Monthly Archives: April 2012

Easy Ways To Save Water

After one of the driest two-year periods on record, around 20 million people across Southern and Eastern England are now facing one of the strictest hosepipe bans ever introduced. Around 20 million people face a £1,000 fine if they defy the ban, which includes watering the garden, cleaning the car, and filling a swimming/paddling pool with a hosepipe. 

Hosepipe Ban

With the current drought situation, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the amount of water we use, and waste, on a daily basis. The average person in  England and Wales uses 150 litres of water a day. Most of this water is used for washing and toilet flushing, but it also includes cooking, drinking, car washing and watering the garden. By 2020 the demand for water in the UK could increase by 800 million extra litres of water a day.

Choosing to have a five minute shower each day instead of a bath can save up to 400 litres of water a week. Shorten your shower by a minute or two to save even more water. If you have a shower radio, try to limit your shower by listening to just one or two songs. Turn your shower off when lathering your hair, and only run the water to rinse off shampoo and shower gel.

Our digital showers feature an ‘ECO’ flow rate mode on the processor which will save approximately 25% of water compared to the ‘NORMAL’ mode. Please note that when making any adjustments to the processor settings the power must be isolated. The ‘ECO’ flow rate mode should not be selected for shower systems fitted to combination boilers.

We have collated a list of some other water-saving tips to help you get through the hosepipe ban:

1.) When rinsing fruit and vegetables, collect the water and re-use it to water houseplants.

2.) Only use your washing machine and dishwasher with a full load.

3.) Buy a water butt and collect the rainwater from your roof to water your garden.

4.) A leaky tap can waste as much as 90 litres a week – fix it today!

5.) Turn off the water when brushing your teeth and save 9 litres a minute.

6.) If you have a cold, instead of flushing each tissue away, throw it in the rubbish.

7.) If you accidentally drop ice cubes when making a drink, don’t throw them in the sink, drop them in a houseplant.

8.) For cold drinks, keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the tap for ages each time.

9.) Every time you boil an egg, save the cooled water for your houseplants.

10.) Only fill your kettle with enough water for your needs. This will also cut down your electricity bill.

These are just a few water-saving tips that shouldn’t be too costly to implement… do you have any other ideas?

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Nature’s Showers – Our Top 5 Waterfalls

Before digital showers, and mixer showers and even electric showers, there was one kind of natural shower that has been on our planet for thousands of years: waterfalls.

You might be thinking about booking your next holiday to an exotic destination soon, so why not take some inspiration from these amazing waterfalls….

5.) Yosemite Falls, California, USA

  • Located in the Yosemite National Park
  • One of the world’s tallest waterfalls at 24,235 ft
  • It’s considered the crown jewel in the Yosemite Valley and can be seen from many viewpoints across the valley
  • Drops in 3 stages: the Upper Fall, The Middle Cascades and The Lower Fall
Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

4.) Angel Falls (Salto Angel), Canaima, Venezuela

  • At 3212 feet, Angel Falls is the tallest permanent waterfall in the world
  • The falls are named after Jimmy Angel, who flew his plane to the top of the waterfall in search of gold in 1937.
  • The falls are often shrouded in a swirling mist, giving a mysterious feel to the place, that many say is reminiscent of a Jurassic “Lost World”

    Angel Falls

    Angel Falls (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

3.) Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada/New York, USA

  • The most famous waterfall in North America and also the biggest waterfall by volume: 2.8 million litres per second pass over the falls!
  • It marks the border between New York, USA and Ontario, Canada
  • Niagara Falls is the collective name for the Horseshoe Falls, the adjacent American Falls and the smaller Bridal Veil Falls

    Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls

2.) Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Zambia/Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

  • The largest singular waterfall in the world spanning a width of 1.7km, a height of 108m, and an average flow of 1 million litres per second!
  • David Livingstone was the first European to see the falls, and named them in honour of Queen Victoria in 1855
  • Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

1.) Iguazu Falls, Puerto Iguazu, Argentina/Foz do Iguacu, Brazil

  • A network of 275 waterfalls which are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • La Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) is a narrow horseshoe split between Argentina and Brazil.
  • The entire site spans an incredible 3 km wide. 

    Iguazu Falls

    Iguazu Falls

Images courtesy of stock.xchng

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How To Choose Between Electric and Mixer Showers

Choosing a suitable shower system for your home can be a challenge. Do you know the type of water system in your home and how it works? Some homes have hot water tanks which store hot water for staggered use. Others have combination boilers which provide hot water on demand. Before choosing an electric or mixer shower, it’s important to decide whether you want to use your hot water system or not to supply water to the shower.

Some households have plenty of hot water on demand and a good level of water pressure, whereas other store their hot water and as such, it may run out quickly. By taking all of this information into account before buying a shower, you can choose the best shower for your household.

Electric Shower

A typical electric shower

If you’d rather not use your hot water system, then an electric shower is the best choice for you. Electric showers connect to your cold mains fed water supply and heat this water instantly and on demand. This means that electric showers are ideal for large families and busy households, particularly when there is not a large hot water tank. Having an electric shower means that there is no waiting for the hot water tank to heat up – you simply turn the shower on and away you go! Electric showers are available with different electrical power ratings, so it may be necessary to check that your current electricity supply, cable and fuse size are compatible with the requirements of the shower before buying one. A Part P registered electrician may need to install the shower depending on whether it is a replacement shower or not.

Mixer shower

A typical concealed mixer shower

On the other hand, if you are happy to use your hot water system then a mixer shower is the best choice for you. Mixer showers are compatible with almost any water system, including gravity fed systems, combination boiler systems and other high pressure systems. A mixer shower blends hot and cold water from different sources to reach your perfect temperature. This means there’s no endless tap-twiddling to get the right temperature.

Furthermore, thermostatic mixer showers automatically adjust to maintain a constant temperature even when a tap or another water source is turned on elsewhere in the house. This is an important safety feature to prevent users getting an unpleasant shock from scalding hot or freezing cold water as well as making showering much more convenient!

Mixer showers come in a range of designs, both exposed (with the valve and pipework mounted on the tiles) and concealed (where everything is fitted in a cavity behind the tiling). Exposed showers are easier to install and more flexible in terms of positioning, whereas concealed showers give a neater finish but are more complex to install. Before buying a shower, make sure you consider installation costs in your budget.

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How do electric showers work?

For many of us, electric showers are a part of our everyday lives. They may be the first thing we use in the morning, or perhaps the last thing at night. But although your electric shower may be an important part of your daily routine, do you actually know how it works? Knowing the basics about electric showers can help you know what to do should anything ever going wrong.

The first point to note about electric showers is that they work independently of your hot water system and boiler. This means that should your boiler ever fail you’ll still be able to have a hot shower. This is because electric showers connect directly to the mains cold water supply and heat this water instantly on demand. Electric showers are therefore good for busy households as there is no chance that the hot water will run out. They are also good for households that have low hot water pressure, providing the mains pressure is adequate.

White Electric Shower

Almost any household can have an electric shower fitted, regardless of the hot water system. The cold mains water that is fed into the unit passes over a heating element and is heated up before being delivered through the shower head. An easy way to understand it is to think of the shower working in a similar way to a kettle, if a little bit more sophisticated!

The temperature of water selected by the user will affect the flow of water that is delivered. For example, the colder the water selected is, the more powerful the flow will be. This is because the water will need to spend less time passing over the heating element therefore resulting in a more powerful flow. Conversely, the hotter the temperature selected, the longer time the water will take to be heated by the element, and therefore the resulting flow of water will be lower. This is why the flow of water will always be lower when a high temperature is selected.

Satin Chrome Electric Shower

To combat lower flow rates, electric showers are available with different engine sizes. The engines are measured by kilowatt ratings, and the most commonly available sizes are 8.5kW, 9.5kW and 10.5kW. The higher the kilowatt rating, the more powerful the flow of the water will be as the engine has more power to heat it. Higher kilowatt showers will use more energy, however, resulting in higher running costs.

When installing an electric shower, a Part P registered electrician may be required to assess and carry out any electrical work. This is particularly important when replacing an old shower and upgrading or downgrading the kilowatt rating as it may be necessary to change the electrical cabling.

So, now you’ve found out how they work, why not browse our great range of electric showers to find the perfect one for you?

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