Richard Morgan/DIY Works
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Although it may be tempting to buy and install the highest kW-rated electric shower on the market, it isn’t necessarily the best choice. Therefore, before choosing a powerful system such as a 10.5kW unit, you’ll want to ensure that your consumer unit has the required amount of amps to support it. This is a critical factor to consider because failing to meet the load required to run the powerful electric shower may result in power outages.
The most popular power options that brands offer in the UK include 8.5kW, 9.5kW and 10.5kW systems and the prices often increase with the higher kW ratings. Although the higher kW-rated systems often come with a premium price tag, the greater flow of water provides a more luxurious experience whilst showering.
Many brands also offer a variety of styles with the most common design being a white and chrome system with rotary dials and push buttons. However, some of the latest systems now include digital displays, indicators, LED lighting and many other extra features.
To assist you in selecting an electric shower, our handpicked selection lists top-performing models, chosen based on our first-hand experience installing and using a range of systems. Our testing and up-to-date research further ensure the quality of our recommendations.
Best Overall: Triton Seville 10.5kW Electric Shower
Best For Performance: Mira Sport Max 10.8kW
Best For Low Water Pressure: Bristan Bliss 3 8.5kW
Best Quality: Mira Azora Thermostatic Electric Shower
Best All-Rounder: Aqualisa Quartz 9.5kW
Best Budget: Gainsborough SE 8.5kW Electric Shower
How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates Electric Showers
As we own several properties (Airbnb’s/Rentals), an electric shower is a product that we’ve replaced on multiple occasions. An example of our experience with electric showers can be seen from the installation of the Triton T80 below. It was very straightforward to fit and provided great performance for the money when compared to the alternatives.
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
To keep up our commitment to testing and reviewing the latest electric showers (for this article), we are continually upgrading the units we have currently installed.
During our ongoing testing, we analyse the electric showers on their construction quality, ease of use and installation, aesthetics and performance.
Below are two of the latest electric showers we installed and tested, which included the Mira Sport Max (one of our best-rated recommendations) as well as the latest unit by Aqualisa.
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
Along with our testing and experience in installing electric showers, we also based our recommendations on hours of research and several factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the performance, spray patterns, ease of installation, styling, features, additional components supplied, warranty and value for money.
Electric Shower Buying Guide
Showers that output low pressure at high temperatures can make showering an unpleasant experience. However, with the latest line up of electric showers, you are able to easily upgrade the system to one that’s more powerful and efficient. They are also available in a range of power options with the higher kW ratings being more desirable.
Considering that you’ll shower at least once a day, investing in the best electric shower is a worthwhile investment. They have improved a great deal over the years with manufacturers competing with each other to bring the latest features and functionality.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding electric showers.
When dealing with electricity, safety must be paramount. Therefore, before you install an electric shower, you’ll want to ensure your consumer unit can support it.
High kW showers will use a lot of power, which many consumer units may not be able to handle. Therefore, you’ll want to check that the cable and protection device is suitable for the electric shower you choose.
Installing or Replacing an Electric Shower
Installation of an electric shower can be achieved by yourself or a professional. The labour cost that a professional may charge will depend upon their hourly rate. However, as an approximation, the installation of a brand new electric shower may take around 6 hours whereas a simple replacement may take just 3 hours.
When it comes to the installation of an electric shower, you’ll want to consult both an electrician and a plumber. This is because mixing high powered electricity and water isn’t a good match. However, if the wiring and water supply have already been installed, replacing the electric shower can be a simple DIY task.
To replace the old system with one of the recommendations listed above, follow the 10 steps below:
- Disconnect the power supply.
- Switch off the water supply.
- Remove the old unit that holds it onto the wall.
- Remove the front panel of the new unit and check the water supply connections.
- Place the new system where the last one was fitted and mark up new holes to screw into.
- Drill into the wall using the markings and insert rawlplugs.
- Connect the neutral live and check the earths are installed correctly.
- Connect the water supply.
- Turn on both the power and water supply.
- Thoroughly test by using all the functions and temperature settings.
Replacing an electric shower as opposed to installing a complete new system is far easier. Unless you know what you are doing, we would advise that you contact a professional to avoid all of the hassle.
The main specification of an electric shower is the kW rating and the most common options include 8.5kW, 9.5kW and 10.5kW. Whilst browsing through the various options available, we highly advise that you choose a system that’s rated at 8.5kW and over to ensure that you always have a hot shower.
If you are willing to spend slightly more, choosing a powerful electric shower such as a 10.5kW system will allow you to run higher pressure at higher temperatures. However, the drawback is that there will be more water usage and they are generally more expensive to purchase. Alternatively, if you have low water pressure in your house, your best option would be to choose a power shower with a built-in boost pump.
The low powered eco-friendly electric showers flow slowly past the heating element to heat the water and this has the result of less pressure at higher temperatures. Although this isn’t desirable, if you have an unreliable water supply or a small water tank, the low powered alternatives are a good option to consider.
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
To help improve the longevity of the system, some brands integrate a phased shutdown into their showers. This means that the water will continue to run for a few seconds after it has been switched off. The purpose of this is that it allows any water left in the system to drain out, which reduces lime scale in the heater and shower head.
Temperature Stabilised and Thermostatic Systems
Water that fluctuates in temperature whilst you are showering can be highly frustrating. The fluctuations can be caused by a toilet being flushed or the tap being turned on. If this is something that you find very irritating, you’ll want an electric shower that features temperature stabilisation. It works by controlling the water temperature by the amount of water passing through the system but this does sometimes result in a slower flow of water.
An alternative to temperature stabilising systems is a thermostatic system that ensures the water temperature remains constant regardless of the water supply. It’s the preferred option over a temperature stabilised system but it does cost quite a bit more to purchase.
Ease of Use
Using an electric shower shouldn’t be complex and luckily most aren’t. The majority of systems use a rotary dial for controlling the temperature with some having a digital display for showing the selected temperature. However, stopping and starting the shower usually differs because some may use a push button whereas others may use another rotary dial.
Benefits of Choosing an Electric System
Installing an electric shower instead of a standard system has various benefits such as:
- Easier installation
- Endless hot water supply
- More versatile
- Energy efficient
- Independent from the hot water supply
If you are lucky enough to have an en-suite or additional bathrooms in your home, the best option is usually to install an electric shower. This is due to the ease of installation and the limited plumbing required.
Top Electric Shower Brands
Purchasing an electric shower from a reputable brand is highly advised. Not only will there be spare parts and accessories available but they often have better warranties. Some of the brands that we would recommend include:
- Mira Showers
- … and a few others
Installing an electric shower as opposed to a thermostatic shower can be the best option if there is no existing plumbing. All that’s required to install an electric system is a power supply and the addition of a cold water supply to the shower. If your budget allows, we would recommend choosing a higher kW rated system. This is primarily because the increased water pressure at your desired temperature transforms your showering experience and makes it worth the added investment.
All of our recommendations listed above are suitable for all budgets and are manufactured by the best brands in the UK. However, to avoid disappointment, ensure that your consumer unit can support the power that the system requires.
If you require further information regarding any of our electric shower recommendations, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.