If the water flow from a shower is little more than a trickle, installing a shower pump to boost the flow is a great solution for gravity-fed systems. With such a wide variety of pumps on the market, selecting the right pump can be a job in itself.
Here is and advice from Ken Vance, training manager at Salamander Pumps, on how to choose the correct shower pump.
1. Shower or a whole house?
Shower pumps can be suitable exclusively for showers or they can boost water to the whole house. So, you can improve the water flow in the shower with a shower specific pump but you can also boost it in bathrooms as well as other house appliances with whole-house pumps.
Shower specific pumps, e.g. the Salamander CT50 Xtra, are designed to boost hot and cold water at the same time to a conventional shower. A shower-specific pump that has been connected to other outlets that use only hot or cold water individually can become damaged due to ‘closed head’ running. Whole-house pumps benefit from Crossover Technology that makes them pump to hot or cold outlets together or separately without one side of the pump overheating.
2. Consider the noise
Shower pumps can be noisy due to the motor within them but there are some quieter than others. For example, The Right Pump range from Salamander Pumps offers the quietest twin pump available in the UK. When choosing a pump look for the Quiet Mark logo to ensure you are picking a quiet option.
3. Showerhead size
Generally a 1-3inch (2.5-7.5cm) shower head needs a 1.5 bar pump; a 3-5inch (7.5-12.5cm) head needs a 2 bar pump, and a 6+inch (12+cm) head needs a 3 bar pump. Another thing to consider is the number of outlets that will be boosted by the pump. The more outlets that will be supplied, the higher the bar rating will need to be. Salamander’s EVE pump can switch between 1.5, 2 and 3 bar via a touch control panel on the pump. This gives the user the ability to change how powerful the water performance is to their shower.
4. Twin-ended or Single-ended?
Twin pumps will boost both hot and cold water to a shower, bathroom or the whole house. Single pumps can boost hot or cold water to a single outlet or the whole house. A single negative head pump can often be used when the mains is cold fed and the hot needs to be boosted to match this pressure.
5. Positive or negative head?
For the shower pump to work to we need something to ‘activate’ them. This can either be a natural flow or pressure switches. In a ‘positive head’ situations the natural flow within the gravity-fed system will activate the shower pump. When the natural flow isn’t strong enough the pump uses a change in pressure to activate. This is known as negative head situations and this is when you need a universal pump (one that can be used in both positive and negative head situations).
Sometimes it's not easy to decide if installation needs a positive head or universal pump but there are pumps such as Salamander’s new EVE pump that will work in either situation. Most negative head (universal) pumps include a pressure vessel on top of the unit, which can be large. EVE is the first pump on the market to work in both positive and negative head situations without the need for a pressure vessel.
Don't forget to use an Interactive Product Selector, featured on our blog courtesy of Salamander Pumps, that will guide you through a process of selecting the right water boosting solution.