Gainsborough Showers Publishes Digital Shower Winter Customer Advice

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Digital showers can sometimes be affected by extreme cold weather if the processor box is located in a loft area or another location that is particularly subject to the cold.

With Christmas fast on the way, now is the time to make sure that everything in the home is in tip top condition and ready for the festive break

Customer service calls at Gainsborough Showers increase by around 20% each winter during periods of extreme cold weather with customers asking for advice. Gainsborough Showers has produced a handy guide to help customers with digital showers to keep their showers operating to their best over the winter period. The full guide can be found on the company’s website under Digital Showers Cold Weather Advice.

How can extreme cold weather affect digital showers?

In very cold weather, the processor box is subject to the same issues as water pipes and electronic appliances. Issues can sometimes occur, particularly with processor boxes (the ‘mixer’ part of a digital shower) that are located in the loft, because modern loft insulation is so effective at keeping heat within the home. This can result in the loft area being much colder than it normally would be, compared to the rest of the house. The colder temperature can then affect the water being supplied to the processor, as well as the air around it.

Whilst, for ease of installation, Gainsborough Showers advise that the processor box be sited in the loft, it should not be installed in any locations where freezing may occur, or where the ambient temperature is likely to exceed forty degrees Celsius.

What symptoms might a digital shower display during extreme cold weather?

  •     No water, yet lights are illuminating on the controller
  •     No lights on the controller and no response from the start button
  •     Shower starts for a brief period, then shuts off

Why is this happening?

A digital shower may experience these symptoms if the water to the processor box has frozen or if it is very cold. In extreme cold conditions, the thermistor (the device within the processor box which helps to regulate the water temperature) will register a fault and place the processor in a safe mode to protect it.

How to get the processor working again

In some situations, it may be a simple case of turning the power supply to the processor off, leaving it for a few minutes, and then switching it back on again. If the water supplies to, or inside the processor are frozen, however, then the water must be thawed. Gainsborough recommends that the most effective way to do this is to warm the temperature of the loft area by leaving the loft hatch open and allowing warm air from the house to penetrate the loft space. This will allow the processor and the pipes to slowly thaw. Once fully thawed, the processor should be switched off for a few minutes before being switched back on. This will reset the processor and clear the fault.

How can this be avoided in the future?

In the same way as water pipes are protected against the cold, lagging, or special tubular foam insulation, can be added around the pipework to and from the processor box to prevent the pipes from freezing. Additionally, as a temporary measure, placing a cardboard box over the processor can also help protect against the cold.

Stuart Newbury, Product Manager at Gainsborough Showers says:

“Although these solutions may seem quite simple, and common sense, we have devised them to enable competent householders to complete them rather than having to employ the services of a plumber.”

Gainsborough Showers recommend these actions for householders experiencing cold weather issues with their digital showers; however, there are a few important points to note should they be attempted:

  •     The processor box must not be tightly wrapped – there should be at least two or three inches of air clearance between the processor and the cardboard box.
  •     If the cardboard box method is adopted, pumped models will need ventilation holes added to the cardboard box to ensure air circulates freely.
  •     There should be no insulation or covering materials, such as a blanket, placed around the processor or cardboard box.
  •     There should also be no loft insulation underneath the processor which will allow heat to rise from the room below.
  •     It may be necessary to remove the cardboard box in warmer seasons if the ambient temperature of the loft rises excessively.

With Christmas fast on the way, now is the time to make sure that everything in the home is in tip top condition and ready for the festive break. Gainsborough Showers has added full information on digital showers cold weather advice on the company’s website, and the customer service team are available to answer any additional queries during opening hours.

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