Electric showers have a multitude of advantages over the usual mixer style showers we often see. The best probably being that you an still have a hot shower if your boiler breaks down and you won't be fighting with the kids about who used the last of the hot water. You know that when you get up in the morning the shower will always be hot and ready to go – provided you haven't had a power cut!
Buying and installing an electric shower can be confusing however. Going for the cheapest model can be tempting, but in this case it is better to spend as much as you can. Cheaper models tend to break down more often and are more affected by limescale. Follow the hints below for choosing the best model for your needs.
The power rating for an electric shower is usually between 8.5kw and 10.8kw. The higher the rating the more powerful the shower will be, but it will also be more expensive. Most models will have economy or low power settings for when a high temperature shower isn't required.
It is possible to buy an electric shower with a pump which will force the water out much faster and give a very powerful shower. These usually are supplied by the hot and cold feeds and use less power as the hot water does not have to be electrically heated.
It is possible t buy an electric shower for as little as £50 however this will be low power and provide a weak shower. This will go up to as high as £400 for a designer model in chrome or slate. It is best to choose a model with a long guarantee as the cheaper units will tend to suffer from limescale build up on the element, which will cause failure.
An electric shower will need to be plumbed to the cold water supply and connected to the electrical supply. They will need to be installed by a qualified (part P) electrician as this type of work cannot be carried out by a DIYer. The electrical element will need to be supplied by a separate circuit. The electrician should provide a certificate to show the work has been carried out correctly.
For safety, a separate pull cord is usually attached to the ceiling near the shower. This will allow someone outside the shower to shut off the electricity to the shower without getting wet.
You can install an electric shower retrospectively with minimal damage to tiles via the use of a wireless shower. This means that the shower unit is hidden elsewhere and controls the shower remotely. Otherwise an electric shower should be installed before tiling is complete.
Showerheads:These will usually have a number of spray options. If all the spray holes are used the shower will feel quite weak. The more concentrated the spray the harder the shower will feel. Heads with rubber nodules are easier to clean and will help prevent limescale build up.
Memory functions: Some newer style showers are able to remember the settings from a previous user.
LCD controls: This will show the temperature of the shower and allow more precise control.
Remote control: It is possible to buy a shower which you can turn on from the comfort of your bed!
While an electric shower may not offer the power available from other models, they do provide the comfort of knowing you will never be without hot water to wake you up in the morning.