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Can a shower be added to my consumer unit?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by DIYNotIan, 18 Jan 2021.

  1. DIYNotIan

    DIYNotIan

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    Hi

    I had this CU fitted a year or so ago, but at the time we weren't planning to have an electric shower and so made no provision for it.

    Well, now we are... I wondered if anyone would mind letting me know if there is enough capacity please? Let me know if you need any further details to be able to tell.

    Cheers

    IMG_20210118_185057793.jpg


    2.jpg


    IMG_20210118_185134620.jpg
     
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  3. 333rocky333

    333rocky333

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    First impressions look fine, there are 2 spare Rcd protected usable ways, providing no one has done something stupid and cut the copper Busbars inside.
    The only substantial loads appear to be the Kitchen and the oven, but that is quite normal and usually still leaves scope for a shower also.
    Mcbs are still available to fit that board
     
  4. sparkwright

    sparkwright

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    Yes, looks very hopeful - those blanks actually sit on the busbar - so looks hopeful the busbar is long enough to accomodate another circuit breaker.
     
  5. flameport

    flameport

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    Looks ok - but an electric shower is a thing of last resort.

    How is the hot water provided to other outlets ?
     
  6. DIYNotIan

    DIYNotIan

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    Excellent that it looks good. Thanks for checking and commenting :)

    It's something we've been deliberating for a bit, but I think electric is the way forward for us....

    We have oil CH but we don't tend to use it for water.

    - For washing up, we just fill the kettle up when making a cuppa, and use the rest for the washing up.
    - But we'll be getting a dishwasher when we redo the kitchen, so we'll be washing up a lot less
    - We're getting a wood stove and will be able to heat water on that 6 months+ a year
    - We have a maximum of 4 showers a week in the house, so not a massive use by any means

    And that's it - no other hot water needed.

    The thing is, we don't have a combi and so if we heat the tank for a shower, whatever is left in the tank goes to waste. Whilst the electric shower is less energy efficient, at least it only heats the water that is used; not a whole tank in which water is left goes to waste...

    Many thanks for the help
     
  7. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    Electric showers are a lot more efficient than people give them credit for.

    If I had a combi boiler I would still be using the electric shower.
     
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  8. winston1

    winston1

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    Like all electrical heaters electric showers are 100% efficient. But all electrical heating is very expensive.
     
  9. DIYNotIan

    DIYNotIan

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    Thanks for the further thoughts. It's hard to weigh up the difference in price / energy used for an electric shower which only heats the water used, and an oil boiler which heats up a whole cylinder, only some of which is then used. Our cylinder is 117L.

    Any thoughts on that would be useful, although I appreciate these things don't always have a straight answer!

    Cheers
     
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  11. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    How bloody wrong can you be time after time?

    I work in controls so I rather think I have a lot of experience in this field.
     
  12. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    If you don't regularly heat your cylinder, I will suggest the electric shower is a sensible option but only for using as a shower, ie it is an expensive way of filling a bath with hot water.
    It's a very long time since I've got involved with the costs of oil fired heating but assuming it is still more expensive than gas an electric shower is cheaper than heating a tankful just for the shower.
     
  13. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    There are many benefits to having an electric shower. Primarily they serve as an alternative to where the only other hot water source is a combi or cylinder, which do sometimes fail. Gas costs around 1/4 that of electric, but gas heated water involves lots of hidden costs, such as wear and tear on the boiler, pump and etc.. If a cylinder type, then the shower may need to be planned ahead of time, unless it is kept on round the clock. An electric shower is instant, only heating the water you use, with zero wastage of water or electric - I pay for both here.

    At least with a cylinder, there is the possibility of adding an immersion heater as a standby HW source. I have electric shower, immersion heater and gas boiler heated cylinder.

    Our present electric shower is made use of multiple times each week and is our second one in the past 40 years, which I installed around 10 years ago as an upgrade to the old one which was taken out still working fine. By contrast, my gas hot water has suffered several failures over the same years.
     
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  14. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    I can only agree

    Except an electric shower is cheaper per shower than gas combi.
     
  15. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Do you mean in terms of 'running' (fuel usage) costs, or are you taking into account the cost of buying an electric shower vs. buying a combi boiler?

    If (as I suspect) you mean the former, what makes you think that?

    Kind Regards, John
     
  16. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I would make a guess at the overall costs - running, buying and don't forget to add in some extra value for the convenience and use as a standby means to get washed.
     
  17. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    It is most unlikely that anyone would contemplate buying and maintaining a combi boiler just to run a shower. In practice, they would almost always have (and maintain) it for CH, so the marginal cost of using it for showers would be zero - so the only real difference would be in running costs, which would be much lower for a gas-fuelled combi. Both an electric shower and combi only heat cold water 'as required' and the slight losses within the combi and pipework (which, in any event, in winter would heat the house) would be insignificant in comparison with the large difference in fuel prices.
    If I had a gas combi (which I don't), I would still have an electric shower for that very reason, but would virtually never use it (only if the combi 'failed').

    Kind Regards, John
     
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