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Installing a new shower- gas or electric?
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# 1
catt
Old 15-02-2008, 9:01 AM
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Question Installing a new shower- gas or electric?

I'm getting a new bathroom fitted with a bath and a separate shower cubicle. I have a gas combi boiler. The fitter who came to quote recommended an electric shower. I was surprised by this as I thought everything would run off the gas.

He said the installation would be easier and quicker, requiring less pipe runs. That means cheaper, although the electric showers cost more than the thermostatic mixer for hot water from the gas. He said we would have an different power source should the boiler fail.

I'm conscious that electric power costs about twice as much as gas and both power bills are rising.

Can anyone please advise me on whether to consider electric?
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# 2
Dunstan
Old 15-02-2008, 9:23 AM
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We were told the opposite, but I think that may be because the plumber didn't want to touch any electrics! Anyway, he recommended a mixer shower, and I would tend to agree, depending on the layout of your bathroom. Our mixer shower is brilliant, and has really good pressure, unlike a lot of electric ones which I find a bit dribbly! I would always go for a mixer in the future. Hope this helps.
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# 3
zebidee1
Old 15-02-2008, 9:25 AM
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I'm in a similar situation. Although I think a shower linked to our boiler would be more powerful, it really bothers me that we would be putting all our eggs in one basket and if the boiler failed we would be showerless for days until we got someone out, unless we wanted to pay emergency prices.

We had no heat or hot water for a time once before when we had boiler issues and it was an absolute nightmare but we did have the electric shower so we could still wash ok.

Our plumber says we should get a power shower and not an electric one and my OH agrees but I'd rather have an electric purely because of the supply thing. I'd hate to be with no hot water at all if we had problems again.

I suppose it depends on your family and lifestyle as to how much of a problem it would be if your shower wasn't working. It's a big problem for us so practicality over possible cost differences wins outright. Ideally I would like both, to cover all eventualities, lol.

Tbh, I dont think the cost is a big issue anyway, the shower is only in for a short time and costs pennies either way.
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# 4
catt
Old 15-02-2008, 9:40 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts so far.....

I should also mention that we are planning to move house in the near future.....so which would buyers prefer?

We wouldn't want to install anything that would put buyers off.....

Would buyers see an electric shower as the benefit of an alternative source of hot water or does this imply that the gas boiler is unreliable.....
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# 5
zebidee1
Old 15-02-2008, 9:47 AM
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I dont think they would necessarily think much of it either way tbh. :confused:

I think the shower itself is the important thing, not what powers it. As long as a house has a shower (especially a new one) , it's a tick on the list. Perhaps some people would have preferences but it wouldn't be enough of an issue for someone to say ' I like your house but you dont have the right kind of shower I'm looking for'..........imo.
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# 6
Vincenzo
Old 15-02-2008, 5:20 PM
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A shower run off a combi boiler is far superior! While it is nice to have a backup electric shower in the house, I would certainly not want to use one regularly. The flow rate will be much lower.
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# 7
tabath
Old 20-02-2008, 2:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincenzo View Post
A shower run off a combi boiler is far superior! While it is nice to have a backup electric shower in the house, I would certainly not want to use one regularly. The flow rate will be much lower.

Explain to me how the flow rate for an electric can be less than a combi when the electric will be plumbed straight off the mains cold feed?

Oh and btw I am a gas/plumber corgi reg.

I'd always have a electric shower as well, if you get a decent one , a mira there will be no difference in the flow.
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# 8
Canucklehead
Old 20-02-2008, 7:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tabath View Post
Explain to me how the flow rate for an electric can be less than a combi when the electric will be plumbed straight off the mains cold feed?

Oh and btw I am a gas/plumber corgi reg.

I'd always have a electric shower as well, if you get a decent one , a mira there will be no difference in the flow.

Good evening: :confused: ...take a look at Section 2... http://www.bathroom-academy.co.uk/pd...ercontrols.pdf Are you saying that a typical electric shower provides a superior flow rate to a thermostatic mixer shower running off a combi? Both systems run off the mains cold supply... between a 10.8 kw electric shower ( v.high powered unit) and a Vaillant Ecotec Plus 837 (flow rate 15.2 l/min at 35C) the electric will have superior performance??? Have to say I would not have an instantaneous electric shower in my home for reasons of economy and performance. Flow rate stats for the Mira Vie as an example can't compare. http://www.mirashowers.com/onlinecat...1088848_w2.pdf
BTW, my OH is a plumber/CORGI...over 30 years in the business. Vincenzo made a valid point IMO.

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Last edited by Canucklehead; 20-02-2008 at 8:12 PM. Reason: Added new link
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# 9
markleedsuk
Old 20-02-2008, 8:03 PM
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Depends on the flow rate of your mains cold water, if you have good flow rate then i would go for mixer valve.

As someone posted earlier, the problem with electric showers is that the flow rate out of the shower can be slower if the KW size is not sufficient, cold water comes out of the shower slower it has longer to generate heat required so pressure seems slower. Higher the kilowatt the faster the water can go through the shower (better flow rate).

As for cost, if you are not replacing any other part of the bathroom then the installation cost maybe higher as the installer will have to run a hot feed to the shower, however you will have to run an electric cable back to the consumer unit for an electric shower (if there is not one already). Electric showers are not more expensive than mixers you can pick either one up for 60-70 or as much as 200-300 depending on what you want to spend.

Another Corgi Plumber
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# 10
TimBuckTeeth
Old 20-02-2008, 9:18 PM
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I would also go for the thermostatic mixer fed from the combi, cheaper running costs and better flow rate, no wiring needed.
The only advantage of the electric I can see is the back up if the boiler fails, as mentioned in the original post.
I can't see the problem with the plumbing as the hot pipe needs to be put in for the bath anyway.
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# 11
Tud
Old 20-02-2008, 10:16 PM
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Personal preference - a shower run off the combi boiler. Went from a 9.5kw electric shower to one run from straight from the 28kw combi. Light years worth of difference in performance and flow.
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# 12
Vincenzo
Old 21-02-2008, 1:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tabath View Post
Explain to me how the flow rate for an electric can be less than a combi when the electric will be plumbed straight off the mains cold feed?

Oh and btw I am a gas/plumber corgi reg.

I'd always have a electric shower as well, if you get a decent one , a mira there will be no difference in the flow.

Canucklehead has kindly answered for me....

I had a 10.5kw Aqualisa at my previous property. Now I have a shower run of my new combi boiler. There is absolutely no comparison. Granted, both systems work off the cold feed but the electric shower simply cannot heat the water as quickly as a combi, hence the difference in flow rate.

I find it slightly worrying that a CORGI plumber does not recognise this.

Last edited by Vincenzo; 22-02-2008 at 9:19 AM.
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# 13
Golfboy1971
Old 03-12-2009, 6:46 PM
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Default Electric versus mixer

One thing is for sure is that if you choose a low powered shower (7.5kW) then the flow rate will be low, but higher powered ones will give a better flow (10.8kW) for example.
I am having the same dilema at the moment, to either stay with electric shower when I have my bathroom done, or go for a mixer.
However having an alternative heat source if the boiler fails isn't a concern of mine as I will have an electric immersion element installed in my hot water tank (can't do that on a combi of course!) so I can always get hot water if the boiler fails.
It does sound like mixers are more more powerful (if your tanks are in the correct place) and cheaper because you're heating the water from gas rather than electric.
The only other downside is if you live in a busy household, will there always be hot water in your hot water tank? Of course if you have a combi boiler this is not an issue.

One thing I would like to know if anyone out there knows, is what height should your header tank be compared to the shower head if you've got a hot water tank? My header tank is in the bathroom above the hot water tank and the shower head will be around 1.8m from the floor, so I suspect flow rate will be pathetic.

Thanks
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# 14
Wetkitten
Old 03-12-2009, 7:09 PM
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Hi there

In response to whether incoming purchasers will prefer elec shower or not, I would say definitely not. I let flats to tenants, and people always ask about water pressure. Elec showers should be left to naff b&b landladies - if you are doing your bathroom up, do a proper job and run shower off the combi. In the unlikely event that your boiler packs up, you will have bigger problems than showering...
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# 15
Canucklehead
Old 03-12-2009, 7:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfboy1971 View Post
One thing is for sure is that if you choose a low powered shower (7.5kW) then the flow rate will be low, but higher powered ones will give a better flow (10.8kW) for example.
I am having the same dilema at the moment, to either stay with electric shower when I have my bathroom done, or go for a mixer.
However having an alternative heat source if the boiler fails isn't a concern of mine as I will have an electric immersion element installed in my hot water tank (can't do that on a combi of course!) so I can always get hot water if the boiler fails.
It does sound like mixers are more more powerful (if your tanks are in the correct place) and cheaper because you're heating the water from gas rather than electric.
The only other downside is if you live in a busy household, will there always be hot water in your hot water tank? Of course if you have a combi boiler this is not an issue.

One thing I would like to know if anyone out there knows, is what height should your header tank be compared to the shower head if you've got a hot water tank? My header tank is in the bathroom above the hot water tank and the shower head will be around 1.8m from the floor, so I suspect flow rate will be pathetic.

Thanks
Good evening: lots of info here. Have you considered an Aqualisa Quartz Digital or Mira Platinum?: a regular mixer shower will generally give poor performance on gravity, though many choose this option for reasons of cost.

HTH

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# 16
mikey72
Old 03-12-2009, 7:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfboy1971 View Post
One thing is for sure is that if you choose a low powered shower (7.5kW) then the flow rate will be low, but higher powered ones will give a better flow (10.8kW) for example.
I am having the same dilema at the moment, to either stay with electric shower when I have my bathroom done, or go for a mixer.
However having an alternative heat source if the boiler fails isn't a concern of mine as I will have an electric immersion element installed in my hot water tank (can't do that on a combi of course!) so I can always get hot water if the boiler fails.
It does sound like mixers are more more powerful (if your tanks are in the correct place) and cheaper because you're heating the water from gas rather than electric.
The only other downside is if you live in a busy household, will there always be hot water in your hot water tank? Of course if you have a combi boiler this is not an issue.

One thing I would like to know if anyone out there knows, is what height should your header tank be compared to the shower head if you've got a hot water tank? My header tank is in the bathroom above the hot water tank and the shower head will be around 1.8m from the floor, so I suspect flow rate will be pathetic.

Thanks
A power shower, even a small pump, gives about 1.5 bar, which is a 50ft head of water.
I've fitted all types of shower, power, gravity, combi, and electric, each have there good and bad points.
Combi, good, until someone fills the sink, and then puts on the washing machine.
Power, good, unless you're the third person in the queue.
Gravity, actually no good points, unless you count the fact they don't use much water.
Electric, good, unlimited water, quite a good flow even from 8.5 kw. (much more than a gravity fed shower)
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# 17
paul123
Old 17-01-2011, 2:59 PM
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Default Which type of shower

Hi
My other half is a dog groomer working from home. We are at present going through an electric shower every 12 months, the heating element keeps going. I recently fitted a triton opal shower 9.5 kw hoping it would last a bit longer but no difference. I reckon it is used about 12 times a day.
Thought about having a gas fitted shower from our conventional boiler ( if possible) but have no idea of cost. Does anyone know of a possible long term solution or do I just keep replacing the shower every 12 months? Always goes just after the 12 month guarantee lapses !!!
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# 18
ic
Old 17-01-2011, 3:05 PM
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Another vote for running of the combi.
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# 19
Innys
Old 17-01-2011, 3:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul123 View Post
Hi
My other half is a dog groomer working from home. We are at present going through an electric shower every 12 months, the heating element keeps going. I recently fitted a triton opal shower 9.5 kw hoping it would last a bit longer but no difference. I reckon it is used about 12 times a day.
Thought about having a gas fitted shower from our conventional boiler ( if possible) but have no idea of cost. Does anyone know of a possible long term solution or do I just keep replacing the shower every 12 months? Always goes just after the 12 month guarantee lapses !!!
Why not just buy an extended warranty and keep quiet about the amount of use you put it to?
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# 20
Funster2
Old 29-01-2011, 10:53 AM
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Recently switched from broken electric 8.5KW to shower/bath thermostatic mixer running from gas combi - can't get over the difference. Unit cost less than 60 (without the riser bar etc) and was fitted in no time at all. Would recommend it to anyone in the same situation.
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