As the product that launched the digital showering experience back in 2001, Aqualisa’s Quartz remains the best-selling digital shower in the UK. David Beattie highlights how to go about fitting the updated version
In 2001 Aqualisa took the next step in the development of shower technology, which was the introduction of electronics and the launch of Quartz, the first digital shower on the market. Since then, the range has undergone a number of evolutions and grown in popularity with both installers and consumers. With an unrivalled quarter of a million Quartz units sold to date, it remains the most popular digital shower range in the UK. The following guide will help installers fit it.
In the smart shower pack you should have everything you need for easy planning and assembly of the Quartz, as listed below:
1. Position the smart valve. The Quartz smart valve can be sited up to 10 metres from the control, in locations such as the loft, under the bath or in an airing cupboard. Make sure it is easily accessible for future servicing. Secure the smart valve on to a solid surface, using the adjustable fixing feet and screws provided, then connect the hot and cold supply pipes to the corresponding marked inlets using the supplied push fit isolation valves.
2. Position the riser rail. Locate a suitable entry point into the ceiling for the riser rail, avoiding joists and services. Mark and drill a 30-40mm diameter hole in the ceiling. Feed the riser rail assembly, which economically contains both the supply pipe and the data cable, through the hole, ensuring the controller is at the desired height and that the rail is straight. The riser rail naturally sits 45mm from the wall; however, the spacers provided with the fixing brackets will increase the depth to 70mm if necessary.
3. Secure the riser rail brackets. Place the lower bracket support pillar into position behind the rail and then slide the fixing bracket over the rail and on to the support pillar. When the rail is straight and at the desired height, mark the screw holes and secure the fixing bracket easily to the tile surface with screws provided. Repeat these steps to secure the upper rail bracket, ensuring the hose restraint and Aqualisa Pinch Grip holder are between the two brackets. Clip the rail end covers over the brackets and slide the ceiling plate up to cover the entry hole. Corner fixing brackets are also available (sold separately).
4. Connect the outlets, power and data cable. Use the black push fit elbow to connect the smart valve outlet pipe to the top of the rail supply pipe. Apply pipe clips to secure, where appropriate. Ensure electricity is turned off at the mains and then connect the smart valve power lead to a double pole three amp switched fused spur switch located outside the bathroom in an accessible, dry place. All cables should be in conduit. Loosen the single fixing screw on the top of the smart valve, remove the lid and connect the data cable to the socket indicated by the label.
5. Connect the hose and handset. Attach the shower hose to the base of the shower controller. Turn on the power to the smart valve and press the ‘Start/Stop’ button on the controller to turn the shower on. Run for 15 seconds, with the hose held down at a low level, to flush the system through before disconnecting from the power supply again. Thread the shower hose through the hose restraint and connect to the shower handset. To complete the simple set up, place the handset into the Aqualisa Pinch Grip holder.
6. Set up the smart valve. Two smart valve variants are available: a pumped version, designed for use with low pressure gravity-fed water systems, and an unpumped version, designed for use with high pressure mains, combi, or separately pumped gravity-fed water systems. All Quartz smart valves are factory set, but they can be adjusted to suit both the preferences of the user and the water system.
For high pressure, or separately pumped gravity-fed water systems, the valve needs to be set to NORMAL HP or ECO HP, dependent on the user’s water use preferences. For combination boiler systems, COMBI mode should be selected. Alternatively, for gravity-pumped systems, the smart valve should be set to the NORMAL GRAVITY or ECO GRAVITY setting.
7. Test the shower. Reinstate the electrical supply to the smart valve and press the ‘Start/Stop’ button again to turn the shower on. Run the shower at maximum temperature on the controller to make sure it is set to a safe and comfortable level. Should you wish to adjust it, you can do so using a flat-bladed screwdriver to turn the maximum temperature control on the smart valve. After all these steps have been completed you may re-secure the lid of the smart valve and secure with the fixing screw.