Electric showers have been increasing in popularity. They provide many conveniences, like precise temperature regulation, that are not possible with conventional showers. And they are cheaper to operate and more efficient to run than pump-operated power showers.
Installing or replacing an electric shower may sound like a complicated endeavor. But it may be simpler than you think. Doing it yourself could save some money on installation.
But you don’t want to get in over your head or cause more damage than it is worth. The good news is that even if you decide to go with a trained technician, there are a few things you can do yourself to get started.
Here are the basic steps for installing an electric shower, and some ways to determine when you should call a professional.
Electric Shower Basics
Conventional showers only emit the amount of water they receive. While some may be able to manipulate the water pressure, the temperature is determined by the combination of hot and cold that you allow to flow.
Electric showers work much like a tankless water heater. They attach to your cold-water source and warm it very quickly using an electrically-charged heating element. This allows you to meticulously tweak the shower output.
Electric Shower Advantages
Electric showers allow you to adjust the temperature with great precision. And they offer the convenience of setting a certain temperature and keeping it there. So, you can simply turn it on, versus fiddling with the hot and cold nobs to get the perfect temperature.
Electric showers also ensure that you will never run out of hot water. This can be a huge asset for larger families.
Another advantage of electric showers is that they are energy efficient. Conventional boilers have to heat the entire tank, whether you use the water in it or not. But, with electric showers, you only heat the water you use.
Finally, electric shower units are inexpensive. While there are higher-end models with a lot of bells and whistles, the jumping-off point for a basic one can be as low as $50. Which is not much more than a conventional one.
Electric Shower Installation vs. Replacement
A new installation will require you to run electrical wiring. And, while much of the plumbing should be in place, a new electric shower very well may need additional piping to connect.
An electric shower also requires a certain level of water pressure. If you live in an older home, for instance, you may need to upgrade the water delivery system to accommodate the device.
Also, note that a new electric shower requires additional equipment installation–namely the control panel. This means drilling into the tile, which can be very tedious. You don’t want to cause damage that will cost you even more to repair.
In short, for a first-time installation, you should consider hiring a professional. It won’t take trained technicians more than a few hours to get it installed. And you’ll have the peace-of-mind that it was done correctly.
But replacing an electric shower may be a simple task if the mounting configuration of your new unit matches up with that of the old one.
DIY Electric Shower Replacement
First, be sure to disconnect the electricity supply to your bathroom. Turn off the power at the breaker box and double-check nearby outlets with a handheld voltage detector. Also, turn off the main water supply to your bathroom.
Next, check to see if the wattage on the new device is the same as the one you’re replacing. If it needs more power than your old one, you may have to redo the wiring. In this case, you would want to hire a professional.
Like regular ones, most electricity shower units are mounted to the wall using basic screws. Remove the main unit from the wall.
Next, take off the front panel of the shower control box. You should be able to see the wiring and plumbing connection. Now you can inspect how the configuration matching up with your replacement shower.
From here, you should be able to determine if your new unit will fit in the space where your old one was. If it matches, disconnect the old piping and wiring and connect the new ones. If any of the existing wiring looks corroded or worn, take this opportunity to replace it.
Then mount the shower unit and the control box. If you have to drill extra holes, be careful not to break any of the surrounding tiles. Use a masonry bit and keep your drill perpendicular to the surface. Also, be sure it is on a slow setting before drilling.
Once installed, turn the electricity and water back on, and test out the device. You may have to wait a few minutes to allow the water to fill the empty pipes and electric shower unit.
Have Your Electric Shower Installed Today
Now that you have an idea of what installing or replacing an electric shower entails, you can determine whether you want to tackle the project on your own. If you are in doubt, it is best to call a professional to ensure that the unit is installed correctly. Since the job requires both plumbing and electrical experience, you will want to hire a technician that has experience in both.
A-Team Plumbing & Drain has been serving the New Haven area for over 40 years. We pride ourselves on quality work, customer service, and efficiency.
Our trained technicians can install or replace your electric shower so that you know it is done right. And we provide a variety of services, including remodeling and repair. So, no plumbing-related job is too big or too small for our team.