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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 11:44 am 
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Hi everyone,

I recently refitted by ensuite shower and am having a problem where turn the valve on the mixer valve the shower does not start and neither does the shower pump in the airing cupboard.

To give some background I have system boiler with a hot water tank in the airing cupboard upstairs (two story house) and a header tank in the loft. The system also has a pump which feeds the two mixer showers (one in the bathroom, one in the shower ensuite).

Before I refitted the ensuite I had just a standard mixer shower (bar mixer with flexible hose attached with shower head about 6' 6" off the ground. When I replaced the shower I kept the pipe fixings in the same place with the bar mixer at the same height but I now have a mixer shower which has a diverter for either an overhead shower or a flexible hose (like this:

https://www.diy.com/departments/cooke-lewis-equinox-chrome-effect-thermostatic-bar-mixer-shower-with-diverter/1621682_BQ.prd

If I turn the diverter valve (temperature valve pretty much stays at 38C) to feed the overhead shower I get no feed and the pump does not start and I often have to turn the valve the other way to flexible hose which doesn't work until I take the hose from its clamp (at similar height to previous shower; not really sure if a little higher) and have lower the shower to maybe 3' (increasing potential head from header tank to the shower) and this usually gets the shower pump started, which once running then has no issue feeding the overhead shower as well.

Im not really sure why this is, the only thing I can think is maybe the new shower has a slightly higher fluid head resistance which the pump can not see until the flexible is lowered (increasing potential head) but Im surprised at this as would imagine the difference is small. Other options is maybe the pump is not powerful enough/failing or third just something I've done wrong?

Anyone any thought or guidance on this? Do I just need a new shower pump?

Cheers,

Tom


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 1:12 pm 
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I don’t really get involved with showers etc, but what happens if you disconnect the pipes to the shower where they join the shower pump flexis and run them into a bucket?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:16 pm 
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Hi, sorry for the delayed reply. You mean disconnect the outlet on the pump? Before I try this what should happen? Should the pump start as soon as I start to loosen the outlet or something else?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:49 pm 
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Turn the isolator off in the pipe feed before you disconnect the pipe work, then open the isolator whilst the pipe is in the bucket.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:37 pm 
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With my arrangement the drencher shower will still work even when the pump is electrically off, hence there is a flow, so that when the pump is active, it will sense a flow and switch on; the link to the B&Q unit states it will work with 0.1 bar so If this is your unit then it should open sufficiently for the pump switches to sense a flow. If your shower unit / plumbing does not give any flow to begin with, then the pump cannot switch on.
If your unit is not the B & Q one, then perhaps it is for high pressure only and with a loft tank you will not get that to start the flow, even so the B & Q is a very cheap unit, eg: my Vado thermo / divertor cost more than that alone!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:34 pm 
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ahhh I see the mistake I have made now then.

This is the actual unit I have:

https://www.diy.com/departments/triton-excellente-rear-fed-chrome-thermostatic-bar-mixer-shower-with-diverter/98059_BQ.prd

It lists it as just a high pressure system which when I got I must have assumed mine was high pressure because of the pump but I guess it is a low pressure system so the pump is there to provide the pressure (doh! I've got the order the order the wrong way round)

so with that in light. Is there anything I can do to increase the pressure so that the pump activates or is the only option to replace with a combo boiler to make a high pressure system or swap the shower out for one suitable for a low pressure system.

Cheers,

Tom


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:50 pm 
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The way I see it, change the shower valve for a valve suitable for both high and low pressure or live with having as is.

Switching to a combi boiler will need substantial re-piping and removing the pump... and will cost at least a couple of thousand pounds.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:53 pm 
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Shower valve as in the diverted valve inside the shower mixer unit? Assuming temperate valve doesn’t effect this:)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:30 pm 
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itom150 wrote:
Shower valve as in the diverted valve inside the shower mixer unit? Assuming temperate valve doesn’t effect this:)


Whole valve.


Prolly £ 100/150 for a decent valve.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:56 am 
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Me again. I've been speaking to the manufacturer and it seems the listing on he B&Q website was a mistake anyway and the shower is suitable for both high/low pressure systems, so now im back to try and diagnosing the issue. Any other thoughts, could the NRV's on the shower be sticking maybe? Is there anyway I could artificially simulate a greater head by doing something with the header tank in the loft?

The shower manufacturer has offered to come inspect the shower under warranty but there is the issue that if the fault isn't with the shower itself then there is a call out charge which obviously Im keen to avoid!

Cheers,

Tom


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:58 pm 
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Still requires 0.5 bar to operate. I'd say borderline in your case. (0.1 bar on gravity would be the water tank being 1 metre above outlet, 0.2 bar, 2 metres. so 0.5 bar whilst still being considered "low pressure" would require the cold water tank to be 5 metres above the outlet, normal room height being 2.2/2.4 metres (except older houses) so like I say borderline.

Swap out for a valve at say 0.2 bar minimum and the problem will be no more.

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