Monthly Archives: June 2012

Have You Thought About Eco-Showers?

Did you know that the average shower uses just over 60 litres of water*? If you think that’s scary, then consider that the average bath uses a minimum of 100 litres of water*! It becomes quite clear that if going green is an objective of yours, then showering is the way forward.

Now, while choosing to have a shower over a bath will certainly stack up your ‘green points’, the type and technology of the shower is still critical. It can be difficult to know where to start, especially with companies offering everything from ‘eco shower heads’ to ‘flow restrictors’ and ‘showers with eco-settings’ –  without hard facts, how do you know which features actually work, and which are just marketing gimmicks? 

Shower Technology – Let’s Start With Digital

Digital Showers have made great advances when it comes to ‘greener showering’, or ‘eco-showers’. Our digital showers, for example, feature an eco-setting on the processor box. If you want a more eco-friendly shower, ask your plumber during installation to activate the eco-setting, and the water flow will be reduced by around 25%. The final water-saving will. of course, depending upon your specific plumbing system.

As well as the eco-benefits that come with digital showers, using them is a piece of cake too. A one touch, push button design means switching them on and off is unbelievably simple, so they’re great for children and the elderly who may otherwise struggle with complicated controls. The controller also has a ‘cool-touch’ feature to make sure it stays cool to the touch. Plus, the LED display on the shower’s control flashes to let you know the water is warming up. Once your perfect temperature has been reached the display turns steady to let you know it’s time to step in. That means no more chilly showers!

One thing to note with our digital showers when considering eco-showering is the ‘boost’ feature. This feature is specifically designed to give gravity-fed systems in particular a helping hand, but when used will override any ‘green’ showering that you were planning. So, using the boost button might be something best kept for occasional indulgences.

So, for a fantastic shower that ticks the eco boxes too, digital could be your best solution:

  • Easy to install
  • Compatible with virtually all types of home plumbing systems
  • Simple to use
  • Affordable

Electric Showers – Keen To Be Green

If installing a digital shower isn’t an option, but being green and saving water is still important, then how about an electric shower? Electric showers have come a long way, and the technology has never been better, safer, or more affordable. Plus, electric showers don’t place any demand on your household’s stored hot water, so there are energy savings to be had too. Try to limit yourself to 5 minutes when using an electric shower, otherwise your green credentials may not be so green! The average person spend 7 minutes in the shower so, time yourself and see if you can beat your time on your next shower.

If you have an old electric shower, you may want to consider upgrading it to a new, more energy-efficient model. Do a search for local recycling facilities in your area, as they may be able to take your old unit and reuse some of the parts. Alternatively, contact the shower manufacturer, as they may accept returns for recycling.

 Top Tips for Saving Water in the Shower

  • The average person spends 7 minutes in a shower.  And, with the average shower using 9 litres of water per minute, the maths mean that’s 63 litres of water, per person, per shower.  Multiply that by four people during the morning rush hour and that’s an awful lot of water – 252 litres! 
  • So, instead of 7 minutes, why not make your shower a 5 minute fix?  Per person, per shower, that would mean 45 litres of water and across the family, 180 litres.  For the sake of sacrificing 2 minutes’ showering time, it’s a big saving.
  • If kids – especially teenagers – won’t get out of the shower on time, try using a waterproof shower radio or iPod.  2 songs should equate to a showering session – and it’s much easier than trying to guess. 
  • When it comes to saving water in the shower, technology is the way forward.  Digital showers are great for going green – most, such as Gainsborough’s Digital Showers – offer an eco-setting, which is activated during installation. 
  • Don’t discount electric showering technology.  Perfect for secondary showers, en suites, guest bathrooms and cloakrooms, an electric shower does not require stored hot water – so there’s no need to adapt plumbing systems or upgrade boilers – and there are significant energy savings.

*According to the Bathroom Manufacturers’ Association

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Showering Savvy – How To Choose Your Perfect Shower

Showers were once considered a luxury, but today are regarded as necessities by many of us. Now while we all love a good soak after a stressful day, it’s the invigorating, get-ready-for-the-day shower that most of use prefer to jump into in the mornings. However, if you’re thinking about investing in a new shower, it’s definitely worth taking a bit more time to make sure your future morning showers give you the desired deluge you want rather than a disappointing drizzle.

There’s so much to think about when buying a new shower – so many different styles and technologies,  so it can really help to break down the areas you need to consider one by one. Please see our handy infographic later on in this post for more help.

What Do You Want From Your New Shower?

Will it be a family shower that needs to accommodate the morning rush? Is it a secondary shower – for an ensuite, cloakroom or annexe perhaps? Either way, you’ll need to make sure your hot water system can cope.

There are 3 main groups of showering technologies – electric, mixer and digital. If you’d rather not use your home’s hot water system (i.e. from an immersion heater or combi boiler), then an electric shower is your best option as it provides hot water on demand. Electric showers are available with different power outputs, depending on your requirements and any wiring that is already in place. Our electric showers start from £61.99, so they’re an excellent choice if you’re on a budget or simply looking to give your bathroom a facelift.

If you’re happy to use your home’s hot water system, however, then you’ll be able to choose a mixer or digital shower. These types of showers vary enormously in their styling and functionality, but your final choice will be determined by the type of plumbing system your home has. If you’re in any doubt at all, it’s always wise to seek professional advice – it can save you a lot of problems, and money, later on.

Take a look at our handy infographic below – it should guide you through to your perfect shower.

Choosing The Perfect Shower

Plus, our ‘Help Me Choose‘ section on our website explains exactly how gravity-fed, combi-boiler and mains-fed (high pressure) plumbing systems work, and even better, will then suggest the most suitable showers for you.

What Do You Want The Shower To Look Like?

Once you’ve got your plumbing system sussed and decided what type of shower you want, the next thing to consider is the look and feel of your new shower. Most showers are now quite contemporary in their styling, but it’s probably best to avoid anything that is too radical looking. Make sure you choose a design that you feel comfortable with and won’t look outdated in a couple of years. Technologies change all the time, but when it comes to aesthetics, it’s always best to opt for simple, clean lines and stylish chrome finishes that will endure the test of time and look great in both traditional and modern bathroom schemes.

Customer expectations of the ‘showering experience’ have grown and manufacturers have responded to this extra demand by integrating new and improved features and embracing digital technology. Digital showers have very sophisticated technology and are great for all the family.

Who Is Going To Use The Shower?

Accessibility and safety should be two key factors you consider when buying and installing a new shower if you’re hoping to use it for many years to come. It’s important to think about how your own needs might change. Families with young children need super-safe, easy to use showers – so features such as push buttons and height adjustable handsets will allow the whole family to shower in comfort. Similarly, older users need to consider reduced mobility and should go for a shower with simple, solid controls that won’t leave them struggling with temperature or flow controls.

Where Should You Buy The Shower From?

These days, you can buy a cheap new shower in your shopping trolley on your way round a supermarket, but it is worth checking out specialist manufacturers, particularly those you can buy direct from. They can offer you quality aftersales support, and this shouldn’t be sniffed at – you never know when you may need some technical assistance with your shower. Buying online can be a convenient way to buy a  new shower – there’s no need to leave your house and you can order at any time of the day. Plus, with extra ‘goodies’ like our Free Next Working Day Delivery, you can have your new shower in no time!

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Top Five Benefits of Combi Showers

It’s hard to imagine a daily routine that doesn’t feature a hot shower. Most houses these days have modern hot water systems allowing an instant supply of hot water. In particular, combination boilers used in conjunction with mixer showers have become increasingly popular in the UK because of the wide range of benefits they offer. These types of mixer showers are commonly referred to as combi showers. Here are our top five benefits of combi showers.

1.) Combi Boilers are Efficient
Modern combi boilers only heat water when required, and so can be considered more energy efficient than some hot water systems. Because of this, combi boilers provide an instant and constant supply of hot water which results in an enjoyable showering experience when using a combi shower. Plus, combi boilers don’t require special tanks for storing hot water which saves space in the home.

2.) Easy to Install and Maintain
Generally, combi showers are easy to install and maintain. They don’t require pumps to increase water pressure and achieve an excellent and reliable shower performance.

3.) Great Range of Features
Most modern combi showers features thermostatic temperature controls. These eliminate sudden temperature fluctuations when water is used elsewhere in the house and prevent scalding – particularly handy if there are young children or elderly relatives using the shower.

4.) Stylish Designs
Combi showers are available in a range of appealing designs. It’s possible to choose from exposed and concealed models which offer two completely different styles of design. Exposed combi showers features the valve and pipework on top of the tiles or wall, whilst concealed combi showers provide a neat and elegant finish with the value located behind the wall. Combi showers commonly are finished in stylish chrome, which should complement any bathroom.

5.) Prices to Suit All Budgets
There should be a combi shower to suit all budgets. For example, our Ambassador combi shower is available at £120.00, down from £152.00, and comes in both exposed and concealed designs. Plus, all of our showers are conveniently available to buy on our website, and all come with free next working day delivery.

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What Are The Best Showers For Large Families?

Summer is (apparently) approaching fast, and this time of year typically brings summer holidays from school, and lots of playing outside for the kids. Summer is the time of year when children love to get outside and play, which usually ends up with them getting as muddy as possible.

So, the little monsters are more likely to make trips to the bathroom to wash and shower off. It’s therefore important to think about what type of shower would be best to cope with the extra demand that the summertime brings.

Households with large families may find that an electric shower is the best option to ensure hot water is available at any time of the day. Electric showers provide instant hot water, which means there is no waiting for the hot water tank to fill up if someone else has had a shower before you. Electric showers feed off the mains cold water and are completely independent from your household’s hot water system. They have an internal heating element, which heats the cold water as it passes through, to deliver you a nice, warm shower.

Electric showers can also be an economical choice for families, as they only heat the water required so there is no wasted hot water sitting unused in a cylinder.

So whether it’s a muddy football match, or a wet fishing trip, the summer will no doubt bring with it lots of showers (and hopefully not from the weather!)

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A Guide To Buying A Replacement Shower

If you’ve had the misfortune of your shower breaking down recently then you’ll be in need of replacing a shower.

Replacing a Shower

It may be easier to replace your existing shower with a replacement shower which is very similar. Depending on the type of shower and, possibly the type of water system you have, may determine what type of shower you can choose.

Replacing a shower can be quite cost-effective and it can be easy to find a suitable replacement. On our website, for example, we list all of our obsolete shower models and the recommended replacements for them. For many showers, there are no direct replacements, so it is necessary to buy a retro-fit replacement and there may be some alterations needed to the water inlet and fixing points.

Furthermore, showers are becoming more technically advanced, so there may be improved safety features available on new showers that your current shower does not have. Our mixer showers are all thermostatic, for example, ensuring that they automatically adjust to any variations in the water temperature to avoid any sudden spikes of hot or cold water. This feature is particularly useful in households with elderly family members or young children.

Replacing Electric Showers

If you wish to replace your existing electric shower with a higher or lower kW rating shower, then it must be fitted by a Part P certified electrician who will be able to check that the electrical wiring and fuses are suitable and will upgrade them if needed. They will also be able to provide you with certification for the fitting of the new shower to prove that it meets electrical regulations.

Replacement Shower Parts

If only 1 or 2 parts of the shower have failed, it may be easier and cheaper to buy replacement shower parts, rather than buying a completely new shower. We have an online shower parts store which stocks a wide range of parts for over 35 of our shower models. It’s easy to identify which part to order from our helpful exploded diagrams. All of our parts are delivered free and either sent by first class Royal Mail or courier service.
A PRD (Pressure Relief Device) is one of the most commonly ordered parts. All of our electric shower units feature an integral PRD in order to meet European Standards. The PRD provides a degree of shower unit protection should an excessive build-up of pressure occur within the shower. This would normally be due to a kinked or damaged hose or blocked shower head.

If you find that your shower is leaking from the bottom of the unit when it is switched on, then it is likely that the PRD has activated and will need replacing. Another sign could be water running from around the hose of the shower. Another cause for the PRD to activate is using a different hose or shower head than the one provided with the shower. The shower will only function correctly with the hose and shower head provided.

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