What Are the Different Types of Electric Showers?

Andrew Kirmayer

Electrical showers generally heat up water that comes from the main pipes. They are generally more affordable than other varieties, require less maintenance, and are more convenient to clean when necessary. Water temperature and pressure can usually be controlled with the use of buttons and dials, depending on the type of shower. Different sizes of electric showers are often available as well. Some models also vary on the amount of electrical power they use, while common varieties also include instantaneous, power, and pumped showers.

Many electric showers have controls that allow the water pressure to be increased or dialed back.
Many electric showers have controls that allow the water pressure to be increased or dialed back.

The electrical fixtures are usually available in 7.5, 8.5, or 9.5 kilowatt versions, which typically depend on the size of cable used with the unit. Generally, narrower cable results in lower capacity. Most electrical showers can be mounted to the wall, or they can be detached as long as the shower stall or tub is secure enough for the water and electrical connections to stay intact.

One configuration is to connect the plumbing to the cold water main and wire it to the fuse box; the shower can also be connected to the hot and cold water system, and plugged into an outlet of another room. Electric showers can also be installed with a low pressure valve connected to the water tank. Hot water is typically stored in an immersion tank for electric power showers, which generally do not heat an independent water supply. These showers usually work with heaters and boilers associated with gravity fed water systems.

Pumped electric showers are typically supplied by water from a tank in an attic or loft. Suitable for areas where the water pressure is low, these showers generally require an adequate feed of power and hot water, pumped from another location in a house, to work properly. With an instantaneous electric shower, water is generally heated as it is used. The pressure, however, is often less than that of power electric showers, which is something to consider when making a purchase. Wattage ratings can help determine the maximum temperature a system can heat water to as well.

Instantaneous showers often include circuits to ensure the heater can only be on when water is flowing, and that the water does not get too hot. Protective measures such as installing a ground fault circuit interrupter are often recommended for most electric showers. With all types, careful attention into making the proper pipe connections, and ensuring water can be safely disposed of after use, is generally significant as well.

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