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Electric or thermostatic shower?

(17 Posts)
indiegrrl Thu 24-Jan-13 12:27:48

Just beginning to think about upgrading the bathroom. I know it is a vexed question but...which would you go for? I've always fancied thermostatic because the one time I had one it was superb for pressure...but my builder says that even the best combi boilers can go out and an electric is therefore best so you have hot water even if you don't have a boiler (he also pointed out that we'd have to have the bathroom retiled because the fittings are different, so more expensive). Then there's the ongoing cost: presumably electric is more expensive to run? Any thoughts, and any recommendations, very much welcomed.

Iggly Fri 25-Jan-13 06:41:44

We switched from an electric to thermostatic. Best decision as its better and electric showers use a lot of power.

If your electricity goes you'd have no shower.

I'd make sure you had a decent boiler, regularly serviced and a decent plumber/engineer so if it did go wrong you could get it sorted ASAP.

Yorky Fri 25-Jan-13 12:10:42

I've never used an electric shower which didn't make me think I'd be better off standing in the rain to wash my hair!

LOVE our thermostatic one smile

Springforward Fri 25-Jan-13 19:44:26

We've had a Triton Dove thermostatic shower fitted recently and are really happy with it. We have a low pressure system and no extra pump, and it's fine. We're planning to fit one in the ensuite too.

docsarah Sat 26-Jan-13 15:25:27

We've just installed an electric thermostatic shower -a Mira Sport and it's great. We wanted the instant hot water as we're not on mains gas and heat our hot water via immersion.

Electric showers rated 9.8kW and higher do give good flow rates, it's the cheaper, lower powered ones which give electric showers a bad name.

PigletJohn Sat 26-Jan-13 16:39:49


do you mrean you already have a combi?

fussychica Sat 26-Jan-13 17:52:08

We are just about to upgrade to a Mira Sport or similar - glad to hear it's good docsarah . We have a fairly old electric one now and it's fine but about to redoe bathroom so upgrading shower but sticking with electric as it suits us best.

MildlyMonica Sat 26-Jan-13 22:11:01

We have an old Mira Sport on it's last legs - do we need an electrician or plumber or both to get a new one installed? Thanks

PigletJohn Sun 27-Jan-13 00:26:00


indiegrrl Mon 28-Jan-13 11:28:19

Thanks all! PigletJ, we have a Worcester Bosch combi, it's 11 yrs old. Should we replace it...?

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jan-13 11:35:55

Is there some reason why you want to?

MildlyMonica Mon 28-Jan-13 16:40:58

thanks piglet john. Sorry op for hijack but if it helps you at all, until now it has been great - 9 yrs old!!

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jan-13 16:59:04

so keep it.

PigletJohn Mon 28-Jan-13 17:03:28

I can't follow the different threads.

PigletJohn Tue 29-Jan-13 00:47:23

a shower fed from a combi boiler will give better flow and more hot water than an electric shower. A typical modern combi has a power output of 30kW to 35kW. A typical electric shower has a power in the region of 10kW - so only a third as much hot water. Electric showers are always pathetically weak.

however, combi boilers are more complicated than traditional boilers, and have more in them to go wrong. When this happens you need an alternative supply of hot water. An electric shower, perhaps in a downstairs or en-suite shower room will do while the boiler gets mended.

My own preference is for a hot-water cylinder which can be heated by a gas and/or oil and/or multifuel boiler and/or solar tubes, and can also have one or two immersion heaters in it and can fill a bath or run a shower even if the boiler is broken. If you have good water flow (bucket... sink... timer..) then as well as the possibility of good flow from your combi, you have the possibility of fitting a pressurised cylinder such as a Megaflo, which gives an unsurpassed delivery of hot water. Even a combi can heat a cylinder, which is handy if you have more than one bathroom, though installers don't often do it.

An electric shower takes a lot of electricity, for example an 11kW shower will use about 50Amps. So it needs a large cable from the consumer unit, and you probably can't run two in the house at the same time. Your company fuse will usually be 80A (even if it says 100A on the fuseholder). A big electric cooker can also take 40A. Fan heaters, storage heaters, washing machines, dishwashers and tumbledriers take about 10A each during the heating cycle. So you could easily overload your electrical installation. In some districts or houses the lights may go dim when you put an electric shower on.

If you replace an old electric shower with a new one of higher power, the existing cable may not be big enough. It is not enough to change the MCB. Shower cables must never be buried in insulation as they are liable to overheat.

HannahD78 Mon 18-Feb-13 15:00:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CocoNutter Mon 18-Feb-13 19:01:24

We LOVE our mixer shower (assuming this is same as a thermostatic..?! blush). Inherited it with this house and would never go back to electric.

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