By Kerry Hale

How To Increase Water Pressure In Your Shower

  • Tuesday 12 April 2022
  • 6 minute read

If your shower has low water pressure, it can ruin the whole experience. Unsure what’s causing low pressure in your shower? It could be several things, from limescale build-up to the type of shower you have. We’re here to help you understand the problem and find out how to fix it.

What is water pressure?

Water pressure is measured in bars, with one bar corresponding to the force needed to push the water 10 meters high. Every regional water company must provide a minimum amount of water pressure to each home.

Still, the exact amount of pressure you receive will depend on various factors, including how far you live from the source, how hilly the surrounding area is, and how much water is being drawn by your neighbours.

However, you might have a plumbing issue if you start experiencing unusually low pressure from all your taps or showerheads. In that case, call a professional to check for leaks.

What causes low water pressure?

The most common cause of low shower pressure is a blocked showerhead, as a result of limescale build-up. These blockages obstruct the water flow, leading to reduced pressure over time. Most showers are fitted with a filter, protecting the pipework from debris, but this can become partially blocked by scale. It’s also worth checking for any kinks or damage in your shower hose.

If the water pressure seems fine when running the bathroom taps but your shower has low pressure, shower height could be an issue. Water pressure decreases with height, so as a general rule, there should always be at least one metre between the showerhead and water source or pump.

Homes with cold water storage tanks tend to have lower pressure, relying on gravity drawing down the water rather than the mains water pressure. Installing a water pump can help increase water pressure in older properties and gravity-fed systems.

How to check water pressure

To test your water pressure without specialist equipment, place a one-litre measuring jug under the affected tap or shower and run the water. If it takes more than six seconds to fill the jug, you have low water pressure.

How to increase shower pressure

If you’re experiencing low shower pressure, take these initial steps to find out what could be causing the problem:

  • First, clean your showerhead thoroughly. Ensure the shower hose isn’t kinked or damaged, then check the filter. This might require taking your shower apart, so consider asking a professional to help.
  • Make sure all the water isolators are turned on fully. If you’ve recently had any plumbing work carried out, the mains stopcock valve could be partially closed, slowing the water flow throughout your home.

However, if you’ve still got low shower pressure, it might be time to look at alternatives, such as:

  • Replacing your showerhead: If limescale build-up has clogged your showerhead or hose beyond repair, it might be time for a new showerhead. The fewer and finer the holes are in the head, the stronger the water flow will feel. Try experimenting with an adjustable showerhead that gives you various spray options. Such as the Mira 360m showerhead, with its Mira Flipstream technology you can choose from 4 unique spray modes - Rain, Burst, Cloud and Storm. Flip easily from one spray experience to the next.
  • Fitting a water pump: In some cases, a water pump or pressurised cylinder can be fitted to your existing system, boosting the flow and improving your showering experience. Ask a professional for advice before investing in a pump, as not all existing shower installations can accommodate them.
  • Investing in a power shower: Power showers use an electrically driven pump to transport water from your hot and cold supply. Designed to operate even with low-pressure systems, manual and thermostatic power showers give you up to three times the flow.

The best showers for improving water pressure

Some showers are better than others for homes with low water pressure. Discover which type is compatible with your property’s central heating and hot water system, then decide on the best choice for your bathroom size, design, lifestyle and budget.

Electric showers

The main benefit of an electric shower is that you get instant hot water whenever you need it. The amount of hot water produced depends on the power rating, measured in kilowatts (kW). Generally, the higher the kW rating, the better the water flow.

Mixer and digital showers

Mixer and digital showers are a popular choice, as they can be fitted to mains or gravity-fed systems. Mains pressure from a combi boiler will usually provide adequate water flow in your shower, whilst gravity-fed systems may require a pump to deliver sufficient pressure.

The best shower pumps for increasing water pressure

If you’ve decided to install a pump to improve water pressure, it’s vital to choose the right one. This will depend on the type of central heating and hot water system in your property and the type of shower you have. Read our guide to the best shower pumps for more information.

Not sure what type of water system you have at home and how to choose the right shower pumps to improve water pressure? Find out how to identify your water system here and discover the right products for your home.

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