- Pipe cutters for plastic and copper pipe
- Tape measure
- Adjustable spanner
- Tile drill
- Spirit level
- Dust sheet
- Thermostatic mixer shower
- Shower head
- 15mm plastic and copper pipe
- Plastic and copper connections – tees and elbows
- Shut-off valves
- Double sided tape
1. Decide where to take the hot and water supplies from
First you’ll need to decide where to take the hot and cold water supplies from. If you are fitting the shower above the bath you can tee into the tap supplies. If you are fitting the thermostatic shower valve into a shower enclosure you can tee into the closest hot and cold pipes, which are often found under floorboards or hidden in a cupboard. You can check which is which by tracing the pipes back from the nearest hot and cold taps. The flow of water can be felt through the pipe with the tap running. Run each tap in turn, you’ll know which the hot water pipe is as it warms up quickly.
2. Isolate the supply
Once you’ve decided where to take the hot and cold water supplies from you can start the work, but before doing anything you’ll need to isolate the supply. So, switch off the stopcock (usually positioned under the sink) and then open the hot and cold taps to drain away the water in the pipes.
3. Run the pipework towards the shower
When you’ve isolated the supply, tee into the hot and cold supplies and run the pipework towards the shower. Check the instructions that are included with the valve and feed the hot and cold supplies to the correct sides – hot is on the left and cold is on the right.
Top tip: for a hassle-free plumbing solution, plastic pipe can be run under floorboards and up behind stud walls. To prevent plastic pipe from deforming use pipe inserts at any joints.
Include a shut-off valve on the hot and cold supplies as close as possible to the shower. It’s easier to tighten up compression-type joints on a copper pipe, so slot in a section of copper pipe at the end of the plastic pipe runs. Once you’ve done this, put the plastic stop ends on these pipes, switch the stopcock back on and check for leaks on the new pipe runs.
4. Flush the pipework through to remove any dirt
To prevent any damage to the shower valve, flush the new pipework through to ensure any dirt flowing in the water is removed. Turn the water off, remove the stop ends and get someone to hold a bucket under the outlets while you turn the water back on. When you have finished flushing the water through you can switch off the stopcock.
5. Work out how much outlet pipe is required
Take the shower valve, place it against the wall where it’s going to be fitted and mark off the amount of outlet pipe required to allow it to fit flush to the wall.
6. Cut the outlet pipes
Next, cut both outlet pipes to the required length.
Top tip: use a close quarter tubing cutter, which is great for tight spaces.
7. Drill the holes
You can now mark and drill the holes for the valve. Use a diamond- tipped tile drill if you’re drilling into tiles.
Top tip: to create perfect holes fast use a water-cooled drill guide.