What is a power shower

The power shower buying guide: choosing the right power shower for you

For many, a good shower is a pivotal moment in their day. It wakes them up, sets them up for the day to come, or fully revitalises someone after a long day of work or a hard workout. The water pressure of your shower can make or break just how effective that shower is.

We've all been there when a shower offers up a trickle of water when you want a cascade, and it's those moments where a power shower really comes into its own. To help you understand power showers we've put together the ultimate guide, so you'll be able to come out the other side fully equipped with the knowledge you need to buy the best power shower possible.

What is a power shower and how does it work?

A power shower is the answer to poor water pressure. It uses the basics of a mixer shower, combining your hot and cold water into one stream, then adds a pump to increase the pressure of the water coming out of the shower head.

In many older plumbing systems, water is stored in a tank in the attic (or at a high point in the home) which supplies cold water to your taps and the boiler or hot water tank. These are often low-pressure water systems, meaning they don't push the water around with any type of force.

That's where a power shower comes into play. It takes the water from both the cold pipe and the water that's been heated by your hot water tank and adds a pump. The pump is usually located in the shower unit, and it's used to force your water through at a higher pressure, giving you the revitalizing shower you desire.

Power showers vs electric showers; what's the difference?

While the difference between a power shower and a mixer shower is obvious; the pump! The difference between a power shower and an electric shower is a little more nuanced. You'd be forgiven for thinking that their names are actually interchangeable and that they mean the same thing. Unfortunately, though, they don't.

A power shower takes water from a hot water tank, which causes the water pressure to drop, so it needs a pump. An electric shower, on the other hand, takes its water directly from the cold water supply and heats it itself. This means it's unlikely to need a pump to boost the pressure.

With this in mind, electric showers can be more versatile. You'll generally be able to install one in any home or system, but a power shower may only be suitable in certain homes.

Power showers and your boiler; can I fit a power shower in my home?

As we've already mentioned, a power shower isn't the right choice for every home or water system. It generally comes down to whether you have a combi boiler or whether your system is pressurised. In both instances, we'd recommend a mixer or digital shower instead. We'd recommend installing a power shower with gravity-fed systems only.

Can you use a power shower with a combi boiler?

Generally, no. As a combination boiler heats water directly from the mains when you need it, it isn't compatible with a power shower.

Can you use a power shower with a pressurised system?

Again, due to the way that a pressurised system pulls its hot water, it's not possible to install a power shower.

Power shower types; which is the best power shower for me?

There are two core types of power showers. Each pumped electric shower offers a slightly different method of control. One is manual control, and the other uses thermostatic control.

Thermostatic power showers

A thermostatic power shower is designed to offer a constant temperature and pressure, regardless of what else is happening around your home. It's ideal for houses where there's a risk of someone running a tap or flushing the loo during your shower. You just set it to your desired temperature and it'll avoid any sudden temperature drops or spikes while keeping a steady flow of water too.

These power showers include a thermostatic cartridge. They're used to monitor the temperature of the water, as well as the flow rate. Whenever there's a change, the thermostat will react and keep your shower steady.

A thermostatic power shower is best for homes with multiple inhabitants and particularly those with families, both to minimise the risk of a poor shower and to avoid any safety risks from a sudden high temperature during a shower.

Thermostatic Shower In Bathroom

Manual power showers

A manual power shower puts the control with the user, in terms of both flow and temperature. While a thermostatic one offers a consistent flow and temperature, regardless of what else is going on, a manual one won't. You could have sudden drops in water flow rate through your shower heads or a patch of hotter or colder water.

Find the best power shower for you

At Plumbnation we offer a range of thermostatic and manual power showers that are perfect for low-pressure water systems.