The quick Plumberparts guide to shower pumps
If your mains water pressure means your shower head spits instead of splurges, you may well need a pump to give it a boost. Read on to find out if a shower pump is the answer.
When do I need a shower pump?
Shower pumps work when you've got a vented heating system and low water pressure in your home. A vented system is gravity-fed, with a cold water tank that typically sits in the loft. They're far more common in older homes.
How does a shower pump work?
Shower pumps dramatically increase the amount of water used, and they work their pressure magic using impellers. "A what?" I hear you ask. Yep, an impeller. An impeller is the pump's rotor.
A single impeller shower pump is where you boost one source of water: either premixed if that's how your house rolls, or the hot or the cold. A single impeller pump boosting the premixed is the most common.
A double or twin impeller shower pump boosts both hot and cold water sources.
1.5 bar, 2 bar and 3 bar are the most typical shower pump ratings. A higher bar means a higher pressure. So 3 bar is for your all-singing-all-dancing big power shower, 1.5 bar is for a normal sized shower head that needs a bit more oomph.
What's all this "positive head" and "negative head" shower pump stuff about?
Last but not least, there are different types of shower pump depending on where your shower is located in relation to your cold water tank.
If your shower head is above the height or you water tank (eg in a loft room), then you need a negative head shower pump.
If it's below, then get a positive head shower pump.
You do need to make sure there's going to be enough pressure in the system to trigger the pump though - we're talking 0.6 litres per minute (use a measuring jug to time if you need!) and a positive head for a standard shower pump to work.
There are shower pumps on the market now that can cater for both negative and positive heads in one unit. Salamander Pumps (further down this page) make one called "Eve".
How do I fit a shower pump?
There are different installation methods depending on your type of shower pump. One thing's for sure though, you want to make sure you've isolated the electrics before you start on anything!
Install twin impeller shower pumps before the shower mixer valve, and single impellers after.
Basic shower pump maintenance
Most shower pump maintenance is pretty self-explanatory: bleed any air locks, don't cover the pump with clothes, and make sure it's accessible.
The main message, though, is to keep it clean! Keep the shower head limescale-free, and replace the filters within the shower pump itself to remove traces of this chalky substance and any other build-up of debris. Using a water softener will also help keep limescale at bay and keep your shower pump in tip-top condition!
Plumberparts introduce Salamander Pumps
For over 25 years, Salamander Pumps has been successfully delivering smarter water performance in homes throughout the UK, leading the shower pump market in design innovation.
We offer a range of shower and whole house pumps suitable for boosting water in gravity fed installations, along with a mains water pump, HomeBoost.
We have options available for both positive and negative head gravity fed installations:
You have a positive head system if there is more than 600mm from the bottom of your cold water storage tank to the highest point in the system after the pump.
You have a negative head system if your highest outlet or highest point in the system is above or in line with the 600mm point below the cold water storage tank.
Click here to learn more about positive and negative head systems.
We work closely with installers and householders to deliver continuous improvement, ensuring that we offer a high quality product and excellent standards of customer service. Most recently noise reduction has been a key focus. Most of our range now hold the Quiet Mark, awarded to products for being one of the quietest in their category.
Salamander Pumps aims to support the installer as much as possible including a loyalty scheme that provides the opportunity to collect points for the pumps you buy and install. The points can then be exchanged for shopping vouchers. Visit our installer hub to register for points, and to have the opportunity to sign up to our Plumbers Network.
You can follow Salamander Pumps on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube!
Salamander Pumped Shower Systems Ltd
Unit 2C Colima Avenue
Enterprise Park West
Phone: 0191 516 2002
Contact Salamander Pumps here
Company Registration: 02778382