How To Guides

How to Fit a Shower Pump and Why You Might Need One

shower pressure

If your home’s water pressure is weak, and you’re tired of taking disappointing showers – a pump is by far the most common way of improving things. Not only will they add some extra oomph to your morning wash, but with some light maintenance, they can last for years too.

Once you’ve got the know-how, fitting a shower pump is a simple weekend task, and we’re here to walk you through it with this handy guide.


Why do I need a shower pump?

Power showers have never been most popular, especially if you want a refreshing and invigorating way to start the day. But not every home’s water pressure can cope with these must-have items, which is where the humble shower pump can help. From airing cupboards to under the stairs – they’re small, simple and ultra-efficient at transforming the performance of your shower.

Many homes around the country have the classic water system of a hot cylinder upstairs and a cold tank in the loft. To get the gravity you need for decent pressure, there needs to be at least three feet between your showerhead and the bottom of your cold tank – and most of us simply don’t have that much space. With a modern shower pump, you can give the water the extra pressure it needs – resulting in an even pressure, flow and temperature.

How do I know if I need a shower pump?

To check your water pressure, save yourself from stumbling around in the loft with a tape measure and head for your bath instead. If you’ve got individual hot and cold water taps – crank them up as far as you can and watch the flow of water. If they’re both running at a similar rate, your pressure should be fine. If the hot is slower than the cold, then you need a shower pump.

What type of shower pump do I need?

There are typically two types of shower pump – positive and negative. Positive shower pumps make use of gravity, so if your flow rate is 0.6 lpm and your cold water tank is higher than your shower, that’s the one you want. If it’s lower or level, you’re better off with a negative shower pump instead.

How to fit a shower pump

Once you’ve checked and double checked how far apart your cold water tank and shower rose are, it’s time to fit your shower pump.


Step 1:

First things first, pick an easily accessible spot for your shower pump that’s not too hot and not too cold. Once fitted, a good shower pump should last anywhere between 8 and 15 years, but they will need cleaning and maintenance from time to time – meaning it’s in your best interests not to get stuck wondering how to get to it.


Step 2:

Shower pumps can be quite loud if they’re touching the ground – and should never be screwed down. Instead, pop it on a building block or small concrete foundation to dampen the noise considerably.


Step 3:

When connecting your shower pump, don’t make the mistake of hooking it up to something that needs a specific high energy supply – like a hot water immersion heater. Instead, create a 230v switched spur off a ring main and connect it to that instead.


Step 4:

For safety, you always need to be able to isolate the water supply to and from the pump. As a result, your cold water pipe will need a 22 full bore isolating valve, regardless of whether the connections are 15mm or 22mm. For your hot water cylinder, it does matter – as it’s important to stop air getting in. So, if it’s a 15mm connection, you’ll need a Surrey flange. For 22mm connections, it’s an Essex flange.


Step 5:

If you’re wondering how best to look after your shower pump, make sure your in and out pipes are fitted with a flexible hose on each side to keep the noise down even more. Then flush the pipework through before you hook everything up, which will stop any pipe debris getting in the shower pump and damaging it.


Step 6:

Lastly, turn your electrics and flush your pump through with a bucket of water on either side. Once the hot and cold sides both run clear, you’re good to go. Enjoy stronger and hotter showers than ever before!




Writer and expert