Choosing a suitable shower system for your home can be a challenge. Do you know the type of water system in your home and how it works? Some homes have hot water tanks which store hot water for staggered use. Others have combination boilers which provide hot water on demand. Before choosing an electric or mixer shower, it’s important to decide whether you want to use your hot water system or not to supply water to the shower.
Some households have plenty of hot water on demand and a good level of water pressure, whereas other store their hot water and as such, it may run out quickly. By taking all of this information into account before buying a shower, you can choose the best shower for your household.
If you’d rather not use your hot water system, then an electric shower is the best choice for you. Electric showers connect to your cold mains fed water supply and heat this water instantly and on demand. This means that electric showers are ideal for large families and busy households, particularly when there is not a large hot water tank. Having an electric shower means that there is no waiting for the hot water tank to heat up – you simply turn the shower on and away you go! Electric showers are available with different electrical power ratings, so it may be necessary to check that your current electricity supply, cable and fuse size are compatible with the requirements of the shower before buying one. A Part P registered electrician may need to install the shower depending on whether it is a replacement shower or not.
On the other hand, if you are happy to use your hot water system then a mixer shower is the best choice for you. Mixer showers are compatible with almost any water system, including gravity fed systems, combination boiler systems and other high pressure systems. A mixer shower blends hot and cold water from different sources to reach your perfect temperature. This means there’s no endless tap-twiddling to get the right temperature.
Furthermore, thermostatic mixer showers automatically adjust to maintain a constant temperature even when a tap or another water source is turned on elsewhere in the house. This is an important safety feature to prevent users getting an unpleasant shock from scalding hot or freezing cold water as well as making showering much more convenient!
Mixer showers come in a range of designs, both exposed (with the valve and pipework mounted on the tiles) and concealed (where everything is fitted in a cavity behind the tiling). Exposed showers are easier to install and more flexible in terms of positioning, whereas concealed showers give a neater finish but are more complex to install. Before buying a shower, make sure you consider installation costs in your budget.