The rise of smart showering
The rise of smart showering
Nothing demonstrates the influence of technology in the bathroom more than the growing demand for digital showers. Here, Steve Saunders, Senior Technical Manager at Triton Showers, takes a closer look at the potential of this market.
“Digital showers are increasing in popularity and have a wide reaching appeal.
“While they aren’t an entirely new concept, the latest generation of technologically advanced mixer and electric products are a sign that British bathrooms are heading in a new direction.
“The rise of Bluetooth applications and smart devices means there is a real buzz around digital showering and such installations are now more commonplace. In fact, during a recent installer training session I held at our Nuneaton headquarters, one installer, Ray Dobson, from Hewitt Plumbing & Heating, highlighted that around 50% of his clients are now asking about them.
“In my experience, we are finding they’re most sought after in situations where the shower is the centerpiece of the bathroom. However, with an ageing population and the rise of multigenerational living in the UK, they’re also proving interesting for those looking to create a showering zone that can be used by everyone, without compromising style. This is predominantly thanks to the clear displays and touchscreens which are far easier and simpler for less able bodied people to use than mechanical dials and buttons.
“Other positives include the water-saving capabilities of digital showers. When discussing these technologies during our training session, Jason Meredith from Jase Gas Services, was keen to tell me that he’d even had one customer asking for a remotely operated unit purely so they could stop their teenager taking too long and wasting water! While this may be an extreme example, it just shows that digital models are much more than aspirational gadgets – they have some really practical benefits too.
“From an installer’s perspective, the actual plumbing is the same as traditional mixers, so they can be suggested for any scenario. In addition, they can be incredibly handy for replacements, where disruption to an existing scheme needs to be kept to a minimum.
“In the case of Triton’s wireless digital shower, HOST, the mixer valve can be sited as far as 10 metres away from the control panel. This means it could be placed out of sight, in an airing cupboard, in the loft, or even under a bath. It also means it is quick to fit as there is no need to disturb expensive tiles or for walls to be chased out.
“Another big consideration is finding a unit which will suit all types of heating systems. The newest offerings have been developed to allow full compatibility when paired with any system. Contrary to what some think, this includes combi boilers. As a result, it’s worth being aware which come with flow limiters included because this will mean the performance can be tailored to the boiler output.
“What’s more, if a low pressure set up requires a pump to deliver the desired performance, some of the latest products operate silently, which is ideal if the most convenient location for the mixer box is next to a bedroom.
“Providing a bit of luxury, the combination of style and substance offered by digital showers is helping installers to take advantage of the growing market.”