Fitting an electric shower

13 Sep 2007
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United Kingdom
My mate has just moved into a flat and has a combined cistern and hot water cylinder. It's on the same level as the bathroom. He has mixer taps with a combined shower attachment in his bath. There is good pressure from the cold tap and he gets a good cold flow from the shower attachment. When only the hot tap is turned on it is a very slow flow rate and no water comes out of the shower attachment. Because he's got a good cold flow would it be ok to put in an electric shower without any pumps? And if so can anyone recommend a decent electric shower for around £100 please?

Also can you advise me on any taps to get for him for the bath to improve the flow rate because the mixer taps he has now are disc ones and I believe these are only for high pressure.

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I'm not a plumber but I do have some experience of electric showers. The great thing with these things is that they do produce instant hot water independent of your main system. However, if you want a good flow rate, get one with the highest kilowatt rating you can afford. Unfortunately, the cheaper ones tend to be around 7.5kw, which may be just about OK in summer but in very cold weather (when the incoming water is colder) will give you a flow rate of only 2 litres per minute. Wickes have produced a very nice little leaflet, giving you lots of info:
An electric shower would probably be a fairly simple solution to the problem, if you don't want to go down the road of upgrading to an unvented (pressurised) hot water cylinder or switching over to a combi system, both of which would give a better hot water flow rate.

I've got a 10.8kW electric shower which, along with a decent mains water pressure and flow rate, gives a pretty good shower - more powerful than some thermostatic showers I've experienced !

It's a Gainsborough (came with the house) - these don't seem to be widely recommended, although I never had a problem with the Gainsborough shower in my last house and the only problem the current one has experienced so far is a blocked inlet filter (so nothing to do with the shower itself, really).

Just be aware that you'll probably need 10mm2 cable for a 9.5 or 10.8kW electric shower and that electrical work like this will be notifiable, as it's in a bathroom - ask on the electrics forum for advice.
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For 8.5Kw plus sized shower you will need at least 1.25 Bar working cold mains pressure.
jcpo, as it happens I was in B & Q tonight and saw an Essentials electric shower 10.5kw for £99. It was some sort of special deal and might not be available in your area but does suggest that your mate can get what he wants within budget.

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