Electric showers, educate me.

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HaychHaych Frets: 2017
The bathroom project isn't going very well at the moment, but when I start putting it back together I will be looking at fitting a new electric shower.

Our current shower is an electric unit but works from mains pressure.  It seems to do just about ok but in the colder months when the inlet water is much colder pressure can be a bit of a problem as they tend to reduce flow so the water can spend more time being heated.

Is there such a thing as a pumped electric shower that will maintain a higher pressure whether or not the inlet water is freezing or not?

I would also like to get rid of the generic shower head and adjustable rail thing that usually comes with an electric shower kit and instead fit a fixed wall mounted shower head - is this possible?  The mechanics of putting it together doesn't worry me, but again the wall mounted shower heads are usually larger in diameter and am worried that if I fit one pressure might once again become the issue if there isn't enough flow to the rose.

Hope that makes sense.

TIA

Had enough, I don’t want to be me anymore!

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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 6144
    Do you have a combi boiler or boiler/cylinder?
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 2017
    poopot said:
    Do you have a combi boiler or boiler/cylinder?
    It's a combi boiler.  Don't think it would power a shower.  We've had an electric shower since buying the house ten years ago.

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  • exocetexocet Frets: 1292
    I may be out of touch but I'm pretty sure that you can't pump mains water unless you fit a "break tank" in-between the incoming mains and the pump - effectively this is what the traditional water tank in the loft does.

    The issue that you have is that the shower heating element isn't powerful enough to heat the incoming water at a high enough flow rate.

    A very powerful electric shower may have a 10KW heater but a gas combi boiler can apply 30 KW or more.

    So, you need to heat the water with something else - either a combi boiler if your mains pressure / flow rate is high enough or revert to a traditional hot water tank plus a pumped shower.
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  • NeillNeill Frets: 617
    Haych said:
    The bathroom project isn't going very well at the moment, but when I start putting it back together I will be looking at fitting a new electric shower.

    Our current shower is an electric unit but works from mains pressure.  It seems to do just about ok but in the colder months when the inlet water is much colder pressure can be a bit of a problem as they tend to reduce flow so the water can spend more time being heated.

    Is there such a thing as a pumped electric shower that will maintain a higher pressure whether or not the inlet water is freezing or not?

    I would also like to get rid of the generic shower head and adjustable rail thing that usually comes with an electric shower kit and instead fit a fixed wall mounted shower head - is this possible?  The mechanics of putting it together doesn't worry me, but again the wall mounted shower heads are usually larger in diameter and am worried that if I fit one pressure might once again become the issue if there isn't enough flow to the rose.

    Hope that makes sense.

    TIA
    Surely it doesn't matter what the pressure is  - if you only have a cold feed you are always going to have this problem.  It's the Kw rating of the shower that governs how hot the water is relative to the flow.
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  • strtdvstrtdv Frets: 2085
    How powerful is your existing shower?

    Ours is 11kW and while there is a slight reduction in flow in winter it is minimal.

    Having said that, compared with the Aqualisa power shower fed from our hot water tank the flow is nowhere near as good.
    Robot Lords of Tokyo, SMILE TASTE KITTENS!
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  • poopotpoopot Frets: 6144
    Haych said:
    poopot said:
    Do you have a combi boiler or boiler/cylinder?
    It's a combi boiler.  Don't think it would power a shower.  We've had an electric shower since buying the house ten years ago.
    If you have a combi boiler fit a regular thermostatic shower... 


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  • ColsCols Frets: 2740
    The limiting flow factor for an electric shower is not whether or not the water is pumped, but how quickly the water can be heated as it passes through the shower. The inlet is under mains pressure, so basically as high as it can get.  The flow is subsequently reduced to something which the electric heater can warm up as it passes through.

    As such, your best flow in an electric shower will be achieved by getting the highest kW rated unit you can.  If you want a really invigorating shower experience, you’re best off with a hot water storage tank and a power shower.
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 1627
    Most electric showers are inadequate compared to that off a combi....a super efficient shower head can help as it reduces the flow even more so maintains the perceived pressure and heat.


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  • HaychHaych Frets: 2017
    strtdv said:
    How powerful is your existing shower?

    Ours is 11kW and while there is a slight reduction in flow in winter it is minimal.

    Having said that, compared with the Aqualisa power shower fed from our hot water tank the flow is nowhere near as good.
    I think it's 9.5 Kw.  We used to have an 8.5 Kw but it really wasn't man enough; to get the water warm enough for a shower in winter the flow was reduced to a mere dribble.

    Had enough, I don’t want to be me anymore!

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  • rocktronrocktron Frets: 695
    edited March 3
    Let me tell you of my experience:-

    I have a Triton Martinique 10.5 kW electric shower.

    This one:-     https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Triton-Martinique-10-5Kw-Satin-Chrome-Electric-Shower-RP-Topaz-T100-Bezique/132734728148?epid=219561260&hash=item1ee79b37d4:g:5OMAAOSwBDRgHNro

    This is the latest generation of this model of Triton push button selector electric showers which had previous names such as T100, Topaz, and Bezique. The design is basically the same for these models, so if and when the unit needs to be replaced, you just shut off the mains cold water and the electricity supply, remove the front cover panel, undo the water pipe connection, undo the electric wire connections, unscrew the unit from the wall, replace like for like, and you are good to go again in under 30 minutes. This neatly avoids having to drill new holes and to install new plumbing. Triton did a good thing in keeping the new Martinique the same as the discontinued older models. To be honest, I think they are the same units with different names.  

    Ask your electrician not to cut the wires to the unit too short, in the event that you need to change models.

    I live on the second floor in a block of flats. The electric shower is connected to mains water, but there is a communal cold water tank in the loft for added pressure. The spray from the shower head is not very powerful, but it is more than adequate for most purposes. During summer, it is very good. During winter, it gets low, but is still usable. I've never had a problem with spray pressure on mine, summer or winter.

    NOTE OF ADVICE 1: Ensure that you have adequate water pressure, or the warning light will come on, and the unit will automatically switch to a cooler flow of water until the flow is increased. This is a protection feature to prevent overheating.  

    NOTE OF ADVICE 2: On an older unit, if it keeps tripping between hot and cold water, this is a warning that the PRD (pressure relief device) should be checked. It also indicates that the solenoid may need replacing.

    NOTE OF ADVICE 3: These units often need replacement parts after around three to four years of use. The parts can be expensive. I usually go on eBay and buy a brand new unit which cost just a bit more than the spare parts. The removed unit can be repaired and kept as a spare.  

    My 10.5 kW Triton unit is connected to its own, separate power supply/breaker switch which is independent of the ring-main in the flat, and the wiring has a higher power rating to cope.

    Electric showers come in 8.5 kW, 9.5 kW, and 10.5 kW models. I would recommend you get a 10.5 kW model. I'll explain the reason.

    The heating coil in the unit remains at its fixed power rating. During summer, the water gets too hot, so you have to lower the temperature with the control knob, or select the cool water button(s). As I said, power rating remains fixed but by adjusting the temperature control knob you then get an increased flow of water which lowers the water temperature. It still consumes the same power.

    During winter, the mains water is very cold. You have to reduce the rate of flow of the water through the heating tank/coil so it gets hot enough. Therefore, you can conclude that with a higher power unit, you do not have to reduce the rate of flow of the water too much to get the water sufficiently warm/hot. 

    On my 10.5 kW Triton, during winter, I can still get a nice warm to hot shower whilst maintaining a good flow of water.    


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  • KittyfriskKittyfrisk Frets: 5859
    Don't forget to check the existing power cable size to the shower & the fuse rating.
    You risk overloading the cable by just replacing an existing shower unit with a more powerful one that draws more current.
    https://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/electricshower.htm
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  • RobDaviesRobDavies Frets: 2412
    I’ve never understood why you’d want a shower head fixed to the wall?  How do you wash your bum’ole?
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 2017
    RobDavies said:
    I’ve never understood why you’d want a shower head fixed to the wall?  How do you wash your bum’ole?
    With the wife’s electric toothbrush of course. 

    Had enough, I don’t want to be me anymore!

    Bit of trading feedback here.

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  • HaychHaych Frets: 2017

    Don't forget to check the existing power cable size to the shower & the fuse rating.
    You risk overloading the cable by just replacing an existing shower unit with a more powerful one that draws more current.
    https://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/electricshower.htm
    Yep, this is already on my mind. It’s a fairly substantial cable as is but might replace it just in case. 

    Had enough, I don’t want to be me anymore!

    Bit of trading feedback here.

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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 4127
    I live in a hard water area.  Shower heads don’t seem to survive well here, even if i descaled them regularly. 

    Am thinking of gutting my en-suite, and replacing everything. Looking to ditch the electric shower, and go with specialist pump. Early days yet, nit worked out how i want to do this (or how my builder will do it)...
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 2017
    My father has a pumped shower which runs off his hot water tank. 

    It’s like being hit by a tsunami. I reckon it could fill his bath in a few seconds. I’d like a bit more pressure but the pressure from his shower is ridiculous. 

    Had enough, I don’t want to be me anymore!

    Bit of trading feedback here.

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  • chillidoggychillidoggy Frets: 13527
    Haych said:
    My father has a pumped shower which runs off his hot water tank. 

    It’s like being hit by a tsunami. I reckon it could fill his bath in a few seconds. I’d like a bit more pressure but the pressure from his shower is ridiculous. 
    I have a pumped shower on the top floor of the house. You can buy pumps with differing outputs from 1.5 - 3bar, think mine as 1.5 and it's fine.


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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 8072
    TheMarlin said:
    I live in a hard water area.  Shower heads don’t seem to survive well here, even if i descaled them regularly. 

    Am thinking of gutting my en-suite, and replacing everything. Looking to ditch the electric shower, and go with specialist pump. Early days yet, nit worked out how i want to do this (or how my builder will do it)...
    I’ve always lived in hard water areas. It really screws up the central heating, plumbing, kettles, irons, showers. The place we’ve not long moved into had a water softener fitted already. I thought it was a bit of a gimmick at first but the difference it makes is incredible, you use about 50% less detergent in the washing machine, you need a tiny amount of shampoo to gets tons of lather, the kettle is spotless, no marks on the shower screen, the shower head never scales up. 

    Running costs are minimal once it’s installed, basically you just need to add salt every few months. There’s an electric timer on the valve but it draws hardly any power. The only downside I can see is that it uses the mains water to purge the system a couple of times a week (depends on how it’s set up/ how hard your water is). That just goes straight down the drain so if you’re on a water meter it’ll cost you. Also there’s the environmental cost of wasting that water, if that bothers you. 
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  • hasslehamhassleham Frets: 388
    I have an 8.5kW shower and I find it goes far hotter than I need it to but the pressure is rubbish. I've opened it up to clean the filter and sadly it didn't make a difference and there doesn't seem to be a way to adjust the inlet pressure to allow more water through. The water pressure from my taps is insane so I don't really know where the problem is.

    I was reading up on it and found out about a pump that goes before the shower to increase the pressure, so that sounds like what you need.
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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 8072
    hassleham said:
    I have an 8.5kW shower and I find it goes far hotter than I need it to but the pressure is rubbish. I've opened it up to clean the filter and sadly it didn't make a difference and there doesn't seem to be a way to adjust the inlet pressure to allow more water through. The water pressure from my taps is insane so I don't really know where the problem is.

    I was reading up on it and found out about a pump that goes before the shower to increase the pressure, so that sounds like what you need.
    Yours could have a restrictor on the inlet. 
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  • russpmrusspm Frets: 210
    hassleham said:
    I have an 8.5kW shower and I find it goes far hotter than I need it to but the pressure is rubbish. I've opened it up to clean the filter and sadly it didn't make a difference and there doesn't seem to be a way to adjust the inlet pressure to allow more water through. The water pressure from my taps is insane so I don't really know where the problem is.

    I was reading up on it and found out about a pump that goes before the shower to increase the pressure, so that sounds like what you need.
    It reduces the flow to enable the heating up of the water. The higher the kw rating of the shower the better the flow as it can heat the water quicker.
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