When tasked with upgrading bathroom facilities across several properties, finding the right product is crucial to ensure a trouble-free job for direct labour organisations (DLOs) and contractors. Steve Saunders discusses the features shower manufacturers incorporate to make replacements easier.
What is the water pressure like?
“When selecting the same shower for numerous sites, specifiers must ensure that the chosen unit is safe for a wide range of end users and is suited to each of their needs but is also easy to fit. The first decision is whether to opt for an electric or mixer shower, with each holding their own benefits dependant on the water system in place.
“Mixers are regarded as being a more robust option for homes with a combi boiler or a large capacity hot water cylinder. Triton’s Dene Bar mixers, for example, are specifically designed with ease of installation in mind as they are supplied as standard with a pipe spacer to ensure pipes are spaced correctly and then cut to the correct length ready to fit the Fast-Fit surface brackets with Push-Fit pipe connectors.
“For properties in low water pressure areas, electric showers with an integral pump are much more suitable and offer a cost-effective alternative.
What do the existing fitting allow for/require?
“As the installation of the shower may differ between each bathroom, it is essential that the chosen model allows the installer flexibility. Electric units with a generous footprint may be more suitable as they are able to cover any existing screws or holes left by the previous shower, allowing for a tidy, high quality finish.
“Furthermore, an electric unit which is supplied with limited options can pose problems as changing essential plumbing and cabling can become costly. If this is needed every time, the project becomes much more time consuming.
“In order to facilitate this, manufacturers such as Triton have developed electric products which boast multiple water and cable entry points. Dual water inlets allows piping to be linked from the left or right and the Swing-Fit terminal block found in the T80Z allows for cable connections from either side, meaning it can adapt to the previous plumbing in place.
Caring for the end user
“Thermostatic units are worth considering as they ensure the water temperature is regulated, offering additional reassurance to households with young children and elderly living there. With every one of Triton’s range of thermostatic electric showers fully compliant with the Bathroom Manufacturers Association’s (BMA) new Thermostatic definition, specifiers can be assured they are offering the safest option on the market.
“With safety in mind, decision makers should ensure the model has achieved marks of approval, such as CE and BSI Kitemark certifications. Units with BEAB Care approval show the model meets the appropriate standards for all end users, but also takes into account the specific needs of those who require extra reassurance.
“When it comes to mixers, the cool touch function of Triton’s thermostatic Dene Bar Mixer ensures that the body of the shower remains cool to touch at all times as the bar mixer draws cold water across the valve for extra peace of mind for residents.
“Alternatively, Triton’s Safeguard+ thermostatic electric shower protects residents by allowing contractors to programme the maximum temperature, to either 41°C (BEAB Care setting), 43 or 47°C. It also includes an automatic shut off should the cold water supply fail; further reassuring end users who may require extra assistance, such as young children and the elderly.
Are further safety features needed?
“A range of accessories, compatible with the Safeguard+ mo
del, are also available which provide accessible facilities for those with extra care needs without needing to largely modify a bathroom. A grab riser rail package supplies a load-bearing riser rail capable of supporting up to 150kg, as well as a supplementary low-level showerhead holder.
“For those who require low level access, a remote start/stop button is also an optional accessory that can be positioned up to five metres away from the Safeguard+, simplifying operation further. These add-ons are inexpensive and, compared to creating a specially created bathroom, often do not require any major work to make a significant difference.”
Steve Saunders is senior technical manager at Triton