In our last house we had a bath and a shower in separate rooms but found the shower so quick and convenient that we rarely used the bath. In the present house we have no space for both bath and shower so decided to remove the bath and install a shower instead.
This was never going to be a simple, 48-hour transformation even with the involvement of our local plumber who did most of the work, with yours truly helping with the relatively unskilled bits. The hot and cold water supplies to the bath were not suitable for the shower, though we didn’t know this until we had installed the cabinet and shower and tested the setup to see whether there was enough hot water pressure. There wasn’t. So we needed a pump to increase the hot water pressure and I thought that it would be as simple as that. It wasn’t. What we needed was a pump to pump hot and cold water simultaneously. But there was more to it than that. It is not permissible/possible/legal or something to attach a pump to a pipe carrying water at mains pressure, apparently. So we had to ignore the mains water supply which was in the bathroom already and pipe a further cold supply from the tank in the attic to the pump. So our ever-patient plumber had to rethink all the connections with much head scratching.
We got there in the end but the most irritating aspects had to do with the shower cabinet assembly whose instructions were badly written and inadequately illustrated and made no reference at all to the way in which various pipes were to be assembled. In fact this was not complicated in itself but there was an important, albeit small, component missing which left us with more open ends on the pipework than fittings to close them. Had we not noticed this problem we could well have created a flood behind the cabinet when the shower was switched on, possibly causing terminal damage to our kitchen ceiling downstairs before we realised there was a problem.
Once everything was installed and tested thoroughly for leaks the plumber kindly did some tiling for us. This left me the tasks of repainting the bathroom with help from my wife, then fitting the new floor covering and constructing a cover for the pump, which had to be located in the corner of the bathroom because there was nowhere else that it could go.
Fitting the new vinyl floor covering was easy because it was possible to use the old piece as a template. So on a fine day I swept our patio and laid the new piece of vinyl face down on it and the old piece face down on top. Then I traced the outline of the old piece (and of the holes in it) on to the new and went to work with a stout pair of scissors. The secret is to cut generously because you can always cut more off later. On the other hand, if you try to cut too accurately right from the start, you might overdo it an leave gaps that cannot be filled easily.
As for covering the pump which, with its pipes was about nine inches high, I wanted to make a big enough box to allow space for some sound insulation if it seemed necessary, while still allowing for air circulation around the pump so that it would not get too hot when in use. So it seemed a good idea to make the box big and strong enough to be, in effect, a seat, with a removable cover so that we could reach the pump and its plumbing quickly if necessary.
I learned a lot about plumbing while doing this job – mainly that I had been right to leave it to the expert.
Oh, and Granny Anne was pleased with the end product, so that was alright then.