Combination Boiler, Or Pressurised/Unvented Systems?
Considering High Pressure Systems For Showers
Posted: November 2019
While you will naturally have your own preferences about the type of shower you want in your bathroom, a number of factors can affect how your shower will work when it is installed. Your water system will play a crucial role in the performance of your shower. There are several different types of water system, each with different levels of suitability to different types of shower.
To help you to determine the perfect type of shower for your home, here's our guide to the most common water systems.
LOW PRESSURE GRAVITY SYSTEMS
Probably the most common type of domestic water system, low pressure gravity systems involve a cold water tank (cistern) in your loft and a hot water tank (cylinder) in your airing cupboard. This system is described as low pressure because gravity is the only force determining the pressure of your water - the higher your cold water tank is situated, the higher the water pressure you will experience.
Mixer showers are a common choice for this type of water system. As their name suggests, they mix water from the hot and cold water supplies to achieve your ideal temperature. If you prefer a more vigorous shower and the height of your cistern isn't providing the desired water pressure, installing an electric pump will add extra 'oomph', turning your mixer into a satisfyingly stronger shower.
Electric showers can also come with a low pressure gravity system. To increase the pressure on these, cold-feed 'boosters' are worth considering. They will only boost the pressure of the cold water, as electric showers can only deliver hot water as fast as it can heat it. This is often the most cost-efficient option, as only the exact amount of water you need is heated.
MAINS PRESSURE COMBINATION BOILER SYSTEMS
This type of system uses a combination boiler to heat cold water directly from the mains supply, so there is no need for a cistern or cylinder in your home. The water is fed directly from the mains supply, resulting in a higher water pressure than you would get with a gravity system.
Mixer showers work well with combination boiler systems, and what's more a pump is not required, due to the high power of water coming directly from the mains supply.
MAINS PRESSURE UNVENTED SYSTEMS
Unvented systems work by storing mains pressure water in a hot water cylinder, warmed up using immersion heaters or a central heating boiler. Meanwhile, cold water is supplied directly from the mains, negating the need for a cold water tank in your loft.
You can capitalise on the increased pressure available from an unvented system by installing a mixer shower. These allow large volumes of hot water to be supplied, resulting in a strong torrent of water.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Once you have established which water system you have in your home (check for cisterns, cylinders, and boilers to find out which category yours falls into), make a list of the most important elements you are looking for in your shower.
For example, if multiple members of your family tend to shower at a similar time each day, a mixer shower may not be the best route to go down, as your hot water tank might not have adequate time to refill between showers - unless it's fitted with a combination boiler to heat the cold water directly from the cold mains supply. An alternative to this could be to connect an electric shower to the mains water supply, ensuring a pleasant temperature time after time.
A variety of products are available to help alleviate some of the issues associated with different types of water system. Gravity systems can sometimes result in inconsistent water temperatures. For example, when a toilet is flushed or a hot tap is used, a shower's temperature can be affected. iflo's thermostatic mixer showers help to resolve this issue, maintaining water temperature within 1C for a safe and comfortable showering experience. Each iflo shower also features an automatic shutdown feature - should the hot or cold water supplies fail. This shutdown is also designed to happen instantly, so you don't have to worry about an unpleasant showering experience.
Even greater control can be achieved thanks to iflo's diverse range of showers, which allow you to instantly change the flow and temperature of water at the touch of a button. Regardless of your water system, iflo can help you to pick a shower that matches your preferences and remain reliable for years to come.
Download our brochure or visit your local Bathroom Showroom to find out more.