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Can you improve water pressure by replacing shower head?

Ssowden27
New Contributor

Can you improve water pressure by replacing shower head?

Hi!

 

We've got an older terrace house in Sth Melbourne with older water pipes. Our second shower has a shower head and hose where the water pressure is quite poor and we'd love to be able to improve it! Will it help if we change the shower head to one without the hose? Which shower head might be best?

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Can you improving water pressure by replacing shower head?

Hello @Ssowden27

 

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It's fabulous to have you join us, and thank you for sharing your question about your shower head.

 

I suggest doing a water pressure test to see how much water is coming out of the shower outlet. You'll need a bucket and the stopwatch on your phone. I propose removing the current showerhead and placing the shower hose in the bucket. Turn on the cold water and fill the bucket for exactly ten seconds. 

 

Once you reach the ten-second mark turn off the cold water and measure the water in the bucket with a measuring jug. Let's say for example that the amount of water in the bucket was 1.2 litres. The formula goes like this, 1.2 litres divided by 10 seconds multiplied by 60 seconds equals 7.2 litres per minute. 

 

If you were to purchase a shower head that said 7.5 litres a minute that will be the maximum output of that shower head. Compared to a Flexispray WELS 3 Star 9L/min Cayman Single Function Wall Shower which has a rating of 9 litres a minute. So the theory goes that getting a shower head that's close to your per litre average will give you the best possible shower.  

 

Let me tag our experienced members @MikeTNZ and @Vis-á-vis for their recommendations.

 

If you need further assistance, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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Vis-á-vis
Established Contributor

Re: Can you improving water pressure by replacing shower head?

Eric has already given you the best advice.

 

You need to know how much pressure you have coming out of the pipe without the shower head attached to know what is possible. 

 

The only thing I'd add is to make sure you have the hot and cold mixers adjusted to you preferred showering temperature as it is not uncommon for the hot water pressure to be significantly less than the cold.

 

Once you know how much water can come out of the pipe then you'll know what shower head will work. As Eric said it need to be the same or less than what you have available. No point putting a 12l/h shower head when you can only get 8l/h.

 

Try unscrewing the hose from the shower rose. In the back of the shower rose itself you may see a flow restrictor (yellow or other coloured plastic) which is designed to save water, this can significantly reduce water pressure. You can generally safely remove this to increase pressure but be careful you are not introducing too much pressure for the shower rose capability (unlikely).

Re: Can you improving water pressure by replacing shower head?

Is there a minimum water pressure that has to be provided to your home by Council/State??

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Can you improving water pressure by replacing shower head?

Hello @kengab

 

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. Thank you so much for joining the conversation.

 

To answer your question, the Australian standard for household water pressure sits at 500 kPa. This is the typical pressure generated by the local water council in your area. Are you currently working on a D.I.Y. project? If you are, please don't hesitate to press that "Start a Discussion" button. Our members will be more than happy to provide advice and information.

 

Eric

 

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Re: Can you improving water pressure by replacing shower head?

Let me also personally welcome you to the Bunnings Workshop community, @kengab. It's absolutely lovely to have you join us. 

Thank you for asking that question. We encourage you to keep participating in our discussions and are confident you'll receive plenty of helpful advice and inspiration from our wonderful members. Like my colleague @EricL has also suggested, please don't hesitate to share any of your own D.I.Y projects as well. 


Feel free to also let us know if you have any questions about navigating the site's features. We're always happy to help.

Once again, a very warm welcome and I'm looking forward to seeing your updates in the community. 

Akanksha

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MikeTNZ
Super Contributor

Re: Can you improving water pressure by replacing shower head?

No, it doesn't work like that.

What you get from your water supplier is a given size of "take-off" fitting, this is normally either 1" (25mm) or 3/4" (19mm).

Remember that this is a standard thing at the outlet from the mains it is taken off of, the pressure at that point could be as large as 300- 500 kPa.

Unless you have a cistern (tank in your roof) the amount of pressure you have is governed by an Ajax (pressure reducing) valve installed where the water feed enters your house, this could be anywhere.

But, merely increasing the pressure through that Ajax valve can cause all sorts of hell to break loose, like blown tap washers, washing machines that blow solenoid valves and if taken too far can cause the Ajax valve itself to fail destructively, meaning a HUGE pressurised leak that will only be able to be turned off at the road valve.

 

MikeTNZ
Super Contributor

Re: Can you improve water pressure by replacing shower head?

Hi @Ssowden27,

Welcome to Bunnings Workshop,

Are you in one of them "hard water" areas?, it seems to be a thing these days where plumbing installed a few years back are now starting to block up with calcium and other such things and if they are galvanised steel they simply rust from the inside out, causing a restriction.

The restriction is because the inner section of the pipe bubbles internally, because it is constantly wet with water, every time you open a tap, it enables turbulence in the pipe and so the cycle begins again.

I'm sorry but there isn't much you can really do, apart from having this pipe-work replaced, before you end up having leaks within walls.

Even PVC is not immune to this, in it's smaller sizes, copper is a lot better in this respect.

I would suggest you have a plumber have a look into this.

Ssowden27
New Contributor

Re: Can you improve water pressure by replacing shower head?

Hi team,

 

I popped into the local bunnings in port melbourne to follow up with one of the helpful team there and they gave me a very effective and cheap solution! There was a flow restrictor in the shower hose itself and the hose itself needed to be replaced. SO for $15 for a new hose, $3 for plumbing tape and 5 minutes to replace these things, my problem is fixed! Our water bill might get larger, but worth it for the outcome!

 

Thankyou Bunnings port Melbourne!

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Can you improve water pressure by replacing shower head?

Hi @Ssowden27

 

I'm glad you found a solution that fits your needs. I'll be sure to pass on your compliments to the team at Bunnings Port Melbourne.

 

If you have any other questions we can help with, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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