Any electricians on here - question about showers

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longjawlongjaw Frets: 320
Quick question about my electric shower for any sparkies out there.

The pull chord on our shower has failed (again).

We've had problems with it since we moved into our house - it used to break due to over-heating. We initially changed the shower down from a 9kW to a 8.5kW one and it hasn't failed for a couple of years.

The current switch is rated at 45 amps - if I fit a 50 amp switch will it be safe and less likely to fail?
Cheers
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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 8072
    45amp switch is more than enough to cope with 8.5kw, it shouldn’t be overheating. Is it a decent make? I always use MK stuff, there’s an awful lot of cheap crap around.  
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  • longjawlongjaw Frets: 320
    Not sure what the make is of the current one.

    I can only find a 50 amp MK one: https://www.screwfix.com/p/mk-50a-1-way-pull-cord-switch-white/12094

    There's a 45 amp British General one: https://www.screwfix.com/p/british-general-45a-1-way-pull-cord-switch-white/65167

    Is that any good?
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 6332
    @boogieman is right, so much cheap shit that breaks easy now, I might buy the odd cheap 4 way but I always go for a decent brand for switchs and roses and pulls 

    I use CPC for all the electrical stuff I buy rather than screwfix 

    https://cpc.farnell.com/volex-accessories/gb6-vx9706/50a-ceiling-swneon/dp/PL12817

    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • Devil#20Devil#20 Frets: 256
    Seconded regarding using MK stuff. The problem you may have it the power cable supplying your shower. The fuse is not there to protect your shower. It is there to protect the cable. If it is running in a conduit it can take a higher current than if it's plastered into the wall or the run is too long or both. Does the shower switch conk out when you are running the shower at full chat? If so just back it off a bit. If you put a bigger fuse in then it could cause the power cable to overheat and burn your guitars. 

    Ian

    Lowering my expectations has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

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  • russpmrusspm Frets: 210
    edited March 5
    MK all the way, avoid the cheap stuff.
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  • longjawlongjaw Frets: 320
    Thanks very much chaps - there's no issue with the shower affecting any other electrics when it's on.

    I'll definitely stick with a 45 amp switch, can't find a MK one though - are there any other makes to consider?
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 6332
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • russpmrusspm Frets: 210
    longjaw said:
    Thanks very much chaps - there's no issue with the shower affecting any other electrics when it's on.

    I'll definitely stick with a 45 amp switch, can't find a MK one though - are there any other makes to consider?
    Get this-
    https://www.screwfix.com/p/mk-50a-1-way-pull-cord-switch-white/12094?tc=FA7&ds_kid=92700055281954484&ds_rl=1249401&gclid=Cj0KCQiAyoeCBhCTARIsAOfpKxh452RLarKVT7oPtmbZ-mA_9KgjTmX3Z3r8FdEdqznkXceFKg9pTjgaAipSEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 53931
    A 50A switch just gives you a slightly higher safety margin than a 45A one, there's no reason to use a 45A if there's a better quality 50A one available.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 1627
    45A switch will be fine, but even with this the cables can be tricky to get onto the terminals, make sure the cables come in through the back in the right orientation same as the connections, then they should juts slip right it, also make sure terms are tight....loose connections are the biggest cause of accessory failures....oh...and fires ;-)


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 3475
    Never really given this much thought, but I just leave our shower pullcord switch on all the time - is this wrong?

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  • rocktronrocktron Frets: 695
    edited March 5
    Nitefly said:
    Never really given this much thought, but I just leave our shower pullcord switch on all the time - is this wrong?

    I've being doing this for 26 years without any problems. 

    My electric showers have all been Triton 10.5kW models which have three switch on buttons for hot, tepid, and cold water, together with a temperature control knob and a separate stop button.

    I understand that the unit may have a longer life if it isn't switched on/off everyday. 

    I need to open the pull-cord ceiling rose to check the name of the manufacturer. However, the other switches in the flat are all MK branded, so I expect the shower ceiling rose switch is also made by MK.
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  • p90foolp90fool Frets: 21516
    Nitefly said:
    Never really given this much thought, but I just leave our shower pullcord switch on all the time - is this wrong?

    I've started doing this about a year ago as I got fed up of replacing switches (even the MK ones).

    I was brought up to always switch things off so it went against the grain a bit, but it's the constant switching which causes the arcing and burning of contacts.

    I shortened the string pull as well, because I was alone in the house one day having a shower when someone switched it off, almost giving me a heart attack. 
    I yanked the curtain to one side and the cat was hanging off the string by his claws, his hilarious new game. 
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 1627
    We have electric shower and I leave the switch on all the time.


    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 8072
    We leave ours on all the time. The switch in the actual shower unit is designed to use constantly so I don’t see any need to turn off the ceiling switch, unless the unit needs maintenance or replacement. 
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  • russpmrusspm Frets: 210
    It’s an isolator really so no need to switch off in between uses
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 6332
    It's an additional safety switch which guards against the thing turning into a kettle if it leaks internally. If I was going on holiday I would turn it off, but not everyday. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • russpmrusspm Frets: 210
    I always turn the water off when I go on holiday.
    Hmmmmm holidays, what are those??
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  • russpmrusspm Frets: 210
    From an electrical publication-
    That isolator is only there so that the electrical supply to the shower can be locally isolated should maintenance be required; you don't need to clonk it off every time you hang up the loofah and reach for the towel. In most cases, when you turn off the shower it isn't consuming any electrical current.
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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 8072
    russpm said:
    I always turn the water off when I go on holiday.

    I can remember my parents doing that, but I’ve never bothered. 

    My mum still turns the tv off at the wall at night and even unplugs it. I guess it’s a hangover from the early valve TV sets that could possibly overheat. 
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  • russpmrusspm Frets: 210
    boogieman said:
    russpm said:
    I always turn the water off when I go on holiday.

    I can remember my parents doing that, but I’ve never bothered. 

    My mum still turns the tv off at the wall at night and even unplugs it. I guess it’s a hangover from the early valve TV sets that could possibly overheat. 
    I had a bad water leak whilst away on holiday one time so always turn it off now.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 6332
    boogieman said:
    russpm said:
    I always turn the water off when I go on holiday.

    I can remember my parents doing that, but I’ve never bothered. 

    My mum still turns the tv off at the wall at night and even unplugs it. I guess it’s a hangover from the early valve TV sets that could possibly overheat. 
    Ironically a modern TV with 240V sat on the Mosfet waiting for the switching to start is more likely to go faulty than the old style TV with a physical switch that breaks the contacts away from the mains. 

    With an electric shower some have a physical switch, some have relays or contactors, some TRIACs, so I would switch it off at the isolator if I was going away. 

    Turning off the water is a good idea is you are away for a while, especially these days when everything is speed fit and hose. I've had two failures, one speed fit under the bath joint went and the first I noticed was water dripping through the ceiling rose downstairs and one hose feeding the toilet cistern went which caused havoc as well. Had I been on holiday when either of those joints went the whole house would have been flooded. 
    When we did the plumbing in the studio we used copper pipe through out and soldered every joint. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • russpmrusspm Frets: 210
    Danny1969 said:
    boogieman said:
    russpm said:
    I always turn the water off when I go on holiday.

    I can remember my parents doing that, but I’ve never bothered. 

    My mum still turns the tv off at the wall at night and even unplugs it. I guess it’s a hangover from the early valve TV sets that could possibly overheat. 
    Ironically a modern TV with 240V sat on the Mosfet waiting for the switching to start is more likely to go faulty than the old style TV with a physical switch that breaks the contacts away from the mains. 

    With an electric shower some have a physical switch, some have relays or contactors, some TRIACs, so I would switch it off at the isolator if I was going away. 

    Turning off the water is a good idea is you are away for a while, especially these days when everything is speed fit and hose. I've had two failures, one speed fit under the bath joint went and the first I noticed was water dripping through the ceiling rose downstairs and one hose feeding the toilet cistern went which caused havoc as well. Had I been on holiday when either of those joints went the whole house would have been flooded. 
    When we did the plumbing in the studio we used copper pipe through out and soldered every joint. 
    You can’t  go wrong with copper and soldered joints. Really not a fan of the push fit / speed fittings, plus plastic pipes can cause earth continuity issues for the electrical system.
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  • longjawlongjaw Frets: 320
    Thanks for all the advice, I bought the MK 50A switch.

    When I started fitting it the electric for the whole house went off - I'd obviously turned off the switch on the fuse box for the bathroom beforehand, so I'm not sure why the rest of the electrics were affected.

    Is it anything to worry about?
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  • russpmrusspm Frets: 210
    longjaw said:
    Thanks for all the advice, I bought the MK 50A switch.

    When I started fitting it the electric for the whole house went off - I'd obviously turned off the switch on the fuse box for the bathroom beforehand, so I'm not sure why the rest of the electrics were affected.

    Is it anything to worry about?
    Was it the main RCD device that tripped? If so you may have just touched the earth or neutral to one of the other wires whilst changing the switch. If so nothing to worry about.
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  • longjawlongjaw Frets: 320
    Yep, it was the main RCD @russpm - thanks for confirming ;)
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 6332
    Don't take whats written on the fuse box as gospel, often people spur things off without any thought for future work. Our boiler is spurred off the upstairs lighting ring. Turn the main breaker off to be sure. 

    The shower should be on it's own ring 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • longjawlongjaw Frets: 320
    Switch now fitted and working - thanks very much for all the advice, much appreciated!
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  • Devil#20Devil#20 Frets: 256
    longjaw said:
    Thanks very much chaps - there's no issue with the shower affecting any other electrics when it's on.

    I'll definitely stick with a 45 amp switch, can't find a MK one though - are there any other makes to consider?
    Nor should it. It has to be on it's own dedicated fused circuit. 


    Ian

    Lowering my expectations has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

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