Electric showers: a quick introduction for UK homes
Electric showers are one of the most common types of shower in the UK. Being self-contained, they don't need a hot water supply from elsewhere. Here I give you a quick introduction to electric showers and their pros and cons.
What is an electric shower?
An electric shower unit is a box that fits to your wall, fitted with a hose and a shower head. It connects to a mains cold water supply and mains electricity, where the water is heated to a temperature you choose via a thermostatic-controlled dial.
This is quite different from a standard mixer shower, which mixes hot and cold water supplies; or the digital version, which allows you minute control over the flow and temperature. These work in homes with a combi boiler or hot water cylinder as they depend on an existing supply of hot water.
Pros of an electric shower
- Will work in virtually any home
- Suits a home with low pressure water supply such as gravity fed water from a tank in your loft
- Great if multiple people are having consecutive showers - you won't run out of hot water
- No need to reroute hot water pipes
- Economical as they only heat the water you use
Cons of an electric shower
- Unit is visible and may not be the look you want
- Heating elements can be affected by limescale in hard water areas
How to fit an electric shower
You can do an electric shower installation yourself with a minimum of tools, as long as you're able to switch off the mains water but you must have a qualified electrician to do the electrical connections for you. Watch me replacing an electric shower on the Plumberparts YouTube channel here (with bonus singing)...
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