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How Much Does a Shower Pump Cost?
Prices Updated For 2021
Improve Water Pressure in the Shower
Are you experiencing low water pressure whilst in your shower?
Fed up with a dribble when you want a waterfall?
We’ll tell you what you need to do and how much it will cost.
Keep reading to discover:
- The difference between a power shower and a pump.
- The cost to install a power shower.
- A look at shower pump prices.
- Options and prices for those who can’t install a shower pump (i.e. because you have a combi boiler).
- Where you can get a custom price online in minutes for your shower pump installation.
If you love a good shower experience, you’ll be all too aware of how disappointing and annoying low water pressure can be.
Let us help you today.
What is the Difference Between a Shower Pump and a Power Shower?
A power shower is typically a wall-mounted shower unit that uses electricity to turn a small pump, which boosts the hot and cold water pressure.
Power showers are moderately powerful and work reasonably well with gravity-fed heating systems (that means you have a hot water cylinder in a cupboard and a cold water tank, usually in the loft) provided the shower is located below the water header tank in the loft. If your power shower is located high in the house, perhaps in a loft conversion, then the water pressure could still be feeble as it’s reliant on gravity.
Here is a photo of a typical wall-mounted power shower unit:
A shower pump, also known as a shower booster pump, is a separate device that’s connected to the water cylinder (usually in the “airing” cupboard), it can produce more powerful water pressure than a wall-mounted shower unit.
This device can boost the water pressure to any type of shower, meaning you don’t need to replace your existing shower.
Below you can see a photo of a typical shower pump for boosting both hot and cold water. A single channel option is available if you only needed to boost hot water.
It’s worth noting that both power showers and shower pumps only work with gravity-fed heating systems.
If you have a modern combi boiler or an unvented heating system, you can’t use either of these pumps but keep reading as we do have other options for you.
Cost to Install a Shower Pump (aka a Booster Pump)
We asked 38 plumbers for prices to install a shower booster pump in an airing cupboard.
As we had a conventional gravity-fed system with a cylinder in the cupboard and a tank in the loft, we choose to boost both the hot and cold water.
The table below displays the average prices given to us for both parts and labour. We’ve separated the figures by approximate location as we noticed regional variations.
Power Shower Prices
We also took the opportunity to ask the 38 plumbers how much it would cost to install a power shower instead of a separate pump.
Our more in-depth guide to power shower prices can be found here; it contains everything you need to know about power showers and how much they cost.
Options For Combi Boilers and Unvented Heating Systems
Shower booster pumps and power showers can’t be installed to combi boiler or unvented heating systems, only to gravity-fed systems.
If you’re not sure which system you have:
A combi boiler doesn’t have any tanks and is completely reliant on the mains water pressure.
An unvented system has one cylinder but doesn’t have a cold water header tank in the loft.
A traditional gravity-fed heating system has a hot water cylinder and a cold water header tank.
If you have a combi boiler or an unvented system, you have a few options:
- Check that the water pipe entering the property isn’t too narrow, the wrong size pipe could reduce the flow rate of the water entering the home.
- Install a mains booster pump.
- Install an accumulator tank.
Cost to Install a Mains Booster Pump
We asked our chosen 38 plumbers how much it would cost to install a mains booster pump. These devices are attached to the water pipe just as it enters the property (usually under the kitchen sink) and can boost the pressure by demanding more water from the mains. They are perfect for homes with poor or below-average water pressure.
There is a legal limit to how much extra water you can pull from the mains water supply per minute, but all UK mains booster pumps operate within this limit.
There are a few things to consider:
- As the pump’s name suggests, this device will increase the pressure to all outlets in the home. This means that the pump will activate whenever water is demanded, including from sinks, basins and toilets etc. While the pump isn’t incredibly noisy, it could be disruptive if located near a bedroom or living room.
- As this pump is activated whenever water is demanded, it will experience more usage and wear-and-tear than a typical shower pump. Put bluntly, it works but won’t last as long as a typical shower pump.
- If you have a cheap and under-powered boiler, the water flow might be so powerful that it doesn’t have enough time to heat up fully. This is quite rare as most boilers are designed to cope with varying water pressures and flow rates, but it can happen theoretically.
- This device can’t be installed between the boiler and the shower it must be fitted to the main water pipe just as it enters the property.
- It’s a small pump that doesn’t take up much room under the sink.
Below you can see a photo of a mains booster pump and below that, our price guide for its installation.
|South, SW and Midlands||£475||£525|
|Outer Region and North||£425||£475|
|Need a Custom Price? >||Get a Quote Here|
Cost to Install an Expansion or Accumulator Tank
This type of tank is often used with unvented water systems but can also be used with combi boilers.
I like to call them booster tanks as that’s what they do.
These tanks have a diaphragm or bladder inside that expands when it’s filled with water from the mains. When water is demanded from a shower or tap etc, the diaphragm/bladder pushes the water out to the outlets and the boiler.
You can compare this device to a large water balloon, you fill it up slowly and then when you release it, the water comes out very fast.
Do consider these points:
- Most cold water tanks like these are installed close to the mains water supply and improve flow rates to all outlets, not just the shower.
- They are nearly silent, and you probably won’t even hear them at all.
- They are perfect for homes with lots of outlets and users.
- A full tank usually contains 50% water and 50% compressed air so you may need a large tank which will take up lots of space.
- They aren’t cheap.
- Once the tank is empty, the flow rate will revert to its normal level until the tank fills up again.
- They can be used with unvented systems and combi boilers.
- If your mains pressure is so poor that the tank can’t pressurize, you may need a pump to ensure the tank can fill up sufficiently.
- They can be installed in a garage, utility room, porch cupboard or anywhere in or close to the home.
Here are two videos worth watching if you are experiencing low water pressure and you have either a combi boiler or an unvented system:
Accumulator tanks that are suitable for a typical 2-bed home cost from £800 – £1200 plus the cost of labour and any extra materials needed such as piping and fixings.
It can take a few hours to install an accumulator tank or two depending on the setup and where they’re to be located.
Get a Price to Install a Shower Pump or Booster Tank Today
We hope you found our guide to shower pumps and booster tanks insightful.
Choosing the right system for your home can be complicated, especially if you have low water pressure issues.
Tap the button below and fill out the contact form to get a price from a vetted tradesperson:
Shower Pump and Booster Installations
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Shower Pumps and Boosters FAQs
Below you’ll find answers to common shower pump and booster questions:
When Were These Price Published?
We sourced prices for shower pumps, boosters and tanks in early January 2021.
I Think Your Prices For Shower Pumps Are Too High/Low, Where Did You Get These Prices From?
We are often asked this question.
Please bear in mind that our pump, booster and accumulator tank prices are based on quotes from a sample of installers from various UK locations.
Prices fluctuate all the time, and when you get quotes for your project, they may differ from the prices we have published.
Our prices are a snapshot of what a select number of installers are charging at publication time.
Are Pumps Noisy? What Can I Do to Reduce the Noise?
All shower pumps are noisy, but mains booster pumps are the worst as they activate whenever a tap, toilet, bath or shower uses water, this can be very frustrating for the home occupier.
You can reduce the noise from mains booster pumps under the kitchen sink by lining the inside the cupboard space with soundproof materials, but this isn’t always practical.
Shower pumps (that’s those stored in the bathroom or in the “airing” cupboard) can be secured to an anti-vibration rubber mat (try this product) to reduce the noise from vibrations. If these pumps are secured to the floor (perhaps under a bath) or onto a timber shelf (perhaps in an airing cupboard), they can be very noisy. The thicker the rubber mat, the less noise you’ll hear.
Accumulator and expansion tanks often fill up without the need for a pump so they’re silent and can be located anywhere. Unfortunately, if you have abysmal water pressure at the mains, you may need a pumped tank which can be noisy. Your best bet is to locate these tanks in an area away from the main living and sleeping areas; an adjacent garage, porch cupboard or utility room would be best.
If Combi Boilers are So Bad, Why Are They Being Installed in the First Place?
Most combi boilers produce sufficient water pressure; in fact, the system is often called a “high pressure” system. It’s widely accepted that combi boilers are the best option for small and medium homes provided the water pressure is sufficient.
Unfortunately, many of these boilers have been incorrectly installed to homes with low mains pressure.
For bathing and washing, this lower pressure isn’t usually an issue, but those wanting a “power shower” experience, it can be a problem.
The real issue is how difficult it is to boost the water’s pressure from a combi boiler. Without any water tanks or cylinders, it’s far more difficult than a traditional boiler that has water tanks/cylinders.
Your options are:
- First, check that your issue isn’t being caused by the main pipe entering your home being too small.
- Install a mains booster (noisy, triggers whenever water is demanded).
- Install a booster tank, possibly with a booster pump to help it fill up (expensive, takes up space, you may need a noisy pump to fill the tank up).
I'm Still Not Sure Which Type of Shower is Best For Me - Are There Any Help Guides I Can Read?
Yes, try these:
The best showers for homes with combi boilers (this guide assumes that you have good water pressure from your combi boiler)
Are There Other Reasons Why My Shower Has Low Water Pressure?
If you have a combi boiler, check the pressure gauge to see if it has dropped, this might indicate a leak in the system that will need to be investigated.
If you have a conventional boiler with a water tank in the loft and a cylinder somewhere, check that any booster pumps are working correctly and are compatible with your system.
If you have limited vertical space between the water tank in the loft and the shower, you may experience low-pressure problems; a negative shower booster can help.
Check the showerhead isn’t blocked with scale.
If you already have a booster tank (i.e. an expansion/accumulator tank) check that it’s filling up sufficiently, consider a booster pump if you have very very poor mains water pressure.
What Causes Low Water Pressure in the Mains?
The amount of pressure in your home’s water supply depends on how high the water tower or reservoir that supplies you is above your property, how close you live to your water supplier’s pumps and how much water is being used by your neighbours and others in your area.
The size of the pipe entering your home affects the flow rate, especially if it’s shared with neighbouring properties.
You are legally entitled to 1 bar pressure and 9 litres per minute, which while very low, is enough to fill tanks that you can then use in the home on demand.
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