There several different types of shower available, but the main ones are electric or mixer (with or without a pump). It’s vital to choose the right one for your plumbing system. A gravity-fed system should be compatible with any, whereas a combination boiler or a direct feed from the mains won’t allow a pump.
Fitting a shower is possible for someone with advanced DIY skills, but if you’re not completely confident or are unsure which type to choose, you’d be better hiring professionals, as getting the plumbing wrong can be disastrous. For fitting a shower in London, Handy Squad can do it for you expertly.
Fitting an Electric Shower
For an electric shower, you’ll need the water pipe and electrical cable in place first. Bring a 15mm pipe from the cold water supply and, using the shower fitting as a guide, drill a hole for it to come through. Feed the pipe through the wall and fit an isolating valve and the proper connector.
Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure you have the correct cable. Drill a hole in the wall and take the cable to a ceiling-mounted pull-cord switch. However, this has to be connected up by a qualified electrician, such as Handy Squad’s handymen, to comply with safety requirements.
Mark the fixing holes by holding the unit in place, then drill the holes and insert wall plugs and a little sanitary silicone sealant. Feed the pipe and cable through the unit and screw it to the wall, then connect the inlet pipe, tightening the compression fitting with a pipe wrench.
Attach the live and neutral cores of the cable to the “load” terminals and the earth core to the “earth” terminal and fit the cover, checking the rubber seal is secure. Then fix the rail on the wall and attach the handset to the hose, using the washers supplied.
Fitting a Mixer Shower
A thermostatic mixer shower can be connected to the hot and cold supplies via branch pipes. If your supply is gravity-fed, you can install a pump to increase the flow, which can be hidden under the bath or in a cupboard. If you’re not using a pump, the shower head should be at least a metre below the bottom of the tank.
Having read the manufacture’s instructions thoroughly and checked that you have all parts, bring the hot and cold inlet pipes to the shower area, making sure they’re fixed inside the wall to stop them moving. Make sure you fit the compression olives, and flush the pipework through before connecting it up. The mixer unit can then be assembled according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Once your shower of whichever type is in place, if you aren’t using it as part of your bath, you can install rails, a shower tray or an enclosure. Follow the instructions that come with these, but seal your tray or enclosure securely with silicone to ensure it’s watertight.
Consider a Professional
Plumbing and electrics are the two most hazardous areas for DIYers, and combining the two makes the danger far greater. If you’re absolutely sure you know what you’re doing, these tips should help you stay safe. Otherwise, give Handy Squad a call, and we’ll be delighted to install your shower.