Combi boilers are very popular in the UK. From their compact dimensions to their energy-efficiency, there are plenty of benefits of getting a combi boiler installed into your home. However, many homeowners have concerns about whether a new combi boiler will be compatible with their shower. This guide seeks to give you information about the different types of showers and will help you determine which is best suited to your combi heating system.
What is a combi boiler?
A combi boiler is a compact heating system that provides both heating and hot water all through one single unit. No additional tanks or cylinders are required, so these systems are typically viewed as a great space saving option.
Combi boilers deliver the highest level of water pressure (dependent on your incoming cold water mains pressure), a feature that when paired with a suitable shower type, can deliver a great quality shower.
Types of showers
There are 3 main types of showers. Namely:
- Electric showers
- Mixer (Thermostatic & Manual) showers
- Power showers
|Shower type||Description||Pros||Cons||Compatible with combi boilers?|
|Electric||These showers use their own electric heating element to heat cold water directly from the mains.||On-demand hot water
Water is only heated as needed, this could help save energy and money*
Hot water won’t run out
|Can be expensive to install and run||Yes|
|Mixer – Manual & Thermostatic||Mixer showers connect to both hot and cold water supplies and mix the water accordingly.
Thermostatic mixer showers – Due to there being a risk of water getting too hot or too cold with mixer showers, thermostatic mixer showers are designed to keep water at a constant temperature. They are built with a thermostatic valve to help provide this safety measure.
These showers need to be compatible with mains pressure limits
|Easy to fit
Typically simple to use
|Temperatures can be difficult to control
Risk of scalding or excessive cold water delivery
Temperatures can be impacted by other water use – such as a toilet being flushed.
|Power shower||Similar to mixer showers, power showers feed off of both cold and hot-water supplies. They work with a built-in pump to boost water pressure and can thus make showers more satisfying. These showers are typically well-suited to homes in low water pressure areas.
They are normally fed from a system with a feed tank.
|Integral pump helps to boost water pressure||Can be expensive to install and run||No – the additional pump can cause excessive pressure when paired with a combi boiler . The pump can’t accommodate the increase in pressure from the mains, which could cause water leaks. They also pull water through the boiler too quickly for it to heat up correctly.|
Choosing a suitable shower head
Selecting a suitable shower head is also important in get your shower system working effectively.
There are a number of different types of shower heads. This include:
- Hand-held shower heads
- RV shower heads
- LED shower heads
- Dual shower heads
- Filtered shower heads
- Shower panels
- Low-pressure shower heads
- High-pressure shower heads
- Rain shower heads
You should consult your installer to find out which shower head will be best suited to your combi boiler.
Getting a brand new combi boiler
If you’re current heating system isn’t meeting your needs, it may be time to consider getting a new boiler installed. HomeServe install a range of combi boilers, as well as system and heat-only boilers, so you can count on us to provide you with the help and advice you need.