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Which is the best shower to buy??
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# 1
lmcg123cat
Old 23-02-2006, 9:42 AM
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Default Which is the best shower to buy??

Could anyone give me any advice please on the best type of shower to buy. We have a combi boiler [it's an old one though and not very reliable] and we would like to have a shower fitted. What type should we buy, are the cheaper ones worth getting, or should we pay more? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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# 2
moneysavingplumber
Old 23-02-2006, 1:03 PM
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I'm sure several people would suggest that you have an electric heater shower in view of the fact that you don't consider your combi to be very reliable, and this would be an advantage should the combi break down. However, the performance of these is not great, and they use alot of electricity, and can be expensive to have fitted.

There are many budget thermostatic shower valves on the market for as little as 80 that can be fitted directly to your hot and cold supplies. If you want something a little more contemporary then the Aqualisa Quartz is probably the best mid-price on the market, in my opinion, at around 400.

In all cases you will need to check water pressures and flow rates against manufacturers' minimum requirements.
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# 3
doogie
Old 23-02-2006, 1:08 PM
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We put in a shower as we got our bathroom done at the same time we got central heating fitted for the first time in our new house.

Your choices are generally between electric/ mains/ power - I *think* power needs storage, not a combi but not 100% sure. Electric is cold feed only and has it's own internal heater (think they start about 8.5kw and I'm sure I've seen 13kw ones) - the bigger the heater the more water you can heat in the same amount of time and thus the better a shower you can get, at the expense of using more electrickery. Having an electric means you will need to run sparks directly from your consumer unit to the bathroom.

If your combi has a decent output (ie it's reliable and you have a reasonable water pressure) then a mains is ideal, it's what we got - a whole shower cabinet with tray and shower for a couple of hundred quid from B&Q on a promotion 6 months ago (IIRC it was called shower 2 go or similar) - this just takes a cold feed from your cold main and a hot feed from your combi and you change the ratio with the controller bit.... no sparks etc to run to the bathroom, but not totally sure what options are available for mains if you're just adding it to a bath and not putting in a whole cubicle.

If you have a bath then to check that you can take a mains shower, get a tap connector shower (sub 5 sort of thing) and see how good the water force is to make sure you'll get decent shower pressure.

Personally I don't rate electric showers, but that's possibly just because of my experience of low wattage units with practically a dribble of water coming out of them, even less on a cold day when the water is colder to start with so takes longer to heat up.

Hope that helps a little!
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# 4
lmcg123cat
Old 23-02-2006, 9:14 PM
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Thanks to both of you guys for this advice. sounds like I should stay away from electric showers! Much appreciated thanks again.
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# 5
corduroy-boy
Old 23-02-2006, 10:49 PM
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A lot depends on what you mean by your combi boiler being unreliable. If you have a low flow rate off the mains then it is best to stay away from a mains shower and go for an electric (for the reasons people have already said). The most reliable brands tend to be Aqualisa and Mira. Their showers last well, and quite importantly, are backed up with a good spare parts service if anything goes wrong (you can still get spare parts for showers over 20 years old). For a basic electric shower, the Mira Zest is a good choice, and costs around 110. The output in kw is important in terms of the flow rate that will be achieved through an electric shower. An output of 10.5 kw will give approx 30% more flow rate than the basic 7.5kw electric shower, but will also require more substantial electric cables and be more expensive to fit as a result (check out Mira Sport 10.5kw).

If you have a decent flow rate through the combi boiler, a mains shower is a better choice and cheaper to install. The Aqualisa Quartz (already mentioned) is an excellent shower and has won several awards. If you got the off-the-wall model it would be easier to fit and thus installation cost should be cheaper - you'd need the standard one rather than pumped for a combi boiler. Apart from that, I'd recommend the special combi-friendly showerd from Mira - I've got the Combiflow which is easy to operate and great for these systems; the 415 / combiforce is a cheaper option.
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# 6
lmcg123cat
Old 23-02-2006, 11:07 PM
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Thanks for your help courduroy-boy The flow rate from the combi isn't too good so looks like an electric one after all.
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# 7
djohn2002uk
Old 23-02-2006, 11:20 PM
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Why not just ask a couple of plumbers to come and give you a price. They can then advise you on whether your combi is suitable or not. Better to get a professional opinion on site really. I'd go with recommending Mira too, excellent after sales service too.
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# 8
lmcg123cat
Old 23-02-2006, 11:47 PM
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Thanks I think I will do this, leave it to the professionals...they know best....as long as I can get free quotes!!!! spoken like a true money saver!!
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# 9
djohn2002uk
Old 24-02-2006, 12:05 AM
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If the quote aint free find someone else...lol
Plenty of plumbers in yellow pages.
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# 10
Nile
Old 24-02-2006, 9:26 AM
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Hello corduroy-boy


Welcome to the MSE site.
Hi, I'm the Board Guide on the In my home (includes DIY) and the I wanna buy-it or do-it boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge posts there. However, do remember that Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

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# 11
coolagarry
Old 24-02-2006, 9:51 AM
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I've got one directly off the mains and I've got an electric one. I much prefer the electric one. Mine is 8kw and for me it's perfectly adequate but remember it has to be wired directly off the mains so that is an added expense.
In my case I decided to have my consumer unit changed so now it trips out if I have electrical problems - much better than the old fuses I used to have
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# 12
benjus
Old 24-02-2006, 11:44 AM
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I've got a combi boiler and a Mira Excel shower. It's great - probably the best shower of any house I've lived in. The temperature is extremely stable and the flow rate is decent.
I often found with electric shower heaters that you either set it to the top power setting and the water comes out too hot no matter how you set the pressure, or you set it to the lower power setting and you have to turn the pressure down to a trickle to get it hot enough. It varies depending on the time of year and the temperature of the mains supply. Maybe I was just unlucky and had low mains pressure, but electric showers never seem to perform very well.
Power showers (i.e. a mixer with a pump) are good, but the one in my parents' house makes a lot of noise, and you can't use a power shower with a combi boiler anyway...
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# 13
cheggers
Old 24-02-2006, 2:04 PM
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The best brand is a german brand not sure on the spelling its groher. These showers run off any combi boiler and are the best power showers on the market and are fitted in all the top hotels and gyms.
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# 14
bernlyn
Old 25-02-2006, 3:09 AM
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it is grohe and they look great. the one i looked at came with a 5 year warranty
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# 15
Alan M
Old 18-05-2006, 6:39 PM
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Grohe tend to be designed for high flow systems, you'd generally need a large combi boiler to run one of these (large combi= something the size of a washing machine and usually found floormounted - Potterton Powermax HE or similar) If you have a regular wall mounted combi boiler it's unlikely it will provide enough flow to operate a Grohe shower.

Aqualisa and Mira make outstanding showers, for my money Mira have the edge on the electric units and the Mira Sport is the one to go for in my opinion, they come in three power setting, go for the middle one it's 9.8Kw from memory, there is one at 11Kw I think but the electrical supply will need to be 50 amp which isn't cheap.

Does your bath take a dogs age to fill? If the answer is yes, or well it's ok but not what you'd call fast, then that's a sign you don't have enough flow rate for a standard shower and your choice is electric, or replace the boiler.
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# 16
Most Wanted
Old 31-05-2006, 2:17 PM
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I have read this thread with interest.
I am in a dilemma as to what to do.
My house has a conventional boiler with a cold water and hot water tank in the loft. (It is a bungalow).

Ideally I would like a good water pressured shower that does not use up much electricity as it will be used everyday.
I know that electric showers take in cold water and heat it - but is the water pressure enough?
Power showers might be good choice but do they use more electricity than electric showers because of the pump they use?

Any products that might fit the bill?

Thanks in advance!
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# 17
Alan M
Old 31-05-2006, 2:59 PM
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An electric shower is as powerful as the coil and the mains pressure it's connected to.

A more powerful unit which heats the water quicker will cost more to run.

If you're looking for a pumped shower you can't beat the Aqualisa Quartz pumped, it's not heating the water so draws far less current, it's just drawing enough to run a small pump, easy to install and in a bungalow the enitre processing unit + pump can be sited in the loft.

available on Ebay here http://my.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?MyeBay

at £400 delivered, that's for the whole lot for the off the wall unit and is by far the easiest installation of any pump shower available,
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# 18
Most Wanted
Old 02-06-2006, 3:44 PM
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How does this model compare to Mira?
http://www.mirashowers.com/onlinecat...=Power+Showers

For £200-£300 more what does the Aqualisa offer?
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# 19
Alan M
Old 02-06-2006, 5:25 PM
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Design, flow, power, low noise (as the pump is sited in the loft and not on the wall of your bathroom) and ease of installation.

If it doesn't bother you what the unit looks like or if it's a bit noisy then Aqualisa also produce the Aquastream, which is a competitive model the Mira unit you selected.
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# 20
trace-j
Old 14-07-2006, 12:26 PM
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Can I gatecrash, didnt see the point in starting a new thread?

We've just moved into a new build 3 story townhouse. The guest bathroom (1st floor) has a bath, sink and loo. En suite (to floor) is fitted with a Grohe thermostatic shower, sink and loo. All served via a wall mounted combi boiler.

We would like to install a shower over the guest bath but not sure how to go about it as the existing tiling around the bath would need adding to (only a splash back). Would like another Grohe installed but unsure of the mess it would make (and bits to buy) as I don't think there any pipes in the wall other than under the bath.

Is it possible to buy a thermostatic bath shower mixer that replaces the existing hot and cold water bath taps without the need for any plumbing in the wall. Don't really want take down any existing tiling and then put it back.
I got an idea, an idea so smart my head would explode if I even began to know what I was talking about
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