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Tim Cooke
Tim Cooke,
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 292
Experience:  Owner at Self-employed
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I live at the top of an apartment block (3rd floor) and

Customer Question

Hi, I live at the top of an apartment block (3rd floor) and built an ensuite 3 years ago. It has an electric shower and it is virtually unusable as the temperature and pressure are always fluctuating. I am after some advice as to how I could rectify this, I am willing to spend some money but want to get the correct kit to do the job.
JA: How long have you been dealing with this shower issue?
Customer: 3 years
JA: How long has this been going on with your shower? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I have not tried anything, I realise that it will need changing but I want to diagnose the problem correctly and so I can rectify it properly
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: Yes. It is an old building (1937) and I don't have gas central heating or a boiler, just a cold water pipe.
Submitted: 18 days ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 17 days ago.

Hello, in order to help you I need to ask a few questions:

1. Do you know the flow rate and static pressure of your cold supply?
2. What's the make and model of your existing shower unit?
3. Do you have any stored hot water?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Hi Tim, unfortunately I am away at the moment and so cannot test the flow rate, I have done this in the past using a measuring cup and timer but I cannot remember the results, only that it is relatively low. The shower is a Triton T80. The stored hot water is a more complicated issue, the building I am in has 24 apartments and was built in 1937, from what I know, the plumbing hasn't changed much since then. It has communal hot water which flows to all of the taps. However, my apartment is duplex and when I moved in the plumbing was all to the 2nd floor (my bottom floor). I then built the ensuite on the 3rd floor but there was only a trickle from the hot water (obviously the communal hot water system is not designed to flow this high). Because of this I only pipe the cold water feed up to the ensuite and heat the water with the electric shower. This also means that the shower is right at the end of the line, it comes from my kitchen then goes to my ensuite toilet and sink before the shower. I strongly suspect that the cold water feed also passes through other apartments beneath me because even when everything is off in my apartment the flow rate fluctuates in the ensuite shower.

I hope this is enough information for now and I hope it makes some sense, but please let me know if you need anything else.

Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 17 days ago.
Do you have enough room to install a break tank?
25 gallons would probably be enough, but that’s quite big.
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Hi Tim, thanks for your answer... I understand that was a lot of info before but just wanted to build a picture up for you.... I have looked up the break tank idea and it seems like a good idea. My only other question after this would be, does the break tank have to be above the shower in my loft space (this can be done but would mean me widening the current access hatch). Or can it be next to the shower and a pump rigged up going from it ? Also, do you think with either of those situations I may have enough pressure to install an electric waterfall shower (the wife really wants one) ?
Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 16 days ago.

A pump is essential with a break tank, or fit a shower unit with a built in pump. For example, the Triton T80Si Pumped shower.

As for the height of the tank, I would choose the most convenient site and then select a pump to suit the application. You're likely to need a negative head pump, and I recommend this one (32 lpm). The Monsoon is a beast of a pump, and has a 5-year warranty. If you need to spend less, then get this one (18 lpm), but observe the duty/cooling cycle.

Waterfall shower: If you tell me the product that you're thinking of getting, I'll tell you whether or not I think it will be suitable.

Expert:  Tim Cooke replied 12 days ago.

Hello, how are you getting on with your shower?