e.g. waterless urinal).’
Instantaneous showers are generally designed to be connected directly to the mains water supply from the rising main. This type of shower does not require a separate supply of hot water, since incoming water is heated instantly within the device. The hot water is not provided by a central boiler, which means there is less likelihood of a disruption (unless there is a power cut in the case of instantaneous electric showers). The hot water is delivered in a thermostatically controlled manner that is not typically subject to fluctuations.
Most instantaneous showers are electrically powered (although there are some gas powered devices available). The kW rating of an instantaneous electric shower is an indication of the hot water flow - higher ratings are generally associated with better water flow.
In order to operate efficiently, an instantaneous shower must be provided with sufficient water pressure. This may require a shower pump (or booster pump) if the pressure from the mains is inadequate.
Mixer showers are connected to pipes that supply hot and cold water. The desired water temperature is achieved by a mixer valve connecter to the shower head. Some shower mixers have a single control to regulate the flow and temperature of the water.
Thermostatic valves can help to control the water temperature and pressure on mixer showers. If the pressure drops on either the hot or cold supply (perhaps due to an increase in usage elsewhere), the thermostatic valve compensates by adjusting the flow rate to moderate the temperature.
Alternatively, an independent shower cubicle may be a freestanding, corner installation (or quadrant) or built-in cupboard. These come in various shapes, including square, rectangular, curved, angled and so on.
There are low step and level access showers - as well as wet rooms - that offer accessibility benefits. There are also high end power showers, multi-head body showers, waterfall or rain showers, concealed showers, digital showers and smart showers.
- Approved Document G.
- Level access shower.
- Rising main.
- Types of sanitary appliances.
- Water tank.
- Wet room.
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