Tag Archives: digital showers

Don’t forget the clocks this ‘National Sleep In Day’

It’s that time of year again. The clocks go back this Sunday, October 28th, marking the official start of the UK wintertime. So we can look forward to darker, colder evenings from now on…

But the good news is we get an extra hour in bed on Sunday morning! And because of this, Sunday has officially been named ‘National Sleep In Day’ – so make sure you enjoy that extra hour with no guilt!

Did you know that around a third of us don’t get enough sleep each night? We spoke before about the various health benefits of warm showers, but we’d like to focus on sleep for this post, because sleep is so important. And in line with our previous post, we’d like to share with you the benefits of having a warm shower before bed, and the fantastic effects it has on improving your sleep and helping you to feel completely rested.

These two have no trouble sleeping…

A warm shower, which is usually defined as between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius, will relax you and relieve stress – two major challenges of a good night’s sleep. The combination of the warm water and steam created by the shower warms our body temperature and this starts to induce us into sleep mode. Adding lavender essential oil, as  it is a natural relaxant, will help to relax you even further.

Once the shower is finished and you’ve left the warm, steamy bathroom and entered the cooler bedroom, your body temperature will naturally start to cool down. This process of cooling the temperature of the body will incite drowsiness and aids the process of falling asleep. Plus, feeling clean and refreshed after a nice shower makes us feel more relaxed anyhow, once again, helping to encourage sleep.

If you have trouble sleeping, one of the best things you can do is to try and get into a bedtime routine (think about how we encourage children to have a warm bath before bedtime). This will condition your body and mind to start to relax and you should find falling asleep much easier.

Today’s modern showers, such as thermostatic mixer showers, have made showering an even more relaxing and easy experience for us. The thermostatic valves in modern mixer showers constantly control the temperature of the water and prevent unpleasant temperature fluctuations when water is used elsewhere in the home (like someone flushing the toilet or washing the dishes). Similarly, through the use of illuminated flashing lights, digital showers, like those found in our digital shower range, intelligently advise users when the optimum water temperature has been reached and the shower is ready to go.

If you have problems sleeping, as well as having a warm shower bed, The Sleep Council has the following advice:

  • Get into a sleep routine – going to bed and getting up at approximately the same time each day will help the body to sleep better.
  • Create a peaceful and calming environment – make sure the bedroom is used only for rest and sleep and lose the TV, laptop and mobile. The room should also be kept as quiet and dark as possible and the temperature of the room shouldn’t be too hot or too cold – between 16 and 18 degrees is ideal.
  • The most important part of the bedroom, the bed, should be comfortable and supportive, and not too soft, hard or old.
  • Regular exercise has been shown to relieve stress, and activities such as swimming and walking can help to aid sleep patterns. Exercise should be avoided just before bedtime as it may have the opposite desired effect.
  • Reduce the amount of stimulants, like tea and coffee, which contain caffeine, in the evening as they can interfere with sleep. A hot milky drink or herbal tea before bed is preferable.
  • Undertake some relaxing activities, such as yoga or listening to peaceful music, before going to bed.
  • If daily stresses are interfering with sleep, make a list of tasks ‘to do’ the next day.

And don’t forget the clocks this Sunday!


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What is a Thermostatic Shower?

 A lot of the terminology that we use on our website can be confusing – particularly if you’re not used to shower-related terms on a daily basis.

So we’ve come up with a Jargon Buster Glossary that should explain the most commonly used terms. We’ll be adding the full glossary to our website shortly, but for a taster, here are some of the most common questions we get asked about:

What is a Thermostatic Shower?

Thermostatic means the shower has an inbuilt thermostat which compensates for any variations in water temperature and maintains the shower’s temperature should anyone use water elsewhere in the house. Thermostatic showers are ideal for busy households, and are particularly useful for children and the elderly. Take a look at our thermostatic mixer showers to find out what we can offer.

What is a PRD?

A PRD (Pressure Relief Device) is a safety device which is fitted to all electric showers to prevent excess pressure building up. The PRD is designed to open should the pressure get too high. You can find the correct PRD for your electric shower from our parts store.

What Exactly are Digital Showers?

On a digital shower, instead of a valve controlling the shower, a digital processor controls the water flow and temperature. The processor is stored away from the shower (either in the loft, airing cupboard or under the bath). Digital showers are simple to use with one button operation and illuminate when the shower water temperature is ready. Unpumped versions are suitable for combi and high-pressure systems, and pumped are suitable for gravity-fed systems. Take a look at our range of digital showers to find out more.

Keep your eyes peeled for the glossary coming soon!

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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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What is the best shower for gravity fed systems?

Do you have a gravity fed water system? If you do, you’re not alone – most homes in the UK have this kind of low-pressure water system. 

The system usually consists of a cold water tank which is stored in the loft. A hot water cylinder is stored below, usually located in the airing cupboard. Traditionally, homes with gravity systems had disappointing shower experiences because the pressure was not high enough to get a decent flow rate of water.

Gravity Fed System

A typical Gravity-Fed water system

It is because of this, that system-specific showers have now been designed to cater for the needs of those with low pressure water systems

Gravity Fed Mixer Showers

Gravity fed mixer showers are fed  from a stored hot and cold water supply, namely a cold water tank in the loft, and a hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard. The water is blended by the mixer shower to reach the desired temperature. The performance of a gravity mixer shower depends upon the water supply and the pressure. Providing the hot water tank is large enough to suit your needs and the pressure is adequate, then you will be provided with a decent flow of water. The pressure of the water depends upon the location of the cold water tank, this needs to be situated at least one metre above the shower head. Water pressure is measured in Bars; 1 metre height is equivalent to 0.1 bar pressure.

Our Ambassador Gravity Fed Mixer has been designed to work with the nuances of a gravity water system. The shower comes in both exposed and concealed options depending on your requirements and available space in your shower enclosure. Another option is our Digital Pumped Shower, which has a remote processor located away from the shower, rather than the traditional valve of a mixer shower. The processor blends the hot and cold water together and the pump ensures a good flow for low pressure systems.

Another option is to have an electric shower, rather than a mixer or digital. Electric showers run off the mains cold water and heat the water before delivering it to the shower head. We have a range of electric showers available for you to browse on our website.

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Friday Poll Time!

We’ve not run any polls on our blog so far, so we’d thought we’d introduce our first one to you today in a post. We’ll be running a different poll each month, on a range of varied topics relating to showers so make sure to look out for them!

We’d love to get your feedback  so please vote and leave your comments.

Here’s our Poll for April (a couple of days early). For our first poll we thought it would be interesting to find out what type of showers our readers have in their homes. If you have more than one type of shower, you can tick multiple choices.


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Add Some Fun With A Digital Shower

It’s shower time for this adorable little Chow Chow, but he seems to be a little bit reluctant to go ahead!

If scenes like this are all too familiar with your family (maybe with your children, not the dog!), with the newly available Gainsborough Digital Shower, hopefully they will be a thing of the past. Your kids will love watching the red flashing lights – and when they stop flashing, it means the shower is ready to go! Our digital showers are really easy to operate – the simple push button control means the whole family will be able to use them. Clever digital technology and precise temperature control mean they’re safe too.

Digital Shower Push Button Control

Simple Push Button Control

Also available in a pumped version for Gravity-Fed water systems, our digital showers are currently only available to buy direct from us and come with a 3 year guarantee, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your new shower. If you’d like to find out more about Digital or have any questions, our friendly technical team are on hand to answer any queries you may have.

Give them a call on 01959 560760 (Monday – Friday 8:30 – 5:00) or send them an email.

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Top Tips For Winter Shower Care

Now that the cold weather has arrived, you may notice a change in your shower’s performance. Calls into our contact centre increase by around 20% at this time of year, with many of our customers wishing to replace older showers that have stopped working, or seeking advice about how to improve their shower’s performance during the cold weather. This guide to caring for your shower in the winter should help you understand and overcome the most common problems.

Why is my electric shower running cold?

Electric showers have a tendency to struggle during periods of cold weather, and you may find that the water is not as warm as usual, or the flow rate is reduced.

The reason behind this is that the water being fed into the shower is much colder than normal, and consequently the shower has to work much harder to heat the water to your usual temperature. The shower’s performance can also be affected due to the heavy demand on power over the winter which can cause the voltage to drop.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to resolve this problem. You could consider upgrading your electric shower to one with a higher kilowatt rating (although bear in mind that this may require a Part P registered electrician to assess your cabling and install the new shower). Another option is to switch your electric shower to a mixer shower. The cold weather does not affect mixer showers as much as they take water from your hot water system rather than heating the mains fed water.

Finally, if possible, try to avoid using the electric shower first thing in the morning. Overnight, the temperature of the pipes will drop considerably meaning that the resulting temperature of the water will be much lower. If possible, try to use your electric shower later in the day when the outside temperature will be higher.

Digital Showers in the Winter

Digital showers can also suffer in the colder months. Issues can include the shower starting briefly but then switching off, or the lights illuminating but no water flow. These issues occur more frequently with customers whose processor (the mixer part of your shower which blends the hot and cold water together) is stored in the loft, or an area which is subject to the extreme cold weather. Extreme cold temperatures can affect the thermistor within the processor causing it to go into ‘safe mode’.

If your processor stops working, the first step would be to turn the power supply off for a few minutes before switching it back on.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent this from happening again.

  • Ensure that the pipe work to and from the processor is lagged (special tubular foam insulation)
  • Place a cardboard box over the processor but ensure that there are at least 2-3 inches of air clearance between the box and the processor. Add ventilation holes for pumped models. Do not wrap the processor or place a blanket around it or the cardboard box. Please note that it may be necessary to remove the cardboard box during the warmer summer months.

We’re part of the Aqualisa Group, and more information on digital shower care in the winter can be found on their website: Caring for Digital Showers in the Cold Weather.

Other things you can do to reduce the effect of the cold on your showering experience include: 

  • Insulating pipes with foam lagging;
  • Buying a cover for your hot water cylinder if it’s located in a cold place;
  • Ensuring that you boiler gets a service and is running efficiently.

And if all else fails….

If your shower does break down in the cold weather it can be a stressful experience trying to replace or fix it. Older showers are more prone to fail in the winter months and you may need to replace yours with a new, more efficient model. In our Winter Sale, prices start from just £61.50 for our 8.5kW se white electric shower so there’s never been a better time to buy. If you’re looking to install a higher kilowatt electric shower to better cope with the cold, prices start from only £91.99 for our 10.5kW se white electric shower. Alternatively, switch to a mixer shower or join the digital shower revolution. All our showers come with free next working day delivery (conditions may apply) and a free guarantee as standard.

If you simply need to replace a part that has failed, our comprehensive online parts store should stock the part you need.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Showers

For our very first post let’s start at the beginning, which is usually a very good place to start!

Whereas once upon a time the bath was always the most important feature in the bathroom, today, many people prefer to have showers over baths. Showers are quick and easy and suit those of us who lead busy lifestyles, making them ideal for everyday bathing, while baths are now usually reserved for when we want to take some time out and completely relax.

Shower technology can be confusing, however, and if you’re looking to buy a new shower it’s important to know which type of shower is right for you and your household.

So, which shower is right for you?

Firstly, there are 3 types of showers available: Digital, Mixer and Electric. The type of shower you choose will depend on your household water system as well as your specific requirements. Here is a rundown of all three types of shower:

Electric Showers

Electric showers are very popular as they are generally quite cheap to buy. They work from your mains cold water supply so can be installed in most households. The shower has a heating element which heats the water as it passes through (similar to a kettle) and delivers hot water. Usually, the higher the temperature, the lower the flow of water will be (as the water needs to spend more time heating on the element). Electric showers are available in different kilowatt ratings, with the most popular being 8.5 kW, 9.5 kW and 10.5 kW. The higher the kilowatt rating, the better performance you will receive (as the heating element is more powerful and can therefore heat the water more quickly).  It may be necessary for a Part P registered electrician to install cables depending on which kilowatt rating you go for. 

8.5 se Electric Shower

For larger families, or households with limited hot water, electric showers are a fantastic option as they heat water instantly. Electric showers are also ideal in an en-suite or second bathroom as they will not deplete the hot water supply. The look and style of an electric shower can vary from classic white, to stylish black or even chrome effect, so you’re bound to find a model to suit the décor in your bathroom.

See our range of electric showers.

Mixer Showers

As the name suggests, mixer showers take water from your hot and cold water supplies and blend it to reach your desired temperature. The shower model you need to buy will depend on the type of hot water system in your household – be it high-pressure, combi boiler or gravity-fed (low pressure). Most mixer showers today are thermostatic, which means that there are no fluctuations in the temperature of the shower should someone else in the house use water at the same time.

Ambassador Gravity-Fed Exposed Mixer Shower

Mixer showers are frequently available in stylish chrome finish, and often have minimalist designs which will suit almost any bathroom. When buying a mixer shower, you usually have the choice of either an exposed or concealed option. Exposed showers feature the valve on display, and are therefore easier to install with minimum disruption to the tiling and décor of your bathroom. Concealed showers have the valve hidden behind the wall, giving a clean and minimalist look, but are more complex to install and may therefore have higher associated labour costs.

Browse through our mixer showers.

Digital Showers

Digital showers offer unbeatable convenience combining clever technology, easy installation and even easier operation. Digital showers are simple and easy for all of the family to use as they feature one on-off push button with safe, precise temperature control. Powered by a processor which can be located in the loft, airing cupboard or under the bath, the shower heats the water to your desired temperature and the LED display lets you know when the shower is ready – meaning no more waiting under cold water for the shower to heat up. Some digital showers can even be powered by a remote control (at a distance of up to 10 metres), meaning that you can start the shower before you have even left your bed! Digital showers are available either pumped (for gravity-fed systems) or un-pumped (for high-pressure and combi systems) meaning there will be a digital shower to suit almost every household. Unlike traditional showers, digital showers can be installed in as little as 2 hours, meaning labour costs could be dramatically reduced.

Digital Showers

We have 2 digital showers to choose from: Our Digital Shower (for high pressure and combi systems) and our Pumped Digital Shower (for gravity-fed systems).

If you require any further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Services team on 01959 560760 who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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