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Shower Pump Quandry

  • 24-11-2018 12:07am
    Registered Users Posts: 23

    Any input from plumbers or people who've had their bathrooms renovated would be very much appreciated.

    Situation is: My folks are getting bathroom renovated after 20 odd years. They're doing away with bath and getting walk-in shower with seat on wall. The shower they'd like is a thermostatic one with a rail while also having the 250mm shower head coming out from the wall and so need a pump (It’s a open vented gravity fed system).

    The quandary is: It's an old two story house with hot press/hot water tank in upstairs bedroom. The Bathroom is a level below this and on a return at back of the house, i.e. on a landing.
    To put a shower pump beside hot water tank isn't feasible because; A) it would pump the whole house and they don't want that especially with pump being in bedroom hot press and B) it's too big and messy a job to cut open the walls and track two pipes from bedroom to bathroom.
    Thus, they were given 3 options:
    1) Power shower on wall (but they'd really like the thermostatic bar shower)
    2) There's a false wall going up to conceal a hidden cistern; they could get an access panel in this wall and put a shower pump behind as there'll be enough room (downside of this is it's probably a good 2 metre drop and 3.5 metres horizontal travel away from hot water tank and so warranty may be null & void for pump. The builder thinks there will be enough ventilation for the pump here and my folks are aware that when they have a shower, there'll be reduced pressure in Kitchen and ground floor wc due to pump)
    And finally 3) They get an Aqualisa Visage gravity pumped shower. There's one with 250mm Shower Head and it comes with a pump which again, can be sited in false wall behind access panel. It’s a lot smaller than standard 2/3 bar pump.

    Can anyone see any problems with 2) or 3) or would they prefer one setup over the other?
    Thanks in advance


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,925 ✭✭✭whizbang

    I think you dont need a pump at all.

    2storey house, presume the cold water storage tank is in the attic. Jack it up a bit, and easily get 6M head pressure.
    Do they really want the power?

    Just make sure there's enough insulation; the hotter the room, then less hot water required..

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,786 ✭✭✭antoinolachtnai

    What is the problem with the warranty for no. 2? I don't think this will really present a difficulty (though it is worth consulting the pump manufacturer or distributor if you are in any doubt).

  • Registered Users Posts: 23 br8

    What is the problem with the warranty for no. 2? I don't think this will really present a difficulty (though it is worth consulting the pump manufacturer or distributor if you are in any doubt).
    Thanks for reply,
    Yes, worth looking at getting on to some pump companies and telling them situation.
    My one worry (note: I’m not a plumber) is that the pump will be fed of a tee from hot and cold in bathroom with a check valve being put on hot and cold bathroom pipes between tee and pump. I’ve just read a lot about pumps needing there own dedicated supply from hot water tank and cold water tank. And if they don’t have their own dedicated supply , there’s danger of air getting into pump and it not working properly?
    As I say, I’m no plumber and this is just from things I’ve read on forums, may not be true?
    If pump lasted 5 years instead of 8, they’d live with that no problem but I’d fear they spend the money on a refurb and end up with a ‘spluttering’ shower?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,786 ✭✭✭antoinolachtnai

    This is a big thing for your parents and you want to make sure you get the right job.

    I can see the concern. It would probably be fine, but maybe there would be a problem. You might have these problems with the power shower alternatives you mention.

    I can't see why it would be such a big problem to run two half-inch pipes down from cylinder. There must be two pipes going out there anyway, so there must be a path. Running pipes is not as tough these days as it was when everything was copper.

    I would expect that you could run the pipe across a few joists in the upstairs room over to the corner at the back adjacent the stairs, and then out through the wall out into the return. It is a bit messy, but if it's what it takes, you do it. You are going to be re-tiling in the bathroom anyway.

    Another thing you might do, since you are getting rid of the bath, might be to move the cylinder to the bathroom. This would free up some space in the bedroom, which might be useful. Now, this is quite a lot of work to do, but worth considering when you are doing the job.

    Is the cylinder old? If it isn't the type with foam insulation, it is time to replace it anyway.