Guide to buying the best electric showers
An electric shower is basically a water heater that quickly heats mains-pressure cold water as it flows towards the shower. If you are thinking of buying one, you need to keep your expectations in check. And remember, electric showers should not be confused with power showers. Here’s a brief guide on essential features to look for and where to buy the electric shower that is best for you.
What to expect from an electric shower
Many people mistake electric showers for power showers. They associate a forceful, revitalizing jet of water with power and end up disappointed when the average electric shower does not meet these expectations. But, the electric shower is not a power shower. It does not have a pump. The amount and pressure of water you get through depends on your mains water pressure.
While electric showers do not typically produce a forceful water jet, they are very economical. They only heat the water you use. In fact, they are the only types of showers that are totally independent of the hot water system. You can still have a hot shower even if your boiler fails if you have an electric shower installed.
Main features to look for
There are a few main things you should look for when buying your electric shower:
1. Shower head
The shower head is the spray attachment fixed on the raiser rail. Different types of shower heads have different spray modes or patterns. Consider the spray pattern of each carefully and the ease of cleaning before you buy. Shower heads with rub-clean rubber nozzles are often a good choice because they are easy to clean and prevent liescale from building up, which can cause blockages.
2. Power ratings
Electric showers have power ratings that vary between about 8.5kW and 10.8kW. The most common power ratings are 7.5, 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 kW. You will generally pay more for an electric shower with a higher power rating, but get more forceful water sprays and a shower that copes better with colder mains water supplys, such as during winter.
Consider electric showers that have variable power settings like ‘low,’ ‘high’ and ‘economy.’ These showers are a good choice because they are versatile and come in handy all round the seasons, including summer months when incoming water is warmer.
3. Raiser rail
The raiser rail is the vertical metal bar that is attached to the wall, allowing for the shower head height to be varied. Consider longer rails as these give more flexibility.
Where to buy
You can buy electric showers from a wide range of shops both online and off line, including catalogue stores, DIY stores and building and plumbing suppliers. You can also buy some brands or models exclusively from one retailer, but it is recommended you shop around for cheaper, strong brands like Mira or Triton first.
Electric shower prices start at about £50 and go up to more than £300, depending on the features, design and styling of the shower.