Shower Glossary

Adjustable Head – an attachment that allows the shower head to be moved up and down to suit the user.

Bar – the unit of measurement for water pressure.

BEAB –the British Electrotechnical Approvals Board.

Combi-Boiler – hot water is supplied directly from the boiler so there is no need for a separate hot water cylinder. Those with a combi boiler should look for showers that are suitable for their household system. Take a look at our combi showers.

Concealed – for a neat and compact shower, a concealed shower is the best option as all pipework is concealed under the tiling. This option is best for those who want a minimalist look or have limited available space in their shower enclosure. Concealed showers do require more work during installation, however.

Digital Showers – 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 easy-to-use with one button operation and illuminate when the shower is ready. Unpumped versions are suitable for combi and high-pressure systems, and pumped are suitable for gravity-fed systems.

Electric Showers – an element inside the shower heats the cold mains-fed water as it passes through the shower, delivering water at the selected temperature. The hotter the water, the lower the flow rate, as the water takes longer to heat up and therefore is delivered at a slower rate. Electric showers are suitable for any household as they work independently from the hot water system, and are available in a choice of kilowatt ratings ranging from 8.5kW to 10.5kW. The higher the kilowatt rating, the more powerful the heating element and water flow rate.

Exposed – the shower valve is mounted on the surface of the tiling, meaning installation is quick and easy and there is minimal damage to the décor. Exposed showers are larger, however, and so may not be suitable for those with a particularly small showering area.

Gravity-Fed – a low pressure or gravity-fed household system features a cold water storage tank in the loft and a hot water cylinder, usually in the airing cupboard. Those with a gravity-fed household should look for pumped digital showers or gravity-fed mixer showers.

High-Pressure – households without a cold water storage tank in the loft but with a hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard. High-Pressure households should look for high-pressure mixer showers and unpumped digital showers.

Kilowatt Rating – all electric showers are measured in kilowatt ratings. They are available in 8.5kW, 9.5kW and 10.5kW, and the higher the kilowatt rating, the faster the shower is able to heat the water, and therefore the more powerful the flow of water will be. The lower the kilowatt rating, the less electricity is used to heat the water, which makes them cheaper to run.

Mixer Showers – mixers blend hot water heated by a boiler or immersion heater with cold water to reach the selected temperature. Mixer showers are suitable for use in high-pressure, combi and gravity-fed systems and are available as both exposed and concealed systems. Mixer showers are usually chrome, minimalist designs to suit any bathroom style.

Phased Shutdown – a safety feature which means that the shower continues to deliver hot water for a short while after it has been switched off to ensure when the next person starts a shower, all of the hot water has been removed and there are no chances of scalding. Phased shutdown also prolongs the life of the element as it removes limescale.

PRD (Pressure Relief Device) – a safety device fitted to all electric showers to prevent excess pressure building up. The PRD is designed to activate should the pressure get too high.

Riser Rail – the vertical bar that allows the shower head height to be adjusted

Thermostatic – a shower with 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.