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. Stuart Turner (further down this page) make one called “Showermate”.
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 Stuart Turner
Stuar Turner are market leaders for premium shower pumps and water boosting products. Their extensive ranges cover anything from a single outlet to the whole house and even larger commercial property types.
Shower pumps are installed onto gravity fed systems to improve water pressure out of the taps and shower heads. They are available in standard or universal variants, depending on what sort of flow you have. Check out the video for an explanation of when you would use which type.
For more information about Stuart Turner’s shower pump ranges visit: https://www.stuart-turner.co.uk